There’s this thing about being a surgeon. Maybe it’s pride or maybe it’s just about being tough. But a true surgeon never admits they need help unless absolutely necessary. Surgeons don’t need to ask for help because they’re tougher than that. Surgeons are cowboys. Rough around the edges. Hardcore. At least, that’s what they want you to think. Deep down, everyone wants to believe they can be hardcore. But being hardcore isn't just about being tough - it's about acceptance. Sometimes you have to give yourself permission to not be hardcore for once. You don't have to be tough every minute of every day. It's okay to let down your guard. In fact, there are moments when it's the best thing you can possibly do - as long as you choose your moments wisely.

Kung Fu Fighting is the sixth episode of the fourth season and the 67th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

A man survives a parachute accident without serious injury, two women refuse treatment because of a wedding contest, and Cristina and Izzie jockey for inclusion in Hahn's surgeries.

Full SummaryEdit


Callie sleeping on the couch at Burke's old apartment

While Callie is sleeping on the couch, Meredith's on Cristina's bed talking about her problems. She has panic attacks and she dreams, resulting in sleep deprivation. Cristina diagnoses serious abandonment issues. Cristina asks if she and Derek considered stopping having break-up sex. Meredith gives her a look and mumbles that the more available Derek gets, the more she pulls away.

There's a new trailer parked next to Derek's. Richard comes out of it carrying two mugs of coffee and sits down on Derek's deck. Derek brings trout for breakfast. Richard is not excited. He knows Derek is in pain over a woman and says they have that in common. Richard says they need a gentlemen's evening and he'll throw one tonight.

Izzie tells George this is absurd. He shouldn't be sleeping in the on-call room while she has a perfectly good bed. She knows they said to wait and be respectful, but tonight she wants sex. Hot, perfect sex. He's up for that. She has to go check on patient and impress Erica. Also, she needs to shave her legs. George says it's not necessary, but she firmly disagrees.

Richard greets Erica on her first day at the hospital. He introduces Derek, who calls her the new Burke. He then introduces Mark, who calls her the exact same thing. Mark and Derek walk off and Erica compliments on their looks. She says it's good to be here.

Mark and Derek are wondering what a gentlemen's evening is. Mark thinks about strippers and he asks Bailey what she thinks when she hears gentlemen's evening. She also thinks strippers. Derek's pretty sure there won't be strippers, but Mark decides to come anyway because he likes to be surprised.

Derek walks past Meredith and Cristina and greets Meredith. Cristina asks Meredith what that was about. A date later in the on-call room, Meredith replies. Meredith assures her it's nothing, but Cristina points out she's losing an awful lot of sleep over "nothing".

They walk into the ambulance bay, where Alex is waiting too. Cristina wants to get back on cardio. Callie joins them. She's ready to get rid of some of her anger. She allows Alex to get on her service. The paramedics unload a gurney. On the gurney are Jackie Escott and Helena Boye, both injured and holding on to a wedding dress. A man says it's about a store contest. Two other guys each encourage their girlfriends not to let go. Callie wants to get the ladies treated, but they refuse to let go of the dress. They take them inside. The second ambulance arrives and the paramedics unload a man who survived a 12,000 feet free fall, as his parachute didn't open. Cristina looks up at the sky and says thanks.

The man who fell is in a trauma room. He tells Bailey his name, Rick Jacobs. Meredith and Cristina are examining him. Sally, Rick's skydiving instructor, comes rushing in. She's panicking as she saw the whole thing, but she couldn't help him. Bailey asks her to go wait outside. Richard comes in and he's surprised to see the man's talking. Bailey suspects he's in shock. Derek wants to go get a CT. Since he probably has multiple injuries, Cristina leaves to assure she gets the cardio case.

Alex and Callie try to examine Jackie and Helena, but the bloody wedding dress is making it difficult. Mark comes over to check out the broken nose. Callie wonders if they can't just split the prize, but the judge says he offered that 14 hours ago. Jackie says it's a $100,000 wedding package and she refuses to split that. George, who's on Mark's service, tells them they're bleeding all over the dress, but they all yell it's not about the dress. Alex goes to grab a sling for Jackie's dislocated shoulder. Callie takes Mark aside and tells him this is hell, as she assigned George to him to keep him away from her, and now their patients are connected. Mark reminds her he can torture George.

