"What I Am"
Written by Allan Heinberg; directed by Dan Lerner

As the interns get ready for their days, Meredith voices over that at some point during residency, interns start to figure out who they are as doctors and what kind of surgeons they’re going to be. Their specialties do more than describe their areas of expertise - they also define who the surgeons are as people. Outside the OR, surgeons aren’t sure who they are and they’re usually afraid to find out. Meredith swigs Pepto Bismol as Burke asks Cristina to time his chicken surgery at home (see “Sometimes a Fantasy”). She tells him he’s doing fine and refuses to get him more chickens - he needs to stop second-guessing himself because it’s not like him. She’s sure that Derek will soon clear Burke for surgery. Burke still has his tremor and starts to alert Cristina to that, but then he stops himself. Back in the locker room, George notes that Izzie finally left the house, which is a good sign. He notices that Meredith isn’t feeling well and Alex taunts that George has that effect on women. He knows that George threw Callie out (see “Sometimes a Fantasy”) and says that Callie is better than George because she’s hot. George tracks down and tells her she’s right to bed mad because he should have told her he didn’t want to move in with her. Callie shoots back that she’s sure George told Meredith and Izzie how he felt because he doesn’t have any problem talking to them. As Bailey calls the interns to rounds, George tells Callie he misses her, which makes her smile.

Cristina rushes to catch up with the group and notices that Meredith isn’t feeling well. Meredith thinks that the stress of dating two guys at once is giving her an ulcer. She notes that she just needs to make a choice already. The interns’ first patient is Shawn, who has just had minimally invasive bypass surgery to remove a blockage. He’s ready to go home because he’s eager to get back to the dealership where he sells cars. Bailey wants him to get his oxygen levels up before she lets him go, and once he’s discharged, he has to stay away from alcohol, cigarettes, and fried foods. He promises, and Bailey tells his wife to go ahead and sign the papers that will get him discharged. Elsewhere, Alex joins his usual service with Addison to examine a woman named Rebecca who’s getting closer to giving birth. She refuses to have a C-section no matter what since she and her husband have a natural-birth plan. Addison tells Rebecca that they’ll stick with it as long as they can, but if need be, she’ll be doing a C-section. Rebecca continues to refuse. As the interns continue on their rounds, Derek approaches to ask Meredith if she wants to help him with an aneurysm surgery. Addison approaches next, then spots Mark, who’s chatting with Webber in his office. The interns are all stunned, and Meredith ends up throwing up. Suddenly, George looks towards Shawn’s room and sees him starting to light a cigarette. George yells out for him to stop, but Shawn doesn’t listen. His oxygen sets off an explosion and he catches on fire.

Mark takes charge, barking orders at Bailey, who isn’t happy to have to listen to a guy who was just hired two minutes earlier. Derek fusses over Meredith, who tells him to go do his job because he’s fine. Derek asks Cristina to keep an eye on Meredith, then runs off to meet up with Webber and confront him about hiring Mark. As the entertained interns look on, Addison corners Mark and tells him he can’t stay in Seattle. Derek tells Webber that Mark is a liar and a cheat, but Webber is more concerned with the fact that he’s a really good plastic surgeon and his department will bring in a lot more money than Derek’s. As Mark says that he thought Addison left him for Derek, Derek tells Webber that he left New York because of Mark. “We all make mistakes,” Webber says of Mark’s affair with Addison. Meredith suddenly throws up again and Cristina asks loudly if she’s pregnant. “Oh, this is just perfect,” Addison laments. Derek tries to get to Meredith, but Bailey shoos him away. Shawn’s wife chooses that moment to emerge and ask if she can take her husband home (since apparently no one told her that he just set himself on fire). Cristina examines Meredith, asking who the father is, but Meredith tells her she’s not pregnant. If she were, though, Derek would be the father since Meredith hasn’t slept with Finn yet. Bailey arrives and announces that Meredith isn’t pregnant but needs more tests. Since she’s not expecting, Meredith would like to get some morphine for the pain.

Alex and Addison return to Rebecca, who Alex thinks Addison should tell that she’s going to need a C-section. Addison says that’s not what Rebecca wants, and as doctors they need to balance the risk of complication with what the patient wants. Alex points out that a natural birth isn’t surgical, so Addison shouldn’t keep him on the case. She guesses that he wants in on Shawn’s case; Alex confirms this, noting that he wants to go into plastics. Addison tells him Mark won’t teach him anything since he’s selfish, just like Alex is. Alex replies that Addison and Rebecca are both looking out for themselves, too. She denies this and he tells her that maybe she should be. Fed up, Addison cuts him loose. Derek distractedly examines Burke’s arm and complains about Mark as Burke tries to tell him about his tremor. Derek finally focuses enough to tell Burke that he’s fine and can return to surgery. As Cristina arrives, Derek asks if there are any problems; Cristina blurts out that everything’s perfect and Burke is back to normal. Derek asks after Meredith and Cristina assures him that she’s not pregnant. At the ECB, Izzie meets with Denny’s father, Denny Sr., who tells her that she’s not Denny’s type. He’s talked to Webber about her quitting and was told to come to her for the whole story, which is why he wanted to meet her.

