Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki
Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki

As surgeons, we are our brother's keepers. Ride or die. Womb to tomb. We see each other's fears. We see the white knuckle panic of failure. We see ourselves. And who the hell likes looking at that? We walk through these doors as interns, chips on our shoulders. Loners. Lesser rockstars on the verge of greatness. We're thrown into the deep end together. Told to save lives together. To save each other. We become family. And even when you really screw up, family is always there. Always on call. Womb to tomb. Ride or die.

Catastrophe and the Cure is the second episode of the thirteenth season and the 271st overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[]

Meredith considers her loyalties, as Alex deals with the repercussions of his actions. Newlyweds Amelia and Owen host a dinner party with unlikely guests, and Jackson proposes an arrangement to help April through her recovery.

Full Summary[]

Alex nervously tries multiple times to tie his tie as he remembers attacking Andrew. He finally gets it tied. Meredith comes in and says it's the wrong tie. She grabs another one and he ties it. He says the tie won't matter, but she interrupts to tell him about a surgery she has coming. He asks if they're avoiding what's happening that day, but she says they're discussing medicine, doing their rounds, and that'll get them through the day.

As Ben and Bailey enter the hospital, he tells her he won't spy on his co-workers. She says she didn't ask him to spy. She just wants him to keep an eye on things, because the Karev/DeLuca thing is a mess. She has an attending who posted bail for another attending and an intern pressing charges. People are taking sides. Ben says he's just starting to get his reputation back. She says she did it for Webber when he was Chief. He says she can have his whole body, but not his eyes and ears. He won't be her mole. He walks away and Webber walks up and says she's right. He offers to be her eyes and ears. She says people shut up when he's around, but he says only when they know he's around. He asks if she knows Hercules Mulligan, a Revolutionary War spy. No one saw him coming or going. She looks away to take a tablet from a nurse, saying he's no Hercules Mulligan. When she looks back, he's gone.

Meredith and Nathan pass in the hallway as Nathan is talking to someone. Meredith comes up to Maggie, who thought she had Alex's thing. Meredith said they were keeping their heads up and working. Maggie says it happened again last night. Nathan walked her to her car and when they said goodnight, he took her in the parking lot, over and over again. It's the third time in a week she's had that dream. Maggie says they're really hot. She should just ask Nathan out. She knows it's weird because she's his boss and she wonders if it'll be awkward and come off as some kind of gross sexual harassment, which Meredith says is the only kind of sexual harassment. She wonders if she doesn't ask him out, she'll just wait around for her big love. Meredith had hers. Amelia has hers. Maggie wants hers. So she's asking like a grown woman and asking him out. Meredith asks if that's a question. Maggie says it isn't unless Meredith thinks it should be. She says it's definitely happening.

Amelia and Owen are in an elevator and he's flipping through pictures on a tablet. Amelia says the wedding photographer wants them to pick their favorites. They're very busy. They start to kiss, but the elevator doors open and Nathan gets in. Nathan asks if he wants them to bring anything tonight. Owen is confused and looks at Amelia.

Off the elevator, Owen questions why Amelia invited Nathan to their house. Amelia says they have a new home and they need to have people over to warm it up. He didn't know it was a housewarming and asks who else she invited. Amelia says they were so happy at the wedding and so close once. He tells her she should have checked with him first. But he realizes she'll probably never check with him first, which she readily admits to. He walks away.

After he's gone, Stephanie asks Amelia if Jo can be on her service. She says she has Ben already and he knows her Wilma case. But if Amelia has Jo, she won't have to work with Alex. Amelia says Stephanie's picked a side. Stephanie says she's on the side of them all wanting to punch interns, but resisting. Amelia asks what Stephanie gets out of it. She says nothing. She's just trying to be a good friend. Amelia agrees to the switch. Stephanie asks her to take pictures of Wilma. She wants neuro porn.

