There's an invisible line in the OR. You scrub, you gown, you glove, and you approach the sterile field. It's an important boundary. It's there to protect the patient and you. Without that line, about a million things can go wrong. Funny that something so important is completely invisible. There's a reason so many babies' first word is "no." It's because it's the word they hear the most. From the second we're born, we want to cross the line, push the boundaries, test the limits. But then we grow up and learn that not all rules are bad. Some boundaries protect us. Some lines keep us safe. The nice thing about being an adult is we can choose for ourselves. We can screw the rules or we can make our own.

I Walk the Line is the thirteenth episode of the fifteenth season and the 330th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

A sea of patients flood the hospital after gunfire goes off at a parade. A blast from the past throws Maggie off her game on the same day that Meredith tries to talk to her about dating DeLuca. Meanwhile, Owen and Amelia get some potentially life-altering news about Betty.

Full SummaryEdit

Andrew runs up to the coffee cart to pay for Meredith's coffee since she won't let him take her out on an actual date until she's spoken to Maggie. She thanks him for the coffee and leaves.

Tom and Teddy arrive at the hospital as they discuss the hotel's breakfast buffet. Owen and Leo walk by and Teddy informs him that she and Tom are staying at the same hotel. Teddy leaves to go see a patient. Owen goes to drop Leo off at daycare.

The interns are enjoying breakfast in the cafeteria while Jo and Alex get coffee. Jo then spots a photo wall of all Chiefs of Surgery, which now includes Alex. She forces him to pose next to his framed picture for a picture for his mother. She wants to celebrate how far he's come. Bailey overhears the interns thanking Alex for the breakfast. He explains he does it every week to boost morale. After he leaves, Richard comes up and asks Bailey how long her sabbatical still is. Two more months. Bailey then sees the photo wall.

Owen and Jackson arrive at daycare with their children at the same time. Amelia arrives, too, and tells Owen that rehab called to tell her Betty ran away. She got Tom to cover her service so she can go look for her. This Betty thing is more of a marathon than a sprint so she doesn't need Owen to leave work.

Meredith finds Maggie and brings up she's thinking about going on a date with Andrew, but Maggie is too distracted. Jo then comes over to express her anger at Meredith for standing up Link. Meredith apologized for that. Levi then joins them since he's on Maggie's service. Meredith checks with Maggie if they'll talk later. Maggie says yes, but she has no clue about what. She and Levi then go in to see their first patient, Kimberly Thompson, a woman Maggie went to medical school with. Maggie couldn't stand her because she made everyone call her Kiki. Kiki has a small family practice in North Dakota. She came in because the graft that was used to repair an aortic aneurysm 10 years ago is giving out. Kiki visited eight surgeons already, but nobody wanted to touch it. She asks Maggie if she wants to save her life.

Owen meets up with Casey in the ambulance bay. There was gunfire at a parade downtown. Seamus Anderson climbs out of the first rig. They were playing bagpipes at the parade and his son Colin was shot. Seamus doesn't understand why someone would bring a gun to a parade.

The rest of the bagpipe band comes running in and asks Alex about Colin, but he has trouble understanding them because of the Scottish accent. Casey tells Alex that a guy got worked up at the parade and wanted to fire straight up, but the pistol slipped, a kid got shot and that caused panic. The ER is flooded with people who got hurt trying to escape.

Alex joins the doctors in the trauma room. Owen tells him Colin has a GSW to the chest and hand. A chest tube reveals there's blood in Colin's thorax. Owen asks Seamus to step outside, but Seamus refuses to leave his boy. Owen asks to have Jackson paged.

Taryn presents Lucy Reid's case. She had a fall last night, but her syncopal work-up, cardiac enzymes, and EKG are normal, so Teddy has cleared her to go home. Teddy is confused by the two men flanking Lucy. She has no idea which one is Lucy's husband. Lucy tells her these two always hover, so they will take good care of her. Julian asks about her dizzy spells, but she has hidden that from the doctors as well as Marvin. Teddy listens to her carotids and asks Taryn for a CT angio of head and neck. She explains there's a bruit that suggests constricted vessels.

