"17 Seconds"
Written by Mark Wilding; directed by Dan Minahan

Meredith voices over about the seven deadly sins while she, Izzie, and Cristina watch Derek and Burke play darts at the ECB. Cristina thinks Burke is picturing her face on the dartboard. Meredith voices over that anger is a more dangerous sin than we think. Izzie thinks Derek is picturing Meredith’s face on the dartboard, but Meredith says he lost that right when he called her a whore (see “Damage Case”). Izzie’s own object of scorn, Alex, enters and Izzie tells him he can’t sit with them because he’s a gynecologist now. George arrives, and at first Izzie is happy to see him, but not so much when she sees that Callie is with him. At Finn’s, Derek, Meredith, and Addison learn that Doc has bone cancer; the former two bicker with each other over what to do. In an elevator at the hospital, Addison asks them if anything’s going on and they say no. Cristina asks Burke if he’s getting a heart for a transplant; he tells her there’s one at Mercy West and he’s going to get it. She asks if she can come along, noting that she went with Bailey to get an organ before (see “Begin the Begin”). He tells her he doesn’t need her help. Victims of a shooting spree at a restaurant start arriving, having been shot by an angry ex-employee. Two of the minorly injured are Neal and Deborah (AKA Ms. Dent), a couple whose relationship is now on the rocks because he ducked behind her when the shooting began. Neal thinks the fact that a bullet passed through Deborah’s arm and hit him is a sign that they belong together. She doesn’t agree.

As Meredith tends to a guy named Will who was shot in the leg, Derek and George tend to a woman named Kendra who has a head injury. Izzie is stuck with the restaurant’s manager, Brad (AKA Vinnie Vanlowe), who has only suffered some cuts from glass. He credits this to quick thinking, as he was the only person to get out of the way when he saw the shooter, Petey. Izzie guesses that since Brad fired Petey and is also incredibly annoying, Petey was probably gunning for him. Alex complains to Meredith that thanks to having to work with Addison, vaginas are being ruined for him. Webber tells Burke that Petey killed two people and injured 14, but he got away, which means more victims could come in later. Burke suggests sending Bailey to get the heart from Mercy West so that he can stay, but Webber wants Burke to go. Alex and Cristina run after him as he heads for the helicopter, both wanting to tag along. Burke chooses Alex, of course, and though Alex is happy at first, he’s not so thrilled when he learns that they’re getting a heart for Denny. Izzie approaches Bailey, who confirms that Denny is getting a heart but refuses to let her prep him for surgery since she’s already too emotionally attached. Izzie promises to be professional, so Bailey allows her to let Denny know he’s getting a heart, as long as Izzie keeps her hands to herself. Derek and George look at Kendra’s CT scans, which show that she’s seriously injured, and George announces that in addition, she’s pregnant.

Brad babbles about his medical bills being covered because he’s management while Will asks Meredith to give him more morphine so he won’t have to listen. He also wants to know how Kendra is, since she’s really nice and is the only person who can shut Brad down. Meredith suggests that Will say something to Brad, but Will says he really needs the job. Callie passes by to chastise Meredith for being social, and Meredith tells Will she needs her job, too. Izzie tells Denny that he’s getting a heart, prompting him to say that now he’s going to have to take her on real dates. The moment is ruined, however, when Patricia shows up with DNR papers. Denny wants to sign them in case the heart doesn’t come through. Izzie is upset about this idea, but he tells her that if he has to choose between being sick on Earth and being in Heaven, he chooses Heaven. She lets him sign. Cristina is again in the middle of Deborah and Neal’s fighting and tells Deborah not to fall for Neal’s attempts to win her over. “You’re very, very bitter,” Deborah notes. Neal is thinking the same thing, and he thinks this is another sign he and Deborah should be together. At Mercy West, Burke and Alex learn that there are actually two hearts and both are a match for Denny. One of the hearts will be retrieved by Dr. Erica Hahn (Brooke Smith), who was the second in her class at Johns Hopkins. Burke happened to be the first, and Erica doesn’t like to be reminded of this.

