Even good marriages fail. One minute you're standing on solid ground. The next minute... you're not. And there's always two versions. Yours and theirs. Both versions start the same way, though. Both start with two people falling in love. Nobody gets married thinking it's gonna fail. You think yours is the one that's gonna make it. And so it always comes as a shock. The moment when you realize, it's over. One minute you're standing on solid ground. The next minute, you're not. Do you have what it takes? If your marriage is in trouble, can you weather the storm? When the ground gives way and your world collapses, maybe you just need to have faith. And trust that you can survive this together. Maybe you just need to hold on tight. And no matter what, don't let go.

Free Falling is the first episode of the eighth season and the 149th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

The fifth-year residents return for the first day of a year that will make or break their careers: Meredith faces the consequences of tampering with Derek's clinical trial and is terminated at the hospital. April tries to step up to the plate as Chief Resident in the wake of a giant sinkhole in the middle of Seattle and Cristina and Owen are still at odds over their drastically different feelings for their unborn child.

Full SummaryEdit

A man finishes his cereal. His wife makes a comment about the milk, making him remember he forgot the groceries. She's irritated because it's all she asked him to do. He's says he's not just sitting around, he's looking for work. Now they'll need to stop for coffee before he drops her off at work. 

Meanwhile, Meredith's voice over talks about how even good marriages fail.

Zola is up, she's crying. Meredith gets out of the bed and tells Cristina, who's still lying in bed, to change her diaper while she gets the bottle. Cristina moans and gets up.

Owen and Derek are working on the dreamhouse. Owen heard from Kepner that Meredith and Cristina are living together, but they both don't care how they're doing. 

Lexie is naked. She sighs and says she can't have sex when there's a baby from a broken home in the next room. She lays back down next to Jackson, who climbs on top of her and tells her to look at him. It's just the two of them.

Alex is woken up by his alarm. He's slept in a hospital bed. Before leaving the room, he tells the patient that he snores like truck, about which he'll put a note in his chart. He leaves the room.

Callie, Arizona, and Sofia get off the elevator. Teddy walks with them and asks if they're going to this breakfast thing. They are, after they drop of Sofia at daycare. Teddy notices Sofia and starts talking to her with a baby voice. When she keeps going, Callie asks Arizona what's wrong with her. She's unnaturally cheerful because she's getting laid, Arizona says. Lexie walks past with a bunch of interns following her. She's giving the famous intern speech. One of the interns asks if they're going into an OR soon. Callie hates new interns, but Teddy says she loves them. They're the future, full of hope, promise and innovation. Arizona says the sex with Henry must be good. Earthshattering, Teddy says, and not even Yang is going to get her down today.

April walks down the stairs carrying a step while practicing her speech. She passes Owen and Derek and tells them she'll see them there. She heard there will be an omelette station. The two men see Cristina and Meredith enter the hospital with Zola, and how Cristina kisses the baby goodbye. Owen walks away, and so does Cristina after having given Meredith the diaper bag. Derek walks up to Meredith and takes Zola. Meredith wants to talk, but he wants to spend time with Zola before dropping her off at daycare.

Danny and Susannah, the fighting couple, leaves their house. She asks him to call Glenn, but Danny says he's an ass and he's not sure he wants to work for the guy. Susannah thinks he should stop being so choosy. Danny only has been laid off four months ago, and he says it takes time before he can get a new job. She knows what it takes to get a job. She has one, remember? They get in their car.

In the cafeteria, all the 5th year residents and attendings are enjoying breakfast. April is standing on her step and giving her speech, but she's talking too quiet so no one hears her. She wants the residents to contact their mentors and ask for advice on their future. Nobody reacts. "I see you're already chatting away, so that's good. Just carry on," she says. She walks up to Bailey, who's making her breakfast sandwich. April asks how she did it. Bailey explains how she made her sandwich. April actually wanted to know how she got people to listen to her as Chief Resident. Bailey wants to eat now and tells her to find it out on her own.

Cristina is getting juice and asks Meredith if Derek talked to her. He didn't even look at her, she says. Cristina reminds her Derek thinks the tempering with the trial is unforgivable, but she already knows why Meredith did it. She doesn't have to defend herself against Cristina, as Cristina is also unforgivable herself. Not yet, Meredith says. Cristina says Owen walks away when he sees her and won't answer her calls, and she's not exactly going to yell down the hallway that she didn't get the abortion. Meredith asks if she's gonna go through with it this time. Cristina says they'll do it tonight. Now, she's going to suck up to Teddy.

