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The First Cut Is the Deepest

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It's all about lines. The finish line at the end of residency, waiting in line for a chance at the operating table, and then, there's the most important line. The line separating you from the people you work with. It doesn't help to get too familiar. To make friends. You need boundaries between you and the rest of the world. Other people are far too messy. It's all about lines. Drawing lines in the sand, and praying like hell no one crosses them. At some point, you have to make a decision. Boundaries don't keep other people out. They fence you in. Life is messy. That's how we're made. So, you can waste your life, drawing lines, Or, you can live your life crossing them. But there are some lines... that are way too dangerous to cross. But here's what I know. If you're willing to take the chance...the view from the other side is spectacular.

The First Cut Is the Deepest is the second episode of the first season and the 2nd overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

George and Izzie move in with Meredith. Burke works harder to become the next Chief and takes Webber's advice to start going the extra mile for patients. Derek helps a rape victim while Meredith carries around the rapist's penis. Alex Karev becomes one of Bailey's interns and shadows Cristina for the day.

Full SummaryEdit

Meredith enters the locker room and puts up a notice for roommates on the noticeboard. She wants non-smoking non-Bush-supporters with no pets.

Meredith talks to an intern who wants to live in Meredith's house and after saying no, Izzie asks why she put up posters for roommates if she doesn't want roommates but Meredith insists she just doesn't want to have to live with interns. The interns see Bailey and she assigns them their tasks. As Bailey walks away, Meredith quickly asks to assist her in the O.R, sensing a possibility of a surgery, the others ask too. Bailey instead tells them that every intern wants to perform their first surgery but its not their job. Their job is to make their resident happy and Bailey is not happy. She tells them all to do their jobs, takes the mocha latte, and the interns scramble away to do their jobs.

Meredith moves to the elevator, where Dr. Shepherd is waiting. He randomly notes that Seattle has ferry boats. He didn't know that even though he had been living in Seattle for the past 6 weeks. As they step into the elevator he tells her he is annoyed as he has to like it in Seattle. He explains that he has a thing for ferry boats. Meredith tells him that she's not going out with him, he tells her he didn't ask but then asks if she does. She says she won't date him because she isn't sleeping with her boss; also, she's drawing a big line. Derek asks is this line imaginary or does he need to get her a marker. Meredith stares at him for a second, drops her folders and kisses him. They kiss passionately until the elevator doors ding and Meredith quickly crouches to pick up her folders and leave.


Meredith and Derek elevator.

Meredith keeps walking until she reaches a nurse who asks if she is a surgeon. Meredith nods and the nurse informs her that they have a badly beaten up rape victim. Another nurse says the patient is a 21-year-old female found down at the park. Status: post-trauma, she came in with a GCS of 6, BP 80 over 60, head trauma, unequal breath sounds, right pupil is dilated, and she's ready for x-ray. Meredith notices the girl's shoes, which are identical to the ones she wore to work. She looks unfocused but when the nurse calls her, she states that they should call it in to clear CT, let them know she will be coming, to load up the portable monitor, call respiratory for a ventilator, and she will get x-rays while she is down there.

In the O.R., the rape victim is being treated. Derek says she's going to spend a lot of time in recovery and rehab. Burke notes that she tried to fight back but Derek tells him she kicked the guy's ass as the rape kit came back negative. Burke calls her a warrior and Meredith interrupts to tell them her name is Allison. Burke then picks up something thinking he may have found the cause of the rupture. He asks the room if anyone can identify what the bloody piece of flesh is and shocked, Meredith tells him it is the rapist's penis. Burke quickly drops it into the tray.

Burke and Shepherd wash up after the surgery. Burke suggests that the two go out for a drink later so that Derek can tell him why a hot-shot doc left the Big Apple for Seattle. Derek says there was no big story, Webber just gave him an offer he couldn't refuse. Burke is surprised and slightly annoyed at this.

George speaks to Cristina, excited that he is part of the code team as the code team saves lives. He can shock a heart and someone lives to see another day. Cristina calls him Bambi and tells him not to say another word until after the hunter shoots his mother. She tells George that she has a B.A. from Smith, a PhD from Berkeley, and an MD from Stanford and she is stuck delivering lab results and that it will take all day to get through them all. Bailey walks up and advises her that she should get started then. Baffled, Cristina tells her she wasn't complaining but Bailey cuts her short introducing her to Alex Karev, a new interns that was reassigned. She tells her to show him how she likes things done. Cristina remembers that he was the intern who called Meredith a nurse and tells him that she hates him on principle. Alex calls her the pushy overbearing kiss-ass and he hates her too. Suddenly, George's pager beeps.

