"Damage Case"
Written by Mimi Schmir; directed by Tony Goldwyn

Finn makes breakfast for Meredith as she voices over about damaging people. Finn thinks Meredith is “scary and damaged,” and he asks about her family to prove his point. She doesn’t think that not wanting to talk about her family proves anything. Finn asks about the last guy she slept with, and Meredith voices over that the trick is learning to control the damage that’s been done to us or that we’ve done to other people. In the bathroom, Meredith tells Izzie that after Finn’s question, she got the heck out of there rather than telling him about George and Derek. She does think that she could fall for Finn, admitting that they haven’t even gotten to first base yet after four dates (which doesn’t explain why she was wearing his shirt at the end of “Blues for Sister Someone”). Callie suddenly enters the bathroom almost naked and pees right in front of Meredith and Izzie, then leaves without washing her hands. At the hospital, Izzie complains to George about Callie’s early-morning activities, but George takes Callie’s side. They meet up with the other interns, none of whom will back up Izzie’s argument. In fact, Alex reminds her that she’s in love with Denny. Cristina is unusually happy and wants everyone to calm down. She explains that it’s because she got to take part in a great surgery, then had sex, and now they’re awaiting the victims of a car crash.

Derek approaches and he and Meredith make awkward small talk about Doc, whom Derek refers to as his dog rather than their dog. Meredith asks if he’s mad at her, but he says it’s not the time, as they have to deal with the accident victims. The first is Noah, who has a knee injury, and who is followed by his pregnant wife Melanie. Noah explains that her parents were in another car involved in the accident; someone slammed into them and the parents slammed into Melanie and Noah. Melanie is worried about her parents and makes Cristina promise to find out if they’re okay. They are, and they show up shortly and are very vocal. Bailey calls the situation “the hillbilly picnic.” All of the family members are okay, but Melanie’s father, Jim, is furious with Marshall, the man who caused the accident. Alex tries to examine Melanie’s mother, Millie, but she refuses since she’s not wearing underwear. Meredith presents Marshall to Derek, telling him that Marshall is a surgical intern at Mercy West. Derek still doesn’t want to spend much time talking to her. Izzie takes another jab at Callie as Bailey tells George that he can discharge both Jim and Millie. Noah, however, needs surgery on his knee. Addison finds Alex and reminds him that he’s supposed to be on her service (see “Blues for Sister Someone”), but he’s been assigned to stay with Melanie. This means Izzie gets to assist with Noah’s surgery.

Cristina takes Melanie for a CT scan as Melanie tells her that her parents came to town for her baby shower. Alex arrives, explaining to Cristina that he’s “captain of the vagina squad.” Cristina happily passes Melanie off to Alex, encouraging her to talk to him a lot. George finds Marshall reading his own chart, wanting to find out what caused him to swerve into oncoming traffic and not remember it. Izzie asks Callie if she can scrub in on Noah’s surgery; Callie lets her, telling her to prep the OR. George quietly asks Callie if she washed her hands, which she finds strange. As Callie resets Marshall’s wrist, Derek arrives and barks at Meredith to get Marshall a CT scan. Cristina tries to convince Burke to let her in on a good surgery, but he’s upset with her because she fell asleep during sex that morning in the on-call room. She tells him that she was just tired and he shouldn’t feel inadequate because she’d already finished at the time. He doesn’t feel inadequate, but he’s still upset because he hadn’t finished yet. Burke adds that Cristina was at the hospital overnight even though she didn’t need to be. Cristina tells him she wanted in on a surgery for a condition she’d never seen before. She’s a surgeon first, as she thinks Burke is, but he corrects her and says he’s a human first.

Izzie is paged to the stairwell, where Denny has collapsed after attempting to take the stairs. Back in his room, Burke warns him that he needs to accept both his and the LVAD’s limitations. Denny just wants to go home. Izzie asks Burke what they’re supposed to do, and he tells her that Denny is depressed from having to be in bed for so long. He suggests that Izzie give Denny some space. Bailey, Alex, and Cristina all gather to look at Melanie’s CT scans, which cause Bailey to order Alex to page every available surgeon. Callie runs into George and asks if he’s seen Izzie, who hasn’t prepped the OR like she asked. George is too busy to respond - he’s been tasked with telling Jim and Millie that Melanie’s injuries are major. Bailey, Webber, Burke, and Addison perform surgery on Melanie, and though Alex wants to watch, Addison assigns him to watch the fetal monitor and make sure the baby’s okay. The other surgeons find that there are too many problems to fix, so they agree on “damage control” - working to fix as much as they can until Melanie approaches the “triangle of death.” Marshall tells Meredith that the night before, he scrubbed in on a 12-hour surgery after he’d worked a 30-hour shift. He was so tired that he fell asleep briefly in the car and caused the accident. This means that because he’d stayed to save a life, he may have accidentally killed someone. Meredith wants to comfort him, but she gets distracted by a CT tech, and when she turns back to Marshall, he’s gone.

