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The Chief has spent days trying to figure out who was staying and who was going as Seattle Grace merges with Mercy West. Derek tells him his people need to hear from him, and that leaving the staff hanging is not the way to go. The Chief does not take kindly to Derek's advice.

Everyone's staying at the hospital for days on end, terrified to go home, terrified to sleep, terrified to make a mistake.

Izzie dons a long, reddish wig that actually doesn't look half bad (her mom sent it to her, appropriately) and hauls herself in, determined to work while she still has a job to come to.

Alex is trying to make sure she doesn't overdo it. Cristina is hatching a plan. Derek's barely containing his fury at the Chief, whose back he said he had, only to be turned aside.

Owen is trying not to think too far ahead. Meredith is optimistic and surprisingly calm, while Lexie and the rest of her resident class are freaking out to the max.

Mark is ... Mark. He's sure he's not gonna get cut.

A woman and her schizophrenic adult son are brought in, injured in a car accident. His wrist is mildly hurt, but he's convinced that aliens have impregnated his mother.

Based on the pulsating mass in her abdomen, it almost looks like it. It's a massive aortic aneurysm, but she refuses surgery because she can't leave her son. At all.

She spends most of her time in her initial exam talking to him, calming him down, and going through the distractions that help him block the voices in his head.

Lexie tries to help him, but things go awry when she's treating his wrist, and he ends up escaping and being chased through the hospital by security. He takes an exceptionally nasty fall down the stairs, and ends up with a bleeding spleen.

This is a blessing in disguise, though. Lexie and Bailey convince the mother to go into the OR because if they both have surgery, they can stay together - and they make it through in the end.

Cristina's attempt to relate to children goes down in flames. It gets worse after Callie tells Arizona about Cristina's plan.

Arizona is livid with her after their surgery - in which they reattach the arm of a newborn whose limb was nearly cut off during an emergency C-section, using an umbilical artery. She says liking kids makes reattaching their arms a lot more fun.

Alex turns out to be a hero, keeping Izzie on her meds regimen and force her to take care of herself, even when she pushes herself too far by being on her feet for a five-hour surgery.

In a tender moment in the trailer, she says for a moment, she forgot she had cancer and George died. Alex's response? You do have cancer and George is dead. Not mean, just true.

When the axe finally comes down - in the form of an e-mail from HR - the core group is safe. But the anxiety doesn't dissipate, as Cristina says instantly that there will be more cuts.

Fortunately, they play baseball and drink beer to shake off some of the stress, and Cristina actually gets a hit!

More to come! Discuss in our Grey's Anatomy forum!

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Grey's Anatomy Season 6 Episode 3 Quotes

Paranoia gives you an edge in the OR. Surgeons play out worst-case scenarios in their heads. You're ready to close, you got the bleeder. You know it but there's that voice in your head asking. What if you didn't? What if the patient dies and you could have prevented it? So you check your work one more time before you close. Paranoia is a surgeon's best friend.

Meredith (narrating)

Cristina: That list is everything - it is my future. It is my salvation. The list is life.
Owen: You're comparing the merger with Schindler's List?
Cristina: I'm Jewish. I'm allowed.