In the lobby, Amelia is approached by Betty's parents. They tell her Britney called them from rehab two days ago but when they got there, they were redirected to Amelia, whom they were told was Betty's legal guardian. Amelia explains what's been going on. Amelia explains how they met, but the parents don't know about Leo.

Jackson decides to explore Colin's hand in the OR. They move Colin to CT and Owen allows Seamus to come with. Richard tells Owen, Jackson, and Alex that the other patients only have minor injuries. Their talk is interrupted by bagpipes coming from outside. They're unsure if it's good or not. Alex breaks up it and a guy explains they're trying to lift Colin's spirits. Alex says they can donate blood if they want to help. Amelia comes out and tells Owen about Betty's parents.

Maggie comes to fetch Jo from Bailey's lab. Maggie needs her innovative ideas, but Bailey says no. Maggie tells her her asking for help is really rare. Bailey then consents.

Teddy tells Lucille and her men that she has a stenosis as well as an aneurysm of the same vessel deeper in her brain, which is why she brought Tom onto the case. Lucille is confident the doctors will fix it. Tom is confused by the situation. Lucille explains Marvin is her husband, but Julian has been her best friend for several decades, spare one where he was married to Shirl. Teddy says Taryn will prep her and they'll see her in the OR.

Kiki's in the scanner and she asks "Magpie" if she remembers a professor making them suture ham hocks. Maggie explains to Meredith who Kiki is. She belittled Maggie every day and everybody laughed and Maggie right along with them, but she wasn't mean. Meredith notices how upset Maggie is and decides now is not a good time to talk. The scans come up. It's worse than they thought.

Jackson finds Maggie, who's distracted as she's looking into options for Kiki. She thinks Kiki came here to set up her as the one to kill her. Jackson thanks her for sharing and asks her not to kill Kiki, certainly not on purpose.

Owen and Amelia are taking John and Carol to see Leo in daycare. Carol wants to hold him, which doesn't sit well with Owen.

Meredith quizzes Dahlia on complications they'll be looking out for, but Meredith is distracted by Andrew's staring at her. She asks Dahlia to say all that again, but Meredith still can't focus.

She takes Andrew into a private room and tells him no looking at her like that, ever. Meredith tried talking to Maggie earlier, but she was being weird. Andrew says his sister never asks before dating his exes, but he agrees it's not a good feeling.

Owen grows increasingly uneasy as John and Carol compare Leo to baby Britney. He claims he has to leave for the OR. Amelia follows him outside and he tells her he just can't stay here.

Maggie tells Kiki she agrees with the other surgeons that it's too dangerous. Kiki thinks maybe Maggie doesn't want to help her because she's the bitch from med school who made life a living hell for her. Maggie admits she doesn't like her, but even if there was a surgeon who could replace the graft, she can't see why Kiki would want it to be her. Kiki says she was hateful to everyone and Maggie is the best there is. She asks Maggie to take the win and help her.

Colin is taken to the OR. The CT revealed the bullet hit branches of the pulmonary arteries and veins. Seamus talks about a school shooting in Scotland 20 years ago in which 16 children died. They changed the laws and there's never been another one. Now Colin might die and nothing will change about it. They arrive at the OR line but Seamus has trouble letting go. Owen assures him he's got Colin.

Richard joins Bailey in front of the Chief pictures. She wonders why Alex is at the end and why he has a picture at all. Bailey read an article praising the hospital and Chief Karev got the nod for spearheading innovation. The world is anointing Alex Karev for her blood, sweat, and tears. Richard recalls Stevie Ryder, a patient he treated for years for diverticulitis. He worked tirelessly to get it under control, but one Thanksgiving when he was out with Adele, Stevie came in and Bailey performed an emergency colectomy. And even though he did all the ground work, she receives a gift basket of pears every Christmas. That's how it goes sometimes. However, once he's gone, Bailey changes her and Alex's picture.

While operating on Lucille, Teddy says the thing between Julian and Lucille is just a whole lot of denial. Teddy says there's always someone holding a torch in relationships like this. Julian is settling for table scraps because Lucille is married. Tom says she sounds like an expert and asks if she's a torchbearer. He says he's done with his part and leaves.

