"Much Too Much"
Written by Harry Werksman and Gabrielle Stanton; directed by Wendey Stanzler

Over a montage of people (Burke and Cristina, Alex and Izzie, Addison and Derek, Meredith and various guys) making out and heading to bed together, Meredith voices over that as kids we ate too much Halloween candy and as college students we drank too much and had too much sex. Surgeons, however, take as much good stuff as they can get because they know it doesn’t come around that often. In the morning, Addison is happy but Derek isn’t as satisfied. Meredith and her guy, Steve, aren’t exactly emotionally connected. Later, Meredith calls Cristina and tells her that there’s a boy in her bed. Cristina is a little happier because she’s finally made it to Burke’s apartment (which is so clean and neat that it freaks her out). Steve wakes up, and Meredith tells him that when she returns from taking a shower, he should be gone. At Burke’s, Cristina starts to make coffee and sees that Burke has left her a note and a key to the apartment. In the kitchen, Izzie and George wonder who Meredith’s new one-night stand is; they’ve seen her parade of guys and have given each one a nickname. George promises that he’s not still into Meredith, but Izzie doesn’t believe him.

George and Izzie spot Steve running out of the house and Izzie remarks, “And I shall name him Running Guy.” George notes that he heard Izzie come home with Alex the night before; she admits that nothing happened because “there were technical difficulties.” George finds this hilarious, of course. Izzie says she just wants sex, and George tells her that it won’t be with him. At Seattle Grace, Addison signs on to get her own service and stick around for a while. Her first big case involves the birth of quintuplets; she tells Webber that she’ll need to pull in other surgeons to help with the babies, at least three of which will need operations when they’re born. Derek and Alex do an MRI on a patient named Robert who hit his head and is a little confused (he thinks he’s on an airplane). Thanks to a cyst on his pituitary gland, he’s been experiencing excessive thirst, which is making his sodium levels drop. Izzie and Addison meet Dorie, the mother of the soon-to-be-born quints, and she states that no baby is being born until she tells the kids it’s time. Izzie is shocked to hear that Dorie and her husband Tom already have triplets, and she makes a remark that Dorie should have read the fine print on her fertility pills. Addison admonishes her, but Dorie takes it well, saying she just wanted a girl. Now, however, she’s having five girls.

Outside, Meredith talks to Cristina about her one-night stands and how they don’t seem to understand that a night of sex doesn’t mean they’ll be making a commitment. Cristina reveals that she got keyed by Burke, adding that he’s acting like a “1950s debutante.” Steve appears and is shocked to learn that Meredith works at Seattle Grace. Cristina and Meredith are in turn shocked to learn that he has priapism - he’s had an erection since he left Meredith’s house. Cristina and Meredith take Steve inside, where they run into Bailey, who’s very interested in the story behind this case. Izzie examines Dorie, telling her she hopes she hasn’t offended her. Dorie says that she would only be offended if Izzie pretended she hadn’t started judging Dorie the second she met her. Izzie notes that if Dorie had reduced the fetuses when she first conceived, the others would have a better chance of being healthy. Dorie tells her about each girl - Charlotte is stubborn, Lucy fights back, Emily has the hiccups a lot, Julie is mellow, and Kate gives her belly burn when she kicks. Meredith and Bailey take Steve to a room, where Steve swears that he didn’t take anything to help him have sex. Bailey tries to scare him into changing his story by warning that the tests to find the cause will be painful, but he’s telling the truth. Bailey assigns Meredith to tend to her “friend.”

Addison tries to recruit Burke and Derek for the quint case, even though they’re not that happy to have to abandon their other cases. Addison wonders why Derek left her hotel room so early that morning, but he says he just had an early surgery. They stop by Dorie’s room and Dorie remarks that everyone must hate Addison and Derek because they’re such a gorgeous couple. “You have no idea,” they chorus. Derek tells Dorie that Lucy has hydrocephalus, which could result in brain damage, but because they caught it early, they can perform surgery and forgo complications. Cristina confronts Burke with the key, but before they can talk too much, Meredith pulls Cristina aside and asks her to give Steve an enema. Cristina says no, noting that Meredith and Steve have already seen each other naked, so this shouldn’t be too difficult for her. Meredith promises that if their situations were reversed, she would give Burke an enema. Actually, no, she wouldn’t, but she still wants Cristina to do it for her. Cristina agrees as long as Meredith promises to do every enema Cristina is assigned for the next month. Meredith happily accepts, which makes Cristina realize how much Meredith really doesn’t want to have to do it.

Derek stops by to see Robert, who is discussing a sale with his assistant, Doyle. Robert announces that he wants his cyst removed immediately, but he has to wait until his sodium levels are stable, which means he has to stop drinking water. Doyle starts taking away all the water bottles, which doesn’t make Robert happy. As Cristina prepares to give Steve his enema, Steve talks about how everything went so well with Meredith, and now this is happening. Alex runs into Olivia and notes that she’s not talking to him; she says she’s still mad at him for giving her syphilis (see “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?”). Olivia asks after George, but Alex doesn’t think she was necessarily obligated to tell him that they had slept together. Izzie finds Alex and tells him that she put him on the list of people to assist with the quint case. She asks him if she was to blame for them not being able to have sex. He tells her he was just tired and didn’t feel like doing anything. She asks if he feels like doing anything that night, but he’s on call, so she suggests having sex in the hospital, since they wouldn’t be the first couple to do that. George runs into Meredith and tells her he’d love to get in on the quint case. She says she probably doesn’t stand a chance since Addison is in charge of it. “So how do you break a guy’s penis?” he asks.

