Owen gifts Cristina with a cardio god, the Chief struggles with an inner demon, and oh, Izzie's back ... for a bit

By Jennifer Armstrong
Updated November 13, 2009 at 05:00 PM EST
Randy Holmes/ABC

This episode had me thinking a lot about old versus new, borrowed versus blue… well, not that, but certainly how much Grey’s Anatomy can stand to change and how much it can stay the same. Do we like the new characters who’ve joined this season? Which old ones are we over? Here, a look at a few key moments in past, present, and future Grey’s:

Izzie returns

She’s been gone for weeks, and what brought her back? Not her cancer treatment, nor her super-hot husband, but her high school science teacher, Dr. Singer (Joel Grey!), who had Alzheimer’s, but maybe something more. So naturally she brought him to Seattle Grace, having kidnapped him from his nursing home.

Were we happy to see her? I vote no, honestly. Her hair looked great, and I loved her cardigan sweater, but her existence actually seemed to bog things down at this point. Sure, she’s only on her way out again for another personal leave — now to spend some more exclusive time with her new baby — but she felt like a real drag at this point. Even the two new docs who aren’t all that thrilling — Reed and Charles — felt more at home than she did. And that’s despite Izzie deliberately berating Charles and threatening to tell Reed he likes her. (Irony alert! Reed likes Alex, to whom Izzie is supposedly still married!)

Dr. Singer, in his dementia, continuously made reference to Izzie being knocked up, but then again, he seemed to think she was also still in his high school class. Is she really preggers? What do we think? How would we feel about that? At any rate, it turned out he had a condition called NPH — which is neither here nor there, except to say that it was relieved once Charles saved the day with a spinal tap (and it, of course, shares initials with our favorite Emmy host). Derek agreed to do some pro bono surgery on the fellow, saving the day for approximately the 962nd time in the past year. And, of course, he saved the day, once again.

Izzie and Alex, however, were another story. She blamed him for getting her fired, because he’d told the Chief he had doubts about Izzie getting back to work so soon after her cancer treatment. Major stretch, I’m afraid. This is not the sign of a good marriage.

Owen gets Cristina a present: a new cardio attending!

After all the tortured ”you don’t love me because you’re mean to me in surgery” drama, Owen decided to fix things once and for all between himself and Cristina by getting her a little gift. What to get the girl who has everything? ”I didn’t just get you a cardio trauma,” he explained, ”I got you a new cardio god — or goddess.” Yes, that would be one Teddy Altman — a hot former-military cardio surgeon he served with, played by Kim Raver. Gee, he shouldn’t have. How Cristina continued to resist Dr. Hotness Monster amongst all of this, I do not know. Perhaps she was too busy worrying about what Dr. Altman meant to her. ”According to Google,” Cristina told Teddy, nonplussed, ”you don’t exist.” If only. Clearly, Cristina was having none of this particular present: ”You need to take it back and exchange it for a real cardio god,” she snarked to Owen. We knew at that point it was only a matter of time before Cristina warmed up to Ms. Formerly-of-Lipstick Jungle. Bailey accused Cristina of having run off every former cardio attending, but I’d hang only Burke on her, and even that’s pushing it. (That one was really on Burke — ahem, Isaiah Washington and his runaway mouth behind-the-scenes.) There was that awkward Asperger’s situation with the doctor played by Mary McDonnell (Dr. Virginia Dixon, in case, like everyone else, you chose to forget), and that awkward lesbian situation with Dr. Hahn. None of that is on Cristina — just unfortunate character plotting.

NEXT: Work wives and work husbands

At any rate, Cristina wasn’t thrilled about, as she said, ”Private Benjamin over there.” Can’t blame her, really, for feeling territorial about Owen around a cardio goddess who happens to look that good. ”She went to a state school,” she complained, as Alex pointed out that so did he. ”She’s skinny and blond.” So is Meredith. ”She’s really annoying.” So are you, Cristina. That all changed, however, with a cardiac asthma case. Finally, Teddy gave Cristina the chance to really, as she’s said before, hold a heart in her hands. She was back in the game. (Dr. Hotness Monster remained smitten: ”Believe me, I’m watching,” he said as Cristina did her thing. Who doesn’t dream of a guy who looks like that swooning over us just doing what we do best? Sigh. If only.)

Of course, we also learned that Teddy was into Owen (shocker). She’d always thought, she told him, that he’d call her if he broke up with his wife. Oops. Don’t suppose it’s almost as good if he calls you to come be a present for his new girlfriend? No?

The Chief has issues

Adele was convinced Bailey was having an affair with the Chief. Hahahahahaha. ”They’re work husband and work wife,” Callie explained of their rapport. Still Adele was not totally buying his innocence. ”Wife wife to work wife,” she said to Bailey, ”someone in this hospital is sleeping with our husband.” (Callie, without missing a beat, slyly took out her phone to text the gossip. Perfect.) When Bailey tried to ask the Chief about it, he asked if she was ”hitting on” him. Seriously, the idea of these two together never stopped being funny. (But an affair, in general, with the Chief, I wouldn’t rule out. Dude has still got it after all these years. In fact, I was a little bummed to find out he definitely wasn’t having an affair.)

Worse, a patient had turned yellow — because the Chief had, apparently, ”clipped the common bile duct” when he performed surgery. He decided to take a ”step back” from surgery. Bailey wondered what she’d do without her work husband. (Callie suggested a new one — maybe Derek? Bailey’s response: ”You kidding, with all that hair? I can’t be looking at that all day.”) He also revealed — at least to us as viewers — that he’s something of a functioning alcoholic. How long can he go on like this?

Mer and Der are adorable

Good God, does it get any cuter than his trying to re-create the ”five perfect seconds” she referred to, when no one knew George was dead, Alex and Izzie had just gotten married, and Mer and Der had just taken vows via Post-It? With the kisses on each cheek, each side of her neck, and her lips? How long can these two be this happy?

It was certainly an episode full of more questions than answers, Grey’s Watchers. What do you think is coming now? Do you think Izzie is on her way out for good? Which of the new docs will stick around? Will Owen and Cristina survive Teddy? What will become of the Chief? Will Meredith and Derek ever have a problem again?

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