Alex catches up with Mark as Shawn wakes up and wonders if Mark can fix his face. His wife wants to know the same thing, noting that her husband is a salesman, which means his face is important. Mark promises to do everything he can, but Shawn needs a neuro consult before anything can happen. He also needs Alex to get him some coffee. Cristina sits with a now-high Meredith, who worries that if she dies today, she’ll only be remembered as “the slutty intern who dated two doctors” (though Cristina still refuses to call Finn a real doctor). Meredith laments that she’d die as the woman who couldn’t make a decision, but Cristina points out that it won’t matter since she’ll be dead. Bailey and George arrive with some test results and Cristina and George successfully diagnose Meredith with appendicitis. Bailey assigns George to prep Meredith and assist in her appendectomy, which Meredith isn’t sure is a great idea, since the last time he did an appendectomy, things didn’t work out too well (see “A Hard Day’s Night”). George promises that won’t happen again and Bailey asks Meredith if she’s satisfied. “You’re pretty,” Meredith replies, asking George for ice chips as he leaves. George meets up with Callie again and she asks if he wants to grab a late dinner with her at her hotel. He asks how she can afford to stay at that hotel and she replies that she still has some secrets, but if he stops by tonight, he might be let in on a couple.

Bailey finds Mark, wanting to know how Shawn is, but he doesn’t even remember her. He also doesn’t want a resident on the case, but Bailey just wants to check on her patient. Mark replies that he’s not her patient anymore. Cristina runs into Burke and congratulates him on being cleared for surgery, but he says that Derek shouldn’t have cleared him. “You’re back and you’re fine,” she replies. Addison tells Rebecca that they don’t have time to wait and the baby is moving into the danger zone. Rebecca still refuses to have a C-section. Addison tells her that a birth plan is just that, a plan, but Rebecca throws her out. In the hallway, Bailey, who has heard this, notes that Addison isn’t the sort of person to get out when a patient tells her to. She adds that she never would have thought Mark would be Addison’s type. Addison says he’s not and starts complaining about him being at Seattle Grace. She can’t function with him there, so she’s not being professional and people aren’t respecting her. She asks for advice and Bailey suggests that she keep her knees together in Mark’s presence. She adds that Addison needs to remember that no man defines her. Derek sits with Meredith and brags that Finn isn’t anywhere to be seen. That’s Finn’s cue to enter. “Can I just say how much it helps that I am on drugs right now?” Meredith says.

George arrives to prep Meredith for surgery and Meredith mentions that all her boys are there. Derek is amused that Finn didn’t know about Meredith and George’s history. Bailey saves George from humiliation by kicking Finn and Derek out before Meredith blurts the details of their one night together. Derek and Finn both promise Meredith that they’ll be there when she wakes up from surgery. Cristina finds Burke in the morgue, preparing to practice an operation on a corpse. She continues to try to convince him that he’s fine, but offers to stay and watch while he practices. Izzie tells Denny Sr. that Denny’s heart transplant went well and he got better. Denny Sr. notes that she’s avoiding the real subject, which is how she went from being Denny’s doctor to being his fiancée the same day he was supposed to get a new heart. Back at Seattle Grace, Derek tells Shawn that he recommends a night in the ICU before Mark does surgery on his face. Mark disagrees, thinking the risk of infection will increase if they wait. They argue until Shawn’s wife finally speaks up that Shawn was trying to keep his word to Bailey about quitting smoking. He’s a salesman and relies on his face to make money, so she would like for the doctors to just fix him already. Mark asks Derek how he can justify what happened with him and Meredith since Mark and Addison’s affair was supposedly so unforgivable: “You want me to be the bad guy, fine. But I’m not the only bad guy here, Derek. You and me…we’re the same.”

Addison passes Meredith’s room and Meredith calls out for her to come in. Addison looks at her chart and is happy to see that she’s not pregnant. Meredith says she’s trying to choose between two men, then asks how Addison knew Derek was the one. Addison isn’t sure and says that she just knew Derek wouldn’t hurt her, not the way she hurt him. Meredith notes that Derek hurt her when he chose Addison. Addison replies that she should have let him go and been the better person. They both agree that they should have done things differently and Addison adds that she doesn’t hate Meredith. Meredith asks why they’ve never talked like this before. Addison replies that they’re only talking like this now because she knows when the drugs wear off, Meredith won’t remember a word of their conversation. A nurse brings Rebecca’s test results to Alex, who replies that he’s not on the case anymore. However, the results are crucial. Derek sees Addison leaving Meredith’s room asks if they were just talking. “Don’t hurt her again,” Addison tells him. Alex rushes over and tells Addison that Rebecca needs a C-section immediately. She runs off to Rebecca and lays down the law that she’s having a C-section because Addison isn’t about to lose either the baby or the mother. Rebecca finally relents and Alex joins Addison for the operation.

