Meredith and Cristina are eagerly waiting for Cristina’s phone to ring, indicating that she’s been nominated for a Harper Avery award. After several minutes of panic and worrying, she finally gets the call, but tells herself to not make a big deal about it at work. Something that she finds much harder to do once Meredith throws her a surprise party in the hospital lobby.
Bailey’s young boy patient--Braden, who has a failed immune system-- still remains isolated from the outside world, unable to come in contact with anything for fear of infection. After further research, Bailey breaks the news to him that he may have to stay in a bubble for the rest of his life.
When Shane becomes a little too cocky about his contribution to Cristina’s award, Stephanie decides to take him up on the Swap Monkey deal, trading her day with Bailey for a day helping Cristina.
Cristina continues to try and focus on work instead of her award by doing all that she can to help the McNeill family, whose children all seem to suffer from the same heart failure condition. While the girls, Frankie and Ivy, are both doing well, their brother Link takes a turn for the worst. His only hope is an experimental heart that the FDA won’t approve. That is, until Owen informs them that the acting surgeon is a future Harper Avery recipient.
There’s still one problem, though. The flight is fogged in, so they need a new plane and fast. Avery, who ironically just insisted to April that he doesn’t spend too much on lavish things, offers to pay for a $25,000 charter plane to help save the kid’s life.
Upon seeing this, Alex realizes just how much good having money can bring and decides to take Dr. Oliver up on his offer to join his private practice. April is thrilled for him.
As part of their brain-mapping research, Derek and Callie begin working with a machine that can recognize emotions. But when Callie tries to use herself as the control group for an optimum happy patient, it informs her that she’s depressed. The only time her brain registers happiness is when Meredith stops by for a visit with baby Bailey. This makes Callie realize that she wants another child.
Meredith and Leah are gearing up for a groundbreaking kidney transplant between two HIV-positive patients. The donor is the recipient’s best friend, who turned out to be a perfect match. But when he hears of the risks, he decides to back out—worried something will go wrong. Not wanting their friendship to be ruined, Meredith lies and says the friend isn’t a match after all. But guilt quickly catches up to him, and he opts to donate his kidney after all. Unsure of how to back of the lie, Bailey swoops in, calls Meredith incompetent, and offers do the procedure herself. This out-of-character behavior is partially due to frustration for not being able to think of a way to get Braden out of the bubble, and partially because she’s jealous of Cristina’s success.
Now that Bailey’s doing something other than research, Stephanie tells Shane she wants to swap back, so she can be in on the transplant surgery. But Shane is too quick and hurries into the OR before she can stop him.
Alex goes to visit Braden, but discovers that he’s no longer in his bubble. He’s running around the hospital playing tag with one of the McNeill girls, Frankie. After finding him, Alex asks everyone to step away from the boy since pretty much any contact could kill him. Once safely back in the bubble, Alex installs a camera on top of a remote control car, allowing Braden to see what’s going on throughout the hospital.
At the end of the kidney transplant surgery, Bailey suddenly gets struck with an idea of how to help Braden and rushes off to do some research—but not before taking Richard’s advice to get over her jealousy and congratulate Cristina on her nomination.
After Link’s surgery, Arizona sees all three kids asleep next to each other. So when Callie confesses to her that she wants another baby, Arizona reveals she feels exactly the same way.
Elsewhere, Owen and Cristina celebrate her nomination with a bottle of champagne. He tells her that he thinks she’s definitely going to win, to which she confesses that she thinks so too.