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Grey's Anatomy: Free Falling

The fifth-year residents return for the first day of a year that will make or break their careers: Meredith faces the consequences of tampering with Derek's clinical trial and is terminated at the hospital; April tries to step up to the plate as Chief Resident in the wake of a giant sinkhole in the middle of Seattle; and Cristina and Owen are still at odds over their drastically different feelings for their unborn child.

Source: ABC

Episode Info

Episode number: 8x1
Airdate: Thursday September 22nd, 2011

Director: Rob Corn
Writer: Tony Phelan, Joan Rater

Alternate Airdates:

NL (Net 5) Oct 03, 2011
UK (sky LIVING) Nov 09, 2011
SE (Kanal 5) Mar 07, 2012


Guest Stars
Amy Price-FrancisAmy Price-Francis
As Susannah Wilson (Patient: Fell In Sinkhole, Wife of Danny)
MacKenzie AstinMacKenzie Astin
As Danny Wilson (Patient: Fell In Sinkhole, Husband of Susannah)
Robin WeigertRobin Weigert
As Karen Lawrence (Patient: Injured In Sinkhole)

Co-Guest Stars
Bruce BeattyBruce Beatty
As Jerry Hoffman (Patient: Injured In Sinkhole)
Denice J. SealyDenice J. Sealy
As E.R. Nurse
Jae JungJae Jung
As Tara (Day Care Worker)
Janora McDuffieJanora McDuffie
As Social Worker Janet
John CapponJohn Cappon
As ND Paramedic
Jon SchmidtJon Schmidt
As Intern Logan
Kate MinesKate Mines
As Nurse Gloria
Cantrell HarrisCantrell Harris
As Rescue Worker
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


The episode begins in the living room of some random couple who are arguing. Meanwhile, Cristina is staying with Meredith when her baby wakes up crying. Owen is helping Derek build his house. Lexie can't have sex with Avery while Meredith's baby from a broken home is in the other room crying, but Avery thinks he can convince her otherwise. Alex and the chief are sleeping in hospital beds, and Alex mocks the chief for snoring. Arizona and Callie show up at the hospital with their super-cute baby. Teddy is super annoying with her baby talk and Arizona explains Teddy's getting laid, so she's really happy. Teddy confirms the sex with Henry is Earth-shattering. At the hospital, everyone is running off to a breakfast. ..

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Episode Notes
Ratings: 10.38 Million Viewers

Trivia: Mark talks about making a patient look like Frankenstein. Frankenstein is actually the name of the Dr. who created the monster Mark is referring to.

ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
A.M.BoundariesMeredith Talking to Webber, Consequences Revealed
Benjamin Francis LeftwichBox of StonesSocial Worker Confronts Meredith, Closing Scenes
Delay TreesGoldMeredith Leaves Daycare, Arizona and Alex in O.R.
Eric HutchinsonWatching You Watch HimOpening Scenes, Seattle, Man Eating, Talks to Wife

Episode Quotes
Meredith (opening voiceover): Even good marriages fail. One minute you're standing on solid ground, the next minute, you're not. And there's always two versions, yours and theirs. Both versions start the same way though; both start with two people falling in love. You think yours is the one that's gonna make it. So it always comes as a shock. The moment you realize it's over. One minute you're standing on solid ground, the next minute, you're not.

April (walks up): Dr. Bailey, how'd you do it?
Bailey: I put down the English muffin first, then the bacon, then the egg.
April: I--
Bailey (holds her hand up to stop April): Some people may be suprised by this method thinking that you would put the bacon on top of the eggs and those people would be right, because see what I'm doing? (puts bacon on top of the eggs) Bam! An extra layer of bacon right on top, and then you put on the other half of the muffin. And there you go, that's a breakfast sandwich.
April: No, no, no. I mean, how did you get people to listen to you as chief resident?
Bailey: Dr. Kepner, I'm eating, leave me alone with my food. Figure it out on your own.

