Before we were doctors, we were med students, which meant we spent a lot of time of studying chemistry. Organic chemistry, biochemistry, we learned it all. But when you're talking about human chemistry only one thing matters: either you've got it or you don't. Chemistry, either you've got it or you don't.

Physical Attraction... Chemical Reaction is the seventh episode of the fourth season and the 68th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[edit | edit source]

Hahn bans Cristina from her service, Bailey covers more and more of Torres' duties, and Izzie and George go to extreme lengths to recapture the magic of their first encounter.

Full Summary[edit | edit source]

Izzie and George are lying in bed, panting after sex. They both say wow. He says it was aerobic. She asks if he means bad aerobic. He says no and asks if she thinks it was bad. Izzie says no, but they obviously both were nervous. They built up pressure by waiting for so long. They go again.

Meredith and Derek are in his bed in the trailer. He asks what's new in her life. She tells him about seeing Lexie half naked. He tells her he had dinner and saw a movie with the Chief. She wants to get up, but he says she could stay. She declines the offer and gets out of bed.

Cristina is painting the wall behind her bed red.

Richard drops off his dry cleaning on Derek's deck. Derek offers him coffee and Richard says he's thinking about seeing The Godfather tonight. Derek says that sounds good.

Erica tells Mark she's taking Meredith Grey off his service because she wants to see if she's as good as her mother was. Mark says there's a schedule for the residents, but Erica objects that that doesn't take certain things into account. Like the fact that she doesn't want Yang. She walks off and Derek comes over. Mark is impressed with Erica, but Derek says she's a woman of substance so Mark has nothing in common with her. Derek tells him he had to drop off the Chief's dry cleaning. They're helping each other out, he says. Mark says he's dating the Chief.

Meredith has asked Alex not to sleep with Lexie at her house again, but he says it was a one time thing anyway. He asks what the problem with her sister is. Meredith says she's not her sister. Alex walks off and Meredith bumps into George. She thinks he looks weird. She asks what's wrong. He confesses the sex with Izzie is horrible. She's trying to be a porn star, but she's trying too hard. Meredith doesn't want to hear that.

Meredith runs off to the residents changing room where she encounters Izzie, who starts talking about how bad a kisser George is. It's like he's a chicken pecking for food. She asks if he did that with her too. Cristina comes in and Meredith dodges Izzie, saying Cristina needs her. Cristina is happy because she's painted Burke's apartment so she can stop calling it that and because she's on cardio all week. Alex comes in. He's on post-op for the second week in a row and asks Meredith to trade with him. Cristina says she's with Hahn, but Alex tells her to wake up and check the board.

Richard tells Callie that a few days ago, no resident was available to cover a code. He says the schedule is a mess and asks her to clean it up. He walks away and Bailey comes over. She noticed the Chief had on his stern face. Callie says she was happy this morning because she has back-to-back surgeries today. She asks Bailey to cover for her today with the Chief Resident thing so she can stay happy. Bailey agrees.

Alex enters Jerry's room to check on him. He's leaving the bathroom and he's still unable to poop, despite the fact that he's bowel resection happened five days ago. He wonders if they botched the surgery. Jerry says that his life has sucked, but what he had going for him was that he crapped like clockwork. He wants that simple pleasure back. He wants Alex to write him a prescription to make him crap.

Cristina shows Bailey that Meredith is on Hahn's service. She says it's Hahn's job to teach her. Bailey says Hahn said that the chemistry was missing. Cristina decides to go to Torres, but Bailey tells her that Torres wanted her to tell Cristina to find another specialty, as it's not going to work with Hahn. Bailey suggests the ER.

Cristina enters the ER, followed by her interns, and tells them the ER can be like a candy store, but there aren't any interesting cases. She asks her interns to go find her something good. Lexie asks Cristina if Meredith has said anything about her, because she's been avoiding her for days. Cristina reminds Lexie what she said to her about talking about her personal life. A crying woman enters the ER and says she was carrying her baby when she fell down the stairs and now her baby is not crying anymore. Cristina takes the baby and concludes she's still breathing, but her fontanelle feels tense and she's lethargic, so she orders Lexie to take the baby to trauma 2 and page Shepherd. The woman hugs Cristina. As Cristina asks her to stup hugging her, Teresa falls to the floor. Cristina rushes to her aid and asks for a crash cart.

