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Grey's Anatomy: Shock to the System

After weeks of concealing the fact she was pregnant and miscarried, Meredith at last tells Derek and is finally cleared to return to her surgical duties in the wake of the hospital shooting spree; Cristina experiences post-traumatic stress disorder in the midst of an operation; and Bailey refuses to let Alex operate until he agrees to have the bullet in his chest removed.

Source: ABC Publicity

Episode Info
Episode number: 7x2
Airdate: Thursday September 30th, 2010

Director: Tom Verica
Writer: William Harper

Alternate Airdates:

NL (Net 5) Nov 01, 2010
UK (sky LIVING) Jan 12, 2011

Guest Stars
James TupperJames Tupper
As Dr. Andrew Perkins (Trauma Counsellor)
Ashley CrowAshley Crow
As Linda Cotler (Patient: Heart Surgery for Cancer)
Camille ChenCamille Chen
As Kerry Schultz (Patient: Female Player Struck By Lightening)
Chuck HittingerChuck Hittinger
As Mitch (Patient: Struck By Lightening)
Eric James RameyEric James Ramey
As Warren Griffith (Patient: Struck By Lightening)
John WalcuttJohn Walcutt
As Paul Cotler (Husband of Patient Linda Cotler)
Walter PerezWalter Perez
As Russ (Patient: Struck By Lightening and Paralyzed Arm)
Main Cast
Ellen PompeoEllen Pompeo
As Dr. Meredith Grey
Justin ChambersJustin Chambers
As Dr. Alex Karev
Patrick DempseyPatrick Dempsey
As Dr. Derek Shepherd
Chandra WilsonChandra Wilson
As Dr. Miranda Bailey
James Pickens, Jr.James Pickens, Jr.
As Dr. Richard Webber
Sara RamirezSara Ramirez
As Dr. Calliope "Callie" Torres
Kevin McKiddKevin McKidd
As Dr. Owen Hunt
Jessica CapshawJessica Capshaw
As Dr. Arizona Robbins
Sarah DrewSarah Drew
As Dr. April Kepner
Jesse Williams (2)Jesse Williams (2)
As Dr. Jackson Avery
Kim RaverKim Raver
As Dr. Teddy Altman
Chyler LeighChyler Leigh
As Dr. Lexie Grey
Eric DaneEric Dane
As Dr. Mark Sloan
Sandra OhSandra Oh
As Dr. Cristina Yang