Mark tells Jackson he doesn't see plastics in him. Jackson thinks it's about Lexie, but Mark says this is about medicine. Jackson is a good surgeon, not a great one, which is why Mark is surprised Lexie's even into him. "But this isn't about Lexie?" Jackson asks. Nope, Mark says, but he does want to know how she's doing. Jackson leaves.

Cristina walks up to Teddy. "Oh God, what is she doing here?" Teddy says. Cristina doesn't get it, but Teddy says it's what Cristina's thinking because Teddy was supposed to run off to Germany, which would've been good for Cristina considering all the drama of last year. Teddy is in a happy place and done with drama, so if Cristina wants to learn, she's ready to teach her. Great, Cristina says. "Yay!" Teddy replies, leaving Cristina uncomprehending about what's going on.

Arizona is serious. If Alex wants the peds fellowship next year, he's gonna have to earn it. Alex thinks his African project would fit, but he hasn't published yet Arizona points out, contrary to all other surgeons applying for the fellowship. She's already getting resumes, and he's getting behind. She doesn't want to kick a guy while he's down, but... Alex says he's not down, but Arizona points out everybody hates him for what he did to Meredith. He's a pariah. He's been living in the hospital, he looks like a bum and he's got really, really bad breath. She asks if she needs to go on, but she's good.

The Chief walks in, and April is happy to see him. She wants him to tell the residents something, as they're now suddenly all paying attention. They all know what they're doing, he just tells them not to kill anyone. He then asks to see Meredith in his office and leaves. "That was inspirational. Thank you, Chief," April says, but nobody's paying attention anymore.

Susannah and Danny are in their car, and he says that if they didn't spend their savings on their wedding, his being laid off wouldn't be such a problem. They decided on the wedding together, she says, but he points out it was more her and her mother. She asks him to stop the car. He wants her to calm down, but she's serious and repeats her demand.

In the Chief's office, Meredith thinks Derek asked to stop working with her. Richard says the board came together this morning. They feel a suspension would send a wrong message, and they feel what she did disgraced the hospital and their profession. He apologizes, he did everything he could. She's fired, effective immediately. She's no longer a doctor at Seattle Grace.

Danny stopped the car, but tells Susannah their marriage is over if she gets out. She gives him an angry face, opens the door and gets out of the car. She starts walking forward, but suddenly the ground shakes and she falls down. As the crowd starts screaming, Danny gets out of the car too. He falls down as well. We then see the ground is opening, and the car disappears in the sinkhole too.

Owen and Callie get in an ambulance to go to the scene to perform an amputation on a woman who's trapped under her car  in the sinkhole. He warns Kepner they'll be swamped with bodies. Alex, Bailey, Cristina, Jackson, and Lexie are waiting for incoming ambulances. An angry Meredith comes outside and tells Cristina she got fired. All but Bailey are shocked to hear the news. Meredith repeats the Chief fired her, eyes fixed on Alex. Cristina starts punching him and scolding at him. Bailey tells Kepner to control her people, but her words have no effect. Bailey grabs Cristina's neck and makes her let go of Alex, who decides to ride to the scene with a leaving paramedic. April still yells she didn't give him permission to go, but he doesn't listen.

Bailey and Cristina start working on the first patient. Cristina tells Meredith they'll work something out. They wheel the patient inside, and Bailey tells Meredith she has to go. She's standing there as the other residents are informed on the second patient by the paramedic.

At the scene, which is crowded with firefighters and paramedics, Callie and Owen get out of the ambulance. Karen, the incident commander tells them about the couple stuck down in the sinkhole. They could get the man up, but he refuses to leave without his wife, who's stuck under the car. They walk to the edge of the huge sinkhole. Owen and Callie are shocked.

The ER is crowded, and more patients are being wheeled in. Bailey hopes Kepner got her with a good resident, as she doesn't feel like babysitting a first year today. Kepner got her Meredith, but that won't work. She will fix this, and asks Jackson if she can get him with Bailey. He can't, he's with Sloan. Cristina refuses as well when April asks her. April asks Bailey to hang on as she checks her papers. Bailey looks around, and yells at Lexie that she's with her today. Lexie agrees. April is already exhausted when a nurse informs her three more patients are coming in. 

Karen tells Owen and Callie how the sinkhole originated. They have a vitals monitor and a camera down in the sinkhole, so they have a visual. Callie takes the microphone. Danny tells them Susannah's not talking anymore. Owen talks him to read the numbers on the monitor, which he does. Susannah's in shock, they need to get down there. Karen says they can't, as the whole thing would cave in if they'd send them down there. By the time they'll get it safe to send someone down, Susannah will have died. Callie says they're here for the amputation, but Karen says they'll have to walk Danny through it. Meanwhile on the camera, Danny asks them to hurry as Susannah is dying.