Izzie tries to cheer Denny up with chocolate and tabloids, but he blasts her for being condescending and thinking he’s feeling sorry for himself. He tells her she has no idea what it’s like to lose what he’s lost - he’s a strong man stuck in a sick body. He thinks that if Izzie knew what that feels like, she wouldn’t have talked him into the LVAD. Melanie approaches the triangle, so everyone quickly finishes up, then covers her with plastic rather than closing her up. Derek glances up and spots Marshall watching from the gallery. Derek blasts Meredith for losing track of him and letting him see the injuries he caused to Melanie. He adds that Meredith needs to start taking responsibility for her actions. Bailey and Addison tell Melanie’s parents about her condition, telling them that they have to figure out the best time to take her back for more surgery because she could die if it’s too soon or not soon enough. Addison runs into Alex outside the room and asks him why he’s leaving the ICU. She still wants him to watch the fetal monitor because even if Melanie starts to take a turn for the worst, they can still save the baby. She adds that all of the other doctors tending to Melanie aren’t worrying about the baby, so he needs to.

Izzie, Meredith, and Cristina discuss Marshall falling asleep and mention the various times they themselves have fallen asleep (Cristina’s story is, of course, the most recent). George finds Izzie and warns that Callie is upset that she didn’t take care of Noah. Izzie says she was with Denny, and though George is upset, she doesn’t think he has any right to say anything since his girlfriend doesn’t even wash her hands. After he storms off, Cristina tells Meredith that if Burke can forgive her for falling asleep during sex, George can forgive her for crying during sex (see “What Have I Done to Deserve This?”). Meredith replies that Burke hasn’t forgiven her. George finds Callie with Noah and tells her where Izzie was. Callie replies that she knew he’d take Izzie’s side. After she leaves, Noah says that she’s mad at George and asks what he did. George tries to change the subject by asking if anyone has told Noah what’s going on with Melanie. Noah says it’s hard to wrap his mind around it, then tells George about going off to college and coming home with a woman everyone thought he was crazy for being with. Now he doesn’t want to think about her dying, so he’d like something to distract him. George admits that Callie is mad because he believed Izzie when she said Callie hadn’t washed her hands. Noah hopes that’s not true since Callie just performed surgery on him.

Meredith pages Derek to Marshall’s room to show him the CT results, which show that Marshall is fine and probably can’t remember the accident because he sustained a concussion. Marshall announces that he wants to apologize to Melanie’s family, but Derek isn’t supportive of this. Meredith follows Derek to a stairwell and she notes that she never should have told him about what happened with George. Derek replies that he’s glad she told him about both George and Finn, adding that she really gets around. “It’s unforgivable,” he says, though Meredith points out that she never asked him for forgiveness. Derek wonders if Meredith will sleep with Alex next, since he likes to sleep around, too. Meredith harshly tells him that he doesn’t get to call her a whore since he’s the one who broke her heart and she had to fix herself. He replies that they’re through (which they were already) and she agrees. Bailey, Burke, Webber, and Cristina quietly discuss Melanie in her room, and Millie tells them that they don’t have to whisper. She wants to be a part of the decision they make about whether or not to perform more surgery, since she’s Melanie’s mother and it’s her right to have an opinion. The doctors agree with her and decide that they should try more surgery. The surgery doesn’t go well, but Alex is doing his job and notices that the baby will die if they don’t deliver. He rushes to another OR to get Addison, but she’s busy and tells him to take care of it himself.

George sits with Melanie’s parents and husband, assuring them that they’re doing everything they can do. Meredith arrives and tells George that Marshall wants to apologize to the family. She thinks they should let him, adding that he’s one of them. Alex returns to Melanie’s OR and announces that he’s going to perform a C-section and needs Bailey to walk him through it. The C-section is successful, but Melanie doesn’t survive. Jim goes to Marshall’s room, where Marshall apologizes and the two men cry together. Izzie gets into bed with Denny and tells him she’s there for him, not herself. Meredith voices over about everyone being damaged as Cristina and Burke note that they’re both tired. Addison congratulates Alex on doing a good job, though he doesn’t think it’s fair that Melanie’s baby doesn’t have a mother. As Meredith voices over about everyone doing damage and trying to fix it, George tells her that he’ll see her at home. In bed, Denny asks Izzie if it would be wrong if he tried to feel her up. In the basement, Callie tells George she washed her hands and didn’t know she was going to have an audience in the bathroom. He apologizes for not believing her. At Finn’s apartment, Meredith tells him that if he knew how damaged she was, he wouldn’t want to get involved with her. He tells her about his own damages, noting that he never said he was perfect. She responds by kissing him.

THE TITLE IS A SONG BY…: Motorhead/Metallica

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Millie: “I don’t have any panties on. I do not know you well enough to let you see my good girl. Get me a lady doctor.”
Alex: “I need a chick over here!”

“You don’t get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with! I was done. So all the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cared? Because I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I’m all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don’t get to call me a whore.” - Meredith to Derek

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