George runs along a corridor followed by the code team. They enter a patient's room to beeping. A nurse tells them they have a 57-year-old male who is asystolic. She asks George to use the paddles and tells someone else to charge them to 200, please.


Cristina gets hugged.

Izzie talks to an Asian woman in the pit. She tells Ms. Lu she has to sew up her wound and that she will need about six stitches. She then asks if Mrs.Lu is allergic to any medication.

Ms Lu then says something in Cantonese but Izzie asks her if she knows any English. Ms Lu continues to speak in Cantonese. Izzie asks the room if anybody there speaks Chinese but nobody answers.

Meredith knocks at the Chief's office door, Patricia is there and she beckons her in. She tells Meredith the Chief is on her way. Realizing that the box Meredith is holding as the rapist's penis, she asks to see it but then changes her mind and decides not to look. Webber enters and asks Meredith about her mother and Meredith says she is just talking some time off. She holds up the box with the penis saying she was told to bring it is the Chief. He tells her its for the police and then asks Patricia when they are due to arrive but she says they are slow so Meredith had better take it with her as all medical matter and array must stay with the person who collected it, until it's placed in police custody.

Cristina and Alex are giving lab results to a family. Cristina tells the patient that they have a disorder called multinucleate cell angiohistiocytoma, it's not a cancerous sarcoma, it's very rare but minor disease and that they will be discharged that day. The family laugh with relief. One kisses and hugs Cristina. She glares at Alex, who is smiling at her.


Meredith has a conflict.

Meredith places her esky (penis-box) on a desk where George is working. Cristina and Alex walk by and Cristina asks Alex why she has to be the one who gets hugged. He tells her its because he doesn't hug and she's the ovarian sister. George tells them that Meredith is carrying a penis around in a jar. George asks Meredith if she is okay she says yes but explains that the rape victim, Alison, they have the same shoes and she has them in her locker. She normally never wears them, because they're not comfortable, but she did that day. She then stops, saying that it is stupid. George tells her that he knows what she needs but she says no, that it is sick and twisted and they said last time was the last time. George looks away and she asks if he was doing it without her. He insists that she goes and says he will anyway, that Nancy Reagan lied, he can't stop.

George and Meredith are outside the nursery where all the babies are. George's pager beeps and he tells her its a code so he runs off. Meredith watches them and sighs but then looks worried as one baby's face is going blue. She goes in and checks on him with a stethoscope. He looks OK but then a peds intern walks in. She asks Meredith what she is doing and Meredith explains that there were no tests ordered and the baby has a murmur. The intern says she knows but Meredith is shocked and tells her that the baby turned blue. The intern tells Meredith that she is from and isn't authorized to be there. Meredith asks if she is going to do any tests but the peds intern insists that it is a benign systolic ejection murmur and it goes away with age. She tells Meredith to get out so Meredith gets her penis and goes.


The rapist.

Izzie stares across the room at Ms.Lu, depressed and tired. Cristina appears and asks if Izzie has a good case. Izzie says no, just that Ms.Lu won't let her sew her up. Izzie proceeds to tell her she wouldn't have called Cristina but she can't find a translator and wants Cristina to talk to her. Cristina looks to the woman and back to Izzie and says no. Surprised, Izzie asks why and Cristina tells her she grew up in Beverly Hills so the only Chinese she knows is from a Mr. Chou's menu and anyway, she is Korean, she leaves and Ms. Lu sighs.

Webber runs into Burke and Burke asks why he asked Shepherd to come to Grace. Webber tells Burke it was because he was an old student but Burke assumes there ay be another reason and tells Webber that the position of Chief of Surgery is his. Webber tells him it would have been him but now he isn't sure. Not wanting to hear why, Burke storms off.

Cristina complains to Alex that nobody gets sick any more and Alex agrees asking how they would ever get any O.R. time. Cristina picks up her files and keeps ten and hands off the other ten to Alex. They decide to get in, get out. No smiling, no hugging, no letting them cry. The two then run off to the patients in a race to finish first. They tell their patients the latest news and leave quickly as Cristina gets annoyed after being hugged repeatedly.

Meredith interviews some interns and asks their favorite 80s group. After two separate interns give two wrong answers, Meredith groans and gets up to leave. George meanwhile, stands at the end of a bed, looking unhappy and calls the time of death.

Meredith looks at Allison and Derek comes over. Derek tells her she has no family so he will sit here and eventually the rapist will be caught. Meredith leaves and goes to tell Burke about the baby with the murmur in peds. He tells her he can't help without a ped's consult.


Qing Lu and Ahn.