Meredith finds Maggie in the X-ray viewing room and again brings up dating Andrew, but Maggie still isn't listening. Maggie says there should be a rule against operating on people you hate. That might come with a prison sentence. Maggie is still trying to find a way because she also can't be the person killing Kiki by not doing something when she possibly can. Meredith suggests inserting the stent from below. Maggie says that could work, but she would need someone else to do that so she can be at the heart to connect the graft once it's in place. It's risky and she's never done it before. Meredith volunteers to assist.

While checking out Colin's hand, Jackson says parades just got added to the list of places he's terrified of letting Harriet go to. Alex says this is not the first kid he's treated with a GSW this week. Jackson is checking the hand for blood flow, but there's none, meaning he has to go in right away. Colin's pressure drops and Owen decides to remove an entire lobe of his lung.

Amelia joins Carol outside daycare. John is out finding a hotel. Amelia recalls how terrified she was when Betty first ran away. She can't imagine living with that for a year and a half. Carol asks about Leo's father. Amelia says he's not in the picture. Carol assures Amelia she's a good mother. Britney was a happy kid who ended up using drugs and she became someone Carol didn't know anymore. She missed her so much even before she ran away. She doesn't get why Britney would call her to come see her and then run off. Carol's not sure she can do this anymore. Amelia reveals she's an addict, too, and she did all that to her own mother. When she got clean, her mother was the last person she wanted to see because the shame was too great. She promises Carol that her little girl is still in there.

Maggie and Meredith start their surgery on Kiki with Levi and Jo assisting.

Things go south in Colin's OR.

Teddy and Taryn continue working on Lucille's stenosis.

Time has come for Meredith to start inserting the graft through the groin.

Seamus and his band band and Marvin and Julian sit in the waiting room.

Maggie finishes suturing in the graft within the 40 minutes. They release the clamp and blood flow's good, meaning there are no consequences. Maggie says Kiki has no emergency contact. She is all alone in this world. There are consequences, Maggie says.

Owen and his team deliver the news that Colin made it through surgery.

Teddy takes Marvin and Julian to see Lucille. The surgery went well. Marvin sends Julian into the room while he stays behind to talk to Teddy. He saw the look on her face. He says no one can understand it. Lucille is possessive and jealous with him in a way she'd never be with Julian, and Julian is cold and distant towards his girlfriends like he never is with Lucille. That's because they decided a long time ago to let their love be the easy kind and not risk the ease between them to be ruined on something as fickle as sex and romance. Marvin is Lucille's third husband, but there's only ever been one Julian. He then joins the others in Lucille's room.

She walks up to the nurses station in the ICU and overhears Alex explaining to Seamus that they had to remove a lobe, but the other lung will compensate for the loss. Jackson says the hand is looking great. Colin wakes up. Seamus starts comforting him. Owen can't stand it and leaves.

Teddy follows him into a stairwell and tells him to talk to her. He says Betty's parents are here and they didn't know about Leo. He's going to lose him.

Maggie and Meredith are checking on Kiki, who appears to be doing well. They sit down outside the room and Meredith asks her how she really feels about her and DeLuca. She doesn't want Maggie to secretly hate her. Maggie has no clue what she's talking about. Meredith says she's thinking about going on a date with DeLuca. Maggie is surprised but it's fine by her.

John and Owen return to Carol and Amelia. John says the hotel is putting together a crib in their room and setting them up with things to get them through the night with Leo. They thank Amelia and Owen for taking care of Leo, but they got this now. They'll talk tomorrow about the rest of Leo's things. Owen objects. Leo knows them. John refuses to leave Leo with another drug addict. Carol told him about Amelia. Owen refuses to let them take Leo without a court order. If they try, he'll have them arrested for kidnapping. John says they'll be hearing from them and he takes Carol away. Owen then yells at Amelia for giving them the one piece of information that they can use to take Leo away from him. Amelia says they are not married, so if he wants to fight for Leo, she's not standing in the way of that. Owen wonders why she's using "if." She says he's Leo's foster parents and he wanted Betty to be in Leo's life. Those are Leo's grandparents and Betty is his mother and Owen doesn't even seem to care that she's missing. Owen yells that her name is Britney and she's never been much of a mother.

