It has been three months since Grey's Anatomy last aired (stupid writers' strike). This was one of the few times I wish ABC had aired a refresher on the season like they do after every two episodes of Lost because for the first five minutes of tonight's episode I was a bit...lost. Don't worry, like another hit ABC show, my memory came back as the episode wore on. Let's begin:

While it has been 12 weeks in real-life time, only half that time has passed for the doctors at Seattle Grace. The Mer/Der breakup was the straw that broke sanity's back, and Meredith is finally in therapy with Amy Madigan, who will always be Uncle Buck's girlfriend to me. Because Meredith is Meredith she isn't actually opening up to the doc, which is fine. I'm sure Amy Madigan has seen the show so she knows how jacked-up Meredith is.

Derek is dating Rose, who has no personality but manages to tell Lexi that she is in love with McDreamy, all in earshot of Meredith. Can anyone really blame Meredith for being a nutcase? Oh, and we'll get Lexi and George's story line out of the way right here since it isn't really that integral to the plot. They have moved into a roach infested apartment together, and George whines about it and Lexi decides to nest, which in her mind means steal loads of stuff from the hospital. It may not really have a purpose, but it was damn entertaining to watch Lexi steal a painting off the wall and admit to George that she did try to steal a television, but they bolted them to the walls.

Meanwhile, Izzie, Alex, Meredith, and Christina are involved in some sort of contest that everyone refers to as a lion fight. They don't actually get into an arena to duke it out, but I wouldn't be surprised. They get points based on what they're doing all while living in the hospital for two solid weeks. The big points come when someone solves a medical mystery, not like curing cancer or something, but simply finding a sickness a patient is not aware of. Can I once again state that going to Seattle Grace as a patient would either be the best experience or worse experience of your life. Make sure you go after at least one person has died there that day, otherwise your chances of survival goes down.

Before we focus on the patients of the episode some minor plots going on are: 1)Callie and Erica becoming best friends and 2) Christina getting jealous that Callie's friend is the woman she wants to be her mentor. Meanwhile, the homoeroticism of Derek and Mark heat up with Mark wanting Derek all to himself because he has nobody to talk to. When they finally hook up the world will give a collective, "I knew it!"

Now onto the patients. We've got a trio of bear attack survivors, one who has his intestines in his hands. His brother survived relatively unscathed, and then that guy's wife had part of her scalp ripped off. She didn't seem to mind though, she referred to it as a scratch. Alex and Christina get stuck on stitching duty for intestines guy while Meredith helps the other two. Turns out they are newlyweds, and the husband refers to her as his rebound girl. He also touched the bear cub even though he knew he shouldn't. Red flags go off in Meredith's head who excitedly jumps up and yells, "Tumor!" Professional Mer, very professional.

Izzie, meanwhile, works on a Cheech Marin, who has a fractured ankle. Not wanting to lose the contest, Izzie decides that Cheech might actually be dying and orders up $120,000 worth of tests. She feels she is going to change this man's life when she somehow finds a disease and then tries to cure him. She finds the flu and gets Cheech majorly pissed off in the process.

In Alex and Christina land, the Chief tells Alex that he is an underdog, to which Alex responds that he isn't an underdog he just got dealt a bad hand and is doing the best he can. Christina, meanwhile, gets to give hourly updates to Erica. It bugs her since she doesn't want to lose the contest until Erica asks Christina to watch her perform a surgery. It may only be worth 3 points, but Christina actually accepts it and grows a little on the inside. Meanwhile, intestines guy dies, not a shocker.

Turns out Meredith did find a tumor in her patient, which also happens to be inoperable. This sets her over the top in the contest, and Bailey rewards her with a blinged out pager and first pick of any surgery for the next three months. Rather than be happy about it, Meredith works overnight trying to find a way to actually save lives and comes up with a clinical trial to help cure people like her tumor guy. She brings her proposal to Derek because she needs a neurosurgeon, and the hospital only has one. It is this moment that gives Meredith the strength to actually begin working through her problems, and she begins to talk to Amy Madigan. Welcome back "Grey's Anatomy," I've missed you!

Next Week:
Addison returns. Will anybody care?

Story by Dan Chruscinski
Starpulse contributing writer