"Save Me"
Written by Mimi Schmir; directed by Sarah Pia Anderson

Meredith is in bed, watching Derek get ready for work and voicing over about fairy tales. In the kitchen, Izzie is making cupcakes and complaining that they don’t taste quite right. George disagrees and enjoys her efforts. Izzie can’t remember a specific ingredient, so George suggests that she call her mom and ask her. Izzie doesn’t like that idea. Meredith suggests to Derek that they sleep at his place that night. He doesn’t commit either way. They head to the kitchen, where Derek tells Meredith that he likes being at her house. George notices that Derek seems like a health nut, since he eats muesli every morning; Derek is surprised that he’s been there every day for a week. Meredith voices over that it’s hard to completely let go of the fairy tale because everyone holds onto a little hope that the fairy tale will someday come true. Cristina meets with an OB/GYN to schedule an abortion (see “The Self-Destruct Button”) but has to wait a while for one. The woman she talks to tries to remind her that she has other options, but Cristina has already made up her mind. At Seattle Grace, Alex examines a 17-year-old patient named Devo who recently had a root canal but is still experiencing bleeding; she also has a heart murmur. Alex asks after her name, and Devo says she calls herself Esther because she’s an Orthodox Jew.

Cristina and Meredith study x-rays of a patient named Mr. Duff who has been passed to them by psych. The patient claims to talk to dead people, but he’s having seizures, so he’s been handed over to neurology. The psych doctor explains that the patient thinks his seizures are visions. The patient speaks up that they are visions - he’s psychic. “Of course you are. And I’m a chicken,” Cristina replies. Not long after, Mr. Duff has a vision and announces that “someone’s gonna check out” on the fourth floor. Cristina calls him crazy until they hear a code called over the PA system. Later, George gushes about Mr. Duff’s prediction and Cristina asks him to cover her on the 16th, the day she’s scheduled to have her abortion. Meredith tells Derek that she hardly knows him (though she knows he’s from New York and likes ferryboats), such as who his friends are and what he does on his days off. He tells her that she has more details than most, but she wants even more and vows not to take her clothes off for him again until she gets them. “We’ll find these things out,” Derek says. “That’s the fun part. You know? That’s the gravy.” Meredith replies that she doesn’t want to be his gravy. Burke and Alex tell Devo’s parents that she needs a heart-valve replacement, and they’re suggesting a porcine valve since she won’t be able to take blood thinners to maintain a mechanical one.

Bailey and Izzie perform a biopsy on a patient who has heard about the so-called psychic who predicted a death on the fourth floor. Izzie says he’s just playing mind games; Bailey wonders why she cares so much. Derek examines a man named Mr. Walker who fell while rock-climbing and now can’t move his legs. Derek tells a nurse to take him for an MRI and put Meredith on his case. Alex and George intubate a patient together, though George performs the procedure incorrectly and Alex spends most of the time insulting him. Burke drops in and chastises George for screwing up. Cristina tends to Mr. Duff, who suggests that she get Botox for her frown lives. She tells him that he has seizures, not visions, but he disagrees. He proceeds to have a vision and tells Cristina that he wouldn’t have guessed that she would become a mother. Cristina quickly goes to Bailey and asks to be removed from Mr. Duff’s case. Izzie is nearby and offers to take over, since she’s used to crazy people calling themselves psychics. Bailey doesn’t usually allow switches, but she agrees when Cristina says she’ll do her postop notes for a month. Cristina is relieved until she learns who her next patient is - a woman with breast cancer who also happens to be pregnant.

Derek and Meredith look at Mr. Walker’s scans, unable to determine why he’s experiencing paralysis. Meredith then changes the topic to the fact that she doesn’t know anything about Derek. He won’t give her any information and instead tells her to lighten up. Cristina and Bailey talk to their breast-cancer patient, Mrs. Glass, who wants to wait until the end of her pregnancy to receive cancer treatment. Cristina bluntly tells her that her pregnancy hormones could speed up the growth of her cancer, and if she does get treatment, the baby won’t survive. Bailey tells Mrs. Glass that she needs to make a decision - it’s her life or the baby’s. Derek tends to Mr. Walker, who now can’t move his legs at all. Meredith wonders if his emotional stress is manifesting itself as physical trauma. Mr. Duff pops up and tells Mr. Walker the paralysis isn’t in his head. Devo blasts her parents for okaying her valve-replacement surgery and not respecting her decision to keep kosher - she can’t allow herself to receive a porcine valve. Burke tells her that without the surgery, she’ll die, but Devo challenges him to find an alternate solution, “as long as it doesn’t answer to ‘Wilbur’ and say ‘oink.’” Mr. Duff hits on Izzie as she gets him ready for his MRI; she tells him to stop staring at her. He tells her he suddenly has a craving for a chocolate cupcake. Izzie says she knows the drill and is watching him.

At lunch, Cristina is too sick to eat and Alex won’t stop insulting George, though Izzie tries to comfort him. Cristina points out Olivia the nurse and announces to George that he should ask her out because he obviously needs sex. Alex suggests that he go see Mr. Duff, whom Izzie vehemently says is not a psychic. George tells her again that she should call her mom. Cristina heads back to see Mrs. Glass, who mentions that she’s 47 and it’s a miracle that she’s pregnant. Cristina is unwilling to look at the situation from Mrs. Glass’ point of view and just tells her that without treatment, she probably won’t see her child go to kindergarten. Mr. Walker’s paralysis advances, so Derek decides to take him to surgery. Meredith points out that they don’t even know why they’re operating, but Derek thinks Mr. Walker may have a clot in his spine that didn’t show up in his MRI. He tells Meredith that he’s trusting his instincts and taking a chance to save a life. Alex talks to Devo, who has heard about his nickname, Dr. Evil Spawn, and thinks it’s easy to see why he doesn’t have any faith. She notes that most people her age are getting drunk and having sex, but she has God. Alex asks if God wants her to die, but Devo says that He wants her to be passionate about what she believes in.