In the ER, Ben presents Zach Thompson to Alex, who is already familiar with the case. Zach had a kidney transplant six months ago and is in the ER with abdominal pain, which worried his mother, Reena Thompson. The pain started in the morning and came on gradually. Alex examines him and he asks Alex not to make him give his kidney back. Alex says he has to run some tests, but reminds him that no matter who bad it gets, nothing's as bad as broccoli.

Alex wheels Harriet into April's room. He says she's gaining weight on schedule. She's healthy and fat, healthy enough to go home. Alex's pager then goes off and he has to leave. He congratulates them on their fat baby. After he's gone, Jackson asks why she's making a face because it's a good thing. April says it's not for her, because her incision opened up again and they want to do wound therapy, so Harriet gets to go home and she doesn't.

At the courthouse, Meredith primes Alex for court. They're just charging him today and it'll probably be misdemeanor assault with probation. He knows all this.

In the courtroom, the judge asks if the state is ready to charge. The prosecutor says they are and says they're charging him with felony assault in the second degree. Lena McCallister, Alex's lawyer, is confused. The prosecutor defends his stance. They argue and the prosecutor points out Andrew, who almost lost his career over this. It was a felony. The State and Andrew want the appropriate justice. Lena starts to defend Alex, but the judge says it's not a trial and Alex just needs to enter a plea. Alex pleads "not guilty."

Alex and Meredith sit on a bench looking out to the water. Meredith says it's just a charge, but Alex says it's a felony charge. Every guy he grew up with, every single one, is either right where Alex left him, in prison, or dead. He thought he was special because he went to medical school, but you can't wash the stink off trash. Meredith tells him he's not trash. He's a surgeon and he's not going to prison.

Alex waits in Bailey's office. She comes in and he asks if she knows the charge. She knows because the court subpoenaed Andrew's medical records and Alex's personnel file. He asks what happens now. She says people come to the hospital to be helped. She has a lot of problems to deal with already, real problems. Somehow, he's now problem #1. She asks if he realizes what happens if he's convicted of a felony. He knows. She asks if he has a decent lawyer, if he needs help, but he just asks if they're done. She tells him Andrew's starting back and asks if there will be a problem. He says it won't be from him, so she says they're done.

Jackson is getting ready to take Harriet home. April reminds him to put her in her "going home from the hospital" onesie. He says he'll take pictures. April starts to cry because Harriet's going home without her. He reminds her the the important thing is that Harriet's healthy and she's healthy. But she says it's crap. Harriet's supposed to be with her, smelling her and bonding. How's that supposed to happen if they're not together? Jackson says she'll be home soon and they can bond, but April says she'll still be healing. She won't be able to hold Harriet without help. She'll have to hire someone to take care of Harriet, someone who will bond with her baby while she just watches. She tells Jackson just to go. He doesn't want to leave her so upset, but she says he has to because she's not going to stop. She'll just die of dehydration. He picks up the car seat and leaves.

Ben finds Alex with Zach's labs. The CT showed his kidney looked good, but he had signs of appendicitis.

In Zach's room, Alex shares the news with Zach and his mom. He wants to avoid surgery because Zach's at risk for post-op infection. He wants to start antibiotics instead. He'll check on Zach every hour and tells Zach he can score a video game for his mom.

In surgery, Maggie asks Meredith how Alex is holding up. Meredith says they're dealing with it. Maggie asks how she should ask Nathan out. Meredith is surprised that she's actually doing that. Owen comes in and asks Meredith what she's doing that night. She says nothing, but says she can't make it when he invites her to the dinner party with Nathan. Owen says they got along at the wedding, but Meredith says there was tequila there. Maggie offers to come as a buffer. Meredith says they'll see him at eight.

Jo thanks Amelia for having her on her service. Amelia says they have work to do, on Wilma. Jo checks the chart and says the patient is named Patricia. They enter the room of Patricia Phillips. Amelia asks how she is and she says she's fine. Amelia says they'll draw labs, do a pre-op CT, but tomorrow is all about Wilma. Jo frantically tries to correct Amelia again, but Patricia says Wilma's the name of her tumor, named after her ex-husband's mistress, because they're both parasitic mounds of unwanted flesh. But tomorrow, they're kicking Wilma's ass.