George tries to break it to Meredith gently that she’s sleeping with too many guys and it could get her into trouble. He also doesn’t think she’s over Derek, so she’s trying to find some sort of replacement, but she deserves better. In the on-call room, Izzie and Alex are awkward after another failed attempt, but he wants to try again. Too bad her beeper goes off and she has to leave. She heads back to Dorie’s room to learn that she’s having contractions, though Dorie knows that Addison can stop them. Addison tells Izzie to be on call that night. Bailey, Cristina, and Meredith gather in Steve’s room, where they realize that the enema didn’t work and the next step is a needle aspiration to drain blood from his penis. “What goes up must come down,” Bailey says. Meredith tells Steve to relax, but he notes that if he could do that, he wouldn’t be there. Doyle asks Alex how Robert is doing, and Alex tells him to make sure Robert doesn’t drink any more water. Alex asks if Robert has any family he can contact, but Doyle says he get along with many people. Cristina and Meredith perform the needle aspiration as Cristina wonders what would happen if she returned the key to Burke. She notes that fishing a key out of a coffee mug isn’t a contract, so she hasn’t promised anything. Steve tells her that Burke put himself out there, so she has to use the key. The needle aspiration works and Cristina says, “Congratulations. You’re flaccid.”

Burke and George meet Dorie and Tom, telling them about the heart surgery they’ll be performing on Emily. Later, Burke and Cristina wind up in an elevator together and Burke says the key is just a key - unless Cristina wants to think about moving in with him. Alex returns to Robert’s room, where Robert has just fired Doyle because he suspects that Doyle doesn’t respect him anymore. He adds that if he had any friends, he wouldn’t let them see him like this because illness is a sign of weakness. He’s sure that Alex, “a hotshot doctor,” doesn’t let any of his coworkers know about his problems. Back in Steve’s room, Bailey sees that the needle aspiration didn’t work after all, which means Steve’s problem must be neural. That means that Derek needs to be called in, much to Meredith’s dismay. Derek is amused to learn that Meredith was with Steve just before his problem began. Cristina informs Dorie that Julie has a birth defect that has caused her internal organs to grow in a sac outside her body. The problem can be fixed by Bailey making an incision in Julie’s abdomen and pulling the sac inside.

In the locker room, Cristina asks Burke why he thinks that they can live together, since he doesn’t know anything about her. He thinks he knows enough, including that she doesn’t want to move, but he doesn’t want to have to keep being the one to take the steps forward in their relationship. Alex and Olivia return to Robert’s room to learn that he’s locked himself in his bathroom. Alex chastises himself for not doing his one job - keeping Robert from drinking water. Derek tells Steve that he has a small tumor on his lower spine; when it’s removed, everything should return to normal. Derek asks how long he and Meredith have been seeing each other; Steve notes that they met the night before at the ECB, which happens to be where Derek first met Meredith. Alex and Olivia finally get into Robert’s room to see that he’s been drinking from the toilet. They drag him back to bed and restrain him as he yells that he doesn’t want anyone looking at him because he’s pathetic. Cristina lets herself into Burke’s apartment with her new key, then takes Burke to her own apartment to show him that she’s a huge slob. “Still think living together is a good idea?” she asks.

Back at Seattle Grace, Izzie tells Alex and Meredith that when Dorie delivers, they’ll need a ton of doctors to help out, so she’ll page them. After she leaves, Alex teases Meredith about Steve, telling her there’s nothing wrong with her having a lot of sex. “It only gets problematic when you start to care. When you let your emotions get in the way,” she says. Alex starts to approach Izzie, but his pager goes off - Olivia has called him to check on Robert, who is slurring his words and is acting jumpy. Robert starts seizing as Derek arrives and asks how much sodium Alex gave him. It turns out that he gave him too much too fast and Robert’s brain is now swelling. Derek can’t operate on him now, and he’s furious that Alex couldn’t do the one think Derek asked him to. Later, Olivia finds Alex beating himself up in the on-call room and they mope together about having had recent bad experiences. The moping session turns into making out. Derek and Meredith operate on Steve and Derek teases Meredith about what happened. He admits that it’s “surprisingly painful” to know that Meredith is dating again. She tells him that it’ll get better; she doesn’t know for sure, but she’s trying to be optimistic.

After the operation, Derek runs into Addison and congratulates her on signing her new contract. She says she’s moving on and he confirms that they’re okay. Suddenly her pager goes off - Dorie’s in labor and this time the babies need to be delivered. Izzie assures Dorie that they’re going to take care of the babies, asking her to trust the doctors to deliver her children after Dorie has carried them so far. Meredith visits Steve, who wants to see her again, and she gives him a version of the speech George gave her about using him as a replacement and him deserving more. As Meredith and George are paged to deliver the quints, a post-coital Cristina and Burke are woken up by their own pagers in Cristina’s apartment. Izzie goes looking for Alex, who hasn’t answered his beeper, and catches him and Olivia red-handed in the on-call room. As practically every doctor in the hospital delivers the quints, Meredith voices over that it’s hard to know how much is too much. “When is it all just too much to bear?” she wonders.


MEMORABLE QUOTES: Izzie: “He said it never happened before.”
George: “Well, that’s what we all say. And I mean ‘they.’ That’s what they all say.”

Robert: “I’m still waiting on that drink. Are you the stewardess?”
Derek: “We’re called flight attendants now.”

Burke: “It’s a key.”
Cristina: “Why?”
Burke: “Why is it a key? Are we feeling existential this morning?”

Meredith: “You think I’m some kinda slut?”
George: “I think you’re taking some risks. I think you’ll find yourself in a hole in some guy’s basement, being ordered to put the lotion on the skin or else you’ll get the hose again.”

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