In Grey's Anatomy this week, the show dealt with the effects of lightning on a football team playing the game whilst caught out in a thunderstorm. The show opened with newly weds Christina and Owen still in bed, she having a major panic attack at the thought of being in surgery that morning. Owen told her to eat a multigrain bar and just think happy thoughts while at work, but it didn't seem to do any good. After going to work, Christina told a co-worker that Owen was in charge of her now, that she was a bride and needed him to tell her what to do.
Dr. Shepherd had been lodged in the local jail the night before for speeding at one hundred and twenty miles an hour, having missed Christina's and Owen's wedding. He expressed his regrets for missing the wedding and prepared for work. His wife confessed that she had had a miscarriage of their child the week before to him, telling Dr. Shepherd how much she had been afraid of losing her husband at the same time during the hospital shooting. She was finally able to tell him her fears of all the losses she'd suffered and wanted to work on the marriage, but that she wanted him to take much more responsibility for his actions. He protested but eventually complied with her wishes, stating that he loved the thrill of speed, but that he would certainly slow down, just for her. He told his wife how much he loved her and that he felt that their relationship was worth the effort to try to make it work.
Dr Bailey discovered that Dr Trev was still carrying the bullet that had hit him the week before in the shootings and informed him that he would not be able to participate in surgery until he had that bullet removed. He protested quite a bit but complied. He was left to just watch the procedure, much to his chagrin. Later in the show, Dr Bailey commanded him to get on a surgery table where she quickly removed the offending bullet and they both were very relieved. Dr Bailey told him that he was even lucky to be alive since such the bullet could have migrated to vital organs and caused sepsis (infection) and even death.
The football team, a young woman included, was admitted to the hospital as flash burns caused by lightning. There were three team members blinded, all had flash burns, a hip injury and a few with temporary paralysis. Carey, the female member, sustained paralysis because there was pressure caused by excessive blood in her spinal column. That was only discovered because a doctor at the hospital happened to be watching the news depicting the team hit by lightning and she deduced the cause of Carey's paralysis.
Three male team members were very anxiously inquiring after Carey's welfare, confessing that they all three loved her very much. Meanwhile, Carey, bedridden and not able to move her legs or arms, was inquiring after Warren's welfare. She was reassured that he was fine despite some superficial burns. Once she was reassured, she felt better but still quite anxious. The three young men burst into her room and bombarded Carey with concern, all three confessing that they loved her. She felt utterly overwhelmed with all this, but still only concerned with Warren, who assured her he was alright, but when he began to cough up dark red blood and fell to the floor, Carey knew something was very wrong. Warren was whisked up to surgery for a burst bowel. The surgery was a success.
A middle aged female cancer patient who had been undergoing previous needed surgeries was told that her heart would need some surgery this time around. She and her very anxious husband were informed of the risks and possible outcome of the procedure and felt that whatever the doctors felt was right should be done. Soon after the surgery had begun, with Christina attending, someone knocked over a metal table holding needed instruments, making a horrendously loud noise. The ensuing noise send Christina crashing to the floor, shivering in pure and complete terror, bringing back horrible memories of the past hospital shootings. She was suffering a bad attack of PTSD. She did not respond to Doctor Bailey telling her to get up so Dr Grey was called in to encourage Christina. Christina claimed that she could not feel anything in her limbs so Dr Grey lay with her on the floor till she was able to move. Dr Grey escorted her to the break room where they sat talking about Christina's PTSD. Christina confessed that she could not work as a doctor any more and did not feel at home in the hospital now. Owen came to talk to her and Christina, with tears in her eyes, said that she was sorry and handed Owen back her wedding ring which left him extremely confused.
Lexie was still not cleared for surgery which made her feel worthless and confused. Dr Webber was invited by Dr Shepherd to go driving very fast with hm, and Dr Webber said he would think about it.
Carey's operation was a total success and she was able to move her legs just a bit soon after. She confessed her love of Warren to him and mentioned her previous confusion about the team's feelings toward her before. They all reassured her that they cared very much for her and wanted her to continue on the team.
Dr Grey saw Counselor Andrew privately, confessing that she had feelings of attraction for him and they kissed, holding one another. They said that they would like to spend time in the future with each other and left Andrew's office holding hands.
The show closed with Christina and her best friend sitting in her apartment talking over Christina's collapse on the operating room floor. Christina was talking when Owen burst in, telling his wife that he would stick with her through "for better or worse" and that he loved her too much to leave her alone. She asked him to leave, which he did, crying, and Christina and her friend exchanging confused looks.

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Episode Notes
Ratings: 12.53 Million Viewers

Casting: This is Sara Ramirez's 100th episode as Callie Torres.

Trivia: This episode marks the first time Alex Karev is on the table in the O.R. Up until this point he was the only one of the original interns to not have surgery in the O.R.

ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
Alva LeighCalling MeCallie and Mark Discuss How He Feels About Lexie
Greg LaswellInto the MysticPatient Regrets, Meredith and Alex Talk in Gallery
Home VideoBusiness TransactionPatients Reveal Feelings, Bailey Asks for Surgery
The LikeWishing He Was DeadLexie Exits, Meredith and Cristina Watching TV
Mumford & SonsWhite Blank PageMark Grants Lexie's Request, Closing Scenes
School Of Seven BellsThe WaitLexie Looks at Derek, Meredith Goes to Cristina
Tobias FrobergPreciousOpening Scenes, Storm, Meredith Talks to Andrew

Episode Quotes
Meredith (opening voiceover): They say lightning never strikes twice, but that is a myth. It doesn't happen often, lightening usually gets it right the first time. When you're hit with 30,000 amps of electricity you feel it. It can make you forget who you are. It can burn you, blind you, stop your heart. And cause massive internal injuries. But, for something that happens in only a millisecond, it can change your life forever.