Amelia shows Jo Patricia's CT, which shows a large tumor. Jo's not enthusiastic because they used the name of a woman to refer to the tumor. It's cute when it's a tumor, but not so cute when it's a woman. Amelia realizes why she's upset and apologizes. Jo says she's fine, but Amelia asks if she really is. Jo admits that she doesn't have any place to live and the hospital won't stop whispering about her scarlet letter. She feels trapped in a glass box. But she's great. Amelia tells her she needs a break from her life and tells her to come to the housewarming. Alex won't be there. She's picked a side and she's on Jo's.

In the cafeteria, Bailey gets an apple. Richard comes up behind her, surprising her. He says it's been quite a day. He says there's rumblings about a turf war over who gets control of Callie's ortho lab now that she's gone. And the doctors at the Denny Duquette Memorial Clinic are overworked. Bailey says that's not news. What's news is that Alex was charged with a felony. Richard didn't hear that.

Andrew gets on an elevator with Meredith. She says she doesn't know him very well, but she was attacked. She didn't want to forgive the guy who attacked her, but she needed to. Andrew says the guy who attacked her was in a fugue state, but Alex knew what he was doing. She asks if he ever made a horrible mistake because he overreacted or didn't have the right information. Alex is genuinely sorry and would like to tell Andrew that himself. Andrew's not ready for that. Meredith says he's an intern and shouldn't be spending his time in a court room. He should be scrubbing in on surgeries. He tells her he doesn't want to talk about the case. Andrew says he knows she can keep him out of the OR and ruin his life. He says he doesn't care and it won't work.

Alex is checking on a patient, a baby. Meredith comes up and says she might have just threatened Andrew. She was trying to help and she didn't mean to threaten him. It's Alex's life, though. Ben comes up with Zach's labs. He's worried about Zach's heart rate, but Alex brushes off his concerns, saying he's had Zach for three years and he's a nervous kid. After he leaves, Alex asks Meredith if she thinks Andrew will say anything. He thinks Andrew will. Meredith says they can't control it. All they can do is live their lives, work and go to dinner parties. He doesn't want to go to the party, but she says she went to court for him, so he can go to a dinner party for her.

Maggie enters the party. She's surprised to see Jo there. She takes off her coat to reveal a dress. Amelia says it's just casual, but Maggie insists she is casual. Amelia says she's not. Owen comes in and tags Maggie in to talk to Nathan. Amelia says that defeats the point of the party, but Owen didn't agree to the party in the first place. Maggie and Jo go to talk to Nathan.

April is talking to Jackson on the phone. He says he'll bring Harriet by every single day. As soon as April gets out of the hospital, they can fly her mom back out there to stay for a few months. April says her mom already came for as long as she could. She has work. Jackson says they'll get a baby nurse. April can't afford that. Jackson can, but April says they're not married. She's a single mom and she needs to figure it out. Jackson says he's her father and he's right there. April says as long as Harriet is fed and sleeping and happy, he's doing his job. He doesn't need to check on her or call unless Harriet needs something. He's just supposed to let her cry. She hangs up the phone, still crying.

Meredith enters the party. Owen says Nathan has been with Maggie for a while, but she's up next. Owen says if she doesn't get in there, Amelia will make him do it and they'll fight about it. Meredith says they've only been married for like two minutes. He tells her to get in there. She walks up to Maggie and Nathan and asks if they've had the tour. Maggie says she helped them move in. Owen says they've painted the bedroom since then. Maggie invites Nathan on the tour, but Meredith says she needs to talk to him about a shared patient. Owen takes Maggie on the tour. Once they're gone, Nathan asks about the patient, but Meredith made the patient up. She warns him that Maggie is going to ask him out. She tells him to be nice and say no. They argue about whether or not Meredith is in love with him. He says they should make out on the couch, to send a clear message.

