It's no secret that Cristina and Owen are having major problems. What their colleagues don't know is that the two of them are faking the flu in order to stay home to discuss Owen's infidelity. Cristina wants all the painful details. Needless to say, Owen is reluctant to give them to her. But give them to her he does. This causes Cristina to sob uncontrollably. She then locks herself in the bathroom.
A worried Owen tries to break down the bathroom door just as his wife opens it. The two of them laugh about this momentarily, but then all the pain comes rushing back. Cristina ultimately believes that the reason Owen slept with another woman is because he was still so hurt about her abortion. He wanted to hurt her back. After this unsettling revelation, Owen packs a bag and moves out of the firehouse.
Chief Mark Sloan calls a staff meeting to order. You heard us. Mark is temporary supreme leader. Owen asked him to pinch hit as he deals with that nasty "flu." Mark is really into the gig as evidenced by all the motivational quotes he has Jackson distribute. He also schedules a "Beef with the Chief" lunch hour so that his charges can voice any concerns. Speaking of concerns, Derek has some about the spinal repercussions for a patient who needs titanium hinges put into his jaw. Mark challenges his pal to rise to the challenge before him.
Derek wants to carve some foam to rest the patient's head during surgery to reduce the risk of respiratory complications. It's a good idea, but not good enough for the temporary Chief. As Derek gets the scoop on Cristina and Owen from his wife, he finally figures out a way to stabilize his patient's neck. He'll use beanbags, just like the ones they have in Zola's daycare. Looks like Derek rose to challenge just as Mark had asked.
Richard's longtime patient, Neil, is scheduled for a multi-organ transplant. The two of them have been down this road before. Something always seems to prevent this surgery from actually taking place. This appears to be happening again after Mark puts the kibosh on transplanting organs that may possibly contain a tumor. Bailey suggests excising it, but the temporary Chief won't be swayed. Looks like Neil is out of luck again. Or is he?
Richard, Bailey and Meredith go behind the temp Chief's back to do Neil's transplant. Mark is livid when he finds out. He orders them to stop the operation. That doesn't happen. Richard knows that, as a plastic surgeon, Mark is a perfectionist, but this particular surgery doesn't have to be perfect or pretty. It only has to work. Thankfully, it does. Neil pulls through, but is sad that no family members are there when he awakens. Meredith helps fix this situation by making a few phone calls. Soon Neil's room is filled with happy family members.
Teddy ropes Callie and Arizona into joining her for a ladies' night out. A reluctant Bailey is also onboard until she learns Ben had more intimate plans for the two of them. Callie and Arizona would also rather be alone together, so they work to quash all plans for ladies' night. It doesn't happen. With forced smiles on their faces, the three ladies brace themselves for a night of wine and chick flicks with their recently-widowed friend.
Meredith completes her study efforts for the boards with Callie. The "Torres Method" is now inside her. As for the rest of the fifth years, they're all still scrambling as study buddies as d-day draws ever closer. They need to study real cases, but those files cannot leave the records room. That's why Alex and April convince Lexie to make use of her photographic memory by reading stacks and stacks of cases so she can quiz them. They totally overdo things until Lexie's mind becomes nothing more than mush. Time for Plan B.
Meredith invites Alex, Jackson and April over to her house, which is now their house, too. Whenever they aren't working, they'll be there studying for the boards. Then there's a knock on the door. It's Cristina. She needs to study or she's going to fail her boards. Good thing she has a house full of friends to stop that from happening. Oh, there's one more thing we should mention. Owen never asked Mark to be the Chief. He just snuck into the position. Fortunately, he wasn't all that bad.
Ring of Fire