Izzie and Bailey get Mr. Duff’s MRI back and see that he has an AVM. Izzie wants to take him to surgery that night, but Bailey reminds her that they have to follow protocol and get consent first. “You get too involved with your patients, Izzie,” Bailey foreshadows. “Why do you make everything so personal?” Derek and Meredith perform surgery on Mr. Walker, even though Meredith doesn’t think they should be doing so. Mr. and Mrs. Glass tell Cristina and Bailey that they’ve decide to terminate the pregnancy and get Mrs. Glass started on her treatment. George and Alex do research, which George interrupts to ask Alex why he always has women all over him. “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” Alex replies. He happily finds an alternate treatment for Devo, a bovine xenograft, and tells George to dance and jab like Ali. He goes to Devo’s room, where she’s praying, and tells her that Burke can do the bovine xenograft. Burke, however, is just now hearing about this and pulls Alex aside to ask him why he didn’t consent with Burke first. He tells Alex he’s off the case. Izzie gives Mr. Duff the consent forms and he challenges her to state for certain that she knows his visions are really seizures. She still doesn’t think his mention of chocolate cupcakes means anything, but he makes her less certain by calling her Cricket.

Cristina goes back to see Mrs. Glass before her D and C and learns that she and her husband have changed their minds - they’re not going to terminate the pregnancy after all. Cristina reminds Mrs. Glass that she has cancer, but Mrs. Glass points out that even with treatment, she might not survive. Mrs. Glass points out that Cristina doesn’t have the best bedside manner. Cristina tells her she’s calling down a psych consult, but Mrs. Glass is sure about her decision. Cristina heads to the on-call room, where Burke finds her and admits that he doesn’t know how to perform a bovine xenograft. She tells him that his problem has a solution, unlike lots of other problems, so he just needs to find it. Derek and Meredith continue Mr. Walker’s surgery, which isn’t going well. George runs into Olivia, who calls him in to help a patient who needs to be intubated. This time the procedure goes well and he and Olivia share a bonding moment. Burke runs into Alex in a stairwell and tells him he’ll be scrubbing in for Devo’s bovine xenograft. “This doesn’t get you any points, Karev,” Burke warns. “I’m the only one with points around here, okay?” He adds that Devo wants to be blessed by a rabbi before the surgery, so if Alex could find the bovine valve, he can find the rabbi.

Derek finds Mr. Walker’s clot and finishes up the surgery, after which Meredith says that he keeps taking things on faith. He mentions that they basically have a relationship, and she asks for something that will give her a reason to believe. Cristina brings Mrs. Glass her discharge papers, obviously not happy with her decision. Mrs. Glass says that long after she’s gone, her husband and child will be together; she just wants Cristina to understand, not necessarily to approve. Izzie returns to Mr. Duff with his consent forms and assures him that he’ll be okay. He just doesn’t want an operation that will take away his visions, which his whole life has been about. Izzie says that if the visions are real, he needs to believe that he’ll have them when the operation is over. He signs the consent forms. Devo is blessed by a rabbi, then undergoes her surgery, in which Burke is aided via satellite by a doctor who’s an expert in the procedure. In Intern Alley, Meredith chastises herself for trying to talk Derek out of Mr. Walker’s surgery. George stops by and announces that he and Olivia are going out. Alex suggests that he use a condom.

Izzie shows up next and says that Mr. Duff had his surgery, but she’s not sure what will happen with his visions. She tells the others that she grew up in a trailer park and her mother constantly called psychics, spending all their money on the calls. At age 18, Izzie left and never looked back, but now Mr. Duff is saying things to her that he couldn’t possibly know. Meredith goes to see Mr. Walker, who is grateful that she believed his problems were physical and not all in his head. As Meredith voices over about faith and the fairy tale turning out differently than expected, Mr. Duff tells Izzie that the ingredient missing from her cupcakes is coconut extract. Meredith and Derek leave work together, Cristina watches the Glasses leave, and Alex checks on Devo, who asks if her heart beats or moos. Meredith voices over that happily ever after doesn’t matter as long as you’re happy right now. At home, Izzie makes another batch of cupcakes, this time satisfied, and calls her mother, referring to herself as Cricket. Derek takes Meredith to a trailer and tells her about his family, his likes, and his hobbies. He reveals that he lives in the trailer and owns the land it’s on, but he’s not sure what he’s going to do with it. “That’s all you’ve earned for now,” he says. “The rest you’re just…just gonna have to take on faith.” Meredith is fine with that.

THE TITLE IS A SONG BY…: Queen/Aimee Mann

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Cristina: “Man, didn’t you go to med school?”
Psych doctor: “Yes, and unlike the correspondence school you attended--.”
Cristina: “Oh, that would be Stanford, right?”

“I want facts, and until I get them, my pants are staying on.” - Meredith to Derek

“Oh, don’t you tell me to lighten up. I’ll lighten up when I…feel light.” - Meredith to Derek

Devo: (to her parents) “You don’t even know all the Passover plagues.”
Alex: “Boils, vermin, pestilence. Even I know that.”
Burke: “Miss Friedman, I appreciate your extreme religious convictions.”
Alex: “Fire, hail….”

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