"Shake Your Groove Thing"
Written by Ann Hamilton; directed by John David Coles

Meredith heads to her mother’s nursing home, voicing over about how children worry about cookies and bikes, and how being an adult is overrated. She warns not to be fooled by “all the hot shoes and the great sex and the no parents anywhere telling you what to do” because adulthood actually means responsibility. Someone at the nursing home tells Meredith that while Ellis is lucid, she needs to sign everything over to Meredith. Meredith tries to get out of having to take responsibility, but the caretaker reminds her that she’ll be leaving her mother’s affairs in someone else’s hands. Meredith continues voicing over about responsibility and how much more it means when you’re a surgeon and holding someone’s life in your hands. In surgery with Burke, Meredith dozes a little and accidentally squeezes the heart she’s holding. In the gallery, George says that he wants to hold a heart, but Cristina points out that it’s not exactly a difficult task. Izzie is working on a list of supplies and guests for a party she’s having; Cristina isn’t happy about the guest list. She also thinks Izzie is crazy to have a big party the one weekend her boyfriend from back home is visiting. She thinks it means that Izzie’s boyfriend is bad in bed. Alex asks if there’s a party and the other interns deny it, not wanting him to crash it.

In the OR, Burke almost loses his patient, Mrs. Patterson, but manages to revive her. Meredith voices over about how responsibility can be scary when you let go of it. Her fingernail seems to have cut through one of her gloves. Derek runs into Meredith and George, telling Meredith that you never forget the first time you get to hold a heart. George says he got vicarious thrills by watching. In the elevator, Meredith admits to George that she thinks she nodded off and squeezed Mrs. Patterson’s heart too hard. Her fingernail punctured her glove, and she’s afraid she also punctured the heart. George tells her that they would have been able to tell, and since Mrs. Patterson was revived, she must be okay. He doesn’t think Meredith should tell Burke what happened. Bailey, Webber, and George take care of a patient named Mrs. Drake who needs to have lung surgery. George thinks that if they put pictures of damaged lungs on cigarette packs, people would stop smoking. Alex tends to a patient who says he has chronic pain that feels like “a thousand samurai warriors stabbing swords” into his spine. Alex wants to prescribe morphine, but the patient says he can only take Demerol or Dilaudid. Alex notices that the patient has lots of track marks on his arm and tells Derek he thinks he’s a junkie. Derek says he still has to give the patient painkillers before looking into his history and trying to get him into a rehab program.

George talks to Mrs. Drake, who claims she stopped smoking five years ago, even though her lungs don’t reflect that. Mrs. Drake thinks George is too young to be a doctor, but George says he’s older than he looks. He adds that he thinks this surgery is her best option. Meredith stops by to see Mrs. Patterson, telling her husband that she’s doing fine. He, however, doesn’t think “fine” is good enough. Izzie chats with a patient named Mr. Sterman who is being treated for a bowel obstruction but hasn’t had a bowel movement yet. He tells her that he went to medical school but dropped out because the hours were too much and his marriage was falling apart. Now he does research and has a family and a life. Izzie says she believes people can both work and have a life. Mr. Sterman says it’s possible, but the patients always have first priority. Burke brings Cristina a cup of coffee, letting her know that it doesn’t mean anything. (It totally does.) Bailey, Webber, and George perform Mrs. Drake’s surgery and are shocked to find that the person who last operated on her left a towel inside her. “Something careless this way comes,” Bailey remarks.

