As doctors, patients are always telling us how they'd do our jobs. Just stitch me up, slap a band-aid on it and send me home. It’s easy to suggest a quick solution, when you don’t know much about the problem or you don’t understand the underlying cause or just how deep the wound is. The first step toward a real cure is to know exactly what the disease is to begin with. But that’s not what people want to hear. We're supposed to forget the past that led us here, ignore the future complications that might arise and go for the quick fix. As doctors, as friends, as human beings, we all try to do the best we can. But the world is full of unexpected twists and turns. And just when you’ve gotten the lay of the land, the ground underneath you shifts. And knocks you off your feet. If you’re lucky, you’ll end up with nothing more than a flesh wound, something a band-aid will cover. But, some wounds are deeper than they first appear and require more than just a quick fix. With some wounds, you have to rip off the band-aid, let them breathe, and give them time to heal.

Band-Aid Covers the Bullet Hole is the twentieth episode of the second season and the 29th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

Cristina is left holding Bailey's baby when she is unable to get anyone else to get anyone to watch him, while Meredith confides in Derek, while Derek performs a risky surgery for a supposed inoperable aneurysm. A patient's husband gives Addison attention and George and Callie give each other their full attention while treating a stubborn hockey player.

Full SummaryEdit

In Burke's bathroom, George is watching his hair in the mirror. He takes scissors and starts cutting.

Derek and Meredith are walking Doc. He throws a stick and asks her if her friends are still mad for the horrible thing she did. She says yes. Derek says he doesn't want to know what the thing is, although they are friends and you tell friends stuff. She'll keep that in mind next time she does a horrible thing. She asks if he has problems he wants to talk about. He says in this moment of time, he has no problems.

Cristina pours herself some coffee as George and Burke come back from their morning run. They ran 5 miles. Burke and George harmonically prepare to make pancakes as Cristina notices George's hair. Burke tells her to leave him alone, because it's his way to get over his issues. Cristina drinks her coffee as the men make cappuccino.

Meredith, Cristina, and Izzie are tailing George and Bailey, who has her baby in a carrier with her. Cristina tells them that George and Burke are bonding, and she asks Meredith to apologize to George again because things can't stay like this. Alex comments on George's hair as he joins them. He asks Izzie if she's ignoring him as she didn't call him back. She doesn't see why she'd do that.

She presents Denny's case. Denny says he's turning 37 in three weeks. His congestive heart failure is getting worse despite the meds. Alex and Izzie present the treatment plan. Burke wants one of them to monitor Denny at all times. They both volunteer to stay.

Bailey and her remaining interns follow Addison into Mrs. Gibson's room. Her membranes ruptured prematurely at 28 weeks. She's confined to bed rest. Mrs. Gibson would like to have the baby now through C-section, but Addison wants her blood work before they make further decisions. Mr. Gibson is glad Addison has taken the case. He comments that she resembles a young Catherine Deneuve. Addison's flattered, but it turns a bit awkward so she leaves the room. Mr. Gibson is looking forward to her next visit.

Bailey's baby is crying as Bailey gets paged to the ER. Addison sends Meredith and George to the pit. Bailey tells Addison that the nursery is full and Tucker's out of town. Richard passes by, surprised to see that Bailey has her baby with her. He says she can't take the baby into surgery with her. She has no surgeries planned today. She'll solve that problem if it arises. Richard decides to let it slide and walks off.

While waiting for the elevator, Meredith tells George he's gonna have to talk to her at some point. He decides to take the stairs.

Meredith arrives in the ER, where the nurse shows her to the patient. She opens a curtain. There's a man holding an ice pack to his groin, while his wife has a fork stuck in her neck.

While Derek is looking at Sylvia's neck, Kyle explains that Sylvia gave him some special attention under the table during brunch. Sylvia says while she was busy, a shock went through her body. Kyle says she clenched. He panicked and instinctually grabbed the fork. Meredith tells Sylvia she did good by not pulling it out. Derek says they'll do an X-ray to check if there are major nerves or vessels compromised. Kyle got his injury checked out, it's just bruising. Derek wants to know what caused the clenching. Sylvia doesn't have a history of seizures. Kyle says it may have something to do with her brain aneurysm. The doctors are surprised, because it's not on her chart. Sylvia was diagnosed 6 weeks ago, but all the doctors said it was inoperable. That's why they're in Seattle. She's always wanted to see the Space Needle. Derek asks Meredith to do an MRI.