Cristina puts in a chest tube. Erica comes in and Cristina informs her on the case. She throws Cristina out as Meredith is her resident.

George is examining a boy named Brian. He swallowed a marble in his mother's art studio. His parents are arguing over the accident and the mother's hobby. George says Brian will be fine. They just need to wait for the marble to pass. Brian reminds his parents that he would get something if he came to the hospital. They agree and say he was really brave. He tells them he wants them to get a divorce. The parents don't really know what to say.

Mark is drawing lines on Harriet's face. She wants to look as pretty as Izzie, although she notices Izzie's getting some worry lines. She tells her to take care of whatever she's worrying about.

Mark and Izzie leave the room. Outside, Hahn shows Mark the scans of her patient, which means he's going to have to give up OR 2. Mark wonders what to tell her patient. Erica suggests he tell her to age gracefully.

Derek tells Sean, the baby's father, that his baby has a brain contusion. It's minor, but he would like to keep her here for observation. Sean confesses he's not hearing what Derek's saying. He needs to be with his wife and he trusts Derek to take care of his baby. Lexie asks him what the baby's name is. He confesses she doesn't have a name yet as they just adopted her last week. They're still getting to know her.

Erica and Meredith are operating on Teresa. They revive her and Erica decides to pick up the pace.

Cristina and Mark observe. Mark says she stole his OR, deeming her pushy. Cristina adds she's rude too. They are amazed by her surgical skills, but they decide that doesn't make up for pushy and rude.

Alex got pushed to the nursery. Lexie was wondering if she could pick up the baby. Alex knows that's not why she paged him. He thinks her legs are still shaking from last night and she wants to invite him to an on-call room. Lexie says she actually paged him to ask him if he could tell Meredith that she really didn't know he lived with Meredith, because she felt that they were making some real progress. Alex says her issues can't be his issues. But he is there for sex if she needs it. He says she knows she needs it.

Richard asks Bailey if she's seen Torres, because she promised to give him a breakdown of an upcoming conference. Bailey gives it to him and says Torres asked her to pass it along. Richard says it's nice work. Bailey says thank you, but corrects herself and just says yeah.

Izzie and George want to kiss, but they're too nervous to do it right. They admit they're feeling awkward. They just need to get over it. Izzie wonders how. George suggests they pick a fantasy and he'll do anything she wants him to.

Izzie is sitting next to the bath tub, wrapped in a towel. George is sitting in the bath and asks if that's really what she wanted. She whispers no. That was not what she meant. She suggests they just forget about it and never talk about it again. Izzie knows they've got chemistry because of the best sex they had. They want that sex back. 

Cristina finds Callie and tells her that picking another specialty is not working. Callie has no idea what she's talking about, but figures it out when Cristina mentions Bailey told her for her. Callie says it was indeed her idea. Cristina asks to scrub in with her, despite the fact that she really does not like ortho. Callie says okay.

Mark gets on the elevator with Derek. He says he's a man of substance. He does life-changing surgeries. As they get off, Richard gets on. Richard complains about the dry cleaning not being done right.

Lexie ends up in a room with Meredith, who's checking on Teresa. Lexie tells her she had no idea it was her house and that she's usually not the girl who sleeps around, but there's a lot going on at home. Sean wakes up and asks how she's doing. Meredith tells him Teresa made it through the night. Sean is convinced she'll make it through, because she's strong and she won't leave her baby behind. Teresa wakes up and murmurs. Sean tells her not to try to talk. Teresa starts looking around. Lexie tells her the baby is fine and says she can go get her. Teresa nods yes. Sean overhears Meredith adressing Lexie with Dr. Grey and asks if they're sisters. Lexie says no.

Alex enters Jerry's room. Jerry still hasn't been able to poop and he wants to reminisce about a poop he took in the army.

