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Grey's Anatomy: Tainted Obligation

Thatcher returns to the hospital in need of a new liver, and Meredith is the only one who is a match leaving her to make a tough decision. Meanwhile, Izzie finds common ground with a patient with tumors; and Mark, annoyed with Cristina, has her assist on an unusual surgery.


Episode Info


Episode number: 6x4
Airdate: Thursday October 08th, 2009

Director: Tom Verica
Writer: Jenna Bans

Alternate Airdates:

NL (Net 5) Dec 14, 2009
UK (sky LIVING) Feb 11, 2010

  • Currently 8.6/10
8.6/10 (20 Votes cast)
Guest Stars
Jeff PerryJeff Perry
As Thatcher Grey (Patient: Meredith and Lexie's Father)
Recurring
Payton SilverPayton Silver
As Dr. Knox (Anesthesiologist)
Recurring
Phil AbramsPhil Abrams
As Dr. Jim Nelson (Neurosurgeon)
Recurring
Isabella HofmannIsabella Hofmann
As Irene Waller (Daughter of Patient Irving Waller)
Jocko SimsJocko Sims
As Randy (Patient: Abdominal Sarcoma)
Kristen ArizaKristen Ariza
As Angela (Girlfriend of Patient Randy)
Ralph WaiteRalph Waite
As Irving Waller (Patient: Elderly Man Getting Penile Implant)
Tom AmandesTom Amandes
As Charlie Waller (Son of Patient Irving Waller)
Ursula WhittakerUrsula Whittaker
As Angry Attending #1

Co-Guest Stars
Mark SaulMark Saul
As Intern Steve
Recurring
Main Cast
Ellen Pompeo
As Dr. Meredith Grey
Justin Chambers
As Dr. Alex Karev
Patrick Dempsey
As Dr. Derek Shepherd
Chandra Wilson
As Dr. Miranda Bailey
James Pickens, Jr.
As Dr. Richard Webber
Sara Ramirez
As Dr. Calliope "Callie" Torres
Kevin McKidd
As Dr. Owen Hunt
Jessica Capshaw
As Dr. Arizona Robbins
Chyler Leigh
As Dr. Lexie Grey
Eric Dane
As Dr. Mark Sloan
Sandra Oh
As Dr. Cristina Yang
Katherine Heigl
As Dr. Isobel "Izzie" Stevens
Episode Notes
Ratings: 14.13 Million Viewers

Trivia: After this episode, Alex is the only original intern who has not undergone surgery at Seattle Grace.



Music
ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
BacheloretteLong Time GonePatient's Girlfriend Upset, Izzie Upset with Owen
DragonetteCome On Be GoodHospital, Cristina, Meredith, Alex, Izzie at Lunch
Katie HerzigWish You WellDerek Arrives to Talk to Meredith Before Surgery
Sébastien SchullerMorning MistCristina Finishes Talk with Webber, Closing Scenes
The Voluntary Butler SchemeTrading Things InOpening Scenes, Seattle, Trailer, Alex Sleeping


Episode Quotes
Meredith: (opening voiceover) We begin life with few obligations. We pledge allegiance to the flag. We swear to return our library books. But as we get older we take vows, make promises, get burden by commitments, to do no harm, to tell the truth and nothing but, to love, to cherish till death do us part. So we just keep running up the tap 'til we owe everything to everybody and suddenly...

Izzie: I'm on Hunt's service. Anything that turns surgical down here is mine.
Cristina: You don't need the hours. You just spent the last 6 months in the O.R.
Izzie: Unconscious on a table does not count!

Bailey: (to Meredith during her surgery) I had five interns. Four of you have been on this table. One of you has cancer, one of you died. You better not pull anything funny on me, Grey.

Meredith: (to Thatcher) You're the guy who used to pour my cereal in the morning. That's it. That's all I remember about you. You're not my father. You're just the guy that used to pour my cereal, and if you die, it probably won't change my life that much, but it will change hers. (looks at Lexie) If you die, it will break her, and I'm not gonna let you do that. I don't know what it's like to have a father, but I do know what it's like to have a sister, and it's good. And if we can get through this, then the door will be open for us to get to know each other. The door's open.

Lexie: So I'm gonna be fired. I've done a lot of really dumb things today, including pulling your medical files.
Meredith: Lexie.
Lexie: Just listen. I didn't want to do this. I didn't want to have to come to you for anything. Ever. So I thought if I looked up your blood type, and it was the wrong one, then that would be it. Then I could just stop thinking about it, but I can't, because you have his blood. And I know that he's not your dad. I know that he was never there for you, and I'm... I would never ask you to give him anything. He doesn't deserve a thing from you. He doesn't. But he's gonna die, Meredith, and so I'm asking you to give something to me. I'm asking ... I'm asking you to give me my dad, because as crappy as he was to you, he was wonderful to me. He never missed a single dance recital. He was there at my fifth grade graduation, and what is that? That's not even real. I know he's not your dad. I know that, but somehow, you have his blood, and I don't. So I'm asking you, give me my dad.

Meredith (closing voiceover): The thing about being a surgeon, everybody wants a piece of you. We take one little oath, and suddenly we're drowning in obligations. To our patients, to our colleagues, to medicine itself. So we do what any sane person would do. We run like hell from our promises, hoping they'll be forgotten. But sooner or later, they always catch up. And sometimes you find the obligation you dread the most isn't worth running from at all.



Episode Goofs
Wrong Line:

When Mark is working on the patient Irving Waller, Irving's daughter accidentally calls his son "Tommy". The character, who is played by Tom Amandes, is supposed to be called Charlie.



Cultural References
Episode Title: Tainted Obligation

"Tainted Obligation" is the title of a song by REM.

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: Patient Irving Waller says to Mark Sloan "There has to be more to life than eating pudding and watching CSI."



Episode References
Season 5, Episode 21: Lexie Grey brings her father Thatcher Grey into the ER. Meredith assumes he is drunk, but Lexie says he has been clean since he 'made ammends'. She is referring to 5x21 "No Good At Saying Sorry" when Thatcher showed up at the hospital to apologize to Lexie and Meredith.

Season 6, Episode 3: Arizona tells Callie that she lost her favorite scrub nurse. She is referring to all of the nurses and staff members who were fired in the episode before, 6x03 "I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me".



Other Episode Crew

CreatorShonda Rhimes
Executive ProducerBetsy Beers  |  Allan Heinberg  |  Mark Wilding  |  Rob Corn  |  Mark Gordon (4)  |  Shonda Rhimes  |  Krista Vernoff
Co-Executive ProducerTony Phelan  |  Joan Rater  |  Jenna Bans
Supervising ProducerZoanne Clack  |  Stacy McKee
ProducerJeff Rafner  |  Linda Klein  |  Tammy Ann Casper
Consulting ProducerDebora Cahn
Production DesignerDonald Lee Harris (1)
EditorEdward Ornelas
Director of PhotographyHerbert Davis
 
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Warning: Grey's Anatomy season 6 episode 4 guide may contain spoilers
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