Bailey, her baby, and Cristina are in the ambulance bay as the paramedics take a patient inside. The siren is upsetting the baby, so Bailey has the paramedic turn it off. She then hands her baby to a reluctant Cristina because she needs to operate on that patient right away. As Bailey goes inside, Cristina cluelessly holds the baby.

Callie and George notice each other in the ER. She comments he didn't call her. He says he did a few times, but he hung up every time. She notices his hair and smiles. He admits she makes him nervous. She says that's good. She invites him to see something really cool.

They look at an ugly-looking hand. Heath says it happened at hockey practice. He didn't have his glove on because he was drinking from the goalie's water bottle. Then this asshat crashed into the net, his hand got caught in the mesh, and then he heard big pops. The doctors study the scan. He has a PIP dislocation and multiple fractures. George says that it must hurt. Heath says it's just a finger. He wants them to just put it in a splint, because he's got a really big game this afternoon.

Meredith's about to pull the fork out of Sylvia's neck. Sylvia asks Meredith if she's ever done this before, pulling a fork out of someone's neck. Meredith says no. Sylvia asks Kyle to talk so she's distracted. He starts talking about their planned trip to Paris. Meredith pulls the fork out, and Sylvia didn't even feel a thing. Kyle asks Meredith about Dr. Shepherd. He found out about Derek's reputation. Sylvia wants to live their lives. She wants to live a crazy live while she still can. Meredith says a second opinion wouldn't hurt. Sylvia says it'd be a fourth. She doesn't want to be devastated all over again when Shepherd tells her there's nothing he can do. She wants to go to Paris. Kyle does, too, but he doesn't want to wonder all the time if they should have listened to Meredith. All three of them laugh about the situation.

Denny asks Alex where Izzie is. He replies she's busy with other patients. Denny's sure that Alex is a fine doctor, but Alex is not his type. Alex says he'll have to settle on being Izzie's type. He says he and Izzie are pretty much dating. Denny congratulates him, albeit halfheartedly.

Cristina is singing the alphabet song for little Tuck while changing him on the floor of the gallery. Richard comes in and notices she appears to be having trouble with the diaper. She says she has an M.D. from Stanford and a Ph.D. from Berkeley, so she can handle this diaper. He declines to take over for her and leaves.

Sylvia asks Meredith to stop the wheelchair, because she can walk herself. Meredith says the wheelchair is just protocol. She's way past caring about protocol. She wants to feel her body move while it still can. Meredith brings up that she seems incredibly okay with her prognosis. Sylvia loves it, because it woke her up. She's been sleepwalking for 15 years. Sylvia's doing this MRI for Kyle because he's not ready to give up.

Addison finds Derek and he shows her Sylvia's huge aneurysm. She says someone told her she looks like Catherine Deneuve, but Derek only comments that Catherine is hot and blonde. Addison notices the lack of interest and leaves.

While playing Scrabble, Denny assures Izzie that besides his pretty face, he's also got the brains. Izzie plays the word SCREW and scores 25 points. He didn't know they were playing naughty words Scrabble. She says he's got a dirty mind. She meant hardware, not sex. He says sometimes it's hard to know where she's coming from. She asks what he means. He says Alex mentioned something about the two of them being together. She's surprised and says it's not true. They are not really together. He thanks her for clearing that up, but then starts wheezing. Izzie urges him to breathe and asks a nurse to page Burke. She gives Denny an oxygen mask.

Izzie tells Burke that Denny had flash pulmonary edema. She changed his meds. Burke says that was a good call. Denny needs a new heart and he's running out of time. Burke wants to install a left ventricular assist device. It's a battery-operated machine to help his heart pump. Denny jokes that he knew they were trying to turn him into a robot. Izzie says it'll keep him alive while they wait for his new heart. There are some risks, and if he goes for the device, it's possible he may not be able to leave the hospital until he gets the donor heart. Unfortunately, there are no other options. He asks for some time to think.