Izzie bandages up a man's hand. He tells her that she's hot but she smiles and says that he is drunk. She finishes up and tells him he can see the nurse outside now. The Chinese woman comes up and starts talking again, distressed. Izzie gets to work, the woman speaks, Izzie looks up at her but doesn't know what to do, so she gets back to the arm wound.

Meredith and Cristina are in the lobby. Meredith tells Cristina that she kissed Derek again. They talk a bit but walk outside the hospital when they hear a car swerve. A man staggers out of his car, his clothes soaked in blood, mainly around his crotch... He collapses. In seconds there are doctors and nurses checking him. Meredith calls security and then pulls the man's bed with other hospital staff. Bailey asks what hey have and when she lifts the blanket she sees that it is the rapist. Bailey orders everyone to take him to the O.R and Meredith to call the chief.

Cristina and Meredith talk quietly to each other in the operating room and Bailey tests them by asking why they are not attempting to reattach the severed penis. Cristina quickly responds telling Bailey that teeth don't slice, they tear, you can only reattach with a clean cut. Cristina then says all they can do is sew him up minus a large part of the family jewels.

Webber comes out of an OR. They begin to talk about the rapist but the conversation soon leads onto why Burke can't be Chief. Webber tells him Burke that he only does only exactly as much as is necessary, he never takes an extra step, he never gives an extra minute. He is comfortable and arrogant, and it doesn't impress him. The chief storms off and Burke sighs. He sees Meredith, she's wheeling a patient around. He walks off.

Izzie finishes with Ms. Lu that she has other patients and she can't understand her so there is no point in staying. Ms. Lu leaves.

It is night, clouds roll in. The interns are in an empty corridor area. Alex and Cristina complain that they had no surgeries. Izzie complains that her hands are numb from suturing and George tells her she should be happy that she at least got to heal people. Izzie sadly continues by saying it was like Mrs.Lu was camping out in the pit. Meredith enters and complains about still having the penis. George asks who else feels like they have no idea what they are doing and everyone, except Alex, raises their hands. They all conclude that they hate being interns. Bailey comes in and looks expectant. They get up and leave. She sits down and starts eating someone's chips.

Meredith sees the parents of the boy she's worried about. The peds intern looks up and sees Meredith talking to the parents. She tells Meredith that she is out of line as Meredith just told the parents that the murmur might not be benign. Meredith suggests an echo but the peds intern goes back to get her resident, Dr. Kay. Kay asks who authorized Meredith to be there but Burke swoops in and lies, saying that he did. Burke takes the Kay aside and asks him if he is messing with Meredith. Burke asks the interns if she is 100% the baby is not sick but she tells him she is not positive, he takes her off the baby's service. The peds intern quietly asks Dr. Kay if Burke is allowed do that but he says yes, Burke is an attending. He tells Mr. and Ms. Johnson he is going to run some tests and give them an answer within the hour. He gives Grey instructions and they walk away, past Izzie.

Izzie sees Ms. Lu. and follows her outside into the pouring rain. Izzie continues to follow her across the street. Near the dumpsters, Ms Lu is talking to a girl, who's clutching a rag to her forehead. Ms Lu sees that Izzie's come over, and the girl shows Izzie her forehead. The girl has a cut and there's dried blood all over her forehead. Izzie comes over to take a closer look. Izzie examines her with a penlight and tells them that the cut is deep and she should take them inside but they refuse. The young girl tells her a machine broke in the factory and that is how she was hurt but she cannot go inside because she has no green card and could go to jail if she is found. Izzie eventually decides that if they wait there then she can help as soon as she gets some supplies.

Meredith walks down a hallway and Burke tells her it is a birth defect and he is booking the operating room for the next day. He tells her she can never pull a stunt like that and if she ever tries again he will make her residency hell on earth.

Izzie patches the girl up and tells her to come back in five days for Izzie to remove the stitches. She gives them her pager number and they walk off but not before Ms.Lu comes back and takes Izzie's hand, still speaking her own language but obviously thanking her.


George, Izzie, Cristina, and Meredith leave the hospital.

Back inside the hospital, Burke asks Bailey if he is too competent. When she says no, he tell her that anything she says in the next thirty seconds is free. She tells him he is cocky, arrogant, bossy and pushy, and he also has a god complex. Burke raises his eyebrows, looking sorry he asked but thoughtful.

In the locker room George complains that he lost five patients on the code team. Cristina tells him 95% of all code patients can't be revived and most of them are seriously dead before you can get there. In another room, Meredith speaks with the peds intern and they bond both realizing they are always terrified all the time. Meredith goes to see Alison and sees that Derek is still there. They soon realize Allison is in trouble and bring her to the O.R for a craniotomy.