Izzie is easing her patient's fears. He's really nervous about the surgery Hahn's going to perform. He says he's a birdwatcher and if he gets through this, he's finally going to scout the ivory-billed woodpecker. It's so rare that they thought it's extinct. He asks if she can imagine what it's like to see a bird like that. Cristina scrapes her throat from the doorway. Izzie goes outside and asks why she's hovering. Cristina tells her about the skydiver case and the amazing surgery that come with it. She wants to switch cases, but Izzie says she likes cardio. Cristina says she's married to cardio, whereas Izzie is just flirting with it. She's not hardcore enough to deal with cardio. Izzie says insulting her personal life is not a great tactic and once again says no. She tells Cristina to enjoy the skydiver case.

Bailey, Richard, Meredith, and Derek are waiting for the scans. They're guessing who gets to operate first as Cristina comes in, asking if there are any cardiac problems. They are all surprised to find out that the scans are clear. He only has a bleeding appendix.

Alex enters a supply closet and finds Lexie charting in there. She says she gets a lot of work done in there. Out there, she's the other Grey who Yang likes to humiliate and kick around. This is her place. Alex says every class of interns has its runt of the litter. If she keeps this up, it's gonna be her. He tells her to get up and come with him. 

Mark and Callie have come up with a solution. George can be Jackie's proxy so Callie can tend to her leg and shoulder. George is visibly not amused as he takes the dress. One of the fiancés says his job kind of sucks. Alex and Lexie arrive and Alex mocks George. Callie tells Mark this does make her feel better as she takes Jackie to a trauma room.

Bailey tells Rick he's a very lucky man. He only needs an appendectomy. Sally is emotional as she thought he was going to die. Rick feels like he can do anything, because he stared death in the face and he survived. Meredith knows that changes a person. Rick turns to Sally, who says she'll immediately destroy the video that shows his fall. In fact, she's going to destroy it right now. She walks out, not listening to Rick, who wants to tell her something. Cristina is interested in the video.

Richard enters Hahn's OR to check how she's settling in. They encounter a blockage in an artery so they're going to have to open him up. The patient suddenly starts deteriorating, which Hahn recognizes as malignant hyperthermia. Izzie recalls this means he's allergic to anesthesia. Richard says he'll never endure the CABG. Izzie asks what their options are.

Izzie and Erica are telling Mr. Arnold that he's going to die, since an angioplasty is not going to work and he won't endure the extensive surgery required to fix the blockage. Mr. Arnold realizes he'll be sick and exhausted until his death. He tells Izzie it would have been wonderful to see the bird.

George is holding on to the dress as Jackie's fiancé pressures him to hold on. Helena realizes they think it's stupid. Mark says he's not one to judge as he's never been married, but he says George knows all about it. Helena congratulates him.

Callie and Alex are ready to pop Jackie's shoulder back in. Jackie thinks she should just win by default. The shoulder pops back out, so they're going to have to operate. Jackie says no, as she has to get back to the dress. She can only win this wedding now, whereas she can have surgery any time.

Cristina joins the group of people who are watching George and Helena. Cristina comments a monkey could do this. George says it's harder than it's looks. Helena tells him the only way to do this is to block them all out. Her fiancé tells her not to help him as he's the competition. The judge is getting more annoyed by the whole thing. Cristina walks off, saying she has better stuff to do. She reveals she has the skydiver video. Alex and Meredith follow her.

Izzie finds them in a lounge as they turn on the video. They turn up the volume and discover that seconds before crashing into the ground, he confessed his love for Sally. Cristina recalls that Izzie was supposed to be in surgery. Izzie informs him the patient was allergic to anesthesia, so the surgery got cancelled.

While Cristina is doing research, Meredith is talking about drowning. She realized then how stupid all of her issues are. Rick fell and all he wanted was one last chance to tell Sally how he felt. She got her second chance, but she didn't do anything with it. Cristina says being aware of your crap and overcoming your crap are two very different things. Meredith agrees. Cristina finds the answer to Mr. Arnold's problem.

Cristina finds Hahn and presents her solution. She talks about a high thoracic epidural which will numb him from the chest down, so that he can stay awake and breathe for himself. That solves the problem. Izzie comes over with the discharge papers, but Hahn says they're not there yet.

Erica presented the plan to Mr. Arnold. He asks how long it would take. He's resistant, but Izzie tells him it's his only chance to see the bird. He then consents.

Outside the room, Erica tells Izzie she gets to scrub in. Izzie honestly says it was Cristina's idea, but Hahn asks if she's in or out. Izzie says she's in. Hahn tells Cristina there will be standing room in the gallery and asks Izzie to book an OR. 

Richard is staring at the OR board. He's amazed by the awake open-heart surgery. Derek comes over and asks what they should expect this evening. All Richard tells him is a good time.

