Liquor. Lots and lots of liquor.
That's what Cristina says she needs to get through Thanksgiving, a time of sharing, togetherness and love -- none of which she is particularly skilled at. Dr. Yang, who tried in vain to blow off Dr. Burke on this special day of Thanks, is not the only one having emotional problems, however.
Forever the wholesome spirit, Izzie plans a big dinner at Meredith's house, perhaps subconsciously as a way of coping with her own unhappy upbringing. It remains to be seen, as the episode begins, which of the residents and interns will actually attend. Lonely, stressed out beyond belief and failing miserably at cooking, Izzie is on the brink of collapse when, with culinary skills rivaling his OR talents, Dr. Burke swoops in to stave off culinary disaster.
Still reeling from the news that he has failed his medical boards, Alex refuses to open up to Izzie. A visiting surgeon from Mercy West shows Miranda some attitude, unaware that he is dealing with the famed "Nazi" of Seattle Grace. Partly because he's a surgical junkie, and possibly due to his marital problems, Richard is reluctant to leave SGH, even on such an important holiday. Until Bailey steps in and gives him an earful.
George, meanwhile, joins his father and brothers for the family's annual Thanksgiving turkey hunting trip. He tries best to tolerate the rest of the O'Malley clan, a group of stereotypical, unsophisticated men with which George has nothing in common. Things aren't looking good as he shoots a bird, then resents his brothers for making him do it. Things look worse when one brother shoots their dad in the rear end. But George and his old man actually bond a bit in the operating room, where the son treats him.
With considerable family baggage of her own, Meredith must treat a man who wakes up from a coma after 16 years to find that his family has moved on. It's a heartbreaking story, but one touched with hope, leaving Mer in an emotional whirlwind. Making things even more complicated is Derek, who is urged by Addison to give their marriage a second chance. Part of Derek believes, or wants to believe, that this is the right thing to do. But whenever he is around Meredith, it's clear who his heart belongs to now.