updated 01/07/2011 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 01/07/2011 AT 12:30 PM ET
Grey’s is back! And in 2011’s emotional first episode, the survivors of the Seattle Grace shooting faced a potential setback to their healing process when a gunman opened fire on students and faculty at nearby Pacific College, flooding the ER with gunshot victims.
“Our own trauma is fresh and we’re going to have feelings today, and there’s no shame in that,” the Chief told his staff as they waited on the ambulances. “What we went through six months ago, they are going through right now … which makes them our brothers and sisters … so to the very best of our ability we are going to do our work first and you’re going to have your feelings later.”
Easier said than done. But still, while the docs weren’t completely able to bury their feelings, they successfully managed to treat all 26 of the patients without any casualties.
With wife Meredith by his side, Derek treated a professor who landed on his head from a fourth-story window after helping students escape to the roof during the shooting. Meredith’s concern for the professor’s wife, who was distraught in the waiting room, seemed to irritate Derek. “Since when are you so interested in updating the wife in the waiting room?” he asked her.
“Have you even noticed that I went through a trauma, too?” she replied. “I was the wife in the waiting room, Derek. And it’s so hard to be the wife in the waiting room – so hard that I walked into the OR while the shooter had a gun to you and told him to shoot me instead.”
Derek got the message loud and clear.
Back from Malawi, Arizona was at the hospital to ask for her job back when news of the shooting broke. Observing her replacement, Dr. Stark, who wanted to amputate a patient’s leg, Arizona stepped in and ultimately took over with Callie, who said she could save the leg and told Stark, “In this hospital we take shootings personally.”
After surgery, Arizona caught up with her Callie to thank her ex. “If nothing else happened today, we work together well,” she said. But when Callie didn’t respond, Arizona told her she was “deeply sorry” for hurting her by leaving and that she was still in love with her. But Callie said that her feelings hadn’t changed since she slammed the door in her face.
In the wake of her fishing trip with Derek, Cristina was feeling better when she unexpectedly found herself at the scene of the shooting. Jumping into rescue mode, she performed a procedure on a gunshot victim in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Later, while working with Teddy on the patient, Cristina learned that he was the shooter – and had been taken down by a cop.
Others, like Avery, refused to treat the young man when so many other victims needed attention. But Cristina stuck with Teddy – a decision she said wasn’t hard to make – and performed flawlessly under pressure.
The pair finished up the surgery – the last that resulted from the campus shooting – while other doctors watched from an observation room above. When the patient’s heart started beating, the Chief said, “We saw 26 patients – 26 victims, and we had no casualties. No one died.”
The doctors’ tears of relief and joy quickly turned to awkward laughter, which prompted Stark to say, “I hate this place,” and walk out.