Harriet has had her facelift and Izzie tries to get her out of bed, as it'll make her feel better. Harriet says she'll feel better once Izzie leaves. Harriet tells her to stop scowling and go enjoy her life.

Lexie arrives back at Teresa's room with the baby, but Sean is standing outside while doctors are working on Teresa. Her heart stopped again and they managed to revive her, but Sean can't deal with the baby right now. He asks Lexie to take her back. Lexie does so.

Miranda enters Callie's OR, where loud music is playing. Callie is really enjoying herself, so she tells Bailey to deal with the scheduling issues Bailey came to talk to her about. 

As Bailey leaves the OR, Alex comes over to talk to Callie about his patient. So does Izzie. Lexie comes over to tell her that Shepherd wants to discharge the Brotherton baby, but that the father is no shape to take care of her. Richard sees all the people and asks if there's a problem. Bailey says there's a little administrative traffic jam, but she says Torres is handling it. As soon as Richard walks off, Bailey tells Alex and Izzie to put their patients together so they can abuse each other. She tells Lexie the baby gets to stay another night. She tells them that if anyone asks, this was not her idea.

Brian is back in the clinic. He's in pain and confesses he swallowed some more. The mother thought she took all the other marbles from his room. Brian says he swallowed eight. A ball of round, metal balls falls onto the ground. George picks them up and asks if this is what he ate. Brian confirms. George says they're magnets, not marbles. He asks a nurse to page Bailey.

Bailey is having Brian's scans taken. They're looking at a perfed bowel, so she's going to need to operate. George points out one of them is moving. Bailey compares it to a slow-moving bullet and says they need to stop it before it perforates the stomach, which will kill him. 

Jerry is wheeled into Harriet's room. Alex tells Harriet that Jerry may be monopolizing the bathroom for a few hours, so if she needs to go, she better does it now. Both Harriet and Jerry don't like the situation. Izzie advises them to get discharged as soon as possible.

Bailey has taken out seven of magnets and finds a hole in the diaphragm. George tells her he did this so his parents would take him seriously about getting a divorce. Unfortunately, it didn't work, as his parents just said they're going to try not to fight so much. Bailey says she's elbow-deep in their 8-year-old, which doesn't strike her as something a little extra effort can fix. George says she's right. She says she is right about so many things as she finds the eighth magnet.

Mark compliments Erica's finesse. Cristina says she missed the finesse in ortho. Mark says plastics is all about finesse, but she mocks the facelifts. Mark says he also takes out tumors. Also, facelifts means he's holding someone's future in his hands. Cristina says holding a heart is way better.

Sean is standing outside the nursery. Lexie offers him to go in. Sean says Teresa is not in good shape and they can't operate because her heart is too weak. They're going to see if she's gonna make it through the night and reassess in the morning. Lexie says she's sorry. Sean wants to know who to call just in case his wife doesn't make it, because he can't raise a kid on his own. That kid deserves a family. He looks at her and he only sees she's not his, she's just a baby to him. He walks off.

Meredith and Derek are naked in bed. She says she stayed late at work and asks what he did tonight. He then remembers he was supposed to see have dinner and see a movie with Richard, just as Richard comes in. He awkwardly turns around and leaves as the two cover up.

Izzie tells George they need to stop trying so hard and just get back to being fun, so she made a "box of fun", containing booze and other stuff. They got the house to themselves, so they can drink and play with their box of fun.

Meredith comes home and wants to enter, but Alex, sitting on the front porch, tells her not to go in as George and Izzie are getting busy. Lexie arrives, but Alex tells Meredith he did not invite her. She greets them and asks Alex if he wants to go get a drink at Joe's. He agrees to, but Meredith stops him. She's making a rule for Lexie not to sleep or drink with Alex. She wants Lexie to live her own life and stop living hers. "Screw you," Lexie says. She goes to wait by her car. Meredith realizes this was mean, but she's had enough. Alex wonders why Meredith cares so much, despite saying she doesn't want to know Lexie. As he walks off, Meredith tells herself she doesn't care.

Izzie and George are lying awake in bed, backs towards each other, waiting for the alarm to go off. Once it does, they quickly get out of bed and say some awkward good morning stuff.

