Grey's Anatomy

Season 6 Episode 4

Tainted Obligation

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Oct 08, 2009 on ABC



  • Trivia

    • Bailey (talking to Meredith while asleep for her surgery): I had five interns. Four of you have been on this table. One of you has cancer, one of you died. You better not pull anything funny on me, Grey.

      Of Bailey's five original interns, Alex Karev is the only one NOT to have been 'on this table'. Cristina Yang had an ectopic pregnancy and had her fallopian tube removed in 2x03 'Make Me Lose Control'. Meredith Grey had appendicitis in 3x04 'What I Am', and then she drowned in 3x15-17 'Walk On Water', 'Drowning on Dry Land', and 'Some Kind Of Miracle'. Izzie Stevens was battling with cancer during the fifth season and was admitted in 5x18 'Stand By Me', receiving treatments and surgeries. George O'Malley was hit by a bus after he joined the army and the doctors all tried to save him in 5x24 'Now Or Never', unsuccessfully.

  • Quotes

    • Meredith (closing voiceover): The thing about being a surgeon, everybody wants a piece of you. We take one little oath, and suddenly we're drowning in obligations. To our patients, to our colleagues, to medicine itself. So we do what any sane person would do. We run like hell from our promises, hoping they'll be forgotten. But sooner or later, they always catch up. And sometimes you find the obligation you dread the most isn't worth running from at all.

    • Lexie: Oh, you're awake. How's your pain? Is your mouth dry? There's water if you're thirsty.
      Meredith: Um, have you been sleeping on me all night?
      Lexie: Yes. Moving between you and dad, who's doing good.
      Meredith: Good. Good, that's good. Lexie...
      Lexie: Yeah?
      Meredith: You're on my IV.
      Lexie: Oh, sorry.

    • Callie: Chief. Are you okay?
      Richard: I have responsibilities. To make this hospital the best medical facility it could be. To repair what I have broken, even if it was 20 years ago. If I am now the bad guy, if I am now the villain here. Well, so be it.
      Callie: This must be so hard for you.
      Richard: Thanks, Torres.
      Callie: I was, I was gonna... I was... But, I'm gonna go. So, you take care okay?
      Richard: Torres.
      Callie: Sir?
      Richard: Go see HR tomorrow. Tell them you're an attending at Seattle Grace Hospital and you want a new badge. And, take some of these danish home. They'll just go to waste.

    • Cristina: Sir.
      Richard: Now's not the time, Yang.
      Cristina: I have good hands. They're fast. They're dextrous. They were made to throw ties, and do complex procedures. These hands were made for surgery. Today they should have been deep inside a heart saving a life. Instead, they removed a tick, and pumped a penis.
      Richard: What's your point?
      Cristina: My point? ... You know what, you should cut me.
      Richard: What?
      Cristina: From the program. You have to make more cuts, and I should go. Cause if you can't give me a brilliant cardiothoracic attending whose willing to teach me, then I can't get what I need from this hospital. Everyone is scared of losing their job, and so am I. But, if I can't learn. If I can't use my gift, then I... I guess that scares me more. That's my point, sir.

    • Owen: He had a couple of months, and we just took that away.
      Izzie: I'm sorry, it's my fault.
      Owen: No, it's my fault. It was my call, and it was the wrong call. I was wrong and I should have known better. I should have... I should have taught better. You see one in a million and you want to believe. I was wrong to do the surgery, I was wrong to put you on this case. You weren't ready. You weren't ready to be here. You beat the odds Steven's, you were one in a million. But, you cannot be a doctor and a patient in here. You have to choose.

    • Meredith: Well, you wanted a surgery.
      Cristina: Putting a bicycle pump inside a man's junk is not surgery. (Mer laughs) It's punishment.
      Meredith: Well at least you don't have to be laid up in bed for the next month. You'd better tell me all the gossip about the Mercy West people. I want all the gory details.
      Cristina: Yeah, yeah.
      Meredith: Am I stupid for doing this?
      Cristina: No.
      Meredith: Really?
      Cristina: You get to save your dad's life tonight.
      Derek: Hey.
      Meredith (smiles): Hey. What are you doing here?
      Derek: You didn't think I was gonna let you do this by yourself, did you?
      Bailey (walks up): Ah ah, this is not how this is going to work. (looks at Cristina) Do I need to find you something to do?
      Cristina: No. I have a penis.
      Derek: I'm gonna sit by her head, and I won't say a word.
      Bailey: Shepherd, this is my OR.
      Derek: I respect that Dr. Bailey, but this is my wife that you're cutting into. (Mer smiles)

