Meredith, Owen and Edwards are about to perform surgery. All three of them comment on how long they have been awake and how exhausted they are. They hit a bit of a snag but are able to recover. Webber comes in. He’s wide awake and ready to assist. The patient has a shredded liver and his kidney is in damage.
Owen and Meredith argue about a course of action while Webber continues to chat. He wants to turn this into a teaching exercise but Owen and Meredith are treating the patient like a sack of organs on the table. He’s frustrated with them so he wants to know more about the patient. All that they know is that he was involved in a car accident. They don’t even know if he was the reckless driver or not. Webber decides to create a back story for the patient and Edwards plays along. They name the patient Gail (Monique Cash).
He wants more information about her so that she’s real. Webber and Edwards add more characteristics. She plays the cello. She has three kids, but no dog. She dreams of being first chair in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The patient is still bleeding from the liver and it is getting critical. Webber suggests the transplant list but Meredith shoots him down. They argue about whose patient it is and he suggests a vote but Meredith is having none of it. She outranks him and tells him as such before laying down the law.
They do what they can to stablize the patient and Webber suggests Owen take a turn creating an identity for the mystery patient. He says that he’s operated on countless John Does and that this is not an issue but he has flashbacks or hallucinations or visions of his time performing surgeries in the middle east. His sister (Cassidy Brown) is part of his vision and they talk about the fact that he feels guilty about what happened to her. He makes the call to take out the patient’s liver and add him to the transplant list. Meredith is livid.
Owen tells her that it was the right call and Meredith says that its not what they decided. Owen says its not what she decided. Webber gives Gail more of a backstory. Edwards starts having visions of her own. It’s her younger self helping her diagnose a rare autoimmune disease. They have to treat him with steriods, which will be risky because Owen cut out his liver already. Younger Edwards implies that she knows all about this because she has it herself. They start the treatment and the patient crashes.
Webber confronts Meredith about being hostile in the OR. A nurse has come in with the name of the patient. It’s Carl. Meredith is done humoring Webber. She refers to the patient as Carl and tries to stop his little Gail game. She also has a vision of her own. It’s her kids. Zola is asking for her father and Meredith has to tell her that he died. She realizes Webber didn’t create Gail. She was his mother.
Turns out his mother died of pancreatic cancer when he was ten years old. As he talks about her, Meredith has an idea. Repair his liver outside of his body and then put it back in. She delegates tasks and then get to work. They do it and close him up. He seems stable but they take him to ICU and go to update the family.
Meredith asks Webber if he’s always had this trick of turning the patients into his mother. He tells her he didn’t always but he had become numb. He told a family that there loved one had died and he felt nothing
I liked the set up of this episode a lot. I really liked that it was not like typical hospital shows with several plots and patients that are hard to keep track of or not fully explained. It was interesting to see a little bit of what makes these characters tic, especially Webber and Meredith who have been around since day one.
Grey’s Anatomy is new Thursdays at 8 p.m.