Meredith is surprised to see Jo at the party. She says Alex was charged with a felony. Jo knows because she was there. Meredith's not sure what's going on with them and asks Jo to talk to Alex. Jo says she cares about what Alex did to Andrew.

Maggie talks to Nathan awkwardly about the house and then about work. Maggie goes to help Amelia cook. Nathan sits down on the couch across from Owen. They sit in silence. Amelia comes up behind them.

Zach tells his mom he's scared. As Bailey enters the room, Ben tells her Zach's pressure dropped and he's getting central access. Reena asks for Alex and Bailey also wants to know where Alex is.

Outside Owen and Amelia's house, Alex arrives as Jo is leaving. He didn't know she'd be there and asks how she is. She doesn't know how to answer. She tells him she's leaving so he can go in. He doesn't want to go in there. He wants to be home with her. He knows he messed that up and he's sorry. She tells him she lashes out and hurts people and thinks he can just walk it back. He says he's not walking it back. He might go to prison. She says she called him trash, so easily. He was trying to hurt her and it worked. She leaves. He gets paged and checks it.

At the hospital. Alex comes into Zach's surgery. His appendix ruptured. He goes to scrub in, but Bailey says he's off the case.

Owen and Nathan continue to sit. Amelia says it's painful to watch and asks to see Owen. She tells him he's off the hook. She's a fixer. She wanted to fix this, but the party's over and she won't meddle anymore. She's kind of serious.

April and Jackson FaceTime. Harriet won't go back to sleep. April sings Faith to her and it lulls her back to sleep.

Alex goes into Zach's room and talks to Reena. Reena asks why he's not in the surgery. She wants him in there. Alex says he's not on Zach's case anymore. He admits he made a mistake, missed a sign of infection. She asks about Zach's kidney. He says the infection could affect the transplant. He's sorry, but Reena just asks him to leave.

Bailey is scrubbing out when Meredith comes in. She asks where Alex is, because it's his patient. Bailey says it isn't anymore. Bailey heard about Meredith threatening Andrew. She says she was trying to help Alex. Bailey tells her she needs to stop trying to go down with him. She asks who else is going to help him. They're family. Bailey says she should ask Alex what happened with his patient.

Jackson is holding Harriet outside April's room, where April is sleeping. Richard says he thought Harriet got to go home. Jackson says they're just visiting April. Richard asks to hold her. Jackson tells him April was up all night crying. She's upset because Harriet got to go home. She also doesn't want help. Richard says he's been there, not wanting to ask for help, but he tells Jackson he should persevere because April is family and that's what you do for family. He hands Harriet back and Jackson watches April.

Jo is shaving Patricia's head and explaining the surgery to her. Patricia's ready. Jo thinks it's because of the headaches, but Patricia says she knows pain. She was married to the same man for over 30 years, a preacher who thought he could cheat on her because he had a hotline to heaven. She didn't leave him because she worried about his church. So she made herself small. And then she met Wilma, the tumor. She had to start looking out for herself, so she walked out. The tumor made her pissed, which made her brave.

Meredith tells Alex it was wrong for Bailey to take him off the case, but Alex says he messed up big time. They all mess up sometimes. He says he screwed up and keeps screwing up. He tells her she's backing the wrong horse. Ben comes up and tells Meredith Bailey wants her for a surgery. Meredith says she has another surgery scheduled, but this one's emergent. It's Zach. He has a renal artery thrombosis. There's no blood flowing to his kidney, so they have to remove it. Meredith goes with Ben and Alex stays.

Meredith and Bailey are getting ready for surgery. Andrew comes up because Meredith asked for him. She asks if he's ever scrubbed in on that kind of surgery. He hasn't, so she tells him to get his booties on quickly.

Zach asks for Alex as he's being wheeled into surgery. Meredith introduces herself and says Alex couldn't be there. Up ahead, they see Alex. He asks for a minute to talk to Zach, who doesn't know about his kidney, because his mother thought they should wait until after. Zach asks Alex if he'll wait with his mom, because she's scared. Zach admits he's scared too, but nothing's as bad as broccoli. They go into surgery.