George tells Webber, Bailey, and Cristina that no one listened when Mrs. Drake complained about the pressure in her chest. Webber notes that this isn’t good for Mrs. Drake or the hospital. Bailey assigns Cristina to research who performed Mrs. Drake’s original surgery. She also assigns George to stick with Mrs. Drake, since she seems to like him. George wants to make sure he gets off on time, and Bailey asks if she’s invited to the party. He has no choice but to tell her she is. Alex catches Izzie ordering a bunch of booze for the party, but she tries to pretend she’s ordering office supplies. Mr. Sterman passes by and asks if he can come to the party if he has a bowel movement. Derek discovers that Alex hasn’t given his patient, Mr. Frost, any painkillers and blasts him for it. Alex says he’s a junkie, but Derek replies that his pain is real, so he should get something for it. Mrs. Drake tells George that Webber told her about the towel. “How could that happen?” she wonders. Cristina’s research leads her to the surgeon who made the mistake - it was Burke. She tells Bailey, who swears her to secrecy. Derek runs into Meredith and asks her to go to dinner with him. He notes that they can be alone together while her friends are at Izzie’s party.

Meredith rushes off to tend to Mrs. Patterson, who is losing blood. She admits to Burke that she popped a glove during the operation and may have nicked Mrs. Patterson’s heart. During surgery, Burke blasts Meredith for not saying anything before he closed Mrs. Patterson up, then for confessing in front of the patient’s husband. Fortunately for Meredith, the damage to Mrs. Patterson’s heart is far too extensive to have been caused by a fingernail. Webber enters and tells Meredith and Burke he wants them in his office the next morning to discuss what happened. Burke tells Meredith to apologize to Mr. Patterson, warning that her butt is on the line. In Intern Alley, Meredith laments to George and Cristina that her mistake could get her kicked out of the intern program. George tries to assure her that her job will be fine and no one will be sued. Cristina thinks she’s an idiot for confessing to Burke. As Meredith heads off to answer a phone call, Izzie arrives and talks to Cristina and George about the party. George can’t believe she hasn’t cleared the entire guest list with Meredith yet, considering it’s Meredith’s house. Cristina keeps teasing Izzie about her sex life and Izzie tries to defend herself. She also tries to sound convincing when she says that not all surgeons are workaholics with God complexes. Cristina disagrees.

On the phone, Meredith talks to someone from her mother’s nursing home, making sure that everything is set up for her to sign papers that evening. Derek catches up to her and asks if she wants to talk about what happened in the surgery. “We’re adults,” she replies. “When did that happen? And how do we make it stop?” Cristina and Burke make awkward small talk about surgery, but she doesn’t mention the towel. Mr. Patterson tells Meredith that his lawyer has advised him not to talk to her. Meredith asks for more information on Mrs. Patterson, noting that the walls of her heart are abnormally thin. Mr. Patterson says she’s in the best shape of her life, having just recently lost 100 pounds, so Meredith can’t blame her for her health problems. Alex finally gets Mr. Frost ready for his painkillers, admitting that he doesn’t really care for people like him. Mr. Frost tells Derek that his pain is a lot better, so Derek tells him Izzie will discharge him. He adds that Alex will find him a treatment program for his addiction. Elsewhere, Izzie tells Mr. Sterman that since he still hasn’t had a bowel movement, he’ll have to spend another night in the hospital. He hopes she can make it to her party on time, since she still has to discharge Mr. Frost.

Izzie pages George and asks him to sign for the alcohol when he gets home, since she’s going to take a while. Alex teases that her boyfriend can sign for it and says that he wouldn’t come to the party even if he were invited, since he hates big parties. George asks if Meredith is the only person in the hospital who doesn’t know how big it’s going to be. Izzie vows to tell her, but Cristina lets her know that Meredith has already left for the day. George tells Izzie to make it clear that he had nothing to do with the party. Meredith arrives at the nursing home and learns that her mother won’t sign the papers, since she thinks she’s about to perform surgery. Her caretaker notes that they should have signed the papers earlier in the day, but Meredith reminds her that she couldn’t get there earlier. She blasts the caretaker for putting this off until the last minute and not being more responsible. At the hospital, Cristina looks on as Bailey gives Burke Mrs. Patterson’s file. Meredith arrives home to find a loud party in full swing and vows to kill Izzie over it. Cristina and Bailey are there, and Cristina asks if Bailey took care of the towel situation. She assures Cristina that she doesn’t need to worry about it, adding that they’re not going to talk about it anymore.