    • Mark (demonstrating how the penis pump works): So before intercourse he squeezes the pump in his scrotom and... (pumps it up, and the ballon inflates)
      Owen: And his age doesn't make it high risk?
      Mark: Well, at his age, there's always risk involved. But this is the most technologically advanced solution to his problem.
      Cristina (overhearing): What's high risk? Does someone have a risky, high tech surgery?
      Owen: Uh... Cristina I don't think you wanna uh...
      Derek (amused): I think this would be a real challenge for Dr. Yang.
      Mark: Do you think she could handle it?
      Cristina: Oh, I can handle it.
      Derek: I don't think she can handle it.
      Cristina: I can handle it.
      Mark: Pre-ops in 20-83.
      Cristina: Thank you, Dr. Sloan. (walks out)
      Owen: Oh, I'm gonna have a beef with her later, but it was kinda worth it. (they all laugh)

    • Thatcher: Does the Chief always pay such attention to his patients, or just the ones whose wives he had an affair with? Sorry. How'd I do this to myself? How did I end up here?
      Chief: You woke up every morning, and you promised yourself that last night would be your last drink. And you made it, till 9am. Or noon. Some days, till cocktail hour. And you were so pleased with yourself, that you rewarded yourself with a drink. You convinced yourself again, that it would be the only one. You have a disease Thatcher. When you're in it, you can't stop. You can't undo what you did. But, Meredith is offering you a second chance man. You need that liver. You need it now. If you want to live.
      Thatcher: I took her childhood. I can't take anymore from her. You... you'd better take care of my girls. You owe me at least that.

    • Alex (as Cristina is removing the tick from his neck): How would you like it? This crawling all over you. Stupid squirrels having a party all night on your roof. I mean, what the hell are they doing up there anyway?
      Cristina: Applying betadine to the area.
      Alex: I don't know how to deal with this. I mean, I don't camp. My parents were lounge lizards. I was raised in a bar.
      Cristina: Extracting the arachnid.
      Alex: And there's no plumbing. I mean, the, the, the toilet. It empties into a bucket, underneath the trailer. A crap bucket! And Izzie's all... marriage is an adventure. Just the two of us, exploring the wild. I married freaking Lewis and Clark.
      Cristina: I guess I'm done.
      Alex: That's it. I mean, I'm tellin' her. We're moving back to Meredith's. I'm done.
      Cristina: You can't do that.
      Alex: Why not?
      Cristina: Because, that's not how it works. I mean, she's just been through hell. She's not okay yet. Just give her one, Alex.
      Alex: Since when did you become a marriage counselor?
      Cristina: I guess when you save someone's life you kinda want it not to suck.

    • Arizona: You know, I hate it when people who don't live here say that Seattle weather sucks. Those people suck.
      Callie: Ooh! I wanted to show you something. I made a list.
      Arizona: Hmmm? You made a list?
      Callie: Yeah, to read to the Chief. 50 reasons why he should hire me as an attending. Okay. Number one, I built a man's bones out of titanium rods. Two, what I lack in experience, I make up for in raw talent. Three, I can go 7 hours in the OR without even taking a pee break. Four... what are you doing?
      Arizona: I'm going back to the hospital.
      Callie: Uh, this is important.
      Arizona: I lost my favorite scrub nurse yesterday. Anne. She's a single mother, she's supporting 3 kids, and now she's out of a job. And this morning, a 10 month old hemorrhaged while I was deep in her chest, and I didn't have my favorite scrub nurse. I had to actually look up and ask for a mesh wrap, because the new nurse didn't know me. Anne knew all my moves before I even made them. And it felt terrible to be in the OR without her. I was really looking forward to spending 30 minutes in the park with my girlfriend, cause this merger thing, is important to all of us.
      Callie: Sorry, I've been just... Sorry.
      Arizona: He'll say yes, or he'll say no. And then we'll know.
      Callie: Okay.

    • Izzie: Why are we eating lunch in a room full of diseased organs?
      Meredith: We are hiding from Lexie and her big, sad, I love my daddy eyes. Because, I can't take it anymore.
      Cristina: Oh, is little Grey not a match? (Mer shakes her head) Oh, damn. There goes my transplant.
      Alex: Nice try. It was my transplant.
      Izzie: Are you gonna get tested Mer?
      Meredith: No. I barely know the guy.
      Cristina: You might as well just get tested.
      Alex: You could regret it if you don't do it.
      Cristina: He may be a drunk deadbeat, but he gave you the ultimate gift.
      Alex: Yeah, the gift of life.
      Izzie (laughs): You guys are sick. You really are, you're sick. Don't listen to them, Mer. They just want a surgery.
      Cristina: Mama needs to cut.