Izzie paged Alex to the on-call room, but not for sex. She wants to yell at him for talking to Denny. Their sex life is between them. He can't believe none of her friends know they're sleeping together, but she points out that he and Denny aren't friends. He says he doesn't befriend patients. She thinks Alex feels threatened by Denny. Alex says he can't be threatened by her half-dead patient. This really upsets her, but he thinks someone had to tell her.

Callie tells Heath's mother he'll get to go home while waiting for the surgery. Heath says this doesn't hurt much. He can handle the pain and wants to play through the game. Heath wants to play because there are college scouts coming today. He could get a scholarship today. Callie says cutting the bandage off means risking permanent damage, so there's no putting the finger into a glove today. Heath says this game is his whole future. There's nothing they can do. He angrily leaves. His mother apologizes to the doctors and follows him.

Mr. Gibson sees Addison eating her lunch while looking at test results. They are his wife's. She doesn't have an infection so she can schedule the C-section this afternoon. She was planning on telling them after lunch. Mr. Gibson repeats his Catherine Deneuve compliment. He sits down with her. He doesn't mean to focus on Addison's looks, but she's just so extraordinarily beautiful. He'd understand if she didn't want to eat with him, but she says it's fine if he stayed.

Izzie, Cristina, and George are having lunch at another table. Cristina wants Izzie to take the baby, but she refuses. Izzie asks George about Meredith, but he's done being asked about her. Cristina says at least they won't be asking him about his hair. Meredith sits down with them, causing George to stand up and go sit with Callie. Cristina brings up how much George annoys her at her apartment. Izzie says George would still be their roommate if Meredith would apologize. She says she's done that, but it takes two to make a stupid sexual decision. She's frustrated and leaves. Izzie wants to go back to when they all got along. As Alex comes over, she stands up to go check on her patient. Alex angrily slams down his tray, causing Little Tuck to wake up and start crying, so Cristina walks off with him, leaving Alex to eat his lunch alone.

Derek and Meredith are eating on the catwalk. She says her friends have no right to be mad at her. She's still not telling Derek what she did. He says she sucks as a friend. They then see Addison laughing with Mr. Gibson. Meredith asks Derek if Addison knows they are friends. He doesn't reply and asks if she's got Sylvia's results back. She leaves to get them.

Cristina is back in the gallery with a crying Tuck. She lets Bailey hear the cry through the intercom. Bailey says it's cry #4. The baby needs to be fed.

Meredith tells Sylvia about the double-barrel brain bypass. Derek says he's going to use two scalp arteries to redirect the blood flow in her brain around the aneurysm. It's a rare surgery. He's done it successfully once and watched it once. There's a risk that the aneurysm could rupture on the table. Sylvia says no. They're leaving for Europe. 

Kyle catches up with Derek. He says he didn't notice Sylvia for 15 years. She's all he sees ever since she got sick. He hates that that's what it took, but he loves her. He doesn't want his wife to die. He asks Derek to talk to her again.

Addison tells Bailey about her lunch date. Bailey says she won't fix the problems with her husband by having meals with someone else's.

Cristina is begging a still crying Tuck to eat. Burke comes over. He finds this amusing. George comes over and takes the baby, who immediately stops crying and starts eating. Burke comments he's a natural. George says babies like him. Burke says that speaks to a good bedside manner. He leaves as Callie comes over. Callie tells George she's scheduled Heath's surgery tomorrow afternoon and asks if he wants in. Cristina says she wants in. Callie asks her who she is and says she only needs one. George says he's in. Callie says this is the last invitation she's extending. The ball's in his court now. Cristina's noticed the romantic vibes between the two and asks if Callie has a couch he could sleep on.

Derek finds Sylvia, who's waiting for her husband to bring the car. Derek knows she's worried about the surgery. She says she's not, because she's not having it. For the first time in 12 years, she has a great marriage and life. Derek says this surgery could give her decades of that life instead of weeks. Sylvia doesn't want to die, but she doesn't want to go back to being Kyle's bed warmer in a full-length flannel nightgown. He understands she's tired of settling, so she should fight for her life and her marriage. She can decide right now to never settle again.

Izzie's sitting by Denny's side and tells him that the LVAD will allow him to get off most of his meds and give his heart a much-needed rest. He says he's just so tired. Having this surgery means he can't leave, and he really hates hospitals. She knows he does, but as his doctor, she can't support any decision but the LVAD. They need more time. He asks if she'll be here. She says every day. He says it'll piss off Alex, which is an added bonus. He agrees to the LVAD. She's relieved.

