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Grey's Anatomy Catch Me up

Tainted Obligation Recap
Episode Recap6:04


Airdate: October 8, 2009

In Derek’s trailer, where Alex is getting ready for the day in the cramped, waterless space. As he opens the door, he faces a huge growling bear standing on its hind legs (how far out of Seattle is this trailer?). At the hospital he sees Izzie, who’s skeptical about his tale. He insists that they move, which would be difficult on their residents’ salaries, and suggests they move back to Meredith’s. Izzie will have nothing of this talk, especially after George’s death and her cancer. Plus, they’re married now and need to make a life for themselves.

The Chief has a meeting with the surgeons. The Mercy West staff will be arriving in three days and everything’s up in the air.

Cristina continues to troll the hospital for surgical opportunities so she can get her hours up. She’s freaking out because she’s been kicked off two services in the past month. As she and Izzie argue over who should have dibs on ER surgeries, Lizzie walks through the door with her and Meredith’s father. His neighbors were concerned that he wasn’t getting his mail. Meredith points out to Lizzie that he’s probably drunk, and he vomits blood on her shoes.

Tainted ObligationMark works on a old man as his children talk about him as if he’s a child. He points out, “I’m not demented, I’m just old.” (He’s also the father from “The Waltons,” and I thought he was old then.) When the younger folks leave, he tells Mark he want a specific penile implant. He’s seeing a new gal at the nursing home and he doesn’t want to disappoint. The surgical procedure might not be good for the patient, considering his age, and he bemoans aging and asks, “Can you give an old man a working Johnson?”

Meredith is telling Derek that her dad’s probably dead because he has liver failure or he needs a transplant, an option she dreads because he’d be in the hospital for months. Alex comes with the news that Meredith guesses, “He needs a transplant, doesn’t he?”

Tainted ObligationAn alcoholic has to sober for at least a year before qualifying for a donor’s liver, and dad is only 90 days sober. Lexie says she’ll get tested to see if she’s a match immediately. As she’s prepping for the test, Mark finds out her plan and is understandably upset. “We’re together, we live together,” he says. “We need to decide these things together. You can’t decide to go under the knife and leave me a note.” “He’s my dad,” she counters.

Izzie has a new patient who’s undergoing cancer treatment. His girlfriend of many years (and none too happy about not wearing a ring) is right by his side. When she leaves the room, the patient confides to Izzie that he’s just waiting for the right time to give her the ring that’s at home.

Mark describes to his elderly patient how the penile implant works when his son interrupts, insisting that he rethink this surgery because of the risks. Plus, is this the way he really wants to spend his savings? The patient says he and his wife saved all their lives for a rainy day, then she died before they spent a cent. “She’d be proud I’m doing something for myself,” he says, which enrages the son. Mark calms them all, saying they’ll start by running some tests.

In the cancer patient’s surgery, Owen finds that the problem is much worse than expected and decides not to proceed with the procedure. Izzie protests that they need to try, but Owen says they need to know when to say when.

Tainted ObligationMeredith is paged and expects hopes to hear that her dad is dead. Instead, she learns that Lexie isn’t a match. She pointedly doesn’t offer to be tested herself and excuses herself. Over lunch in the lab with Izzie, Alex, and Cristina, she says she won’t be tested because she barely knows the guy. Alex and Cristina pressure her to take the test – they both want surgeries, after all. Then Izzie spots something on Alex’s neck… it’s a tick! Everyone freaks out. Alex is not a nature guy, a point he stresses to Cristina later when she removes the tick. She tells him to suck it up for Izzie, because “When you save someone’s life you kind of want it not to suck.”

Mark chats alone with his elderly patient, who tells him a bit about life: One day, when all the milestones are passed, you realize it’s all yesterdays and you have very few tomorrows. He hadn’t made love to a woman since his wife died 20 years earlier, he said, and then they sat Marian down next to him at bingo, and he know: “She’s my tomorrow.”

Lizzie tearfully proposes to Bailey that she lie to the transplant board and say Thatcher has been sober a year so he can get on the transplant list. Yeah, like that would go over well with Bailey; she says “I won’t lie for you, not for anyone.” Lizzie’s next move is to look up Meredith’s file and find her blood type, to see it it matched their father’s. Go ahead, guess. Yep, a match – what a quandary. “He doesn’t deserve a thing from you, but he’s going to die. I’m asking you to give something to me. I’m asking you to give me my dad. As crappy as he was to you, he was wonderful to me.”

Meredith goes to Thatcher’s room and tells him they found a match, a donor liver, and scheduled the surgery for tonight. She tells him she’s an ideal match and she’s doing this. He declines her offer because he says he put himself in this situation. She spends a lot of time thinking as Derek and Cristina look on.

Owen and Izzie break the news to the cancer patient that they’ve run out of options, news that his girlfriend can’t accept, nor can Lizzie. She argues with Owen to try another risky procedure. She points out she had only a 5 percent chance of surviving her surgery, but now she’s living with cancer.

Mark tells his elderly patient’s son and daughter-in-law that the man is good for the surgery. They say fine, but you’re moving back in with us. They don’t want the old guy to have some fun in his twilight years! Mark shoots back that “He given you everthing, and now he needs something and you want to throw that in his face?”

Tainted ObligationChief and Thatcher have a little heart to heart about alcoholism. Chief prods him to accept Meredith’s liver. “I took her childhood, I can’t take anything more from her. You’d better take care of my girls. You owe me at least that.” Remember, Chief has an affair with his wife.

Meredith goes to Thatcher and Lexie: “If you die, it’ll break her, and I’m not going to 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. If you get through this, the door’s open for us to get to know each other.”

Cristina happens upon Mark, Derek and Owen discussing the penile implant surgery, and without knowing what surgery they were talking about, she asks to take over. OK, says Mark, and the guys have a chuckle. She heads to the elderly man’s room, where we see her first task is to shave him for surgery. Ah, the glamorous life of a surgeon.

Meredith’s heading into surgery. She’ll have a month-long recuperation (this is how they’ll work around Ellen Pompeo’s absence to have a baby – all the shots of her this season have been waist-up or from behind). Derek insists on being in the OR with her, which Bailey reluctantly OKs. Before she cuts, Bailey says to an anesthetized Meredith, "I had five interns, four of you have been on this table. One of you had cancer, one of you died. You better not pull anything funny on me, Grey."

Izzie’s cancer patient confides that he’s been waiting for remission to propose. He didn’t want to saddle his girlfriend with a sick husband, but that’s how it may be. He decides he won’t wait any longer, and he’s put under anesthesia.

The penile implant surgery goes well, as does Thatcher’s. The cancer patients, despite many surgeons’ work, dies on the table. Owen leaves the OR in huff as Izzie stands over the body stunned. Later he says the man had a couple months, and they took that away. “You weren’t ready to be there,” Owen tells Izzie. “You were that one in a million, you beat the odds. You can’t be a doctor and a patient in here – you have to choose.” Then he breaks the news to the man’s girlfriend.

Cristina goes to the Chief and asks to be cut – she’s just not using her talent and skills, she argues. “If I can’t learn, if I can’t use my gift, then that scares me more [than losing her job].”

Callie’s planned all episode long to ask the Chief for her job back. She goes to his office while he’s in a contemplative mood. It’s his job to fix the hospital, he says, even if he broke it. If he’s the bad guy, so be it. On hearing his words, she tries to excuse herself from his office, but he tells her to go to HR the next day and get a badge – she’s an attending.

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