So, wait. Are we back to normal now? Is that what just happened here? Izzie’s allowed in an OR, Cristina is doing surgeries like nothing happened with Burke, and Burke himself is getting his hand fixed, or at least looked at.
I think I’m with Bailey on this one: It doesn’t feel like justice really has been done. Such is the way of things on Grey’s Anatomy, though.
Let’s take stock here. It’s true that while Cristina and Burke deceived a whole helluva lot of people with their surgery tag-teaming, their transgression wasn’t on the same level as Izzie’s; they did, after all, keep their patients alive. But still — doesn’t a really bad circumvention of hospital regulations, not to mention covering up a potentially dangerous condition, warrant at least, I don’t know, a couple days’ suspension or something? Although I guess forcing Cristina to work alongside Burke’s nemesis (and by the way, Brooke Smith has been really good the past two weeks; if the cast didn’t already include half of SAG’s membership, I’d suggest keeping her around for a while) might be some form of punishment.
That’s kind of a big hurdle to get past, but much of the rest of the episode was pretty strong. Bailey and Derek talking through their respective crises of confidence was a nice moment (especially since it was counterbalanced by some vintage Bailey-Nazi rants early on). I was worried at first that Derek’s reluctance to do the conjoined-twin surgery had an undercurrent of spite for Sloan, but I’m glad I was proved wrong on that front.
It also felt like it was time for George to let go of some of his anger, and in the scrub-in area with Burke, who narrated Mr. O’Malley’s surgery to him, was as good a place as any. And the scenes with Meredith and her mom felt more part of the show to me than they ever have.
Kate Burton has done fine work throughout the course of the show, but Ellis Grey has often seemed more like a plot device than a character. With Meredith dealing with her "other" family at the hospital during the episode — not to mention trying to keep her friends from flying apart — the final scene with her mom became particularly effective.
All that said, I’m still a little uneasy with where things ended up. Maybe I’m not reading things right, but it felt just a little too neat. Something with as many ripples as Burke and Cristina’s deception shouldn’t be so easy to calm.