    • Meredith: Is he dead?
      Lexie: No.
      Meredith: Oh.
      Bailey: We rushed Dr Grey's labs. She wasn't a match.
      Meredith: Oh, okay. What about Holly?
      Lexie: Ah, you... Molly. Our sister?
      Meredith: Yeah.
      Lexie: She lives at an army base with her husband in Bahrain. Plus, she has a history of DBT so she can't be a donor.
      Meredith: Oh.
      Chief: Meredith, we didn't call you here to... We thought you should know before we go in and tell him. Just incase.
      Meredith: Right. Right, no. Thank you for keeping me in the loop. Thank you. I have to um, go prep for my surgery now. Okay.

    • Meredith: Biology, it's crap. Utter crap. DNA, RNA. It doesn't make someone your family.
      Cristina: It does actually.
      Meredith: He needs a liver transplant. Lexie volunteered like she just got asked for a dollar bill. I left the room. He's not my father.
      Cristina: Wait, your dad needs a transplant?
      Meredith (her pager goes off): Ooh! Maybe not, maybe he's dead this time.

    • Cristina: Hey, watchya lookin for?
      Dr. Nelson: Excuse me?
      Cristina: Oh, I could help but notice you have no resident on your de-compressive laminectomy. Well, today's your lucky day. Cause I'm available.
      Dr. Nelson: Yang, right? I heard you were hardcore into cardio.
      Cristina (flirting): I can be hardcore into anything you want. (Dr. Nelson walks off)
      Owen: Are you whoring yourself out for surgeries?
      Cristina: Oh shut up. You forced me into it!

    • Callie: Okay, one more time. You'll the Chief real cranky, and in a bad mood. And, I'll be Callie asking for her job back.
      Arizona: You are Callie.
      Callie: Right, so it works.
      Arizona: You said that yesterday. And the day before that. And the day before, the day before that. So, are you gonna do this.
      Callie: Hey, it is not easy to ask for your job back after you told your boss to go screw himself over this entire hospital. It's humiliating.
      Arizona: So, you're not gonna do it?
      Callie: What... what is the point? He already fired me once. He's not gonna hire me back now just because of the merger. Whatever. Maybe being a surgeons overrated. I could be doing lots of things. I could open a daycare. Babies are cute. Ew, that one just spit.
      Arizona: Calliope Torres, I don't want you to have to move to Cleveland to be a surgeon.
      Callie: Okay. I'm gonna do it. Later? I... I will come back later.
      Arizona: (talks to the baby) My girlfriends moving to Cleveland. Yep. Yep.

    • Bailey: You've got end stage cirrhosis, and the only thing that can save your life is a transplant.
      Lexie: How did it happen this fast?
      Alex: He bathed it in Gin.
      Lexie: Alex.
      Thatcher: Your friend's right. Except for the Gin. I was a scotch man. What's... what's the next step here? Can I get on a list?
      Richard: Um, Thatcher, the transplant board has a rule here. An alcoholic has to be sober at least a year before he qualifies for a donor liver.
      Thatcher: I'm only 90 days.
      Lexie: I'll do it. I'll do it today. I'll go get tested right now.
      Thatcher: Lexie.
      Lexie: No, they just take a piece. My liver will regenerate.
      Thatcher: I can't ask you to do something like that. It's major surgery.
      Lexie: You're not asking. You're my dad. You want a kidney? I'll throw in one of those too.

    • Meredith: My dad's dead. At first I thought he was drunk, then he started puking blood. And, puking blood and disorientation usually means...
      Derek: End stage liver failure.
      Meredith: Which means he's probably dead by now. Or he needs a transplant, and I hope he's not a candidate. Because that means he'd be in the hospital for months.
      Alex: Uh, Mer.
      Meredith: He needs a transplant doesn't he?
      Alex: Yeah.

    • Cristina (after he gives Izzie a surgery): You know I need a surgery.
      Owen: You know I don't play favorites. People have been afraid to work with Stevens. Like she's gonna break or something. It's not right. She's a good surgeon, and she has a way with patients. And, a light touch.
      Cristina: You want nice? I can be nice to a dying husk.
      Owen: Yeah, not a light touch.

    • Cristina: Did I tell you how great your hair looks. It's all short and um, edgy.
      Izzie: Wow, you are really tweaking out. How long's it been since you've cut?
      Cristina: Over a week.
      Izzie: Ooh.