Cristina is treating a patient and Teddy is observing. She wants to know why Cristina chose to do what she's doing. Teddy wants Cristina to tell her like she's an idiot, a medical student. She wants to make sure Cristina's foundation is solid. "Why?" Cristina asks, but Teddy's the one asking the questions.

Derek storms out of his OR. Meredith is waiting in the hall. He thinks there's something about Zola, but when she tells him it's about her, he says he has to go. She tells him she got fired, which he seemingly had expected. He walks off.

All the necessary supplies have been sent down to Danny. Karen tells him the doctors will be talking him through it. Alex walks up to them and asks what he can do. Kepner called, she wants him back at the hospital. He says he doesn't want to go back. Callie says it sucks everybody hates him, but tells him to go back anyway. He leaves as Karen asks Danny if he managed to get the kit open. He does so, and starts panicking upon seeing all the instruments. Owen assures him he can do it, but he has only once chance of having both of them survive this. He has to amputate the leg.

Alex walks towards an ambulance and asks the paramedic if they're going back. As he wheels the patient into the ambulance, the paramedic replies they are. Alex notices there are animal bracelets around the patient's hand, but the patient is an adult male. Alex yells if anybody's seen a kid, but there's no kid around. He asks the paramedic where they pulled the guy from.

Alex walks to the debris at the edge of the sinkhole and notices a small hand sticking out of the sand. He starts digging and yells he needs help.

Owen and Alex have dug out the kid's head. Owen checks the boy's pulse as Alex checks his breathing. There's no breathing, so Owen orders someone to get an ambu bag as they continue digging out the kid. Alex starts rescue breathing.

Meredith is charting when an intern is panicking as he thinks his patient is coding. He calls for help. Meredith asks him about the patient's rhythm, but the intern is really uncertain. He says it's only the first day of his internship. Meredith calmly tells him to go back to his patient and check for a pulse. He has one. Now he has to check for breath sounds. He kind of hears some, but maybe the right one sounds less prominent. Meredith walks over and starts taking over as Bailey appears. She interferes and tells Meredith to step away as she takes over. Bailey saves the patient and tells the intern to call his resident the next time. He thought Meredith was a resident, but Bailey says Meredith was fired, and if the patient had died under her care, they would all be sued. She tells him to get a chest tube and tells Meredith to get the hell out.

Owen and Alex have started the kid on oxygen. The kid's body is shutting down. They suspect it's caused by compartment syndrome. They need to perform a bilateral fasciotomy to relieve pressure. Owen asks if they have a scalpel. Alex finds one. Owen puts betadine onto the kid's arms and tells Alex to do the fasciotomies, as he's the 5th year resident now. The pulse strenghtens as Alex made the cut in one arm, and does the second one too. The kid wakes up, and Alex introduces himself as a doctor and tells him he had a pretty bad accident. 

Back at the hospital, Bailey tells Webber they need a Gunther because the 5th years are at each others' throats. He's too busy now finding a new residency spot for Meredith and thinks a letter of recommendation from Bailey might help. She refuses, as she thinks Meredith is a perfect example of the kind of resident one should not hire, as she undermines authority and doesn't stay true to her oath. Meredith is the reason they need a Gunther.

In the ER, Jackson presents his patient to Mark and Derek. The guy wouldn't need surgery, but Derek wants him to do neuro exams every two hours. Jackson sutured the guy's face, and Mark takes a look at his work. His grandmother could sew a stuffed turkey better than that. Jackson says he'll fix it as April needs him for a new patient in bed 3. Mark tells him to go and make himself useful. Before leaving, Jackson says he's gonna fix it himself. Derek thinks Mark is being a little too hard on Jackson, but Mark says he's a lightweight and tells Derek he should be happy he has Meredith. He tells him Meredith was fired, and Mark asks if she's okay. Derek doesn't know. The patient wakes up and Derek tells him what happened. He asks about his son, and Derek says he will need to help out on the case, but assures him he'll be fine.

Alex wheels in the kid. Robbins is waiting for them somewhere and they called Shepherd from the field, but April doesn't know which trauma room Arizona is in as the board is a mess. Alex snaps that she needs to find out. April yells she wants everyone to update the board. Meredith appears with a pile of charts and tells April she needs to reassign all these cases. She tells Cristina to take over the cases, but Cristina refuses as she's with Altman and thinks Meredith should keep her cases. April says she's Chief Resident and Cristina has to do as she say, but Meredith interferes and says she can wait until April has a minute. Cristina doesn't understand Meredith is just gonna give up. She says she needs to go talk to the board, but Meredith replies the board fired her. Teddy comes over and tells Cristina they have patients. Before walking away, Cristina tells Meredith to come up with a plan.

