Surgeons aren't complacent people. We don't put our feet up. We don't sit still. Whatever the game is, we like to win. And once we win, we get a new game. We push ourselves; residents, attending. It doesn’t matter how much we achieve. If you’re a climber there’s always another mountain. They take pictures of mountain climbers at the top of a mountain. They’re smiling, ecstatic, triumphant. They don’t take pictures along the way cause who wants to remember the rest of it. We push ourselves because we have to, not because we like it. The relentless climb, the pain and anguish of taking it to the next level. Nobody takes pictures of that. Nobody wants to remember. We just wanna remember the view from the top. The breathtaking moment at the edge of the world. That’s what keeps us climbing. And it’s worth the pain. That’s the crazy part. It’s worth anything.

Push is the seventeenth episode of the sixth season and the 119th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

A patient who needs an extremely difficult surgery comes to Seattle Grace, and it's Richard and Owen who vie for the opportunity to tackle it. But the decision lies in the hands of Derek, who deems that Owen should take on the surgery, leaving Richard bitter. Meanwhile, Bailey deals with her own personal struggles when she nervously prepares for another date with Ben.

Full SummaryEdit

Mark is working out and trying to get some breakfast, but nothing appears to work out. Callie comes in enthusiastically, because she feels like today she's finally gonna manage to grow cartilage in a bottle. She notices he's miserable, which he claims is due to the lack of sex. She suggests he find a grown up who wants what he wants, and date. Mark has no experience with that.

Owen is in the room with his cancer patient, waiting for the scans to come back so they can discuss further options. As Richard listens from the door, Audrey says she already knows that her tumor is the size of a football, and trying to resect it will kill her. 

Outside the room, Richard is taking a look at the scans. He tells Owen it's a giant tumor, which also sparks Cristina's interest. Owen thinks there's nothing they can do, but Richard asks if he can take a stab at it, playing his age card to convince Owen. Richard takes the chart with him. Cristina says she can't believe that Owen fell for Richard's trick, making Owen go after a smiling Richard.

Owen wants his case back, because it's a monster case and even in the best case scenario, they'll only able to do some damage control. Richard has a different approach, which Owen calls old school. Richard thinks he's referring to his age, but Owen says he wasn't and asks not to make this personal. "You just did, ginger," Richard says. As they continue bickering, Meredith and Derek come over. Cristina shows them the scans. To stop the bickering, Derek tells them to both come up with plans and present them, so he can choose who gets to operate. Meredith and Cristina will assist. Surprisingly, Cristina decides to side with Webber.

She follows Owen and confesses that she only sided with Richard to spy on him for Owen. He smiles as she tells him and concludes she has a dark mind.

Ben asks Bailey if she's working tonight. She's not, she's going to a yoga class a neighbor gave her as a Christmas present. He says she's not going there, because she's going to have dinner with him. However, Bailey wants to go to keep her neighbor happy. Ben gives her a phrase she can use to act as if she went, and makes her repeat it.

Jackson leaves a patient room and tells Alex he can't find his patient's heart beat, even though the guy is sitting up and talking. Alex says Jackson's lucky to have a famous last name and goes to check on the patient. Todd's right lung was removed when he was a kid. Molly, his pissed girlfriend, thinks he's having a panic attack because she just asked him to move in with her. Alex can't find Todd's heart either as Todd passes out.

Teddy is taking a listen and finds Todd's heart near his kidney. She explains his heart kind of drifted away after the lung removal. The shifting caused some bronchial compression, which explains the difficulties he has breathing. Molly apologizes and Teddy says they're gonna use saline implants to put and keep his heart in its rightful place. It's what they use for boob jobs, and even though you won't be able to see them, Todd refuses as it mean he can longer... "What? Pick up women?" Molly asks. She angrily grabs her stuff and leaves. Todd asks if he has a choice. "Do you like to breathe?" Teddy says to answer his question.

Owen and Richard tell Audrey that there is a surgical option, but they're still figuring out the best approach. Owen confesses that the risks are great. Audrey says she only wants to live one more month, which is when their daughter is getting married. She would like to live to see that, and she's not willing to risk not living to that day. Owen carefully says that she might not even make it without the surgery. In that case, Audrey looks forward to hearing what they come up with.

In the ER, Lexie starts examining a kid who's in a lot of pain. His mother is really worried as she has no idea what could be wrong. Lexie has Arizona paged.

