'Grey's Anatomy' Recap: Homecomings and Heartbreak

Grey's Anatomy Sandra Oh Second Opinon - H 2012

Grey's Anatomy Sandra Oh Second Opinon - H 2012

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Thursday's "Second Opinion" episode of ABC's Grey's Anatomy.]

Cristina, Alex and Arizona each took major steps in their respective lives during Thursday's Grey's Anatomy.

During the episode, which was directed by co-star Chandra Wilson, Seattle Grace welcomed back not one but two of its best and brightest, while a huge storm cloud began to surface on the hospital's horizon relating to the plane crash survivors' pending lawsuit.

Cristina (Sandra Oh) returned to Seattle after Dr. Thomas' tragic death sent her packing from the Minnesota hospital where she had escaped to following the plane crash that claimed the lives of Mark and Lexie.

Back at her old stomping grounds -- and living with Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek (Patrick Dempsey) at the McMansion -- Cris is making up for lost time and re-establishing herself as a force among the new class of interns at Seattle Grace. Assigned to Dr. Jeff Russell's (A Different World's Dominic Hoffman) service, he blows her off and essentially gives her carte blanche to take care of his patients -- based alone on her sterling reputation.

Meanwhile, Owen (Kevin McKidd) isn't treating her like his wife -- whom he clearly still has feelings for -- but instead as a new doc, handing her an orientation packet. After Cristina saves the life of one of Russell's patients, Owen worries that her going rogue would cost the returning doc her new gig. Ultimately though, Dr. Russell thanks Cristina for her work and reveals that it was Owen who had pushed hard for him to take her on as his fellow.

While it's a big step for the estranged couple, it's not all good news for the duo as Cristina isn't ready to return to the marriage, picking up bedding from the firehouse she shares with Owen and heading to Meredith's Alex's place as his new roommate.

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Speaking of Alex (Justin Chambers), the reformed himbo begins to turn over a new leaf after a string of romps with the new batch of interns leads him to ponder if he's going to be "that guy" who drives a Camaro and hangs out at his old high school years after graduating to pick up girls. After clashing with Meredith on a string of repairs -- most of which represented valuable personal memories for both Meredith and Alex's growth as individuals and surgeons -- Alex reveals that it was Arizona's words to him, that he has nothing to show for his life, that prompts him to rethink his life and priorities. They agree to keep things as is (save for dry rot!) and Alex returns home to find his new roommate.

For her part, Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) is still sulking at home despite being fitted for a prosthetic that she's slowly learning to walk with. Bailey takes it upon herself to entice Dr. Robbins to take a major step and head back to the hospital by baiting her with a case. Motivated to help, Arizona begins to take her first steps of progress since her amputation and ultimately arrives back where she belongs -- walking the hallways of Seattle Grace and coming in with a potential solution to Bailey's case, and bringing an epic grin to both Bailey and Callie's faces.

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The Lawsuit
The survivors are meeting with attorneys and attempting to put a price tag on the group's physical and emotional losses after the plane crash. Noting that the award will be sizable, the docs struggle with placing blame on the pilot, who is now paralyzed after injuries he sustained during the deadly crash.

After the attorney presses Callie (Sara Ramirez) to reveal that Derek will never operate again -- which she does so the group can collect a bigger payday -- she later recants the statement after going head to head with Derek. It turns out she'd rather have settled so they didn't have to relive the crash on a daily basis and would have rather not operated on Derek's hand.

In the end, Callie says she thinks Derek can operate again -- his nerve may need more time and there are other things they can try to help him -- and reveals she thinks about it every night and feels as if she failed him. "You should have pushed me harder; we haven't tried everything and you shouldn't give up until we do," an emotional Callie tells him. Inspired, the group agrees to leave the pilot out of the lawsuit, with the attorneys -- who dismiss Owen from the talks since Cristina is now present -- revealing that they're going after bigger fish. "

The best strategy will be to look for fault with the hospital -- the people who put you on that plane," they say, effectively putting Owen on the hook. 

April and Jackson
The comic relief of the episode came via April (Sarah Drew) and Jackson (Jesse Williams), who are still going at it, with April comparing the nature of their inappropriate relationship to car crashes and delectable desserts. After April attempts to dump Jackson for God (yet again), he reveals that their relationship isn't just sex for him and he has real feelings for her. You can't help but wait to see this happen.

What did you think of the Wilson-directed episode? Do you think Seattle Grace is at fault for the crash? Are you bummed to see Cristina staying with Alex? Hit the comments with your thoughts. Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit