"Bring the Pain"
Written by Shonda Rhimes; directed by Mark Tinker

As Alex and Izzie return from a date (see “Deny, Deny, Deny”) that obviously didn’t go well, Meredith voices over that pain comes in a lot of different forms. Alex says that he had a good time, and he and Izzie are about to kiss, but he backs off, confusing her and making her yell, “Seriously?” She “seriously”s her way to George’s room, where he’s trying to sleep but she makes him move over so she can get into bed with him. Derek brings Meredith home and she blasts him for not signing his divorce papers (see “Deny, Deny, Deny”). She continues to voice over that eventually the pain overshadows everything else, and how we have our own options for pain management. Meredith hits Derek with her purse, then follows Izzie’s lead by saying “seriously” and heading to George’s room. George is forced to lie between Meredith and Izzie as they complain about their respective relationship problems. In the morning, Cristina arrives at Seattle Grace and announces to Bailey that she’s coming back to work. Bailey warns her to pace herself, since she was just discharged. Alex wonders why Izzie isn’t speaking to him, since he’s apparently forgotten what just happened to them the previous night. He tells her that’s her problem.

The interns’ first patient is Henry, who is about to undergo a spinal implant. He has pain from a herniated disk but is allergic to all pain medications, so he controls his pain with…porn. Bailey has to send Alex into the hall because he’s too interested in what’s on the TV. The other interns are amused and Bailey eventually sends them all out of the room as well. She then hands out assignments, giving Cristina the job of tending to Henry. Bailey tells Meredith to work with Derek, since he specifically requested her. In the pit, George and Alex both encounter a young police officer named Pete who was shot in the chest in the line of duty. They argue over who gets the case as another doctor warns them that a bunch of other officers are watching. Webber stops by to see Ellis, who’s getting discharged later in the day, and she tells him she’s thinking of leaving Thatcher. She asks him to leave Adele as well, and then when their residencies are over, they’ll get jobs at the same hospital. Webber tries to tell her that that happened over 20 years ago, but she doesn’t listen, just saying that if they wait, it’ll be too late. Meredith runs into Derek and tells him she’s not going to be “that woman,” the one who breaks up a marriage and then begs the man to pick her. He can decide whether or not to sign the divorce papers, but either way, she’s out of the relationship.

Izzie’s patient is Verna, a woman who passed out, possibly from a heart attack. Verna is sure she’s okay, though, because she’s had chest pains before and they always turned out to be nothing. Derek and Meredith’s patient is Anna, a young woman with back pain that turns out to be a tumor in her spinal canal. Her prognosis is good as long as she has surgery right away, but her father says no, even if it means Anna will end up paralyzed. Derek reminds Anna that she’s over 18 and can make her own decisions. Anna tells him that her family is Hmong and her father is the elder, so she has to listen to him. Outside of the room, Derek tells Meredith to process Anna’s discharge but also contact Social Services to talk to the family. Derek starts to share a story of a past patient, but Meredith isn’t interested. Derek tells her that he and Addison were married for 11 years, and signing his divorce papers is a big step. He’s entitled to be uncertain about the decision and to doubt what he’s doing. He would also like Meredith to be a little understanding. Cristina finds Burke and thanks him for “being there.” He wants to know where they are, but she points out that this is her first day back. He tells her he’s not going to wait forever. In an elevator, Burke tells Bailey about Pete and asks if she wants to assist in his surgery. She says no - she wants to get out of the hospital at a decent time because she weekend plans with “a handsome man.”

As Alex and George take Pete to surgery, Izzie finds Bailey and tells her that Verna doesn’t appear to have had a heart attack. Bailey notes that something did happen and has Izzie do more tests. In the elevator, George, Alex, and Pete discuss Izzie and how Alex didn’t “follow through” on their date. George says that women have expectations and Alex didn’t meet Izzie’s, which meant George was up all night listening to her complain. Suddenly the lights go out and the elevator stops. Elsewhere, Cristina refuses pain meds for her surgical scar and Izzie randomly announces that she hates Alex. This leads to all three women agreeing that “boys are stupid.” George and Alex attempt to get out of the elevator but are interrupted when they realize that Pete’s blood pressure is falling and he needs surgery right away. Cristina checks on Henry, whose TV has gone out in the power failure and who is now no longer able to watch porn. He’s also alone, as his wife has gone to get their kids from school. Cristina isn’t very sympathetic to his needs. Addison tries to keep Webber calm over the power failure, but finding out that Alex and George are stuck in an elevator with Pete doesn’t help.

As the elevator doors are pried open, Anna shuts down Meredith’s attempts to convince her to stay and have surgery. She says that her family’s religion places an emphasis on honoring elders, so she has to listen to her father. Meredith asks for more information on the Hmong people. Elsewhere, Bailey lets Derek know how crazy she thinks it is that Henry uses porn to manage pain. He’s amused and also thinks it works. Meredith finds Derek and tells him to talk to Anna’s father about the surgery, since he won’t listen to a woman. Anna’s father thinks she’s missing one of her souls, so a social worker won’t help - only a shaman will. Izzie tells Verna and her husband that she didn’t have a heart attack, but she still needs to stay in the hospital until Izzie can figure out what happened. In the elevator, a delirious Pete gets agitated and has to be restrained. Burke peeks in to get an update and blasts George and Alex for not bringing an open chest tray. He tells the guys to intubate Pete, then heads off to get an instrument tray so they can open his chest. Derek finds Anna’s father outside and says that he could have mentioned that Anna needs a shaman. Her father says that Derek would have just called him a fool. Derek respects the family’s traditions, and if Anna needs her soul back to survive her surgery, he’s willing to fly in the family’s shaman on a hospital helicopter.