Heath walks into the ER with a bloody bandage around his hand. He played the game. He cut off his own finger. He saved it so they can sew it back on.

Callie and George are in surgery. George says Heath found out how to cut off his finger on the Internet. Callie respects his passion and the sacrifice he made for it. George disagrees. He cut off his finger that would've healed perfectly in a few months. Callie says sometimes you can't wait. He cut away the pain. George says it didn't end the pain, because there's always phantom pain if you cut it off. Callie figures his ex did a real number on him.

Sylvia's being taken to surgery. Kyle promises her that he'll quit his job and that they'll move to Paris. Sylvia wants him to do those things as well if she dies. He promises to do that. She tells him she'll do her best not to die. They kiss.

Bailey finds Cristina sleeping with her baby in an on-call room. She takes her baby and tells Cristina to go back to sleep. Cristina knows that Bailey's her boss and that she could make her life a living hell, but just for the future, Cristina doesn't babysit. Bailey says fine.

Addison delivers the Gibson baby.

Burke is operating on Denny. Izzie says she read that hearts can remodel themselves so the patient can get off the LVAD. Burke says that's unlikely for Denny because his heart is too weak. Izzie look disappointed.

After surgery, Addison puts her wedding ring back on.

Addison walks into Mrs. Gibson's room after checking herself out. Mr. Gibson only has eyes for his wife and his new baby, so Addison leaves.

Callie tells Heath that when he put his freshly severed finger into a bacteria-filled glove, he got a severe infection. He says the Internet didn't say anything about infection. The infection was caused by methicillin-resistant staff bacteria and it's spreading. They're lucky if they can preserve enough muscle for Heath to have any hand function at all. Heath says they must be wrong. He brings up the case of Ronnie Lott, a former football player for the 49ers who had his finger amputated and continued to play after. Callie is sorry, but his hockey career is over. He's shocked.

Meredith and Derek are operating on Sylvia. He really hopes the Bookers will move to Paris. Derek looks up to his wife in the gallery.

Meredith and Derek are scrubbing out after a successful surgery. Derek says he was kidding this morning. He wants to know what the horrible things is, as a friend. She says if she tells him, he has to react as her friend. He says he can do that. He'll tell her how to fix whatever's wrong. She says she slept with George. It's changed everything and she doesn't know how to repair it. All she knows is that she has to. Derek tells her to tell George that. Meredith says George won't listen to her apologies. Derek says she has to repeat it over and over until he listens. He advises her to use the elevator.

Derek's standing on the catwalk by himself, looking out the window.

Meredith gets on an elevator with George. Now that he's trapped, she'll do the talking. She is truly sorry. She won't make excuses. She knows he's gonna get off this elevator, walk away, and not look back, but they are friends. That means no matter how long it takes, when he finally decides to look back, she'll still be there. The elevator arrives. He walks off without looking back.

Izzie sits with Denny, holding his hand. He wakes up and asks if she doesn't have somewhere to be. She says she does, and she's right there.

Cristina comes home and finds Burke and George playing instruments. She disappears into the bedroom.

Derek watches as Sylvia wakes up with Kyle by her side. They're holding hands.

Derek comes home. Addison's reading in bed. He lies down with her and tells her he was indifferent before Mark, in New York. She says that's right. He was absent. She says yes. He says he's partly to blame for what happened to their marriage. She says yes. He's sorry. He's working on it. She's happy to hear that. He gets ready for bed.

Meredith's wide awake in her bed, staring out the window.


  • Meredith Grey
  • Cristina Yang
  • Izzie Stevens
  • Alex Karev
  • George O'Malley
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Addison Montgomery-Shepherd
  • Preston Burke
  • Derek Shepherd
  • Callie Torres
  • Heath Mercer
  • Denny Duquette
  • Mr. Gibson
  • Kyle Booker
  • Sylvia Booker
  • Mrs. Mercer
  • Penny Gibson
  • Ray Sutera the Paramedic
  • ER Doc

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit


Medical NotesEdit

Denny Duquette, Jr.Edit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Congestive heart failure
    • Flash pulmonary edema
  • Treatment:
    • Bi-pap
    • LVAD insertion

Denny was having difficult breathing and chest pains. He was told that his heart failure was getting worse, even with medication. Izzie put him on bi-pap after he had flash pulmonary edema. He was advised that he was running out of time to get a new heart and Burke wanted to insert an LVAD to buy him some more time. Denny resisted, but ultimately agreed and they placed the LVAD.