Down in the sinkhole, Danny is being instructed on how to cut off Susannah's leg. He has done everything good so far. Now, the hard part begins. He has to put his weight on the knife to make smooth cuts. Before cutting, Danny wants to know if Susannah's really won't feel it. Callie assures him she won't, as she's unconscious. He doubts, but says he can't. Owen advises him to cover her face with one of the blue towels. He does so, and then is encouraged enough to start cutting.

He hit the bone. He now has to take the curve clamp and move it back and forth beneath the bone. He tries to do so, but it won't go. Callie advises him to put his hand into the incision to get more traction, but Danny can't go on. He's convinced he'll kill her and begs them to come down. Owen decides to go down as he gets they're asking too much. Karen doesn't want to agree, but he insists. Callie wants to go in his place as she's the orthopedic surgeon, but he reminds her she has a wife and a child. He's going.

Meredith is watching the kids in daycare. Cristina comes over, and Meredith tells her she has plan. She's gonna be a mom. Cristina reminds her of what is going on and asks her not to page her again unless it's serious. Meredith says it's serious, she thinks being fired was a blessing in disguise. She dreams out loud about the all the things she'll do as a mother. Maybe that's enough for her. Cristina doesn't recognize her. Meredith thinks Cristina maybe wants to be a mom too, which is why she didn't go through with the abortion. Cristina says she wished she wanted a kid really badly, because then she'd have Owen and her life wouldn't be a mess. She really doesn't want to be a mother, she wants to be a surgeon. She really needs someone to get it. She wishes that someone was Owen and that he'd show up for the abortion, but that's not gonna happen. Meredith is her person, so she needs Meredith to be there at 6 PM. She needs Meredith to get it, as her husband doesn't. She walks away. 

Lexie tells Jackson she's a terrible person as she's reaping joy from the fact that her sister got fired. Jackson replies a terrible person wouldn't feel terrible about that. April asks him to take over some cases, but he has to go redo some sutures now. She practically begs him, and he agrees to take one. Lexie tells April that Bailey needs her spleen patient to be taken to the OR. He's in bed 3, April reads from the board, so they only need his consent form. Lexie asks a nurse to put it in the chart.

Meredith is playing peek-a-boo with Zola in daycare. Janet comes in. She just finished her home study and came to check how Zola is doing. She's doing great, Meredith tells her. Janet heard about the sinkhole and thought Meredith and Derek would be busy. Meredith says she's in between surgeries. Janet asks if she's sleeping through the night. Not really, Meredith says. Janet wants to know if she and Derek are taking turns or if it's just her who gets up at night. Meredith says he's great. The daycare worker comes over and asks Meredith if she is taking home Zola, as her form says Derek normally has her tonight. Janet doesn't understand and asks if they're not together. Meredith denies this and says they're just taking turns picking up and dropping off Zola. She says she just came to say hi and that she has to leave now. Meredith sighs as she leaves the room. Janet seems to suspect something's wrong.

Derek comes to check on the kid, who's being operated on by Alex. Arizona thought the kidney was a goner, but Alex managed to save it. He's doing a great job. Derek needs to stabilize the spine and thinks it'll take another hour, but Arizona advises him to keep his pager closeby as you never know with a rockstar like Alex. A nurse tells Derek Janet from social services wants to speak with him. She's waiting for him in the lobby. Arizona heard about Meredith, but she thinks she and Derek will get through it as they're both strong. Alex asks them to keep it down as he's trying to concentrate. Derek leaves and asks to page him when they're ready for him.

Owen arrives at the bottom of the sinkhole. He tells Danny to keep Susannah's head covered and safe. Danny says he couldn't do it, but Owen says he did the hard part. He asks him to look away as he finishes the amputation. Owen looks into the camera and asks them to take Danny up.

Meredith is unpacking her cabinet in the resident dressing room. Derek comes in and asks what she told Janet. Nothing, she says, but Derek just finished a whole series of questions of sleeping arrangements. Meredith says she's just finishing her home study, which is routine. Derek points out there was nothing routine about the part where Janet told there were inconsistencies with Meredith's story. Some red flags went up after Janet spoke with Meredith. Meredith swears she didn't tell Janet anything. Derek has to go as he got paged to a surgery. Meredith says she'll talk to Janet, but Derek tells her not to. He will take care of this.