Addison talks to Derek about Kendra, whose baby is only 12 weeks along, and asks again if there’s something going on between him and Meredith. He repeats that there’s nothing going on. George tells Derek that Kendra’s parents have arrived, so Derek tells him to get them to sign consent forms for her surgery, then scrub in. At Mercy West, Denny’s heart donor flatlines but Burke is unable to revive his heart for transplantation. He quickly hurries to the next OR, where Eric is about to remove the other heart, and stops her. He tells Alex to call UNOS, the donor registry, so they can find out which of their patients is higher on the list to get a heart. Meredith asks Callie if she can scrub in on a surgery with her, but Callie laments that the operation has been pushed back for more important surgeries. Meredith takes advantage of the delay to ask about bone cancer in dogs. Callie thinks she’s ridiculous for worrying about a dog when there are humans with gunshot wounds there. At Mercy West, Erica and Burke learn that though their patients are very close in ratings, Erica’s was admitted into the transplant program 17 seconds before Denny, which means he gets the heart. Izzie calls Burke, who gets Alex to answer his phone and tell Izzie that they’re trying to secure the heart. Izzie lies that Denny’s condition is deteriorating, but Alex calls her bluff and says he won’t lie for her. Addison awkwardly asks Meredith if she’s sleeping with Derek; Meredith says they haven’t been together since before Addison showed up. She adds that she’s dating Finn, and Addison quickly realizes that this is why Derek is so upset.

Burke talks to Izzie, who lies about the various things she’s done to try to help Denny. Burke tells Erica that since Denny is worse, he now trumps Erica’s patient. The UNOS rep on the phone says that Burke is allowed to run tests to determine Denny’s status, even if they take an hour. Burke tells Izzie to get to work. Kendra’s surgery doesn’t go well and Derek has to announce that she’s brain dead. He and George tell her parents, who want to keep Kendra alive until the baby is ready to be born. George advises them against this but Kendra’s father doesn’t want George’s opinion. Brad gets stitched up and brags that his pain threshold is so high that he doesn’t really feel anything. Will laments that he can’t say anything without getting fired, but Bailey notes that Brad can’t fire her so she tells him to shut up already, earning Will’s gratitude. In Intern Alley, Cristina and Meredith complain about Burke and Derek, respectively, and Cristina decides that it’s time to end her relationship. Izzie finds them and announces that she lied to Burke about Denny. Cristina tells her that as long as someone is ahead of Denny on the transplant list, he’s not getting this heart. This gives Izzie an idea. After she leaves, Cristina and Meredith agree that if anyone at Seattle Grace were to go crazy and shoot up the place, it would be Izzie. Izzie takes a bunch of supplies to Denny’s room and tells him that she needs to make him worse in order for UNOS to believe that he really needs the heart.

Back at Mercy West, everyone waits around for Izzie to let them know what’s going on. Izzie closes the blinds in Denny’s room and assures him that she’s not going to let him die, either by not getting the heart or by her making him so much worse that he can’t recover. Denny refuses to take a heart that’s not rightfully his or to jeopardize Izzie’s medical career. Izzie replies that Denny is only 17 seconds behind the other recipient, and though he may deserve the heart, Denny does, too. She gets very emotional and asks what’s going to happen to her when Denny dies; if he won’t do this for himself, she wants him to do it for her. She says that if Denny doesn’t do this, she’ll never be able to forgive him for making her love him. Denny comforts her and tells her he’ll do what she wants. Callie complains to George about Meredith asking about dogs, and she gets upset when he defends Meredith. She points out that George shouldn’t be defending her after how badly Meredith hurt him. George tells her that he and Izzie and Meredith are family because they entered the intern program together, and no matter how angry he is with Meredith, he’ll always defend her. If Callie wants a chance to be a part of their family, she needs to forgive Meredith (even if George doesn’t have to). Izzie calls Burke to tell him that he needs to come back with the heart as soon as he can. He’s confused until she calls him Preston. “Izzie, what did you do?” he asks. Izzie just says that she doesn’t know how much time Denny will have after she starts.