    • Lexie: Meredith, his neighbor said that he wasn't getting his mail.
      Meredith: Ugh.
      Thatcher: I heard that you got married on a sticker. That's great.
      Cristina: We should go so you can have family time.
      Lexie: No, I don't . I don't know what's wrong with him.
      Meredith: Did you pick him up off the floor of a bar Lexie? That might be a clue.
      Thatcher: Uh, I'm not. I haven't been drinking I just... (throws up blood)
      Cristina (to Izzie): Now that could be surgical.

    • Cristina: Anything?
      Meredith: Nope. There was a papillary muscle rupture in the CCU but the guy died before they could get him into the OR.
      Cristina: Crap! I need surgeries and I need them now. I've already had 100 hours in the OR this month, and you know they keep the residents with the most hours. (opens the curtain) What have you got?
      Steve: Um, diabetic ulcer.
      Cristina: Down to the bone?
      Steve: No.
      Cristina (closes the curtain): I'm done, finished, expired meat.
      Meredith: You're freaking out a little bit.
      Cristina: Well, you haven't been kicked off 2 services in one month. I couldn't get into an OR if I was bleeding half to death. You got anything good?
      Meredith: I'm scrubbing in on an optic glioma later on with Derek. I've never seen one.

    • Richard: I know it hasn't exactly been easy around here the past few weeks, and I know you want answers. But, I'm afraid I don't know them. Not just yet.
      Derek (whispering to Mark): He brought us down here to make himself feel better.
      Mark: At least he sprung for good danish.
      Derek: Do you know how many nurses got fired for that danish?
      Richard: The Mercy West staff will be arriving in three days, and when they do there will be more cut backs, and more layoffs. And, I need each and every one of you to step up and be leaders. And, when I can answer your questions I will. (everyone starts asking questions) If you'd like to make an appointment to talk about your concerns we can do that.
      Mark: What about my burns center?
      Derek (eating a danish): You were right, excellent danish.

    • Izzie: Are you sure it was a bear and not a deer? There's a lot of deer in those woods. Bucks can get pretty big.
      Alex: I think I know the difference between a bear and a deer. You know... You know how I got the the car? I had to throw a raw steak and run for my life!
      Izzie: That was a 10 ounce fillet, I've been marinating it for 3 days.
      Alex: We have to move!
      Izzie: Where? We barely make 30 grand a year, and who knows if we're even gonna have a job after the merger.
      Alex: We could move back to Meredith's.
      Izzie: You did not just say that!
      Alex: Why not?
      Izzie: Because, we're married now. This is how it's supposed to be. You and me, out in the world, making a life for ourselves. Besides, don't you just enjoy waking up to the fresh air and the sounds of birds chirping.
      Alex: You know what I enjoy? I enjoy plumbing! I enjoy plumbing so much!
      Izzie: It's not that I don't love it at Mer's. I do. It's just, I just, I can't move backwards, Alex. Not after everything that's... I just need to keep moving forward.

    • Meredith: (opening voiceover) We begin life with few obligations. We pledge allegiance to the flag. We swear to return our library books. But as we get older we take vows, make promises, get burden by commitments, to do no harm, to tell the truth and nothing but, to love, to cherish till death do us part. So we just keep running up the tap 'til we owe everything to everybody and suddenly...

    • Lexie: (about her father) He's still sleeping.
      Bailey: Good. He needs his rest.
      Lexie: Dr. Bailey, I, um, I was wondering if, if you could lie, if you could lie to the transplant board and tell them that he's been sober for a year. They trust you. They'll listen to you, and, and maybe then, he could get on a list--
      Bailey: Dr. Grey, I have fifteen other patients all waiting for liver transplants. Fifteen people in untenable situations, none of whom drank themselves to it. So no, I will not lie. Not for you, not for anyone. Do you have any other questions I can answer?

    • Meredith: (about her father not accepting a liver transplant from her): I'm off the hook. I did what I was supposed to do. I offered. Mother Teresa would be proud.
      Alex: You've got to go back in there.
      Meredith: And do what? Cry and call him Daddy?
      Alex: He's the sick one, okay? He's sick, and you're not. You've got to go back in there. Just say what you've got to say, and make him take it.
      Meredith: Alex, I tried!
      Alex: Try again.

