"The Name of the Game"
Written by Blythe Robe; directed by Seith Mann

Meredith is knitting at the ECB while Derek and Joe watch her, confused. She voices over about games and glory and the games we play by ourselves. Meredith explains that she’s knitting a sweater and practicing celibacy. She doesn’t want to drink because it doesn’t go well with celibacy, and she’s knitting to help with her surgical dexterity. Addison arrives and overhears Meredith say that she’s given up on men, since every man she meets turns out to be married or Mark (see “Yesterday”). Meredith voices over that we play social and mind games to pass the time and distract us. Izzie is knitting, too, as well as playing Scrabble with Denny and telling him about how George is now broken and involved with Callie. She’s taken the celibacy vow as well and is knitting so that she can switch her pieces with Meredith’s to make Meredith think she can actually knit. Denny is disappointed that Izzie is going to be celibate because now he can’t try to seduce her. Meredith voices over that some people will play any game, as George, Callie, Burke, and Cristina are at Burke, Cristina, and George’s apartment. They’re playing Celebrity, which gives Callie and George a chance to prove that they think very similarly and communicate well. Cristina tries to get Burke to guess Madonna, but he fails miserably.

In the gallery, Cristina complains to a knitting Izzie and Meredith about Burke; Izzie thinks she’s a sore loser. Cristina replies that the point of games is that there’s a winner, and you want that winner when you’re in the OR. She really just wants George out of the apartment, so Izzie encourages her to kick him out so he’ll come home to her and Meredith. Cristina says that George is “Burke’s puppy,” so it has to be Burke’s idea to get rid of him. Burke and Alex operate together, and Alex impresses Burke by showing off what he’s learned by studying. He doesn’t impress, however, with his lack of compassion for other human beings. Burke warns that studying won’t improve Alex’s bedside manner - he’ll have to figure it out on his own. Derek runs into Addison and tells her he had to push back an operation because Doc is sick and needed to go to the vet; Meredith will go pick him up that evening. Cristina takes a class on laparoscopic surgery and is surprised to see Webber attending. He explains that he wants a refresher course. George and Addison meet their patient, Molly Thompson (Mandy Siegfried), who is pregnant and has a hernia. Her mother, Susan (Mare Winningham), is a little overprotective but just wants to make sure her daughter and grandchild are all right. Addison tells them that the surgery she needs to perform on Molly won’t be easy on either her or the baby, but she has a good history with it. In the hallway, George runs into Thatcher (see “Yesterday”), who happens to be Molly’s father and Susan’s husband.

Derek asks Bailey if she has an extra intern he can borrow, but she’d rather help him out herself since she hasn’t been assigned anything on the OR board and is sure she won’t be assigned anything the next day either. She thinks Webber is “mommy-tracking” her because she had a baby, but she refuses to put up with that. Derek says that she’s freaking out, but she warns that this is just the beginning. He allows her to be his intern for the day. At the nurses’ station, Izzie discusses Callie with Meredith, thinking that Callie might be hiding something. Meredith tells her that George made it clear she’s not a part of his life anymore. Callie arrives and recruits the two of them to help her with something. Burke and Alex meet with their patient, Beatrice, and have to tell her that her cancer has spread so much that there’s not a lot they can do for her. She asks them to give her as much time as possible. Her teenaged daughter, Amelia, arrives and doesn’t seem to understand how serious her mother’s condition is. In class, Cristina and Webber practice a laparoscopic procedure, Cristina showing that she’s a very quick study. Callie, Meredith, and Izzie work on a patient together while Izzie tries to make small talk and find out more about Callie. Callie doesn’t fall for it. Later, Izzie tries to talk to George about Callie; George says he can’t escape her and all he wants to do is forget her. Izzie thinks he’s talking about Callie and is relieved to hear it. Of course, he’s actually talking about Meredith. He then announces that Meredith has a sister.