Jackie is talking about the stamina it takes to stand in a display window for two days. It's the hardest thing she's ever done. Callie reminds her she's risking permanent damage, but Jackie doesn't seem to hear that. Lexie asks her about her dress. Jackie describes it. Lexie concludes she's going to wear her hair down then, to cover the hunchback. Lexie informs her that since she's ignoring Callie's advice, her shoulder's gonna be pretty swollen and purple. Her hair will probably cover it. Jackie is shocked and asks how soon they can have the surgery.

Mark and Derek find Hahn. After some talk about her upcoming surgery, they ask if she's ever heard of a gentlemen's evening. She asks if the two of them are a couple. They laugh and say no. She walks off and they wonder why she thought that. Mark says he's worried about the evening now.

Izzie finds George in the ER and says they're going to have to push back their evening together. She tells him about the surgery and Helena says it sounds intense. Izzie is worried that she's not hardcore enough because she can only think about the poor man, whereas Cristina would be studying for the surgery right now. George says she's hardcore in a different way. He tells her to go kick ass. She thanks him. Helena asks if that was his wife. George says he doesn't know her well enough to have that conversation.

Hahn enters the Chief's office. He's surprised that she told Mr. Arnold about the surgery without running it past him. She asks if Burke ran every surgery past him, or Derek, or Mark. She mentions the gentlemen's evening and lets him know she thinks it's sexist not to invite the female attendings. She leaves to go prep.

Meredith and Derek are lying in bed in the on-call room. She talks about what she felt like when she was in the water. Everything was so messy. When he pulled her out, she became alive again. Everything felt so clear, as if the water had washed everything clean.

Izzie lies down on the OR table and looks around to envision how Mr. Arnold will feel during the surgery. She rolls away the monitor on which she can see her own face.

George asks Helena how she and Jackie did this for two days. She'd love to let go. They tell each other to let go. George says he'll have to face the wrath of Mark if he does. Helena says her mother manages a grocery story and she's been putting herself into serious debt since she got engaged. It's her mother's dream, ever since their dad left. She can do this for mother, as she's done a lot for her. Helena suddenly loses consciousness. George lets go to catch her and asks for a crash cart.

Richard and George are operating on Helena. She has been bleeding internally all day, meaning she must have felt a lot of pain. George knows it must have been hard holding on to the dress, but someone wanting to get you down gives you a drive, strength. He says that in it's own way, it's hardcore, not to buckle in public and just holding on to the dress. Richard heard Mark was torturing one of his interns today, and he gathers George didn't buckle either. Richard says he's a good man.

Mr. Arnold is looking around as the surgery is about to begin. They start the surgery. Izzie has brought him a headphone with music so he doesn't have to hear the sound. She says he'll also get used to the smell of the cautery. Cristina watches from the gallery.

Meredith and Bailey are removing Rick's appendix. Bailey doesn't get why people jump out of planes. Meredith says there's this clarity thing when you cross sides. There's the moment where everything just melts away and you're fearless. She understands wanting to feel like that. 

Jackie wakes up. The first thing she asks is if she won. Callie informs her the surgery went well. She asks again who won. Alex informs her Helena collapsed and is in surgery. Jackie is delighted to hear she won and asks where the judge is, but Callie can't hold herself in any longer. She says that she should realize you shouldn't fight this hard for a wedding, you should fight this hard for a marriage and sometimes, even that is a lost cause. Sometimes, you have to let go. She tells Jackie to let go already. Jackie once again asks if she won.

Derek sits down with Cristina in the gallery. She tells him Izzie put a picture of a bird in the patient eyeline. They agree that's smart of her. Derek tells her with a lowered voice that Meredith won't let him take care of her anymore as it's not his job anymore. Cristina says she is taking care of her. 

Mr. Arnold suddenly realizes that there are a lot of people watching him and his heart. It feels weird being the one who's watched. He feels cold and keeps on asking to cover him up. His heart rate goes up. He keeps on panicking and asks them to stop the surgery. 

Mr. Arnold keeps yelling to stop the surgery. Hahn says he needs to calm so his heart will calm down. Izzie kneels behind his head and tells him to focus on the gallery. She asks him to pretend the people are birds and asks him to tell her what birds they are. The trick works and he calms down.

Callie crosses George in the hallway and asks him if his bride's doing okay. He says yes. Callie hopes he let go first, because she cannot handle her bride winning. George is surprised she's talking to him, because he didn't know if they ever would again. Callie explains she's letting go, because she has to.

Helena's fiancé asks her why she didn't tell them she was in pain. She says they would have made her let go then, but now that seems stupid because she lost anyway. George informs her that he let go first in order to catch her. The judge gives her the prize. Helena starts crying and her fiancé tells her she did this.

