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"You can tell me... who's damn panties are on the bulletin board?"
Ah, yes. With those words, Dr. Bailey tore into her lascivious interns. Luckily for Meredith, her new friend Callie stepped in and claimed them, defusing what would have been an embarrassing situation.
However, this prompted some jealousy from George, who assumed that "Callie's" panties were a sign of her naughty side... one Bambi hadn't seen before.
Speaking of panties, we get to see Cristina in hers. So do Dr. Burke's parents, who arrive to visit their recovering son only to witness an impromptu striptease from Dr. Yang. Over coffee, Mrs. Burke informs Cristina that any girl would be lucky to have Preston (and she's right), and frankly, she's not sure if young Yang has what it takes.
Specifically, Mrs. B. thinks Cristina's too selfish... and she's not the only one. A patient is admitted with a brain tumor -- one growing so fast that it's affecting his ability to withhold thoughts. He says everything on his mind, which includes Cristina being self-important and Meredith wanting to mount Derek. But more on that later.
Addison walks into the Chief's office (looking rough as hell) and asks for the day off. Distraught over her crumbling marriage, she needs to start drinking. Hard. Richard grants her wish, and the bender officially begins!
Izzie, meanwhile, copes with her grief by baking muffins. Pans and pans of muffins. The interns badger Bailey about the troubled Dr. Stevens' possible reinstatement, but the Nazi's having none of it... until she meets the father of a patient and her whole perspective changes.
A young man is admitted after an accident left him impaled on a large tree branch (thus the episode's title). His devasted father tells Bailey how bad he feels... how he went soft when his son needed his guidance the most.
Bailey realizes that she too went soft, and could have prevented the incident with Denny. Forcibly removing a mixing spoon from the intern's hand in the process, Miranda admits partial responsibility for what took place and asks Izzie to come back to Seattle Grace.
Back at the hospital, a lung cancer patient has a revelation. She's about to die and has never really lived. That means ordering food to her hospital room, shoplifting more from the gift shop, and escaping to the Emerald City Bar at night. At the bar, she's comforted by the macho Dr. Alex Karev. They proceed to get busy in the women's room. All in a day's work!
During a lonely walk around the building at night, Richard discovers that Callie lives there... and that she likes dancing. After an awkward moment and a heart-to-heart, she kicks her out... then realizes he can't live in his office any longer. Callie finds George and tells him just how hot she found his earlier jealousy.
... And now, for tonight's MerDer update [cue the drum roll]!
Five minutes after proclaiming her undying love for Derek, and deciding to pick McDreamy, Meredith is conflicted when she encounters Finn. The sweet vet stopped by the Grey house to bring Izzie lunch, making Dr. Grey think twice about passing up such a wonderful guy. Lots of kissing ensues.
Unable to decide, she flips a coin. Still unable to decide after the coin flip (Derek was heads, but we don't know what came up), she summons her suitors to announce that she chooses... dating. Both of them. Surprisingly, neither potential mate bows out of this race. And so it goes another week, perhaps more.
In the episode's waning moments, Derek goes to see a tipsy Addison in the hotel where she's taken up residence. He laments the dissolution of their marriage, apologizes for hurting her... then watches none other than Mark "McSteamy" Sloan walk out of the (sorry) steamy bathroom. In a towel.