Jackson thinks Mark will be impressed by the sutures. Jackson opens the curtain, revealing there's a woman lying in the bed instead of their male patient. That is impressive indeed, Mark says, joking about a gender reassignment. Mark tells him to call him when he's found the right patient. April comes over and asks Jackson to prep trauma room 1 for an incoming patient, but Jackson tells her to stop asking him to do her work and asks her to tell him where his patient is. The board says he's in bed 1. "Does it looks like he's there?" Jackson asks, pointing his head towards the woman in the bed. April then puzzles together that if the patient from bed 2 is in bed 1, that means the patient from bed 3 must be... She's shocked and runs off.

In the OR, Lexie presents the case to Bailey. Bailey wants her to hurry, but Lexie says she needs to have the nurse show her the consent form, as it's part of the checklist. Meanwhile, Bailey asks for the scalpel. Lexie notices something and takes the chart. Bailey reminds her she's sterile, but Lexie replies there's something off. This is not their patient. Bailey asks whose patient this is. Lexie doesn't know, but Bailey tells her she better find out. April comes in and screams not to cut, telling them this patient needs a long resection, not the one with the splenic hemorrhage. She apologizes as a pissed Bailey returns the scalpel to the nurse.

Meredith puts her badge in an envelope and asks a nurse to make sure it goes to the medical staff office. She walks away, and Alex addresses her as she walks past. However, he decides not to say anything. Owen comes over and asks for Grey's help to get the trauma rooms ready for Susannah and Danny. She tells him she got fired. He apologizes, he didn't know. He gets paged, but before he can leave, she tells him Cristina didn't have the abortion. She can't do it because she loves him, and instead of loving her back, he's punishing her for being the woman he fell in love with. Meredith says if Cristina would have a child, she would almost be killed pretending to love the kid as much as she loves surgery. On top of that, it'll also almost kill the kid. Meredith knows how it is to be raised by someone who doesn't want you. She was raised by a Cristina. As a child that was raised by such a mother, Meredith asks Owen not to do this to Cristina. Cristina is kind, she cares and she won't make it. The guilt of resenting her own kid will eat her alive. Owen's patient then arrives in the ER and he has to leave. 

April explains to Bailey that no one was updating the board, while she asked people to do it. She knows people are not listening to her, but she's only been Chief Resident for twelve hours. As she follows Bailey down the hallway, she says the wrong surgery didn't happen because of the checklist she implemented. April says it's okay for Bailey to yell at her, she can take it, but Bailey doesn't know what to yell and gets on an elevator while staring angrily at Kepner.

Cristina is intubating a patient with Teddy asking her basic questions again. Cristina questions why Teddy is treating her like a first year while she's a fifth year resident. "Because no one ever did," Teddy says. Teddy bets Cristina could do things in her first year better than most third years, and Cristina doesn't get why she gets punished for that. Because of her happiness, Teddy sees Cristina differently. Her arrogance is not her fault, it's because she's so good. People let her skip the easy stuff and allowed her to do the hard stuff. Teddy has no doubt Cristina can tell her how to perform a coronary artery bypass, but she's not sure Cristina can tell her why she chose that size endotrachial tube. Before she can answer, Cristina gets paged 911 by Bailey. 

Richard is on the phone in his office, trying to convince someone to give Meredith a job, but they turn him down. Alex comes in and tells him he needs to get Meredith her job back. Richard says the board's already made her decision. Alex suggests he talk to the board and tell them he maybe saw it all wrong. Richard says it's not on him, but Alex says it's all on him as he gets a page too. He leaves.

"Second time's a charm," Mark says seeing Jackson's stitches. He says they're a lot better, about which Jackson is happy. Mark says it's not difficult, seeing the crappy job he did the first time. The sutures aren't good, they're just better than the ones he did first. This day is awful for the man, he fell into a sinkhole and his kid is being operated on, and he now has a scar that'll remind him every day of what happened. Mark invites Jackson to tell the patient that. The patient asks if his son is out of surgery already, and Mark replies Dr. Avery was just about to go check on that. Jackson gets a page and leaves.

Bailey walks down the hallway. Cristina follows her and Alex joins them. They were both paged but don't know why. They're then joined by April and Jackson. April thinks they'll be fired because of the patient mixup in the OR. Cristina says April should be fired, but April defends herself and says it's them who didn't update the board. "That's why she looks so pissed off," Alex says, looking at Bailey. They're now in the ER. Bailey takes a look at a couple of charts. She enters Callie's trauma room and asks her what she got. Callie informs her on the patient, and Bailey says this is a Gunther. Callie is surprised and asks if they can handle a Gunther, looking at the residents that Bailey paged. Bailey answers they need a Gunther. None of the residents know what a Gunther is.

