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Grey's Anatomy: Winning a Battle, Losing the War

On the day of a bike race, injured individuals flood into the hospital, including a pedestrian who is left brain dead. Seeing that he has no chance of ever waking up, Cristina and Izzie wish to use his organs for organ donation, but find that the process is an emotional one. George gets assigned to Mack, a good friend of Chief Webber, and constantly flirts with George. Meanwhile, Meredith continues to try to distance herself from Derek and is forced to deal with Alex's big ego, but through the day, Meredith begins to realize the key to winning the battle.

Episode Info
Episode number: 1x3
Production Number: 103
Airdate: Sunday April 10th, 2005

Director: Tony Goldwyn
Writer: Shonda Rhimes

Alternate Airdates:

AU (Seven) Aug 22, 2005
DE (Pro7) Mar 28, 2006
FR (TF1) Jul 03, 2006
FI (Nelonen) Sep 20, 2006

Guest Stars
Callum BlueCallum Blue
As Viper (Patient: Bicycle Spokes In Abdomen)
Keith DavidKeith David
As Lloyd Mackie (Patient: Liver Transplant, Friend of Chief Webber)

Co-Guest Stars
Kathleen M. DarcyKathleen M. Darcy
As Anesthesiologist
Kristy MundenKristy Munden
As Trauma Nurse
Steven W. BaileySteven W. Bailey
As Anesthesiologist Jeremy
Claire LautierClaire Lautier
As Shelly (Wife of Organ Donation Patient)
Dinah LeeDinah Lee
As Grungy Chick (Friend of Patient Viper)
Kelsy KemperKelsy Kemper
As Shelley's Daughter (Daughter of Organ Donation Patient)
Rudolph McCollumRudolph McCollum
As Vipor's Male Friend
Zina ZaflowZina Zaflow
As Nurse
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
T.R. KnightT.R. Knight
As Dr. George O'Malley
Sandra OhSandra Oh
As Dr. Cristina Yang
Isaiah WashingtonIsaiah Washington
As Dr. Preston Burke
Katherine HeiglKatherine Heigl
As Dr. Isobel "Izzie" Stevens
Episode Notes
Ratings: 18 million viewers

Trivia: During the episode Izzie strongly pushes for one of the victims to be an organ donor. In real life, Katherine Heigl, who stars as Izzie, is a strong supporter of organ donation due to the death of her older brother who became an organ donor.

ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
The Ditty BopsThere's a GirlOpening Scenes, Camera Pans to Meredith Sleeping
The Ditty BopsWishful ThinkingMeredith Complaining to Cristina While They Walk
Lisa LoebFools Like MeMeredith Gives an Update on Viper Before Leaving
The Reindeer SectionYou Are My JoyWebber Talks to Mackie Before He Goes Under
Stuart ReidHear You BreathingBailey Talking to Cristina About the Organ Donor
Tegan & SaraI Won't Be LeftLloyd Mackie Begins Crying and Takes Webber's Hand

Episode Quotes
Meredith (opening voiceover): We live out our lives on the surgical unit. Seven Days a week, fourteen hours a day, we're together more than we are apart. After a while, the ways of residency becomes the ways of life. Number one : Always keep score. Number two: do whatever you can to outsmart the other guy. Number three: Don't make friends with the enemy. Oh, yeah, Number four: Everything, everything is a competition. Whoever said winning wasn't everything ... Never held a scalpel.

Meredith: You're just pissed that two women got the harvest.
Alex: I'm just pissed that anyone except me got the harvest. Boobs in no way factor into this. Unless you want to show me yours.
Meredith: I'm going to become a lesbian.
Cristina: Me too.

Alex: What are you doing?
George: Hiding.
Alex: From what?
George: One of the first class patients. He likes me.
Alex: Oh, good.
George: No, I mean he likes me likes me.
Alex: Right, go for it man, I'm down with the rainbow.
George: I'm not gay!

Izzie: You did good George.
George: I'm going to have to dodge Burke for the rest of my career. He could kill me and make it look like an accident.

Mack: Richard...you're a good friend.
Richard: Shut up and count backwards would you Mack?

Meredith: (Voiceover) Whoever said winning wasn't everything...never held a scalpel.

Meredith: We are sooo going to hell. Burke's sending us straight to hell.
Cristina: On an express train.

Cristina: It's like candy, but with blood, which is SO much better.

Cristina: (to Meredith about Izzie) She's the Vice President of Fantasyland.

Dr. Bailey: Fools on bikes killing themselves. Natural selection is what it is.

Meredith: (to Alex) How do you manage to make everything dirty?

Mackie: Liver cancer will kill me, smoking will just speed up the process.

Cristina: How much would you kill to be in on a transplant surgery?
George: You underestimate me. I'm not a baby - I'm your collegue. You don't have to manipulate me, if you want something, all you have to do is ask.

Meredith: They're everywhere. All the time. Izzie's all quirky, George has this thing where he's helpful and considerate. They share food, they say things, and they move things, and they breathe. Ugh. They're like happy.
Cristina: Kick them out.
Meredith: I can't kick them out. They just moved in. I asked them to move in.
Cristina: So what, you're just going to repress everything in some deep, dark and twisted place until one day you snap and kill them?
Meredith: Yep
Cristina: This is why we are friends.

Preston: I am a surgeon, I save lives. This guy is already dead. Now, this is the men's room. Either whip one out or close the door.

Meredith (closing voiceover): There's another way to survive this competition, a way no one ever seems to tell you about, when you have to learn through yourself. No. 5, it's not about the race at all, there are no winners or losers. Victories are counted by the number of lives saved.

Episode Goofs

Viper has bandages around his head when he signs the AMA but they're gone when he stands up to kiss Meredith.

Factual Error:

The handle on the door of the bathroom Dr. Burke is in is on the wrong side of the door. It wouldn't be able to open that way from the inside.


When Cristina is talking to the wife and daughter of the man donating his organs, the wife cries and puts her arm around her daughter. A second later in the next shot the daughter is hugging her mother.

Cultural References
Episode Title: Winning a Battle, Losing the War

"Winning a Battle, Losing the War" is the title of a song originally sung by Kings of Convenience.

Episode References
Season 1, Episode 2: George and Izzie have moved in with Meredith after she put up a poster in the hospital advertising for room mates in 1x02 "The First Cut Is the Deepest".

Other Episode Crew

CreatorShonda Rhimes
Co-ProducerTammy Ann Casper  |  Ann Kindberg
EditorVictor Du Bois  |  Susan Vaill
CastingLinda Lowy
Unit Production ManagerAnn Kindberg
Second Assistant DirectorJim Goldthwait
MusicDanny Lux
Costume DesignerLinda Bass
Director of PhotographyTim Suhrstedt
Story EditorZoanne Clack
Department Head Make-upNorman Leavitt (1)
Theme Song Written And Performed ByPsapp
Missing Information
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