Richard and Derek are on an elevator. Richard tells him to lock the door next time, but Derek tells him to knock.

Alex and Izzie enter their patients' room and find Harriet's bed empty. They hear some laughing coming from behind the curtain around Jerry's bed and pull it aside, finding the two engaged in sexual activity. They cover up and laugh. Alex jokes Jerry finally must've crapped. Izzie sighs and says that even they have chemistry.

Jane, Brian's mother, is standing by her son's bedside. she asks George is Brian's gonna be okay. George says yes. Jane says she and her husband used to be really happy, but then Brian turned out to be a colicky baby and Don lost his job and her mother died. Jane wanted to get back to being good, but now she's starting to think they maybe do need a break from each other. She hasn't been happy in a long time.

Erica has put Teresa on the heart-lung machine in her own room, as she was too unstable to move. Meredith and Cristina are admiring her from the doorway. Erica calls in Meredith to make sure the lines stay clear, because a kink could send her into arrest again. Lexie tells Meredith Teresa has to make it or Sean will give up the baby, but Meredith tells her she's busy right now. They then start transporting Teresa. Sean is waiting outside and takes her hand. Erica tells him they need to move. She promises to do anything she can to save Teresa.

Mark and Derek are observing Hahn. Mark says he's got a thing for her, but Derek says it's gonna end badly. Richard comes in and Mark mocks the tension the between him and Derek. Richard says he just wanted Derek to let him know he had other plans, and he can pick up his own shirts if Derek doesn't have the time to do it. Derek disagrees, saying Richard is not capable of living on his own. He offered him a place to put his trailer and now he's picking up all the slack. Richard walks off, making Derek think he can't handle the truth. Mark repeats he has a thing for Erica.

Richard finds Bailey and asks her why the Brotherton baby is still here. Bailey says he'd have to ask Callie, but if it were her, she'd keep the baby around to give her a little more time with her mother. He hums and asks her why Callie had Alex and Izzie put their patients in the same room, as it's a violation of protocol. Bailey again says he'd have to ask Torres, but if it were her, she would have put these two together so they could enourage each other to follow post-op instruction and get out of here. Richard also finds it odd Callie told Cristina to find another specialty. Bailey says he'd again have to ask Torres, but she thinks that Cristina needs to see what else is out there, otherwise she won't fight hard enough for cardio since Erica is putting her through her paces. But she's just guessing, he needs to ask Torres. Richard says that's what he's going to do. He gives her a look and she knows he figured it out.

Lexie is sitting with Sean, who's worried about not having been updated yet. Lexie says that's good, because it means they managed to get her to an OR and have opened her up. Every step she survives is good news. Meredith comes over and says they find a leak in her remaining lung, and they hope placing a patch will solve it. She tells Sean that sometimes, you need a little more time with a baby before feeling like a family. She bets he knows the baby better than he thinks. Sean only knows that she cries. And she eats, a lot. She sleeps with her hand under her chin and she likes Teresa. Meredith says these are things that only he knows. Lexie seems to get an idea.

Erica has secured the patch. They do a test and find out there are more leaks than the one the patch covers. The monitor starts beeping. Cristina watches from the gallery.

Richard finds Callie, who knows the schedule is a mess, but she says she's gonna get on it tonight, or tomorrow. Richard says she's not gonna get at it at all.

Erica and Meredith enter the waiting room. Erica tells Sean they did everything they could. Sean grabs his coat and walks out.

Lexie finds Alex in the residents lounge and asks to meet her in the on-call room later. He says he can't. He knows what he said earlier, but he can't. She realizes it is because of Meredith. Alex says he can't get involved because he doesn't want to choose sides. Lexie points out he clearly is. She leaves.

Richard finds Bailey and says she's been covering for Torres. She's been taken up all of the responsibility but none of the credit. He says she deserves the credit. He realizes he should've given it to her in the first place and he hopes she's accepting it now, because what she does and how she does it is what makes this hospital work. Bailey says it's about time he noticed. She gets emotional and hugs him. Richard pats her on the back.