Meredith meets Janet in the lobby and asks her what's up. Janet wants to wait for Derek. Since he's in surgery, Meredith asks if Janet can at least tell her what this is about. Janet says she could tell something was up when she met Meredith at daycare. She made some calls. It would've been better if Meredith told her she had been fired and that she and Derek are living apart. Meredith can explain, but Janet says she must understand her concern. Meredith asks what happens now, worst case scenario. Janet doesn't want to go there, but Meredith asks if they can take Zola. Janet is not comfortable discussing this without Derek. Seeing this is urgent, Meredith says she'll go get him and she'll be right back.

She walks away, but she seems to change her plans.

Derek is operating as Meredith keeps on walking. His patient starts crashing. Meredith seems to be panicking as Arizona comes in, being paged by Derek. He tells her to scrub in.

Meredith is in the tunnels, asking herself over and over again what she did. She's carrying Zola. 


  • Meredith Grey
  • Cristina Yang
  • Alex Karev
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Callie Torres
  • Mark Sloan
  • Lexie Grey
  • Owen Hunt
  • Arizona Robbins
  • Teddy Altman
  • April Kepner
  • Jackson Avery
  • Derek Shepherd
  • Danny Wilson
  • Susannah Wilson
  • Karen Lorenz
  • Janet Meyers
  • Jerry Hoffman
  • Intern Logan
  • Tara
  • ER Nurse
  • Nurse Gloria
  • ND Paramedic
  • Rescue Worker (rear)

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit


Medical NotesEdit

Susannah WilsonEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Crush injuries
    • Broken pelvis
  • Treatment:

After Susannah fell into the sinkhole, she became trapped under a car and Callie and Owen were called out to the scene for an amputation. When they arrived, they were told they needed to talk Susannah's husband through the amputation. Danny was able to do part of the amputation coached by Callie Torres, but eventually, he couldn't continue. Owen went down and completed the amputation so that Susannah could be lifted out and taken to the hospital. Once she was in the hospital, she was set to be operated on by all the residents in a Gunther surgery.

Unnamed PatientEdit

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:

Alex was sleeping in a patient room. When he woke up, he told the patient in the room that he snores like a trucker, so he'd put a note in his chart because if he had apnea along with his heart problems, he'd be dead before he turned 60.

Danny WilsonEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Head wound
    • Ankle injury
  • Treatment:

Danny had only minor injuries from the fall into the sinkhole, but since his wife was trapped, he wouldn't allow them to lift him out. Once Owen came down and completed the amputation, he finally allowed them to remove him so he could be taken to the hospital for treatment.

Sinkhole PatientEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Tracheal injury
  • Treatment:

A 42 year old woman was brought into the ER with an injury to her trachea. They were unable to get an airway due to that injury and she lost consciousness on the way to the hospital.

Teddy's PatientEdit

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Chest tube

While working with Teddy, Cristina inserted a chest tube. Teddy had her explain in detail why she did it the way she did it so that she'd be a better teacher when the time came.

Jerry HoffmanEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage
    • Humerus fracture
    • Facial lacerations
  • Treatment:
    • Splinting
    • Stitches

After being evacuated from the sinkhole site and taken into the hospital, Jerry was diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a humerus fracture, and facial lacerations. Jackson splinted the fracture and stitched up his face, but after seeing the work Jackson did, Mark told him to redo it. Once the stitches were redone, Mark said they were better, but not great. Derek determined that he wouldn't need brain surgery, but said he'd need neuro exams every two hours.

Nicky HoffmanEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Rib fractures
    • Decreased respirations
    • Compartment syndrome
    • Crush injuries
    • Renal artery thrombosis
    • Spinal fracture
  • Treatment:
    • Bilateral fasciotomies
    • Surgery
    • Interposition graft

Nicky Hoffman was buried in dirt after the sinkhole. He wasn't breathing. Alex performed CPR while he was extracted. He had decreased respirations and multiple rib fractures. Owen suspected compartment syndrome. Alex did bilateral fasciotomies to relieve the pressure, which helped to improve his condition. Nicky was brought into the hospital where he was taken into surgery. Arizona and Alex operated. Later, Derek operated and Nicky became unstable, so Arizona was called back in to help him.

Logan's PatientEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Tension pneumothorax
  • Treatment:
    • Chest tube

On his first day, Logan had a patient who was coding. Coached by Meredith, he determined that his patient had a pulse and decreased breath sounds on the right. She pushed him out of the way, told him that his patient had a tension pneumothorax, and had him grab a needle so she could relieve the pressure. Bailey came in and pushed Meredith, who had recently been fired, out of the way before using the needle to relieve the pressure. She then told Logan to put in a chest tube and next time, to call his own resident.