Burke tells Erica that though Denny apparently deserves the heart now, he wants to take some time to confirm - in person - the results of his tests. Erica doesn’t want him to take another hour and suggests that he get Webber to confirm the tests instead. Alex plays along, saying that everyone at Seattle Grace is busy because of the shootings. Erica gives in, allowing Burke to leave. Burke tells Alex to keep an eye on everyone and stop Erica if she starts to remove the heart. Derek asks Addison to talk to Kendra’s parents about the baby, so she tells them that it’s a bad idea to use Kendra as a human incubator. Kendra’s parents are adamant that they get their way, and when Addison gets upset and argues with them, Derek takes her into the hallway. Addison wants Kendra’s parents to face the fact that their daughter is dead; she doesn’t think they’re doing what they’re doing out of love. She also thinks that Derek doesn’t love her and is just using her to fill a need he has to be a good guy. Derek tries to calm her down, but she yells that when she slept with Mark, he walked away. When Mark came to Seattle, Derek still didn’t do anything. Yet when he found out that Meredith was dating Finn, he freaked out. Addison realizes too late that she’s been yelling all of these things in front of a bunch of doctors, including Webber, Cristina, and Meredith. George asks Kendra’s parents if they’ve made a decision, telling her father that he may not have a daughter, but he does have a family, which includes a friend whose boyfriend is dying. Instead of keeping Kendra alive, he thinks her parents should donate her organs, because it sounds like that’s what she would want.

Callie pages a hesitant Meredith and shows her some x-rays of people with bone cancer, giving the two a chance to start over. Deborah and Neal get ready to leave the hospital, now back together because Neal claims that what happened has changed him. Will asks Bailey about Kendra and she sadly tells him that she didn’t make it. Brad hears and attempts to be nice by assuring Will that he’ll get him some time off of work. He also suggests that they blame management for the shooting, since Brad doesn’t think he’s at all responsible. Webber tells Addison that she needs to get it together and not have any more scenes. “The only people who don't know Derek loves Meredith are Derek and Meredith. How do I compete with that?” she wonders. Meredith and Derek share a silent elevator ride while Meredith voices over about anger being dangerous because it hurts other people while some of the other deadly sins only hurt the sinner. In the locker room, Callie blurts out that she loves George, who isn’t sure how to respond. Izzie interrupts to enlist him to help her with Denny. Meredith goes to Finn’s and asks him how bad Doc is really doing. He comforts her, saying that he knows how much she loves him. Meredith agrees, but it seems more like she’s talking about loving Derek instead of Doc. As George stands nearby, Izzie tells Denny that she needs to stop his LVAD from working. They kiss and George wonders what’s going on. As Izzie prepares to cut the LVAD wire, Bailey, Deborah, and Neal (who ducks again) hear gunshots outside. Brad is outside dead, and Burke is on the ground, also having been shot. “It’s okay,” Izzie says as she cuts the wire. “Burke will be here any minute.”



MEMORABLE QUOTES: Izzie: “I have some news for you.”
Denny: “Am I getting a better television? Because this one is ridiculously small and it doesn’t get the porny channels.”

“Brad? Uh, I’m happy for you that you’re not feeling much pain from your very minor injuries. But there are a great many people in this hospital who are in a great amount of pain. See, they have bullets in their bones, in their chests, and in their brains. Bullets from a gun that was aiming for you. And although they can’t say it because you are the boss of them, most of these people at this moment are praying - not that they’ll live, not that the pain will subside - they’re praying to God for you at this moment to shut the heck up!” - Bailey

Izzie: “I told a lie…to Dr. Burke.”
Cristina: “Good for you. Fight the power.”

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