Izzie tells Denny Sr. that she was Denny’s doctor for a long time, but he points out that she quit her job just after he died. He thinks she was expecting Denny to pay off all of her med-school debts. He says he wanted to protect Denny, but Izzie points out that he and Denny’s mother where nowhere to be found when Denny needed them. Denny Sr. is surprised to hear this and asks, “He didn’t tell you the truth?” Burke runs into trouble in his cadaver operation when he can’t hold his hand still long enough to attach a graft. Cristina realizes that he really isn’t ready for surgery and he tells her that she wanted to believe he was fine when he wasn’t. He says his hands are the only thing he has that are of value to both of them, but she denies that. Burke says that his hands are who he is, and Cristina wants Burke, so without his hands, he’s nothing to her. Cristina offers to hold the vessel so Burke can attach the graft. The two of them finish the procedure together and Cristina says, “No one has to know.” Webber tries to explain to Derek why he hired Mark and Derek accepts that he did what he thought was best for the hospital. He then asks Webber why he left Ellis, and Webber admits that if he’d stayed with her, he would have had too much baggage and guilt. Ellis didn’t realize that Webber would have never made her happy the way she deserved to be. He was better for walking away and loved her enough to do so.

As George takes Meredith to surgery, she tells him to keep her covered on the table since enough people in the hospital have seen her naked. She spots Mark and calls him McSteamy, noting that he wasn’t really supposed to know that that’s his nickname. Addison and Alex deliver Rebecca’s baby and Alex leaves the OR, disgusted with the way things turned out. Bailey and George successfully finish up Meredith’s appendectomy as Alex finally brings Mark his coffee, telling him he took so long because he scrubbed in on an emergency C-section. Mark tells him maybe the next time he has a “real surgery” Alex can assist. Derek finds Finn waiting in Meredith’s room and Finn brings up that Meredith mentioned Derek fishes. Apparently Meredith has told Finn a lot about Derek but hasn’t told Derek anything about Finn. Derek realizes that Finn really likes Meredith and tells him he’s a good guy. At the ECB, Denny Sr. tells Izzie that he and Denny’s mother didn’t handle things very well when their son got sick. One day they came home and found a note from Denny telling them he didn’t want them to watch him die. He and his wife thought Denny had died a long time ago. Izzie says that if she’d known, she never would have let Denny get away with that. She adds that she worked her way through med school and doesn’t have any debt. Plus, she was going to be a surgeon, so she didn’t need any money from Denny. Denny Sr. hands over an envelope and tells her it’s for her from Denny.

Callie finds George in the locker room and asks him if he’s ready for dinner, but he tells her he has to go home and see Izzie. “It’s always Izzie or Meredith. It’s never me,” Callie laments. She asks who she is to him, then tells him he doesn’t need to figure it out now. Bailey checks on Shawn just as Mark tells him and his wife that the surgery went well. He warns that Shawn’s face might never be the way it was before, and Shawn’s wife is upset because, as they all know, he’s a salesman. Bailey tells Shawn that he has a great wife and some great friends, so it won’t matter if he looks different because there are more important things than being successful. Derek heads to Meredith’s room after her surgery and finds her there with Finn. She doesn’t remember anything that happened while she was on morphine and is embarrassed about what she’s been told. After Finn heads off to get ice chips, Derek tells Meredith that she deserves to be with someone who makes her happy and who won’t hurt her. “Finn’s the better guy,” he says. “I’m walking away.” At home, Izzie tells George that Denny left a message for his parents the night he died (see “Losing My Religion”), and Denny Sr. gave her the code so she can listen to it.

Mark finds Addison and asks if they can talk, but she tells him again that she doesn’t want him in Seattle. If he decides to stay, she wants it made clear that they’re not anything more than co-workers. She spots Alex and tells him he’s officially off her service, but she thinks he’ll miss him. Izzie listens to the message, in which Denny gushes about Izzie and apologizes for being out of touch with his parents. At home, Cristina finds Burke chopping up chicken, but he tells her it’s for dinner, not practice. Denny says he was trying to make things better. At the ECB, Callie and Mark encounter each other and start flirting. He offers to buy her a drink and she invites him to her hotel room. “Sometimes you have to make big mistake to figure out how to make things right,” Denny says. Finn returns to Meredith’s room and asks when he can come back to visit the next day. “You shouldn’t do that,” she says. He slowly realizes that she’s choosing Derek over him. Meredith tells Finn that he’s a great guy and might even be the better guy, but Derek is the one, even though she wishes he weren’t. Finn predicts that Derek will hurt her again and warns that he won’t be there for her when it happens. Denny continues to talk about mistakes but says they’re the only way to figure out who you are. As he invites his parents to come meet Izzie, telling them things are going to be different from now on, George opens the envelope to see a check made out to Izzie for $8.7 million.

THE TITLE IS A SONG BY…: Edie Brickell

MEMORABLE QUOTES: Burke: “I need more chickens.”
Cristina: “No more chickens. It’s bad enough that Meredith is dating a vet; I’m not dating a chicken surgeon.”

Alex: (re: Callie) “She’s hot…but she’s not for you.”
George: “Why is that?”
Alex: “‘Cause she’s hot.”

Addison: (re: Mark) “When he’s here, I’m just…I’m….”
Bailey: “A woman who gets the hots for man candy and cheats on her husband?”
Addison: “That is rude. And unkind. And completely true.”

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