Later, Meredith leans against a wall, Derek walks past and turns back to her. He explains he had to leave her skull flap off until the pressure in her brain goes down. Derek tells her that Allison will be fine, if she wakes up. Derek meets with Burke and asks if he wants to get a drink. Burke declines but tells him that Richard promised chief to both of them but that Derek is not the enemy, just the competition.

Meredith signs a paper to say that the penis wasn't out of her sight while Patricia helps her and Richard tries to get the word "penis" out. Meredith, Burke and others gather in the O.R to operate on the baby with the murmur and as a reward for Meredith, he decides to let her hold the clamp. Elsewhere, Derek enters the rapist's room. He whacks the end of the bed with his chart to wake him up and tells him he has good and bad news. Bailey stopped his bleeding but he is giving the penis to the police. He storms out angrily and sarcastically tell the rapist to have a nice life. The rapist realizes he is cuffed to the bed.

Cristina and Alex give more results. Cristina tells a patient that their tumor was benign and they can go home. The patient hugs her husband, who then goes for Cristina. Cristina acts fast and shoves Alex into his way. Alex gets a nice big hug, and Cristina leaves, pleased with herself.

The interns stand up looking at the infants in the hospital nursery. Meredith sighs and tells Izzie and George they can move in. They both scream delightedly, surprised she caved. Cristina tells Meredith that she blame the babies. Toxic.

In her room, Allison's eyelids eyelids flutter. They open and she sees Derek smiling at her. Shortly afterwards, Meredith walks over to the elevator where Derek is waiting.

Meredith turns to smile at Derek telling him she will take the stairs. He smiles and calls after her saying he pities her and her lack of self-control. Meredith runs to catch up with Izzie, George, and Cristina leaving the hospital.


  • Meredith Grey
  • Cristina Yang
  • Izzie Stevens
  • Alex Karev
  • George O'Malley
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Preston Burke
  • Derek Shepherd
  • Qing Lu
  • Ahn
  • Patricia
  • Intern #1
  • Elizabeth Chen
  • Paul Kay
  • Mr. Johnson
  • Ms. Johnson
  • Louis Cardon
  • Patient #1
  • Patient #2
  • Louis's family
  • ER Doc
  • Allison
  • Big Man and His Wife
  • Drunk Man
  • Code Team Leader
  • Vic
  • Patient's Wife
  • Father of Patient #1
  • Trauma Nurse
  • Raj Sen

Main CastEdit




Medical NotesEdit


  • Diagnosis:
    • ​Blunt head trauma
    • Defensive wounds
    • Abdominal rupture
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery
    • Craniotomy

Allison, 25, was brought into the ER after being severely beaten during an attempted sexual assault. She was taken into surgery, where an object was removed from her abdomen. The object was identified as her attacker's penis, which she had bitten off and swallowed. After her surgery, Derek said that her outcome would depend on whether or not she woke up in the following 72 hours. Derek continued to monitor her neuro status during that time. The next day, her ICP increased critically and she had to be taken back into surgery. Derek performed a craniotomy and had to leave part of her skull open until the pressure went down. She was seen waking up.

Code PatientsEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Various
  • Treatment:
    • Attempted resuscitation

George ran the code team for the day. He lost five patients.

Louis CardonEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Multinucleate cell angiohistiocytoma
  • Treatment:

Cristina and Alex delivered lab results to Louis and told him he was fine and he'd be released that day.

Qing LuEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Laceration
  • Treatment:
    • Stitches

Qing Lu came into the ER with a laceration. Izzie Stevens stitched up the cut, using six stitches.

Johnson BabyEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Tetralogy of fallot with pulmonary atresia
  • Treatment:
    • Transventricular repair with a right ventriculotomy

While looking at the newborns in the nursery, Meredith witnessed a baby turning blue. She went to check the baby's chart, but saw that there were no tests ordered. After a confrontation with an OB/GYN intern, she went to Burke about it, but he said that unless peds called for a consult, there was nothing he could do. Meredith went back to the nursery and spoke to the baby's parents about the tet spell. When the intern noticed and got her resident, Burke backed up Meredith and told the parents he'd be running some tests. Scans revealed a birth defect and Burke told Meredith to book an OR. Burke allowed Meredith to scrub in and hold a clamp.

Drunk ManEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Laceration
  • Treatment:
    • Stitches

Izzie stitched up the arm of a man who was drunk.


  • Diagnosis:
    • Amputated penis
    • Severe loss of blood
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Vic's penis was torn off by Allison while he was attempting to rape her. Since teeth tear, rather than slicing, and the penis was partially digested, they were unable to reattach his penis.