Lexie is filling out the baby's chart. Sean comes in with a stuffed animal. He asks if he can pick her up. Lexie says yes and gives him the baby. Sean says he remembers something else. The baby hates the car seat unless you put the stuffed animal on her head. Sean decides to name her Keisha, because that's what Teresa wanted to name her.

Lexie finds Meredith and says she's not stalking. She really hates apples. She can draw really well on an Etch A Sketch. She plays the trombone badly. She likes math. And she noticed that Meredith does thing with her hands when she's trying to make a point, but Lexie does it too. That are five things that she's hoping will make it a little bit harder for Meredith to hate her. She walks off and Meredith sighs.

Lexie is at Joe's, regretting what she told Meredith.

Erica is playing darts. Mark tells her he saw her transplant. She knows. He compliments her techniques and asks if he can buy her a drink. Erica tells him he only thinks he's attracted to her because of her skills and confidence, and mostly because she's not attracted to him.

Alex and Meredith see Lexie lying with her head on the bar and Alex tells Meredith he told Lexie he couldn't see her anymore. He doesn't need another chick with issues. Meredith thanks him and asks him to take her sister home, because she's grown to care about her a little.

Callie comes home and finds Cristina, who's finished painting. She says she got fired.

Richard finds Derek drinking on his deck and says he married Adele two years out of college, so there's a lot he needs to learn to do for himself. Derek tells him to pick up his own shirts from now on. Richard asks if he's up for another movie, but Derek says Meredith is coming over. Richard heads back to his trailer, but not before a Robert De Niro imitation.

Alex drops Lexie off at her house. She says she's fine and tells him to go home as her father opens up the front door. He stumbles down the stairs. He's drunk. He says it's a pleasant surprise to see Alex. Thatcher is holding his keys and says he's going down to the store. Alex offers to go for him and asks what he needs. Lexie replies scotch. Thatcher drops his keys and goes back inside. Lexie picks them up and asks Alex not to tell Meredith.

Meredith asks Derek what he did tonight. He says nothing and asks her the same question. She also says nothing. He says it's getting late and asks if she shouldn't be going soon. She says she wants to lie here for a few more minutes.

Izzie and Geoge are in bed. They're smiling and he says it was amazing, finally. Izzie knew they had it in them and they agree it was way better than the first time. Their smiles fade and Izzie says George is lying. He says she was too. Meredith's voice over says that either you've got chemistry, or you don't.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Main Cast[edit | edit source]

Guest Stars[edit | edit source]

Co-Starring[edit | edit source]

Medical Notes[edit | edit source]

Erica's Patient[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Erica wanted Meredith to scrub in with her to see her skills.

Jerry[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Bowel resection

Jerry had had a bowel resection. Five days later, he had still not had a bowel movement.

ER Patient[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Sprained ankle
  • Doctors:
  • Treatment:

There was a patient in the ER with a sprained ankle.

ER Patient 2[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Infected bunion
  • Doctors:
  • Treatment:

There was a patient in the ER with an infected bunion.

Teresa Brotherton[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Tension pneumothorax
    • Fractured ribs
    • Hemothorax
    • Punctured lung
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Teresa fell down the stairs while carrying her baby. She came into the hospital conscious but then collapsed in the ER. She had a tension pneumothorax and she was taken to CT. An x-ray revealed fractured ribs and a hemothorax. She was taken into surgery, which she survived, despite complications. She woke up after the surgery, but her heart stopped again. They had to bring a heart-lung machine into her room because she was too unstable to transport to the OR without it. Once she was hooked up, they wheeled her into the OR. She had a puncture in her remaining lung which they planned to patch. They patched the lung, but it didn't hold and despite their best efforts, they were unable to save her.

Keisha Brotherton[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Brain contusion
  • Treatment:

Keisha's mother was carrying her when she fell down the stairs. In the ER, her fontanelle was bulging and she was lethargic. She had a slight brain contusion and they kept her for observation. Ultimately, she was discharged to go home with her father.