Meredith: I lost a baby, I almost lost my husband and my best friend may never recover. So, I don't care what you do. Clear me or don't clear me, I have no control over any of it. I'm giving up.
Perkins: Well... (signs the form, she's cleared) That sounds like a good plan. You're cleared for surgery, Dr. Grey.

Alex: Charles was a good guy. He was funny. Reed, well, she was kinda messed up but she wasn't a bad person. Just... I don't know why. You shouldn't just get to walk away, you know?
Bailey: I don't know why we made it, either. We'll just have to find a way to be grateful. (Bailey takes the bullet out of his chest)
Alex: Son of a bitch.
Bailey: Argeed.

Alex: You paged me?
Bailey: I did. I have a surgery.
Alex: You're actually gonna let me near a patient?
Bailey: You are the patient. Get in there and get on that table. (Alex sighs) I don't need a reminder of that day. I'm gonna carry that day around with me everyday for the rest of my life whether I want to or not. Now, that they've plastered over every bullet hole in this building, I don't need a reminder every time I look at you. And I'm tired of bullying you. I'm asking you, please. Get in there and get your shirt off.
Alex: Yes, ma'am.

Owen: What happened in the OR, we couldn't have seen that.
Cristina: I-I can't. I can't do it. You said I could do it.
Owen: I know. I know. I thought you were ready. You've never not been ready. ... Cristina, I know what you're feeling.
Cristina: I don't feel anything. I can't be in there and if I can't be in there I don't know where I'm supposed to be.
Owen: You're supposed to be here. You're my wife. You can just be here.
Cristina: I'm sorry. (leaves, as she puts her wedding ring in Owen's hand)

Meredith: Hi. You changed?
Derek: I showered twice. Thanks to you.

Meredith (closing voiceover): Lightning doesn't often strike twice. It's a once in a lifetime thing. Even if it feels like the shock is coming over and over again. Eventually the pain will go away, the shock will wear off. And you start to heal yourself. To recover from something you never saw coming. But, sometimes the odds are in your favor. If you're in just the right place at just the right time you can take a hell of a hit. And still have a shot at surviving.

Cultural References
Episode Title: Shock to the System

Shock to the System is the title of a song originally sung by Billy Idol.

Wheel of Fortune: Meredith is watching Wheel of Fortune in the waiting room because she has not yet been cleared for surgery.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: Christina says "$50 says she is back in the Cuckoo's Nest by lunch" in reference to Lexie.

Episode References
Season 6, Episode 24: Meredith finally tells Derek about the miscarriage she had at the end of season 6 in 6x24 "Death and All His Friends".

Season 3, Episode 25: Cardiac patient Linda Cotler mentions that she last saw Cristina when she was working with Burke and that they were about to get married. Christina and Burke were supposed to get married in 3x25 "Didn't We Almost Have It All" but they did not go through with the wedding.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorShonda Rhimes
Executive ProducerBetsy Beers  |  Mark Wilding  |  Rob Corn  |  Tony Phelan  |  Joan Rater  |  Mark Gordon (4)  |  Shonda Rhimes  |  Krista Vernoff
Co-Executive ProducerStacy McKee  |  Zoanne Clack
ProducerLinda Klein  |  Tammy Ann Casper  |  Jeff Rafner
Consulting ProducerDebora Cahn
Production DesignerDonald Lee Harris (1)
EditorJoe Mitacek
Director of PhotographyHerbert Davis
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