    • Meredith: We found a match.
      Thatcher: What?
      Meredith: We found a match, a donor liver, so we're gonna schedule the surgery for tonight.
      Thatcher: That's terrific. But I thought I wasn't eligible for the... the transplant list.
      Meredith: It's not from the list. It's me. I got tested, and my cross match was negative, which means we're an ideal match, so I'm gonna go get admitted, and we'll do this.
      Thatcher: Mer ... I'm a drunk, Meredith. I did this. I put myself in this bed. I broke me. I can't... I won't let you put me back together. I've put you through enough. It's a generous offer, but I can't... I can't accept it.

    • Lexie: So I'm gonna be fired. I've done a lot of really dumb things today, including pulling your medical files.
      Meredith: Lexie--
      Lexie: Just listen. I didn't want to do this. I didn't want to have to come to you for anything. Ever. So I thought if I looked up your blood type, and it was the wrong one, then that would be it. Then I could just stop thinking about it, but I can't, because you have his blood. And I know that he's not your dad. I know that he was never there for you, and I'm... I would never ask you to give him anything. He doesn't deserve a thing from you. He doesn't. But he's... he's gonna die, Meredith, and so I'm asking you to give something to me. I'm asking... I'm asking you to give me my dad, because as crappy as he was to you, he was wonderful to me. He never missed a single dance recital. He was there at my fifth grade graduation, and what is that? That's not even real. I know he's not your dad. I know that, but somehow, you have his blood, and I don't. So I'm asking you, give me my dad.

    • Meredith (to Thatcher about donating part of her liver to him): You're the guy who used to pour my cereal in the morning. That's it. That's all I remember about you. You're not my father. You're just the guy that used to pour my cereal, and if you die, it probably won't change my life that much, but it will change hers. (looks at Lexie) If you die, it will break her, and I'm not gonna 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, and it's good. And if we can get through this, then the door will be open for us to get to know each other. The door's open.

    • (The Wallers discuss a penile implant)
      Charlie Waller: They cut you open, dad, you could bleed or– You wanna die, huh? Over an erection?
      Irving Waller: Wars have been fought over an erection, son.
      Irene Waller: I-Irving, I'm sure that a-a… thing like this isn't covered by Medicare. And I know you don't want to use your savings, 'cause you're gonna want to help Janey pay for college.
      Irving Waller: Sweetheart, I love Janey, but let's stop pretending she's going to college. She's pretty, but she's not too sharp.
      Charlie Waller: Dad!

    • Bailey (talking to Meredith while asleep for her surgery): I had five interns. Four of you have been on this table. One of you has cancer, one of you died. You better not pull anything funny on me, Grey.

    • Mark: Look at you coming in on your day off. Trying to get into the OR?
      Lexie: Yeah, I'm gonna give my dad a piece of my liver. He has end stage liver disease. He needs my liver, so I'm giving him some. Go ahead Steve.
      Mark: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Wait a minute.
      Lexie: What is your problem?
      Mark: Well, my problem is you don't just jump into something like this without thinking about it. Take a couple of days. We'll talk.
      Lexie: What is there to talk about?
      Mark: It's major, life threatening surgery.
      Lexie: My dad needs a transplant, Mark.
      Mark: I get that, but what you need to understand--
      Lexie: No, I don't think you get it at all.
      Mark: You know what I don't get? We're together. We live together. We need to decide these things together. You can't just go under a knife and leave me a note.
      Lexie: No, I- I would have paged you.
      Mark: I'm your boyfriend, Grey.
      Lexie: He's my dad!

    • Izzie: What are you doing?
      Cristina: Just making sure everything's running smoothly here. And... it is. Kudos.
      Izzie: Oh, no, no, no, no. Uh uh! Oh, no! I'm on Hunt's service. Anything that turns surgical down here is mine.
      Cristina: You don't need the hours. You just spent the last 6 months in the O.R.
      Izzie: Unconscious on a table does not count!

  • Notes

    • International Episode Titles:
      Czech Republic: Pošramocená povinnost (Bruised Obligation)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Latin America: November 23, 2009 on Sony Entertainment Television (a.k.a. Canal Sony)
      Finland: November 25, 2009 on Nelonen
      The Netherlands: December 14, 2009 on Net5
      Australia: February 9, 2010 on Channel 7
      Germany: April 14, 2010 on ProSieben
      Norway: August 24, 2010 on TV2
      Czech Republic: July 11, 2011 on Prima LOVE

    • Music Featured In This Episode:
      1. Trading Things In by The Voluntary Butler Scheme
      2. Come On Be Good by Dragonette
      3. Long Time Gone by Bachelorette
      4. Wish You Well by Katie Herzig
      5. Morning Mist by Sebastien Schuller

  • Allusions