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Thatcher Grey shows up fresh out of rehab and 29 days sober. You never hear him make the request but the Chief, well-versed in the steps of recovery, pages the Grey girls to his office so that Thatcher can engage the ninth step - making amends.
After she hears her father's prepared apology speech, Meredith thanks him, wishes him luck, and walks away. Lexie tearfully accepts his apology.
Later, Lexie asks Mark to come to dinner that night to meet her dad.
Sloan quietly freaks out and tries to explain the multitude of reasons that this would be a bad idea, before being "pulled" away to work with Callie on a hippie that fell out of a tree.
Callie is upset that nobody in her family is talking to her after her fight with her father. Yang and Sloan both suggest that she tell her family that she broke up with Arizona since it's really none of their business and it's not worth her suffering. Arizona reserves comment for now.
The hippie girl had been living in a tree for six weeks to protest a land developer wiping out a forest to put up some condos.
The land developers, for their part, simply bulldozed the tree with her in it, causing the girl to break almost every bone in her body.
The girl's sister - a corporate lawyer of some sort - storms in and berates the girl before telling her that she worked out a deal in which the land developers would pay her medical bills and agree not to sue in return for her signing a contract not to sue them.
The hippie's response to that is not positive.
The sisters fight until Callie - who had been subtly mocking the hippie - stands up for the girl and notes that no matter how stupid she was, she was also undeniably brave.
Before the lawyer can respond, her sister loses consciousness. Callie rushes her into surgery.
After a ton of surgery, she makes it out alive. While waiting for her to recover, her sister becomes angry that the developers weighed the costs of risking her sister's life and determined that waiting for her to come down wasn't worth it - taking the tree down with her in it was an acceptable risk. Now she wants to sue for $10 million. The sisters smile at this newfound, shared plan of action.
Touched by the girl's determination to stand up for what she believes in, Callie decides not to lie to her family. Similarly inspired, Mark decides he's going to dinner with Lexie and her dad.
Alex greets a woman visitor and asks if he can help her. After shameless flirting that Alex doesn't reciprocate, the woman finally tells him that she's looking for Izzie.
When the woman enters Izzie's room, a shocked Izzie greets her as "mom."
Izzie's mom makes an immediate nuisance of herself, gossiping about all the goings-on at the trailer park and not really listening to Izzie about how serious her cancer is.
When Izzie finally make her understand how serious things are by drawing a comparison to the thyroid cancer that killer her grandmother, her mother falls apart and Izzie fears that her mother will never leave.
Bailey confesses to Izzie that she called her mom, thinking that Izzie was just protecting her and would want family close.
Now understanding that Izzie was protecting herself from her mother, Bailey lies in front of Izzie's mom about the results of a scan, thus making her feel like it's okay to go home.
Privately, Bailey confides that some of Izzie's "mets" shrank, but new ones have appeared. Izzie thinks this means no surgery, but Bailey insists that they'll operate aggressively and then deal with what's left.
Bailey demands she not give up now.
Throughout the day, Hunt has nothing more to say to Cristina than generic lines like "Take care now." and "Hey there you."
When a man comes in with multiple gunshot wounds, Owen gives most of his attention to George and only pays cursory attention to Yang.
The man was shot by his roughly six-year old daughter. The mother claims that it was an accident and that the girl didn't mean to hurt her father, but the five bullets still in the man's body and evidence of 12 more shots going through him say otherwise.
Gradually, the story comes out that the man has been physically abusing his wife and daughter and the girl wanted to put an end to it.
When the mom tries to take her daughter to apologize to her husband before he goes into surgery that he quite possibly won't survive, Meredith lets all of her issues bubble to the surface and rips into the woman.
Meredith tells her that her daughter is stronger than she is by refusing to be a victim and she will not let her make her daughter a victim.
When The Chief pulls Meredith aside to talk to her, Meredith rips into him about treating her differently and abusing his power to butt into her personal life.
The Chief loses it and tells Meredith that if she wants to be treated like just another resident, then she is to stay at least 100 feet away from the woman and her daughter and, if she gets any closer than that, she will be suspended.
Derek, caught between the two, is obligated to take Meredith's side.
In a discussion with the Chief, he points out that Richard is the most professional man that he knows except when it comes to Meredith.
Derek points out all the ways in which Richard, for all of his insistence that he's not Meredith's father, treats her like family.
The husband pulls through the surgery and Meredith, unable to keep her mouth shut, goes to the wife and apologizes with the Chief giving warning shouts in the background.
Meredith tells the woman that she apologizes for her harsh words, but she can't let her daughter's story be that she shot her abusive father.
She tells the mother that she owes it to herself and her daughter to get out of this and not let them be defined as abuse victims.
The Chief follows Meredith into the locker room. He starts out angry, but then calms down and tells Meredith that he saw her family fall apart after he broke off the affair with her mother, but did nothing.
He says he let himself off the hook by telling himself that he wasn't Meredith's father and it was none of his business, but he was wrong.
He apologizes for not standing up for her like she just did for the little girl. Meredith finally accepts his apology and gives him a hug.
Later, as everyone's going home, Cristina confronts Owen and demands to know what's up with his smiling, cheerful lines.
Owen hands her a piece of paper and explains that it's a list of three word phrases that he put together with his therapist that he could say to Cristina instead of the three words that he really wants to say.
The episode ends with Yang tearfully telling Owen "take care now."
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