May 01, 2009 12:00 AM

Between sickness, abuse, addiction, forbidden love, warring families, homophobia and guilt, there was not a dry eye in the hospital on last night’s Grey’s.

Mother Doesn’t Know Best: Izzie’s mom (Sharon Lawrence) showed up unexpectedly and drove everyone batty with her incessant chitchat and off-color humor. Bailey eventually admitted that she called her, but regretted it when she realized Izzie became her mother’s caretaker. As Izzie needed all of her energy to focus on getting better, Bailey lied and said her scans showed the cancer almost gone. The fake progress report allowed Izzie to send her mom home because they are better at “loving each other from a distance.” Her send-off was quite a touching moment as was Alex sending Izzie off to surgery at the end of the show.

Working the Steps: Meredith and Lexie’s father also made a surprise visit. He was 29 days sober and looking to make amends. All Mer could muster was a “congratulations and good luck,” while Lexie was reduced to tears and hugs. She asked McSteamy to go to dinner to meet him, but he hesitated explaining that he never had luck with dads and didn’t think it’d change now considering that he was closer to her dad’s age than hers. But after an emotional day helping Torres with an environmentalist who almost died for a cause, he realized how important it was to Lexie and how important Lexie was to him, so he joined them at the restaurant after all. Father Disfigure: Fresh from being angry with her dad and the Chief, Mer was tasked with stitching up a 6-year-old who shot her father 17 times. It was revealed that dad was abusive to both mother and daughter but mom still thought the kid should apologize before she went into surgery. Mer stepped in and forbade it. “There is no room for you to be a victim when your 6-year-old is on the line. She stood up for the two of you,” she scolded. When the Chief confronted Mer about stepping over the boundaries, Mer flipped out and told him off. She reminded him that he was not her father and that he should treat her like any other resident. The Chief in turn lost it with her. “Hospital is supposed to be a safe place. You further battered a battered woman,” he charged, adding that she was required to stay away from that family or she’d be suspended pending re-evaluation of mental fitness. Der overheard and tried to talk to his fiancee about it. All she was sure of was that the Chief wasn’t on the wedding guest list anymore. Der then approached the Chief and pointed out that when it came to Mer, he couldn’t be objective: “The way you act, you consider her family.”

Apology Accepted: Mer knew the consequences and she still talked to the mom. She apologized for how she’d spoken to her early but begged her to leave her husband and save her daughter from abuse. Mer then went to pack up her stuff since she had violated Chief’s order. But the Chief decided it was time to have the heart to heart decades in the making. He found Mer and gave a moving speech about how he failed to be her advocate when she was a neglected child whose mom also drove her father away. He said: “I beat myself up for years. But what does that do for you? Nothing. I should have fought for you. I let myself off the hook.” Mer cried, put her head on his shoulder and then went home to pack up her mom’s journals and move on.

Three Little Words: Hunt treated Yang weird, making her do lowly tasks like retrieve a bag from his car and speaking to her in an impersonal manner. He instead latched onto George and focused on teaching the new trauma trainee. As Yang is not easily ignored, she confronted him and wondered if he was a “choke ‘em and forget ‘em” kind of guy. He explained that he and the shrink had come up with a list of simple sentences for him to use with her so he could avoid telling her that he loved her. “You know how I feel but I can’t say those three little words because I am no good for you,” he said. “I know I can’t be with you and I’m trying to make it right.” Yang left a teary mess.

Papa Don’t Preach: Torres’s entire family was now giving her the silent treatment and she was going to have a hard time coming up with rent money. (As a doctor, it seems like a bit of a stretch to think that coming up with her half of apartment rent would immediately be an issue without her trust.) Yang suggested she lie and claim that she and Arizona had broken up. McSteamy also made that suggestion, saying it was none of their business. Arizona told her she’d understand if she fibbed and that she’d still love her anyway. She contemplated it until a case involving two sisters made her realize what she needed to do. She said: “I can’t lie. Even if they think I’m wrong or crazy. I’m me. They’re supposed to accept me, support me, love me.” – Carrie Bell

Tell us: Did you like Grey’s tackling the staff’s emotional family issues? Do you think Mer will finally put away her Mommy issues?

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