Teddy: Hey, you guys going to that breakfast thing?
Arizona: Uh, yeah after we drop her off at day care.
Teddy: Oh my, God. Look at her she is so beautiful. (in baby voice to Sofia) Hey, hey. You are beautiful. And you got the best mommies, did you know that? Yes, you do. Oh, you so do. (Sofia coos) Hello, hello, hello.
Callie: What's wrong with her?
Arizona: She's getting laid, she's unnaturally cheerful. (Lexie walks by with a group of interns)
Callie: Oh, new interns. I hate new interns.
Teddy: Seriously? I love new interns. They're the future, the next generation, filled with hope and promise, innovation.
Arizona: Wow. The sex with Henry must be really good.
Teddy: Earth-shattering. (Arizona covers Sofia's ears) Not even Yang is gonna get me down.

Teddy: Oh, God what is she doing here?
Cristina (looks around): I'm sorry? Wh-?
Teddy: It's what you're thinkin', I mean you thought I'd run away to Germany and you wouldn't have to see me again which was a relief after all the drama we've been through in the last year. I'm right. Tell me I'm right.
Cristina: I--
Teddy: Okay, so here's the deal, I'm here and I'm in a happy place and I'm done with drama so, if you wanna learn, I wanna teach.
Cristina (looking shocked): Great.
Teddy: Yay.

Cristina: You know, there's bound to be piles of head trauma, Derek's gonna have to talk to you.
Meredith: I got fired.
Lexie: What?
Meredith (looking at Alex): The Chief fired me.
Cristina: You son of a bitch. I mean, are you happy now? Because this is all because of you. (starts shoving him) You and your big fat stupid mouth.
Alex: Get off. (Cristina continues to shove him)
Bailey: Kepner, control your people.

Meredith: April, I need you to reassign these cases.
April: Uh Yang, take over Meredith's cases.
Cristina: No.
April: Cristina.
Cristina: I'm with Altman and Meredith should keep her cases.
April: I am your chief resident and you have to do what I say.
Meredith: April, it's fine. I can wait. Just assign them when you have a minute. (April walks off)
Cristina: You're just gonna give up?
Meredith: I was fired.
Cristina: So what are you going to do about it? You have to go talk to the board.
Meredith: The board fired me.

Meredith: Owen. She didn't have the abortion. She wants to but she can't do it because of you. Because she loves you and instead of loving her, you're punishing her. And for what? For being the woman that you fell in love with?
Owen: This isn't any of your business.
Meredith: Okay, do you know what will happen to Cristina if she has a kid that she doesn't want? It will almost kill her. Trying to pretend that she loves a kid as much as she loves surgery will almost kill her, and it'll almost kill your kid. Do you know what it's like to be raised by someone who didn't want you? I do. To know you stood in the way of your mother's career? I do. I was raised by a Cristina. My mother was a Cristina. And as the child she didn't want, I am telling you, don't do this to her, because she's kind and she cares and she won't make it. The guilt of resenting her own kid will eat her alive.

Alex: Wait, Bailey paged you too? Any idea why?
Cristina: Who cares? As long as it gets me away from Altman.
April: She's gonna fire us, isn't she?
Alex: Why would she fire us?
Jackson: There was that patient mix-up in the OR.
Cristina: Oh, you should be fired.
April: Me? You guys didn't update the board.
Alex: That's why she looks so pissed off.

Meredith (closing voiceover): Do you have what it takes? If your marriage is in trouble, can you weather the storm? When the ground gives way and your world collapses, maybe you just need to have faith and trust that you can survive this together. Maybe you just need to hold on tight and no matter what, don't let go.

Cultural References
Episode Title: Free Falling

Free Falling is the title of a song originally sung by Tom Petty.

Episode References
Season 7, Episode 22: Meredith is taking care of Zola with the help of Cristina. Meredith got to take Zola home at the end of 7x22 "Unaccompanied Minor".

Season 1, Episode 1: Lexie says to her new interns "A month ago you were in med school being taught by doctors, and now, you are the doctors". The same thing was said to her on her first day as an intern, and was originally said to Meredith and her group of interns in 1x01 "A Hard Day's Night".

Season 7, Episode 22: Meredith is suspended from work for tampering with the results of the Alzheimer's clinical trial. She was suspended by Dr. Webber in 7x22 "Unaccompanied Minor".

Season 7, Episode 22: Cristina and Owen are arguing over keeping their baby. Cristina found out she was pregnant in 7x22 "Unaccompanied Minor".

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