Rick confesses to Meredith that he's disappointed that he only has one little scar. Meredith tells him the feeling he has now will go away. The clarity goes away and then you go right back to being the coward who doesn't dare to tell the person he loves that he loves her. Meredith confesses she saw the video and says the feeling is going away right now, he has to tell Sally now while he still can. Rick says Sally is way out of his league, so there's no way she feels the same way about him. Meredith tells him that if he doesn't tell Sally, the surgery scar won't be his only one. Sally comes in and Meredith encourages him to tell her.

Mark and Derek are drinking on the deck as Richard arrives. Derek says him being obtuse was fun, but now they're getting a little freaked out. Richard says a gentlemen's evening is just an evening with no ladies. Erica arrives and says she doesn't know if this is charming or sad. Mark and Derek wonder what happened to no ladies. Richard says plans change.

Outside the hospital, Lexie asks Alex what he's doing tonight. Alex says he's not a nice guy. He doesn't date or call the next day. He's not looking for a relationship because he's still hung up on somebody else, so the only thing she's gonna get from him is sex. He knows that's never enough for girls like her. Alex walks off and she stares after him.

Richard, Erica, Derek, and Mark are enjoying their evening. They're playing Monopoly.

Izzie and George are on Izzie's bed. Right before they kiss, Izzie starts crying. She's exhausted and every bone and muscle in her body aches. She doesn't think she can do this. She really does want to, but she spent 6.5 hours on her feet in surgery and she's so tired. This is the first time they're together since they're together and she doesn't want to waste this once-in-a-lifetime experience on a night that she's too tired to enjoy it. His hand is killing him from holding that dress, so he suggests they just postpone the perfect night. He suggests they go to sleep. They lie down and spoon. George comforts her and asks if she only shaved one leg. She starts crying and apologizes. He comforts her.

Cristina and Meredith are in Meredith's bed. Meredith thinks about taking a sleeping pill, but Cristina says they can just sleep now. Meredith says she can't stop seeing Derek. It's not about the sex, but the moment afterward, where the world stops. It feels so safe. She's not ready to give that up. She asks if that makes her sad and pathetic. Cristina says a little bit. She wonders what to do, but Cristina doesn't know either. She hears stumbling in the hallway and goes to check it out, only to find a half-naked Lexie and Alex in the bathroom doorway. She gives them a look and closes her door. Lexie asks Alex to tell her he does not live with Meredith Grey.

At the other side of the door, Meredith is shocked as well.


  • Meredith Grey
  • Cristina Yang
  • Izzie Stevens
  • Alex Karev
  • George O'Malley
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Callie Torres
  • Mark Sloan
  • Lexie Grey
  • Erica Hahn
  • Derek Shepherd
  • Rick Jacobs
  • Mr. Arnold
  • Sally
  • Mike
  • Jackie Escott
  • Jason
  • Helena Boye
  • Contest Judge
  • John the Paramedic
  • Paramedic Nicole

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit


Medical NotesEdit

Jackie EscottEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Dislocated shoulder
    • Thigh laceration
  • Treatment:
    • Shoulder reduction
    • Surgery

Jackie, 25, was injured in a fight over a wedding package. She had a dislocated shoulder and a laceration to her thigh. Callie and Alex reduced her shoulder, but it immediately re-dislocated, so she needed surgery to fix it. She initially refused because she didn't want to leave the contest for long enough to have surgery. When she found out there could be lasting damage, she agreed to the surgery. Her surgery went very well and she woke up afterward.

Helena BoyeEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Nasal fracture
    • Facial laceration
    • Scalp laceration
    • Internal bleeding
  • Treatment:
    • Stitches
    • Surgery

Helena, 26, was injured in a fight over a wedding package. Her nose was broken and she had a laceration to her face and part of her scalp was detached. Mark stitched up her head and face. Later, she collapsed and had to be rushed into surgery, which went well.

Rick JacobsEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Appendiceal hematoma
  • Treatment:
    • Appendectomy

Rick, 33, was brought into the ER stable after surviving a 12,000 foot free-fall. They thought he was just in shock and couldn't feel his injuries because he was conscious and talking in the ER and they ordered a CT. They were shocked when he had no internal injuries except for a hematoma on his appendix. He fell 12,000 feet and only needed an appendectomy, which went well.