Colin and Seamus are delighted to hear bagpipe music outside.

In the cafeteria, Jo switches Bailey's and Alex's pictures back.

Owen and Jackson leave through the ER with their kids. They listen to the bagpipes.

Alex finds Bailey in his office. She recalls the time he wanted to stop being Chief, but she wasn't ready to return yet. Since then, she has done the work on herself on her marriage, so she's ready to return now. He's off the hook. Alex admits he felt like a joke when he started doing this job, but along the way, he got good at it. Also, it's way more money, so he's telling her no. They agreed to a six-month contract, so she can have her job back when that period's over. Begrudgingly, she tells him she's proud for standing up for himself.

Teddy drops by Tom's hotel room. She says certain friendships are meant to be just that, even if the feelings are so big. She and Owen are supposed to be just friends. However, she and Tom are something else. They then kiss. She says she is really pregnant, but he doesn't care. He invites her in for a club sandwich with extra bacon.

Meredith paged Andrew to a lounge. She says he's not taking her out tonight. She has three kids and she's not going to sit on a motorcycle, so instead, she's taking him out. He agrees, but it's his treat. They kiss and leave together holding hands.


  • Meredith Grey
  • Alex Karev
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Owen Hunt
  • Jackson Avery
  • Amelia Shepherd
  • Jo Karev
  • Maggie Pierce
  • Andrew DeLuca
  • Teddy Altman
  • Julian
  • Tom Koracick
  • Lucille Reid
  • Seamus Anderson
  • John Dickinson
  • Marvin
  • Levi Schmitt
  • Kimberly Thompson
  • Taryn Helm
  • Dahlia Qadri
  • Casey Parker
  • Carol Dickinson
  • Pete
  • Colin Anderson
  • Paramedic Kevin Clarke

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit


Medical NotesEdit

Kimberly ThompsonEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Bicuspid aortic valve
    • Thoracic aortic aneurysm
  • Treatment:
    • Aortic grafting

Kimberly, 43, came to the hospital. She had a bicuspid aortic valve and thoracic aortic aneurysm. She had had a repair with the Elephant Trunk technique five years prior, but the graft had given out, so she needed an aortic graft replacement, which was much more difficult than the first time. Meredith suggested putting the stent in from below. Maggie said they could possibly send the graft up through the groin, but she'd need someone else to do it because she'd need to be at the heart to connect it. Meredith offered to scrub in to help. Maggie opened her chest and put her on bypass, then the graft was threaded up and placed. She survived her surgery.

Colin AndersonEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Gunshot wound
    • Broken metacarpals
  • Treatment:
    • Chest tube
    • Surgical repair
    • Lobectomy

Colin, 15, had been shot while walking in a parade. The bullet went through his hand into his chest. They put in a chest tube, which pulled out a lot of blood. His fingers were broken, but there was good blood flow to his hand. The bullet was lodged in his chest. They took him into surgery, where they started repairing his chest. Jackson did an ultrasound of his hand which showed that there was no nerve function, so he stepped in immediately to start work on it. After his surgery was complete, his father was told he'd be okay. They had had to remove a portion of one lung, but he'd compensate after some rehab. They also put pins in his hand to repair the fractures.

Lucille ReidEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Head lac
    • Stenosis
    • Aneurysm
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Lucille, 71, had fallen at home and was in for a syncopal work-up. It was clear, so she was about to be sent home when her boyfriend mentioned dizziness. Teddy ordered a CT angio and a neuro consult. They found stenosis and an aneurysm. They scheduled surgery to have Teddy fix the stenosis while Tom repaired the aneurysm. She was awake and stable afterward.

Mr. DysonEdit

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Mr. Dyson had just had surgery. Dahlia gave report to Meredith about what they'd do for post-op monitoring.