Teddy approaches Mark for a question about breast implants. He thinks she's asking for herself and says it crossed his mind too, but he didn't think she was the type to go for it. Teddy sets the record straight. Callie noticed the awkward situation from a distance and asks to steal Mark for a quick consult. 

She tells Mark that Teddy's what he's looking for and suggests he asks her out, but he's doubtful she'll accept. He returns to Teddy and compliments her breasts. Teddy tells him about her patient and leaves him the chart. As she walks off, he asks if it would be a bad idea to ask her out tonight. "Ya think?" Teddy replies.

Teddy ends up in an elevator with Arizona and tells her that Mark asked her out. Arizona thinks it's cool. Mark is like candy, eat it and forget about it, so Teddy could just him for some fun. 

While coming up with a plan, Cristina asks if he's going to resect a part of the diaphragm. He might, or he'll let her do it. Either that or kick her off the case. That depends on how much she's leaked to Owen. He explains he's been in the game long enough to know how it works. There is an other option though if she realligns her allegiances. In that case, they can look for more resections for her to do. He tells her to take her time to think. 

Bailey enters Callie's reseach lab. Callie asks her if her interns can rotate through her service today, because their questions keep distracting her from making cartilage. Callie notices there's something up with Bailey and finds out it's about a guy. Bailey tells her he's cooking her dinner and Callie asks if she's ready for sex. The third date is the sex date, Callie thinks, especially now that he's cooking for her at his home. Bailey objects that she barely knows the man, but Callie jokes that she'll know him a lot better tomorrow. Bailey thinks it's entirely possible for her to survive the third date without having sex. However, she asks if she's supposed to sleep over if the date does head in the sexual direction. Callie gives her clear instructions, including prepping the "surgical field". She gives Bailey a paper with info about a Ukrainian woman who works at the manicure place across the street, who'll take care of Bailey. Bailey takes the paper, but she doesn't seem to be planning to go there.

Arizona is checking on her patient, whose parents are really worried. Lexie comes in with the lab results and Arizona orders a contrast CT. Jim doesn't understand how his wife could've missed a fever this high. Arizona says kids get sick, it's what happens. Kelly, however, does blame herself, and her husband appears to be blaming her too.

Meredith gives Owen their patient's latest lab results as Mark approaches Teddy, saying he's put some saline implants aside for her surgery. She asks him to scrub in to place them for her. Teddy says she may in fact be free tonight. Mark suggests a new Italian restaurant so they can talk and get to know each other, but Teddy was more planning on going to Joe's for drinks and probably sex afterwards. Teddy stammers she's not available for dinner and leaves. Owen walks up and asks Mark what he's doing, as Teddy's not one of these one night stand women. Mark says that it appears he's the respectful adult in this situation, so he suggests Owen go talk to Teddy instead. Meredith stares at Owen, having observed the entire situation.

In the cafeteria, Arizona and Callie are delighted to find that they both are trying to get Mark and Teddy together. However, Arizona didn't know that Mark was looking for something serious, so she told Teddy that Mark was a candy bar. Mark sits down with them and says that Teddy just wanted sex. He's disappointed, but Arizona points out he used to be like that. Alex comes over to inform Mark when Teddy's surgery will take place. Mark pats his shoulder and says he's a good man.

Lexie meets Alex as he's getting a drink, but he says they better not flirt in here, because Mark is acting weird. Lexie wants to go talk to Mark about it, but Alex stops her as they still have to operate.

Lexie sits down with Cristina and Meredith and says that Mark wants to kill Alex. Meredith told her that sleeping with Alex was a bad idea. Lexie insists that breaking up with Mark was a good thing. She thinks Mark would be happier if he'd move on too. Meredith says he was trying to pick up Teddy. Lexie says he'll sure screw anything. Cristina teases Lexie, making her leave. Owen comes over to talk to Meredith about Audrey Taylor, and he happily tells Cristina about his surgical plan. Cristina claims Webber is still flailing, but Meredith and Owen don't buy it. They rush off to get Audrey's scans before Cristina can.

Bailey is on her way out, but Derek asks her to join him for a consult. She says she can't, because she has to do stuff during her lunch time. He asks what, but she firmly says she shouldn't have to elaborate and quickly walks off.

Teddy examines her patient again. He says his parents got married really young and then they hated each other by the time he was born. That's why he takes moving in together so seriously, and why he was hesitant when his girlfriend asked him to move in. He's telling her this because he thinks that she thinks that he's a turd, and she's about to slice him open. She assures him she doesn't think he's a turd. 