Chuck WallaceEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Splenic hemorrhage
  • Treatment:
    • Splenectomy

Dr. Bailey was set to perform a splenectomy on Chuck Wallace, who was injured in the sinkhole. However, Lexie discovered that the patient on their table was not Chuck Wallace.

ER PatientsEdit

A. Davies, J. Barrows, R. McCarthy, M. Andresen, S. Beaurain, R. Sieloff, D. Brodo, and N. Rubio were all shown on the ER board.

N. CramerEdit

N. Cramer was an older woman in the ER who was in the bed marked as Jerry Hoffman.

Mr. JarvisEdit

  • Treatment:
    • Lung resection

Mr. Jarvis was accidentally taken into Bailey's OR and sedated in place of Chuck Wallace.

Teddy and Cristina's PatientEdit

  • Treatment:
    • Intubation

While Cristina was intubating a patient, Teddy once again had her explain why she chose the tube she did.


Song Performer Scene
"Watcing You Watch Him" Eric Hutchinson
  • The episode opens and the voice over plays.
  • Danny and Susannah fight over breakfast.
  • Meredith and Cristina wake up to Zola crying.
  • Owen and Derek are constucting Derek's dream house while talking about their wives.
  • Lexie can't have sex with Jackson while Zola is crying.
  • Alex wakes up in a patient room.
  • Callie and Arizona arrive in the hospital with Sofia and they talk with an extremely cheerful Teddy.
  • Lexie walks by, guiding the new interns.
"Boundaries" AM
  • Meredith meets with Richard, who tells her she's fired.
  • During their fight, Susannah gets out of the car as the sinkhole opens up.
"Gold" Delay Trees
  • Meredith leaves the daycare when Janet starts asking questions about her and Derek.
  • Alex and Arizona are operating with Derek observing.
  • A nurse tells Derek Janet is in the lobby for him.
  • Owen gets down in the sinkhole to amputate Susannah's leg.
"Box of Stones" Benjamin Francis Leftwich
  • Janet tells Meredith she made calls about her concerns regarding Zola's adoption, but doesn't want to discusses things without Derek.
  • Meredith promises to go and get Derek.
  • Derek is in surgery while Meredith walks through the hospital.
  • Arizona has to scrub in with Derek.
  • Meredith is in the tunnels, carrying Zola, asking herself what she did.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Grey's Anatomy 8x01

Grey's Anatomy 8x01

Grey's Anatomy 8x01 & 8x02 Promo

Grey's Anatomy 8x01 & 8x02 Promo

  • This episode's title originated from the song Free Falling, originally sung by Tom Petty.
  • This episode scored 10.38 million viewers.
  • The prep dates for this episode were from July 6, 2011 to July 14, 2011.
  • Filming for this episode was scheduled from July 15, 2011 to July 26, 2011.
  • Mark makes a common mistake when he mentions making a patient look like Frankenstein. He obviously intends to refer to the monster, but in the story of Frankenstein, Frankenstein is the doctor who created the monster, and he's thus not the monster itself.
  • This is the first and only episode to show the lives of patients before they get injured or end up at the hospital.
  • This episode introduces "Created by Shonda Rhimes" after the intro title card.
  • Goof: Early in the episode, Dr Kepner (Sarah Drew) calls out to Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) but can clearly be heard calling 'Jesse! Jesse!' instead of the character's name.
  • Goof: Also early in the episode, Zola clearly goes from being awake, to asleep, to awake, to asleep, to awake, depending on the shot, as she's being handed over to Derek by Meredith.


Episode StillsEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit


Meredith: Okay, do you know what will happen to Cristina if she has a kid that she doesn't want? It will almost kill her. Trying to pretend that she loves a kid as much as she loves surgery will almost kill her, and it'll almost kill your kid. Do you know what it's like to be raised by someone who didn't want you? I do. To know you stood in the way of your mother's career? I do. I was raised by a Cristina. My mother was a Cristina. And as the child she didn't want, I am telling you, don't do this to her, because she's kind and she cares and she won't make it. The guilt of resenting her own kid will eat her alive.

Callie: Oh, new interns. I hate new interns.
Teddy: Seriously? I love new interns. They're the future, the next generation, filled with hope and promise, innovation.
Arizona: Wow. The sex with Henry must be really good.
Teddy: Earth-shattering. (Arizona covers Sofia's ears) Not even Yang is gonna get me down.