Song Performer Scene
"Never Gonna Catch Me" Las Palmas
  • Andrew buys Meredith coffee. He proposes a date, but she wants to talk to Maggie first.
  • Teddy and Tom talk about the hotel food. Owen interrupts the conversation.
"Life on Earth" Snow Patrol
  • Maggie, Meredith, and Jo operate on Kiki.
  • Things go south in Owen, Alex, and Jackson's OR.
  • Teddy works on Lucille in the cath lab.
  • All patients' loved ones sit in the waiting room.
"Superposition" Young The Giant
  • Bailey tells Alex she's proud of him.
  • Teddy visits Koracick's room. She tells him they are something else than friends.
  • Meredith decides she's taking Andrew out.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Grey's Anatomy 15x13 Promo "I Walk the Line" (HD) Season 15 Episode 13 Promo

Grey's Anatomy 15x13 Promo "I Walk the Line" (HD) Season 15 Episode 13 Promo

  • This episode's title originated from the song I Walk the Line, originally sung by Johnny Cash.
  • This episode scored 6.58 million viewers.
  • As of this episode, all actors portraying the recurring interns are credited as guest stars. Up until this episode, Jaicy Elliot and Alex Blue Davis were credited as co-stars.
  • Writer Jason Ganzel appears at the barista who serves Meredith and Andrew's coffees in the beginning of the episode.
  • Editor Chad Mochrie appears as a member of the Scottish pipe band.


Episode StillsEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit


Meredith: I spoke to Maggie.
Andrew: What did she say?
Meredith: Nothing, but she was acting weird.
Andrew: I think maybe you're acting weird.
Meredith: Well, I hope you're right, but still, she's my sister, so I need to hear it from her.
Andrew: Okay, well, for the record, my sister's never once asked me if she can date my exes. She just dives right in.
Meredith: Hmm. And how does that make you feel?
Andrew: Good point.

Alex: I hate that thing. I smile weird.
Jo: No, you don't. You smile handsome and confident and accomplished. And, Alex, think about where you started, how far you've come. When you were bouncing around foster homes, trying to keep your brother and sister alive, did you ever think that you would grow up to be Chief of Surgery? This is something to celebrate. Here, get beside it. I'm gonna take a picture for your mom.

Teddy: I mean, if Lucille and Julian are friends, they're friends with benefits.
Tom: Oh, friends with retirement benefits. Ha! That was solid. Fluoro.
Teddy: I don't even think that it's a friendship. I mean, it's just a whole lot of denial.
Tom: What, you can't picture a world with septuagenarian three-ways?
Taryn: Right? I mean, you could do a whole lot worse than having too many people love you.
Tom: Remember when interns were afraid to speak to their attendings? I miss that.

Bailey: A few months ago, you said you didn't want to be interim chief anymore. But at the time, I was not yet ready to return. Since then, I've done the work on myself, I have done the work on my marriage, and now you'll be happy to hear I'm ready. I'm ready to be chief again, so you are off the hook.
Alex: Look, I sucked when I started this job. I mean, I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep and I felt like a big joke.
Bailey: No comment.
Alex: But somewhere along the way, I got good at it. I like it now. I mean, I kicked this job's ass, just like Webber told me to.
Bailey: Webber?
Alex: Yeah. Plus, it's way more money. So the answer is no.
Bailey: Oh, I wasn't asking so much as telling.
Alex: And I'm telling you no. I mean, we agreed to a six-month contract, Bailey. That's what I signed. When it's over, it's all yours.
Bailey: I didn't even expect you to survive your intern year.
Alex: What?
Bailey: I'm saying I'm proud of you, Karev.

Carol: Britney was a happy kid. I mean, she loved school, loved soccer and fuzzy socks and cinnamon toast. And then she started using drugs, and she just became someone I didn't know anymore. She'd be standing right in front of me, but not there. I just missed her so much. I missed her before she ran away. Why would she call me again and say, "I love you," and, "I'm sorry," and, "Come see me," and then just... I don't know how I keep doing this. I don't know. I don't know if I can keep doing this.
Amelia: I took her in because I'm an addict, too, and I did all that. I ran away. I lied. I broke my mother's heart over and over again. But when I got clean, she was the last person that I wanted to see. The shame was too great. I'm sure you're a good mom, and I promise you, your little girl is still in there.

See AlsoEdit

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

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