Penny GibsonEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Pregnancy
    • Premature rupture of membranes
  • Treatment:
    • C-section delivery

Penny was pregnant and had had a premature rupture of her membranes at 28 weeks. She spent the following seven weeks on bed rest to prevent early labor. Addison was waiting on blood work to make a plan. After she got the blood work back, Addison scheduled a c-section.

Kyle BookerEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Bruised penis
  • Doctors:
  • Treatment:
    • Ice pack

Kyle came into the ER after his wife clenched her jaw and bit his penis. He was given an ice pack.

Sylvia BookerEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Foreign body in neck
    • Brain aneurysm
  • Treatment:
    • Controlled extraction
    • Double-barrel brain bypass

Sylvia came into the hospital with a fork lodged in her neck. She had been stabbed by her husband when she clenched her jaw and bit his penis. Her husband told doctors she had an inoperable brain aneurysm, which likely caused the clenching. Meredith pulled out the fork and Derek ordered an MRI. Sylvia didn't want to have Derek check out her aneurysm because she'd been let down before. Derek reviewed her scans and said he could do a double-barrel brain bypass to treat her aneurysm. Sylvia resisted, but agreed to the surgery and it was successful.

ER PatientEdit

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

A man came into the ER tachycardic. Bailey took him into surgery.

Heath MercerEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Broken finger
    • Dislocated finger
    • Amputated finger
    • MRSA
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Heath came into the ER with a finger that had multiple breaks and was dislocated. He wanted them just to splint it so he could play in his game that afternoon. They scheduled surgery and sent him home for the night over his objections that he wanted to play in his game. Heath came back in the next day and revealed that he had cut off his own finger in order to play. They took him into surgery to attempt to re-attach it, but saw that the had an infection in his hand. Because it had gone so deep, they believed he probably would not regain full use of his hand.


Song Performer Scene
"Come Sing Me a Song" Sing-Sing
  • George cuts his own hair in the mirror.
  • Meredith and Derek walk Doc and talk about the bad, horrible thing she did.
  • George and Burke come home from a run and start to make pancakes, which Cristina finds weird.
"Modern Love" The Last Town Chorus
  • Derek looks at the MRI with Addison.
  • Izzie and Denny play Scrabble.
  • Denny starts to wheeze, so Izzie puts a mask on him.
"So Weit" The Urbs
  • Addison has lunch with her patient's husband.
  • Cristina tries to hand off Bailey's baby to someone else.
  • George leaves when Meredith sits down.
  • Izzie leaves when Alex sits down.
"One" Tina Dico
  • Sophie goes into surgery.
  • Bailey finds Cristina and Tuck sleeping.
  • Cristina tells Bailey she doesn't babysit.
  • Izzie is hopeful for Denny.
  • Addison puts her rings on and goes to see the Gibsons, but Kyle ignores her in favor of his baby.
"Flying High" Jem
  • Meredith apologizes to George while they're in the elevator.
  • Izzie sits by Denny's bedside. He wakes up.
  • Cristina sees Burke and George playing their instruments together.
  • Derek sees Sophie and her husband.
  • Derek talks to Addison about what went wrong with their marriage.
  • Meredith lies awake in bed.

Notes and TriviaEdit

  • This episode's title originated from the song Band-Aid Covers the Bullet Hole, originally sung by Scarling.
  • This episode scored 22.51 million viewers.
  • Chandra Wilson is a big fan of Natalie Cole. She freaked out when she saw Natalie in the makeup chair as she had no idea Natalie woul be on the show.


Bailey: Ok, I can't solve a problem until there's a problem to solve. Is there a problem?
Addison: (while holding a crying Tuck) Is there a problem, Richard?
Richard: (pauses) No.

(Cristina holds Dr. Bailey's baby up to the intercom so she can hear the baby crying)
Bailey: That's cry number four. You need to feed it.

See AlsoEdit

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

The Grey Matter blog post on this episode can be found here.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.