Bailey assists Derek in brain surgery on a teenaged boy named Andrew who is awake during the procedure because his tumor is near the language center of his brain. Derek tries to make small talk with Andrew, but it’s Bailey who really connects with him. She learns that Andrew is a champion speller and is getting ready for the National Spelling Bee, so she gets him to start spelling medical words. Addison finds George and blasts him for not getting the test results she told him to get. He tells her that Meredith and Molly are half sisters, but neither of them seems to know about the other. Also, he thinks he might have been assigned to Molly’s case because God hates him. Beatrice tells Burke and Alex that she wants to leave the hospital because Amelia’s birthday is the next day and it will probably be the last one they get to celebrate together. Burke warns her that she could encounter a number of problems if she leaves. Alex adds that Amelia doesn’t even know that Beatrice has cancer, so she probably doesn’t want to run the risk of dropping dead outside the hospital. In the hallway, Burke chastises Alex for taking that tone with a scared patient. Outside, George, Cristina, and Izzie talk about Molly and how strange it is for Meredith to have an entire family she doesn’t know about. Webber joins them for lunch, telling Cristina that she needs to develop her basics more than her precision and speed so that she can have a solid foundation in the OR. He quickly realizes that he doesn’t fit in with the interns and leaves. Cristina happily brags that she’s kicking his butt in class.

Meredith arrives, so George leaves, of course. Meredith tells Izzie and Cristina that she thinks she just saw her father. Izzie says that’s good and Cristina asks if she’s seen her sister, too. Back in Andrew’s OR, the teen keeps spelling words, but a wrong move by Derek results in him slurring his speech. Fortunately, Derek is able to solve the problem and Andrew can still spell. Bailey is so happy that she tears up, blaming her hormones and a fictional something in her eye. In the laparoscopic class, the students face off to put what they’ve learned into practice on a virtual operation. Meredith nonchalantly passes by Molly’s room, where Addison brings her on board, giving the sisters a chance to talk (though Molly has no idea who Meredith is). Molly reveals that she’s 22 and her husband Eric is 23; he’s in the Army and she proposed to him before he was deployed. She talks about her wedding and how happy her father was when he gave her away. Meredith learns that Thatcher has another daughter, Lexie (see “Testing 1-2-3”), who’s in medical school at Harvard. Meredith heads back to the room where she, Callie, and Izzie were tending to a patient and asks if she can have something to break. Callie lets her pound on plaster. Izzie asks if George is really Callie’s type, and Callie says that Izzie and Meredith just don’t see him as anything other than George. However, he makes her world stop. After Callie leaves, Izzie realizes that “George is her McDreamy.”

Back in class, Webber completes his virtual operation quickly and perfectly - with his eyes closed. “The call me Dr. Webber,” he brags to Cristina, chanting, “That’s why I’m the chief.” Beatrice sends Amelia to stay with her aunt for her birthday, promising that they’ll celebrate next year. After Amelia leaves the room, Alex asks Beatrice if she’s really okay with lying to her daughter. Beatrice says that she’s protecting Amelia, but Alex thinks that after Beatrice dies, Amelia will hate her for the rest of her life. Burke, who has been listening at the door, tries to chastise him, but Alex says he may be a jerk but at least he tells the truth, unlike most people at the hospital. He doesn’t think Burke gets to take that away and call it teaching him a lesson. Susan spots Meredith and tells her that she recognized her from a photo she saw a long time ago. She also thinks Meredith looks like Ellis, as well as Molly and Lexie. Meredith promises that she didn’t let Molly know who she is, but Susan says Molly knows she has a half sister. She adds that Thatcher thinks about Meredith a lot, but Ellis broke him. Meredith doesn’t want to hear any more. Webber runs into Thatcher at the OR board and asks if he knows what’s going on with Ellis. Thatcher replies that Webber has no right to talk to him about Ellis. Webber actually wants to talk about Meredith, since Ellis’ condition has been so hard on her. Bailey visits Andrew, who doesn’t remember the surgery (which is normal) and tells him that he’s okay. She adds that she’s going home to see her own son.

