Step 5: Mix business and pleasure. First, Mr. Wise Old Neighbor just sorta casually mentioned to Sloan that it wasn't such a hot idea to stay a bachelor and spend the twilight years alone. Then, of course, a perfectly legitimate professional reason surfaced for George not to tell Callie about Izzie — namely, because Callie's now Izzie's boss. Not to beat this dead-on-arrival relationship, but have you ever seen less electricity between a couple — a cheating one, no less — than between George and Iz when they were all whispery and standing close? I literally laughed when George was all, ''Well, then you better walk away,'' like he couldn't keep his hands off her. But in all fairness, I am starting to have some faith that this thing isn't going to go the distance, and these two will, eventually, figure out they weren't so much in love with each other as they were wishing they were, for their own separate reasons. I hope.
Step 6: Shock us with a medical-case twist. Okay, so not only was it a meth lab, but the kid was all hopped up on the stuff because of the fumes in the apartment. That didn't sit well with Alex, who got all in the dad's face about it, prompting Daddy to knock his lights out and leave with the kid. This had several positive results: (1) It got Callie in trouble with the Chief for not handling it better now that she's chief resident, thus upping the tension in that story line; (2) it gave Alex something to do, which he's sorely needed since Little Miss Amnesiac left him in the finale; and (3) it set up Bailey for that ''you got in the face of a drug dealer'' speech, which could've been ordinary in someone else's hands but was positively transcendent in Chandra Wilson's.
Step 7: Bring it all on home. Finally, Cristina faced Mama, who, it turned out, had come not only to get Burke's stuff but to apologize to his jilted (sorta) bride. ''With him by your side, you could've become a brilliant heart surgeon,'' she said. ''I wish I'd been born at another time. I could've been more like you.'' As if that weren't already choking me up, Cristina asked if he was ever coming back, and Mama answered, simply, ''Remember, you're a strong woman.'' Then, in the midst of the Meth Dad being taken by police and the baby recovering from a stroke, the Wise Old Neighbor mused, ''After 60 years on this planet, my family's a couple of drug dealers and a kid.'' Derek, meanwhile, admitted he has ''a problem'' — he's addicted to Meredith, get it? — as Callie chose to remain in denial. ''I am your wife,'' she said, pleading with George not to admit to the affair after her supremely crappy day. ''Do this for me.''
Me, I might have a little bit of a problem, too — I know Grey's is just callously plucking at my heartstrings with its melodramatic lines and longing looks and Cristina going home to her sad, now-empty apartment. And yet, I'll probably come back for more next week (and would even if the nice folks at EW didn't pay me to).
What do you think? Do you like having Meredith explain the show's themes, or could you do without it? Are you hoping George and Izzie are over each other soon? And do you ever feel that the producers have no idea what to do next with Derek and Meredith?