Mr. Frost complains as he’s discharged, asking Izzie and Alex for a hit of Demerol. He refuses to leave, so Izzie announces that they’ll call psych. He doesn’t like this idea, and as he tries to run off, he trips and falls, hitting his head. He winds up needing brain surgery, and Derek asks Izzie if she wants to stay and scrub in. She does, so Meredith’s wrath is unleashed on George when she sees how many people are at her house. George offers to kick everyone out, but when Meredith sees how much fun a drunken Cristina is having, she grabs some booze herself and starts dancing. As Derek, Izzie, and Alex do Mr. Frost’s surgery, Alex says that maybe this will be Mr. Frost’s “way out of the hole.” He explains that his father was a musician and had a drug addiction. At Meredith’s, George, Cristina, and Meredith play strip poker and complain about surgery. Cristina notes that Meredith is drunk, but Meredith points out that she’s not driving, she’s in her own house, and she’s not on call, so it’s okay. Izzie’s boyfriend Hank arrives and learns that Izzie isn’t home yet. Meredith tells him that they’re interns, so the hospital owns them. After Mr. Frost’s surgery, Izzie is willing to stay and make sure the patient is okay, but Alex tells her to go home and see Hank.

Outside, Izzie runs into Hank, who’s not happy that she didn’t show up at the house, but she tells him that this is her life now and she shouldn’t have to apologize for it. Izzie wants to take Hank back to the party, but he thinks he should just leave. Derek shows up at Meredith’s house and they wind up making out in his car. They’re interrupted when Bailey knocks on the window and asks Derek to move his “tail wagon” because it’s blocking her car. In the morning, Izzie arrives home to find Meredith and George in the middle of the trashed living room. Meredith assures her that she’s okay with it; she’s more concerned about her meeting with Webber anyway. Izzie asks how Mrs. Patterson’s muscle mass was, since she just lost 100 pounds, then takes a swig of someone’s leftover beer. At the hospital, Cristina, Izzie, and George wait to hear the results of Meredith’s meeting; Cristina thinks Meredith will get kicked out and Burke will get off scot-free. In the meeting, Meredith and Burke mentions Mrs. Patterson’s weight loss, and though Meredith is chastised by a lawyer, the patient’s weight loss is to blame for her condition. Burke is proud that Meredith spoke up, since five years ago, he didn’t.

As Meredith voices over about how much responsibility sucks, she tells Derek that she’s on probation for a month and that Burke saved her career. Bailey pulls Cristina aside and tells her that Burke was always going to confess about the towel; he was just waiting for the right time. At the nursing home, Ellis signs the papers as Meredith voices over about responsibility never going away. At the hospital, Alex gets a rehab representative to talk to Mr. Frost while Burke apologizes to Mrs. Drake about the towel. Derek and Bailey pass each other and they exchange awkward glances. Izzie is glad to hear that Mr. Sterman finally had a bowel movement; she’s just as happy as he is. Alex asks if Izzie missed her party; he thinks she’s loving life as a surgeon anyway. Cristina finds Burke in the on-call room, locks the door, and thanks him for the coffee. They proceed to make out. At home, Meredith, Izzie, and George clean up the party detritus as Meredith voices over that adulthood has its perks - “the shoes, the sex, the no parents anywhere tell you what to do” are actually pretty good.

THE TITLE IS A SONG BY…: Peaches and Herb

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Mr. Sterman: “I don’t think I ever wanna have a bowel obstruction again.”
Izzie: “Really? Wow, because we get people in here all the time requesting them.”

Izzie: “We’ll probably have sex after the party, or during the party.”
George: “As long as you clear it with Meredith.”

Cristina: “You must be Hank. He’s very large and hockey-like. No, Izzie’s not here right now.”
George: “You and Izzie will give birth to very tall blond people, like Barbies.”

“So you blew me off for a bottle of tequila. Tequila’s no good for ya. It doesn’t call. It doesn’t write. It isn’t nearly as much fun to wake up to.” - Derek

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