Brian[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Swallowed foreign object
    • Bowel perforation
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Brian, 8, was brought into the hospital after swallowing a marble. His parents were told just to wait for it to pass. It did, but then he swallowed some more, only this time, they were magnets. He had to have surgery because one perforated his bowel and another was slowly moving through his body.

Harriet[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Face lift

Harriet was in the hospital for a face lift. Her surgery went well and she was awake and alert post-op.

Callie's Patient[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Shattered femur
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Callie had a patient whose femur was shattered in a motorcycle accident. She took him into surgery to fix it.

Music[edit | edit source]

Song Performer Scene
"Name" Derek Webb
  • Izzie and George have just had bad sex, but neither will admit that it was bad.
  • Derek and Meredith have had sex and are chatting. Meredith gets up to leave.
  • Cristina starts painting a wall red.
"Iluvitwhenya" Northern State
  • Callie's music plays while she operates.
  • Bailey comes in and Callie asks her to handle the issues.
"San Jose" Joe Purdy
  • Meredith leaves Mr. Brotherton.
  • Erica is working on Mrs. Brotherton. She's breathing fine, but then they discover a tear in her lung.
  • Richard fires Callie as Chief Resident.
  • Erica and Meredith tell Mr. Brotherton his wife died and he leaves.
"Pouring on the Gasoline" Calahan
  • Lexie complains at the bar.
  • Mark and Erica talk. He tries to flirt, but she brushes him off.
  • Alex tells Meredith he won't sleep with Lexie again.
"Rain" Priscilla Ahn
  • Meredith asks Alex to take Lexie home.
  • Cristina has finished painting and Callie tells her she was fired.
  • Richard says he knows he needs to do more for himself now.
  • Richard wants to watch a movie, but Derek has a date with Meredith.
  • Alex takes Lexie home and sees Thatcher drunk and about to drive.
  • Lexie asks Alex not to tell Meredith.
  • Meredith and Derek talk after they've had sex.
  • George and Izzie both claim again to have had good sex, but admit they're lying.

Notes and Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This episode's title originated from the songs Physical Attraction and Chemical Reaction, originally sung by Madonna and Snyderman respectively.
  • This episode scored 19.50 million viewers.
  • There is no Grey Matter blog post for this episode, most likely due to the Writers Guild of America strike.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Episode Stills[edit | edit source]

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Bailey: I am so right about so many things, it will make your head spin.

Mark: You want finesse? You should try plastics, it's all finesse.
Cristina: Yeah, no room for error when you're dealing with someone's face
Mark: It's more than just face lifts. I'm a board certified ENT, I take out tumors. (after a pause) It's also a lot of face lifts.

George: Hey.
Meredith: You look weird.
George: I don't look weird.
Meredith: What's wrong?
George: I look fine.
Meredith: I know you.
George: It's horrible. The sex. With Izzie...(whispers) horrible. It's like she's trying to hard ever seen a porno? Not that Izzie's a porno; she's an angel, but it's like she's trying a porn star and she's trying to act all dirty and sexy, which sounds great, right? But in reality I just wanna say, "Izzie, just because you can do that with your legs doesn't mean that you should."
Meredith: (winces and sticks her finger in her ear) Eh... I wanna run.
George: Run, run. Run now!

Izzie: I love George.
Meredith: Oh, God...
Izzie: I do, I love him, and I'm so happy because he's kind and smart and um, sweet and sexy. He's perfect, perfect, except for the fact that he kisses like a chicken. You know a chicken pecking the ground for food, justs pecking and pecking and pecking, and when he's pecking at me like that I forget that I love him, I forget that he's kind and sweet and sexy and I just wanna scream, "Stop pecking me!" Did he peck you like a chicken, Mer?
Meredith: (sees Cristina) Cristina needs me.

Cristina: I am painting Burke's apartment so I can stop calling it Burke's apartment. A happy color. Red. Like blood.

Derek: Oh, I'm late. Dropped off the Chief's dry cleaning.
Mark: You're doing his laundry?
Derek: I'm helping out.
Mark: Yeah, what's he doing?
Derek: He has an extensive DVD collection.
Mark: You're dating the Chief.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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

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