Alex sees Reena in the waiting room. He says Zach wanted Alex to check on her. He sits next to Reena and they wait together.

Jackson comes into April's room and she hands over Harriet. Jackson tells her that he thinks they should come live with him after she's released, until she's recovered. April refuses, because it's Jackson. She needs boundaries and she can take care of Harriet. He knows all that, but he's Harriet's father. And she's Harriet's mother and she needs help. He asks her to think about it and she says she will. He leaves with Harriet.

Maggie comes up behind Nathan, who's leaving the hospital. It was a long day, but he says the short ones are boring. She awkwardly fumbles for a minute and asks him out for a date. He says she's an amazing woman. She knows he's saying no. He says he's not ready to date anyone. She says she understand and it's okay and tells him to have a great night.

Bailey tells Alex that Zach is stable. they removed a blood clot from the artery and the kidney pinked up again. He thanks her. She says he was the big surprise. He was most improved. She thought he'd left behind the kind of person who punched DeLuca years ago. She can't let him operate in good conscience. He's a good doctor, compassionate and good with people. She says they need that in the clinic. A mole told her they're short-staffed. She said it's that or she can fire him. He starts tomorrow. He thanks her and leaves.

Amelia shows Owen pictures of himself and Nathan at the wedding. He asks what happened to no more meddling. She says he married a 12-stepper, so he has to get used to it. He asks why it's important. She says they were best friends, brothers, and you don't get a lot of those in your life. You have to try. He tells her he's happy. She says he could be happier.

Jo enters the loft with Stephanie and turns on the lights. Stephanie asks if Jo wants her to stay or go, because she can go either way. Jo says she's fine and Stephanie can go, but Stephanie closes the door and prepares to stay with Jo.

Alex can't believe Meredith saved the kidney. She says Alex would have done the same thing, but Alex says his head's not in the game. He'll be working in the clinic for a while, which he says is right. He did it to himself. Meredith says she slept with Riggs. In the parking lot. In her car. It's bad. She starts to explain why, but Maggie comes in, sits down, and starts drinking right out of the bottle. Meredith tells her to slow down. Maggie says that was humiliating, worse than being dumped by Andrew. Maggie tells them she asked Nathan out and he said no. Meredith says it's time to move on. She should look on the bright side. Maggie remembers that he said he wasn't dating right now, so she'll give it some time.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


Medical Notes[]

Meredith's Patient[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Myasthenia
  • Treatment:
    • Thymectomy
    • Partial sternotomy

Meredith told Alex about a thymectomy she was doing that day. Her patient had myasthenia without a thymoma, so she planned a partial sternotomy. She and Maggie later operated together on the patient.

Zach Thompson[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Appendicitis
    • Renal artery thrombosis
  • Treatment:
    • Broad-spectrum antibiotics
    • Appendectomy
    • Surgery

Zach had had a prior kidney transplant. Six months post-transplant, he came into the ER with abdominal pain. Alex examined him and said he'd run tests. His kidney was healthy, but he had signs of appendicitis. Rather than operate on him, which had a high-risk of post-op infection due to his immunosuppressants, they started him on broad-spectrum antibiotics. His heart rate increased, which worried Ben, but Alex thought it was just because Zach was nervous, as his heart rate increased every time he was in the hospital. Shortly after that, his pressure dropped. His appendix had ruptured and he was rushed into surgery to remove it. After that surgery, he had a renal artery thrombosis and needed to be rushed back into surgery to remove the clot. It was successful and he was able to keep his kidney.

Harriet Kepner-Avery[]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:

Alex examined Harriet and said she was gaining weight and able to go home.

April Kepner[]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Doctors:
  • Treatment:
    • Wound therapy

April said her wound had opened back up and they wanted to do wound therapy.