  • Diagnosis:
    • Forehead laceration
  • Treatment:
    • Stitches

Ahn was injured when a machine in the factory where she was working broke and fell on her. Izzie stitched up a cut on Ahn's forehead outside the hospital as she was an undocumented worker. She instructed Ahn to come back in five days to have her stitches removed.


Song Performer Scene
"You Wouldn't Like Me" Tegan and Sara
  • Meredith puts up a flyer asking for roommates.
"Sister Kate" The Ditty Bops
  • Alex and Cristina discharge patients.
"Live and Learn" The Cardigans
"Wait" Get Set Go
"Somewhere Only We Know" Keane
  • Meredith allows Izzie and George to move in with her.
  • Meredith takes the stairs while Derek waits for the elevator.
  • The rape victim wakes up.

Notes and TriviaEdit

  • This episode's title originated from the song The First Cut Is the Deepest, originally sung by Cat Stevens.
  • This episode scored 17.71 million viewers.
  • The episode finished roughly at 6pm.
  • This is the first episode to use a title sequence. The theme song is "Cosy in the Rocket" by Psapp.
  • Goof: When George turns to Cristina after brushing his teeth, you can see a smudge of toothpaste on his left cheek. When the camera comes back to him face on, the smudge is not there.


Episode StillsEdit


Derek: (waiting for the elevator, and Meredith walks up) Seattle has ferryboats.
Meredith: Yes?
Derek: I didn't know that. I've been living here six weeks. I didn't know there were ferryboats.
Meredith: Seattle is surrounded by water on three sides.
Derek: Hence the ferryboats. Now I have to like it here. I wasn't planning on liking it here. I'm from New York, genetically engineered to dislike everywhere, except Manhattan. I have a thing for ferryboats. (The elevator opens and both step in)
Meredith: I'm not going out with you.
Derek: Did I ask you to go out with me? (a few seconds later) Do you want to go out with me?
Meredith: I'm not dating you. And I'm definitely not sleeping with you again. You're my boss.
Derek: I'm your boss's boss.
Meredith: You're my teacher! And my teacher's teacher! And you're my teacher.
Derek: I'm your sister. I'm your daughter.
Meredith: You're sexually harassing me.
Derek: I'm riding an elevator.
Meredith: Look. I'm drawing a line. The line is drawn. There's a big line.
Derek: So, this line. Is it imaginary or do I need to get you a marker? (turns to Meredith)
(Meredith stares at Derek for a second, then drops her folders, slams him gently against the elevator wall, and the two kiss passionately.)

Izzie: I wouldn't have called you but I can't get hold of a translator. Can you just ask her what's wrong?
Cristina: No.
Izzie: Why not?
Cristina: I grew up in Beverly Hills. The only Chinese I know is from a Mr. Chow's menu. Besides, I'm Korean.

Burke: What the hell is this? Does anybody know what this is?
Meredith: Oh my god.
Burke: What is it, Grey?
Meredith: She bit it off...
Burke: What is it? Spit it out, Grey.
Meredith: That's his... penis.

Bailey: Every intern wants to perform their first surgery. That's not your job. Do you know what your job is? To make your resident happy. Do I look happy? No! Why? Because my interns are whiny. You know what will make me look happy? Having the code team staffed, having the trauma pages answered, having the weekend labs delivered and having someone down in the pit doing the sutures. No one holds a scalpel until I'm so happy I'm Mary Freakin' Poppins.

Burke: Anything you say in the next 30 seconds is free...starting right now.
Bailey: I think you’re cocky. Arrogant. Bossy and pushy. You also have a God complex and don’t think of anybody but your damn self.
Burke: But I—
Bailey: But what? I still have 22 seconds and I’m not done.

Meredith: Where were you when The Challenger exploded?
Intern: The what?
Meredith: The space shuttle - Challenger.
Intern: I think I was in kindergarten.
Meredith: Exactly. No.

Cristina: What are you doing down here?
Meredith: Just sitting here with my penis.

Preston: I want to know when you stopped thinking of me as your number one. Richard, I do more in this hospital than any other surgeon.
Richard: You do only exactly as much as is necessary. You never take an extra step, you never give an extra minute. You're comfortable. And arrogant, and it doesn't impress me. You want to be chief, earn it.

George: Lost five patients on the code team today. I feel like the angel of death.
Cristina: George, 95% of all code patients can't be revived. Most of them are seriously dead before you even get there.
George: What?! Why didn't you tell me that when I was going on and on about how great it was going to be?
Cristina: Because you're George, and I'm Cristina.

Meredith: I'm so taking the stairs this time.
Derek: No self-control. It's sad. Really.

See AlsoEdit

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.

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