Meredith ducks into a room to avoid George, who runs into Thatcher, who wants to talk about Meredith. He says that Meredith came to see him not long ago but he didn’t know what to say to her. He admits that he was a coward and left; Ellis never let him know Meredith, and now he’s not sure how to get to know her. As Meredith listens, George says nice things about her, having realized that she went to see Thatcher around the same time she slept with him. George says that Meredith is someone to beat in the program, and while a lot of what she has comes from Ellis, he thinks some of it comes from Thatcher as well. He offers to tell Meredith that Thatcher was there, and as the two men walk away, Meredith quietly thanks George. As Addison performs surgery on Molly, Derek finds Meredith knitting in the gallery and they discuss their days. He asks if she’s okay and she replies that she has her knitting. Beatrice talks to Amelia about various things she needs to keep in mind for the future. As Alex listens from outside the room, Amelia slowly realizes that they’re having this conversation because Beatrice won’t be around to have it later. Beatrice tells her that someday she’ll have a baby and will obsess over every little thing, but what’s really important is for her child to be happy. She knows Amelia will be sad for a while after losing her mother, but Beatrice doesn’t want her to be sad forever.

As Meredith voiceovers that life isn’t a spectator sport and it’s always in play whether we like it or not, Thatcher goes to see Molly and Izzie goes to see Denny. She shows him the sweater she made for him and he comments that her vow of celibacy must be something if she was able to complete the sweater in one day. (Apparently she had nothing to do all day, even though she’s, you know, a surgeon.) Denny is worried that this means he won’t get any sexual favors, but Izzie tells him that she wore the sweater for a few hours and now it smells like her, which is as close as he’s going to get to her body. They start to play Scrabble but Denny would like to see a breast first. Cristina runs into Webber and asks him how he was able to do the virtual operation with his eyes closed. He tells her it’s muscle memory - “you want to win, always go back to the basics.” Somehow, Cristina interprets this as “walk around naked until George leaves,” as this is what she does back at the apartment. It works. While Meredith voices over that we need to keep playing no matter what, George calls Callie and hears her phone ring in the hospital basement. It turns out that she lives there since she spends so much time in the building anyway. He asks her to cut his hair and make it look more normal. Meredith knits in the vet’s office, waiting for information on Doc, bonding with the receptionist, who guesses that she’s given up men. Meredith then meets the vet, Finn Dandridge (Chris O’Donnell), who’s hot, and starts knitting faster.

WELCOME TO SEATTLE GRACE: Molly, Susan, Finn

THE TITLE IS A SONG BY…: ABBA

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Denny: “You took a vow of celibacy?”
Izzie: “Yes.”
Denny: “How am I supposed to get in your pants if you took a vow of celibacy?”
Izzie: “That is a very inappropriate thing to say to your doctor.”
Denny: “You know what’s inappropriate? Promising sexual favors to a patient in order to get him to live and then backing out.”
Izzie: “Denny Duquette! I so never, ever promised….”
Denny: “In my head, you did. In my head, you delivered.”
Izzie: “Well….”
Denny: “Don’t worry. You weren’t very good.”
Izzie: “Okay. You know what? I was being nice. I was letting you win. Because you’re Mr. Sick Needs a New Organ Guy. But just for that comment, I’m going to kick your a%$. Yeah, I’m going to…you put down ‘mount,’ Denny?”

Cristina: “Blond Ambition tour. Blond Ambition tour. Vogue. Oh, are you kidding? Okay, she’s blond, she’s blond! She’s ambitious. With the…she’s ambitious! And with the tour! And the vogueing! And the...honey, okay, look at me! Okay...shut up! Cones! Cones! Blond Ambition, boob cones, and, uh, vogueing, honey, vogueing. Sean Penn! Sean Penn!”
George: “Time! Zero points for Madonna.”
Burke: “Oh! Madonna. Right.”

Cristina: “I’ve gotta get George out of my apartment.”
Meredith: “You know, you could sleep with him and then right in the middle start crying. It’s painful and humiliating and unbelievably cruel, but apparently it works.”

Andrew: “Dr. Bailey, are you crying?”
Bailey: “Ooh, I got something in my eye.”
Derek: “You’re doing great, Andrew. We’re almost done.”
Bailey: “Stop looking at me like that. It’s my hormones.”
Derek: “Mm-hmm.”
Bailey: “I’m still a surgeon. I’m just a surgeon with an excess of estrogen. Deal with it. Andrew, can you spell ‘estrogen’?”
Andrew: “E-S-T-R-O-G-E-N.”
Derek: “Here’s a word for you: ‘delusional.’”


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