CristinaDid he talk to you?
Meredith: No, he won't even look at me.
Cristina: Ah, you tampered with his clinical trial, he thinks it's kinda unforgivable.
Meredith: It was for Adele and the Chief...
Cristina: I-I know you regret that you messed up his trial, but not what you did. I know. You don't have to defend yourself to me. I'm kind of unforgivable myself, remember?
Meredith: But you're not. Not yet, at least. Have you told him?
Cristina: I call him, he doesn't pick up, he sees me, he walks away, okay? I'm not gonna yell 'I didn't get the abortion yet' down the hallway.
Meredith: Well, so are you going to go through with it? Or are we gonna sit there again and not get the abortion?
Cristina: Tonight. 6 o'clock. I'm doing it. Now, I gotta go suck up to Teddy.

Meredith: I got fired.
Lexie: What?
Meredith: (looking at Alex) The Chief fired me.
Cristina: You son of a bitch. I mean, are you happy now? Because this is all because of you. (starts shoving him) You and your big fat stupid mouth.
Alex: Get off.
(Cristina continues to shove him)
Bailey: Kepner, control your people.

Derek: (to Meredith) What is Zola all right?
Meredith: She's fine. It's me.
Derek: I have to go.
Meredith: Derek.
Derek: Meredith, I can't. I just... I...
Meredith: I got fired.
Derek: What'd you think was gonna happen? (walks away)

Alex: (to Callie) What can I do?
Callie: Kepner called. She wants you back at the hospital.
Alex: I can't go back.
Callie: Yeah, it sucks that everyone hates you. Now go.

Bailey: We need a Gunther.
Richard: Dr. Bailey, it's the first day of fifth year, I...
Bailey: And they're at each others throats, we need a Gunther.
Richard: I've got more pressing problems. I'm trying to find a new spot for Meredith Grey. You know, I heard they have good research fellowships at Mass Gen. I thought a recommendation from you would...
Bailey: You want me to write a recommendation for Meredith Grey?
Richard: By the end of the day would be fine.
Bailey: To whom it may concern, Meredith Grey is an excellent example of the kind of resident, you absolutely should not hire. She underminds ground-breaking clinical trials, she has absolutely no respect for rules, authority or as it turns out the oath that she took when she became a doctor. She will most likely tarnish the reputation of you, your doctors and your hospital. Sincerely, Dr. Miranda Bailey. Meredith Grey is the reason that we need a Gunther.

Alex: You need to get Meredith her job back.
Richard: What do you think I'm doing? I've spent the whole morning trying to get her a job.
Alex: Meredith doesn't need a job, she needs this job.
Richard: It's not gonna happen, the board's already made their decision.
Alex: Let me talk to them. I... I mean, maybe I don't know what I saw, maybe I...I lied to get the chief residency.
Richard: I can't let you say that.
Alex: Oh the hell you can't.
Richard: Karev, this is not on you.
Alex: Yeah it is. It's all on me.

Alex: Bailey paged you too? Any idea why?
Cristina: Who cares? As long as it gets me away from Altman.
April: She's gonna fire us, isn't she?
Alex: Why would she fire us?
Jackson: There was that patient mix-up in the OR.
Cristina: Oh, you should be fired.
April: Me? You guys didn't update the board.
Alex: That's why she looks so pissed off.

April: Dr. Bailey, how did you do it?
Miranda: I put down the english muffin first, then the bacon, then the eggs.
April: Oh, no...
Miranda: Now some people may be surprised by this method, thinking you put the bacon on top of the eggs, and those people would be right, because ... You see what I'm doing? Bam! An extra layer of bacon right on top. Then you put on the other half of the muffin. And there you go. That's a breakfast sandwich.
April: Uh, no, no, I, uh, I mean, how did you get people to listen to you as Chief Resident?
Miranda: Dr. Kepner, I am eating. Leave me alone with my food.

Arizona: Alex, this is serious. If you want the peds fellowship next year, you're gonna have to earn it.
Alex: I just brought over a bunch of sick kids from Africa.
Arizona: Well, did you publish and article about it? Because all the people applying for peds fellowships, they've all been published.
Alex: You're already getting resumes?
Arizona: Yes, and you're way behind. Listen, I hate to kick a guy when he's down, but...
Alex: Down? Who's down? I'm not down?
Arizona: Everybody hates you because you narced on a fellow surgeon. You're a pariah. You're living in the hospital, and you look like a bum and you've got really bad breath. Really, really bad. Do you need me to go on?
Alex: No, I'm good.

See AlsoEdit

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