Webber complains about the hospital’s backup generator not being replaced, and Bailey has to tell him that he was the person who didn’t authorize the replacement because he wanted a new MRI machine. As Burke returns to the elevator with supplies, Izzie asks a nurse for copies of all of Verna’s medical records. Cristina spots her and Meredith running off; Izzie says that Burke is helping George and Alex with an elevator operation, and Meredith says Derek is getting ready for a shaman ritual. Cristina can’t believe that she has the bad luck to be stuck with “porn guy.” She heads to his room and quickly realizes that the porn really does help with his pain management. Burke passes Alex and George supplies for the surgery, but Alex freezes and can’t take the scalpel. George takes it instead and begins the operation as Burke guides him. “We’re not in Kansas anymore,” George remarks. As Derek and Meredith wait for the shaman, Izzie comments that George doesn’t have very steady hands, apparently forgetting that he can probably hear her from where she is outside the elevator. The fire department arrives to open the elevator doors, but Burke wants them to wait since George is right in the middle of surgery. It’s so far, so good for George, who knows exactly what other supplies he’s going to need.

Cristina becomes an amateur pornographer, helping to ease Henry’s pain by telling him a sexy story. Izzie goes to see Verna, noting that she’s been admitted to the hospital with the same problems on the same exact day every year for the past seven years. Verna can’t remember why the date is significant, but her husband remembers that their neighbor, Ted, died that day seven years ago, the first time Verna had an attack. Verna claims not to have been close to Ted, so her husband isn’t sure why that’s significant. The elevator surgery continues with George still kicking butt, though he ends up having to keep his finger in a hole until they can be rescued. “You just flew solo,” Burke tells him. The shaman arrives and Meredith tells Anna that it’s time for the healing ritual. She’s not sure if Anna believes in what’s about to happen, but she tells Meredith to watch and see “the moment it happens.” Bailey catches Cristina’s story hour, which finally ends when the lights come back on. As Meredith and Derek watch the healing ritual, Izzie congratulates George on the surgery but ignores Alex. Later, she goes to Verna and tells her that she has stress cardiomyopathy triggered by the stress of remembering Ted’s death. She’s correctly guessed that Verna was actually in love with Ted, and every year on the anniversary of his death, her heart actually stops. Unfortunately, there’s no cure for grief.

As George is congratulated by the police while Alex is overlooked again and Derek and Meredith continue to watch the healing ritual, Webber tells Ellis that years ago, she left Thatcher but he couldn’t bring himself to leave Adele. She then moved to Boston and they agreed to never talk about whatever it was they had between them. Cristina asks Henry’s wife how she puts up with him watching porn. She’s fine with it because it takes away Henry’s pain, and Henry takes away her pain. Meredith sees the moment Anna was talking about, and after the healing ritual, she and Derek perform Anna’s surgery. Meredith notices Addison watching and Derek being happy about it. Afterwards, she corners Derek in the scrub room and asks him to pick her. She tells him she’ll be at the ECB that night, and if he signs the divorce papers, he should meet her there. Later, Meredith and Webber say goodbye to Ellis, who’s headed back to her nursing home. Ellis tells Meredith, “He doesn’t love her. He can’t. But he’ll stay with her anyway. She’s his wife.” After a moment, she realizes that Meredith is an adult now and says it’s a shame because “it’s awful being a grownup.” However, you can’t do anything about it.

Meredith does tequila shots at the ECB and waits for Derek to arrive. The door opens and she looks over hopefully, but it’s George. At the hospital, Bailey and Derek chat about Anna, who’s going to be fine, before Bailey’s date arrives. Derek is surprised to hear that it’s her husband of ten years. He wonders how he never knew she was married, and she says he never asked. She wants to know if he signed the divorce papers; he hasn’t, and he wants her advice about what to do. Bailey tells him, “You know what to do already. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be in this much pain.” Meredith voices over about riding pain out as Cristina goes to the on-call room and tells Burke that she’s competitive, she’s always right, and she snores. “Okay. We’re a couple. Whatever. Don’t make a big deal about it,” she says. As they make out, Meredith voices over that there are no easy answers. The other interns join her at the ECB and try to convince her that Derek will show up. He’s still at the hospital, though, and now Addison has found him and wants to know about the papers. Meredith just tries to ease her pain with tequila.


MEMORABLE QUOTES: Derek: “Meredith.”
Meredith: “What?!”
Derek: “Oh. I usually just say ‘Meredith’ and then you yell at me. I haven’t thought past that point. I actually didn’t have anything planned.”

Cristina: “Drugs are for babies.”
Izzie: “I hate Alex.”
Cristina: “The non-sequitur award goes to….”

“They don’t want us to be alarmed. Then why call the button ‘alarm’?” - George

“Here it is. Your choice. It’s simple. Her or me. And I’m sure she’s really great. But Derek…I love you. In a really, really big pretend to like your taste in music, let you eat the last piece of cheesecake, hold a radio over my head outside your window, unfortunate way that makes me hate you, love you. So pick me. Choose me. Love me.” - Meredith to Derek

“I touched a heart today. Porny.” - George to Cristina

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