Mr. ArnoldEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Coronary artery blockage
    • Malignant hyperthermia
  • Treatment:
    • High thoracic epidural
    • Coronary artery bypass graft

Mr. Arnold was in the hospital to have a catheter threaded up through his leg into his heart. However, when they took him in, they found a complete blockage in his coronary artery, so they decided to open him up, but he developed malignant hyperthermia, which meant he wouldn't be able to have anesthesia for a CABG. Cristina suggested an alternative: Mr. Arnold could have the surgery while he was awake. They'd used a high thoracic epidural to numb him, but he'd still be able to breathe on his own, negating the need for a ventilator. Mr. Arnold was reluctant to have awake surgery, but they convinced him to have the surgery. He freaked out briefly during the surgery, but they were able to calm him down and finish the surgery.


Song Performer Scene
"Raindrops From The Sun" Imani Coppola
  • Meredith and Cristina talk about Meredith's problems.
  • Cristina suggests that Meredith stop having sex with Derek.
  • Richard steps out of the trailer with two mugs.
"Don't Try to Fool Me" Miss Li
  • George holds the dress while Mark works on Helena.
  • Mark continues to make the situation hard for George.
  • George holding the dress has drawn an audience.
"Say A Lot" Buddy
  • Cristina proposes a plan for Mr. Arnold to Erica.
  • Erica talks to Mr. Arnold about the plan. He's reluctant to try it.
  • Izzie tells him it's his chance to see his bird.
  • Erica chooses Izzie over Cristina to scrub in.
"Cheer Me Up Thank You" New Buffalo
  • George is starting to get tired of holding the dress.
  • Helena explains to George why she wants to win the contest so badly.
  • Helena collapses and George catches her.
"Let Somebody In" The Magic Numbers
  • Hahn starts operating on Mr. Arnold. Izzie gives him music to listen to.
  • Cristina watches from the gallery.
  • Bailey talks while she operates on Rick.
  • Jackie wakes up from surgery asking if she won. Callie tells her she should fight for her marriage, not her wedding.
"Merry Happy" Kate Nash
  • Sally comes into the room as Meredith leaves.
  • Mark and Derek are still unsure about the Gentlemen's evening.
  • Richard says it's just an evening with no ladies.
  • Erica arrives for the party.
  • Lexie asks Alex out, but he turns her down.
  • The attendings play Monopoly at their Gentlemen's evening.
  • Izzie and George try to have sex, but Izzie starts crying.
  • They cuddle instead.
  • Cristina and Meredith talk in bed about Derek. Meredith says she can't stop.
  • Meredith opens her door to find Alex and Lexie in the hallway.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Grey's Anatomy 4

Grey's Anatomy 4.06 Promo - Kung Fu Fighting

  • This episode's title originated from the song Kung Fu Fighting, originally sung by Carl Douglas.
  • This episode scored 19.31 million viewers.


Episode StillsEdit


Cristina: OK, what are your other symptoms?
Meredith: OK... There’s the father thing. The mother thing. The sister dying and coming back to life thing.
Cristina: You have too many things.
Meredith: I can’t sleep. I can’t sleep without the dreaming.
Cristina: And the panic attacks
Meredith: One, one panic attack. What’s wrong with me?
Cristina: As far as a I can tell...severe abandonment issues.
Meredith: That’s crap. Psych is crap. Issues.
Cristina: It’s in the book. The book said it not me. Have you consider maybe you and Derek should stop having break-up sex? OK…
Meredith: The more available he gets...the more I pull away.
Cristina: What do you mean?
Meredith: Nothing. It’s a Derek thing.

Lexie: Alex, please tell me that you don't live with Meredith Grey.

Lexie: Hey, what are you doing tonight?
Alex: As in...
Lexie: What are you doing... tonight.
Alex: Look, uh, I'm not a nice guy. I don't date. I don't call the next day. I'm not looking for a relationship cause I'm never good at 'em. And honestly I'm kinda hung up on somebody else. So... the only thing you're ever going to get from me is sex... that's it. And that's never usually enough for girls like you.

Meredith: Remember when I was dead? Before I went in that water everything was so ... complicated. Hard. and then you pulled me out of the water ... and I came back to life. for a moment everything was so clear. As if the water had washed everything clean. Do you remember that?
Derek: I do.
Meredith: Me too.

Meredith: I drowned. I was sinking. I died. And you know what I realized? I realized how stupid all of my issues are.
Cristina: I'm waiting for how this applied to me.
Meredith: It doesn't.
Cristina: Of course not.
Meredith: Well that man fell, and all he wanted was one last chance to tell sally how he felt about her. And I GOT one last chance. I got my chance. And what have I done with it?

George: Did you only shave one leg?
Izzie: (starts crying) I know, I'm sorry!

Cristina: Being aware of your crap and actually overcoming your crap are two very different things.

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.

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