Patricia Phillips[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Brain tumor
  • Treatment:
    • Tumor resection

Patricia was in the hospital with a very large brain tumor. They did pre-op labs in preparation for surgery and then her head was shaved.


Song Performer Scene
"Pick You Up" Kevin Ross
  • Maggie arrives at the dinner party. Owen tags her in to talk to Nathan.
  • April and Jackson talk on the phone about Harriet. He offers to help her out.
  • Meredith arrives at the party and has Owen give Maggie a tour. She warns Nathan that Maggie is going to ask him out.
"Faith" Sarah Drew
  • April sings to Harriet as she goes to sleep.


(originally by George Michael)

Sleeping at Last
  • Alex check on Zach's mother and tells her the truth.
  • Meredith talks to Bailey about what she said to Andrew. Bailey tells Meredith not to go down with him and tells her to ask Alex what happened with his patient.
"You're The Last Thing On My Mind" Aron Wright
  • Alex tells Meredith she's backing the wrong horse.
  • Ben comes to Meredith to ask her to scrub in for a surgery on Zach.
  • Meredith invites Andrew to scrub in.
  • They take Zach to surgery.
  • Alex tells Zach he won't be on the surgery, but to remember that nothing's as bad as broccoli.
  • Alex sits with Zach's mother.

Notes and Trivia[]


Grey's Anatomy 13x02 Promo "Catastrophe and the Cure" (HD)

  • This episode's title originated from the song Catastrophe and the Cure, originally composed by Explosions in the Sky.
  • This episode scored 8.41 million viewers.
  • The table read for this episode took place on August 8, 2016.
  • Goof: In the scene where Jackson grabs Harriet's carrier, she is awake. In the following scene of him going out of the room, she is asleep.


Episode Stills[]

Behind the Scenes[]


Meredith: We all mess up. I mean, why is everyone around here acting like they've never made a mistake before?
Alex: Stop. I torched a kid's kidney, and he could lose it because I screwed up. And I keep screwing up. Just open your eyes. You're backing the wrong damn horse.

Owen: You invited Riggs to our house?
Amelia: We have a new home. We're supposed to have friends and family over to warm it up, right?
Owen: Wait. This is a housewarming? Who else did you invite?
Amelia: You two were so happy at the wedding, and you were so close once.
Owen: That was a long time ago. You should have checked with me first.
Amelia: Sorry. You're right. I meant to.
Owen: You were never gonna check with me, were you?
Amelia: Probably not.

Miranda: You were the big surprise. You were most improved. The person that beat up DeLuca is someone I thought you left behind years ago.
Alex: Me too.
Miranda: I can't in good conscience let you perform surgery in this hospital right now. You're a good doctor! You're compassionate. And you're good with people. You're exactly what we need right now in the clinic. A little mole told me they're short-staffed.
Alex: The Denny Duquette Clinic?
Miranda: Unless you want me to fire you.

Meredith: This is just a charge.
Alex: Yeah, a felony charge.
Meredith: But you haven't been convicted of anything. Alex.
Alex: Every single one. Every guy I grew up with is either right where I left him, dead, or in prison. I thought I was special 'cause I went to med school. Guess you can't wash the stink off trash.
Meredith: You're not trash. You're a surgeon, and you are not going to prison.
Alex: You don't know that.

April: She's going home without me.
Jackson: Yeah. And what did we just say about that?
April: The important thing is that she's healthy and I'm healthy.
Jackson: Exactly.
April: Is crap! She's supposed to be with me, bonding and attaching or whatever. Smelling me like birds and dogs.
Jackson: Birds and dogs?
April: Shut up. It's nature.

Amelia: This is you and Riggs at the wedding. You invited him.
Owen: Okay, what happened to no more meddling?
Amelia: You married a 12-stepper. Get used to it.
Owen: Why is this so important to you?
Amelia: You guys were like best friends. You're brothers. You don't get a lot of those in your life. So you have to try. You're required to try.
Owen: I am happy, okay?
Amelia: You could be happier.

See Also[]

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