Credit: Richard Cartwright/ABC

Still reeling from the Chief’s announcement about the merger last week, the entire staff of Seattle Grace doesn’t feel safe and is going to great, and often misguided, lengths to secure jobs. Their misfortune is a treasure chest of quality OMG moments for fans.

CHILD’S PLAY: Yang feigned interest in pediatrics because Arizona‘s “merger-proof. She keeps little kids alive. No one likes a dead kid.” She immediately found herself immersed in her own personal hell of bear lapel pins, funny voices, games and fetching pudding (the last of which she ate instead of giving it to her patient). She begged Owen to tell the Chief he needed her. “I need to be on the stays list. That list is my future, my salvation. The list is life.” Only Yang would feel justified in quoting Schindler’s List in this moment. She also requested Meredith use her “dead mommy connections to get answers.” Her plan backfired when Callie ratted her out as a kid hater and after a particularly gnarly severed baby arm procedure, Arizona showed a tough side we hadn’t really seen before, “It’s not a good idea to piss off your attending. I don’t like being used. I like being lied to even less.”

HAIR APPARENT: Izzie wasn’t immune to the layoff paranoia so she threw on some clean scrubs and a wig and reported for Derek‘s duty. (Yang called the wig Stepford wife, but we must admit we thought it was kinda hot. Sure, it didn’t look all that real, but red was a nice change and the scenario is certainly relatable for many watchers.) Alex hounded her to take her meds and tried to get her to quit a five-hour craniotomy she wasn’t physically ready for. She pushed through the surgery, dripping in sweat and obviously hurting, but admitted that she’d forgotten cancer and George for a few hours. In the writer’s continuing effort to make Alex look like a changed man, he was given another great speech. “I want you to keep doing what you love. You are a great doctor but you gotta take care of and pace yourself. I can’t be your nurse.”

HEADS BUTTING: The fight between old friends McDreamy and the Chief escalated. Der felt he was hiding out and not tending to his flock. The Chief reminded him who was boss and questioned his loyalty. “You came to me so you’d look like a good guy before you stole my job. I don’t owe you a damn thing,” he screamed. They went at it again when Der asked him to talk to his after witnessing Izzie overdo it out of fear of being fired. “I spent the last three days trying to save every job I could. Tough choices had to be made,” he said, referring to the first round of cuts. James Pickens Jr. is doing a great job conveying how lonely it is to be the one at the top in these situations. Not surprisingly, all of the leads survived this leg. Der took the comfort role – hugging folks goodbye, offering recommendation letters and forcing his gang to play baseball and drink beer.

LEX FILES: The interesting patients of the week award goes to a devoted mom (Swamp Thing‘s Adrienne Barbeau, yet another ’80s star resurrection) and her paranoid schizophrenic son who believed her abdominal aneurysm was an alien pregnancy. (Nice move adding The X-Files-style music!) Lexie tended to him to prove she could hack tough assignments but he freaked assuming she was an ET, ran away and fell down the stairs trying to avoid security. When mom refused to leave his side for her crucial surgery, Lexie was sure it sealed her fate. In a moment of typical awkward Lexie honesty, she admitted to Yang, “I really admire you in case I get cut. Plus. You’re really pretty.” Her idea to operate on both simultaneously put her back in Bailey‘s good graces.

THE TALK: Callie dropped by to pick up files she needed to apply for a backup job in Portland and Arizona acted nonchalant. But in telling Arizona about Yang’s suck-up strategy, she’d let the G-word slip, leaving Arizona confused about their status. She confronted Callie that evening. “Am I your girlfriend? I need to know. I hate long-distance relationships. I don’t believe in them so you can’t move.” (A much-needed sweet moment amid the frenzy.) – Carrie Bell

TELL US: Do you think any of the leads will get laid off? Did you like Izzie as a redhead?Richard Cartwright/ABC