Arizona and Lexie inform Noah's parents that he had a cyst on his liver, and it ruptured. This was caused by pressure. Jim immediately asks Kelly if Noah fell today, but he didn't. Arizona says the only thing that matters is that they operate right away. Kelly then realizes that a bear hug with Noah is what ruptured the cyst. Noah's monitor starts beeping and Arizona tells Lexie they're going to the OR right away.

While Callie is still trying to grow cartilage, Bailey appears in her lab. She went to the woman Callie recommended, but then she decided not to get the surgical field prepped. She preps it with soap and water. She keeps it the way God made it. No waxing it so it can be mistaken for the surgical field of a 5 year old. She's a woman and if men can't deal with a little nature on the surgical field, they have no business being around her surgical field. Bailey panics that she's no longer able to date. Callie hugs her and assures her that Bailey can do this.

Arizona and Lexie are operating. The cyst is massive, so it's gonna take longer than anticipated. Lexie goes out to update the parents and Arizona tells her it doesn't really matter what she tells them, as long as she keeps her face happy. 

Before going into the meeting, Richard and Owen face off. Cristina brought Jackson, advising that the winner put him on the team. She thinks that if they don't name him a contributor, it'll enlarge the chances of getting a Harper Avery award. Meredith says it's time to meet Derek.

Alex, Teddy, and Mark are operating. Alex is on edge and suspicious of Mark's every move. Teddy doesn't really understand what he's doing and thinks it's going wrong, but Mark remains calm. 

Richard presents his proposal. He wants to go in through the chest. Derek is impressed, but he feels more comfortable with Owen's plan. Richard says Owen doesn't have a plan, only an attitude. Derek still thinks Owen's the best bet. Everyone but Richard leaves. Derek apologizes, but he feels more comfortable with Owen's plan. Because that's the way Derek himself would do it, Richard says. As a Chief, his job is to help them do what they do the way they do it. Not to get them to do what he would do. It takes vision, and Richard doesn't think Derek has it.

As Mark suspected, the patient is fine. Before Mark leaves, Teddy tells him he did nice work. Mark snaps that that was just a hobby. Professionally, he's more focused on his work as a male escort.

Owen tells Audrey his plan, which basically is trying to resect the tumor. He wish he could be more specific, but he can't until he knows what they're dealing with. Audrey insists this is not a plan, and they're gambling away her daughter's wedding. Don explodes and says he'll call Kim so she can get married right here in this room. Kim doesn't care about her wedding, Don says, because her mother is dying. The surgeons can't garantuee that this will work, but he doesn't understand that Audrey isn't willing to take the risk just because of a wedding. There's a whole life after the wedding Kim will need her mother for. And Don will need her to. Richard tells Audrey that Don and Owen are right. It's a good plan. Don and Audrey hug, as Owen appreciates Richard's sudden support.

Arizona tells Jim and Kelly that Noah did great. He's gonna be fine. It's possible there will be more cysts in the future, so she advises them to keep an eye out. However, she does want them to live their lives as normal as possible. If he happens to be in great pain, they'll know what it is. Lexie offers to take them to see their son.

Callie was paged to a lounge by Bailey, who wants to know if she's supposed to bring condoms. Callie says guys usually do that, but it sometimes happens they "forget" it because they claim not to know they were going to have sex so soon. So Bailey should bring them herself. Bailey wants Callie to go get her condoms from the clinic, but Callie's all but happy to do that as she has her research.

Owen, Jackson, and Meredith are operating on Audray with Richard and Cristina watching from the gallery. She compliments Richard's plan, and he says he does his best to stay fresh. Things go awry in the OR, so they ask for Webber.

Mark still can't believe Teddy only sees him as a piece meat. Callie suggests another woman from derm, but she feels Mark is really insecure about the whole getting to know people thing. Callie assures him he's a great person who happens to be gifted with great sexual skills. Lexie left him because she was too young, not because there was something wrong with him. She really thinks he's worth getting to know, in daylight.

Cristina and Webber have joined the other surgeons. Owen's having trouble with the part of the tumor around the liver. Richard suggests they take out the liver so he can remove the tumor on the liver ex vivo so that Owen can work on the vascular supply in the cavity. No one's ever tried that before, but since Audrey's crashing, they have no other option left that they can think of. They start extracting the liver.

Teddy finds Todd's girlfriend in the waiting room and tells her the surgery was a success. She wonders if Todd would still be willing to see her, because she acted a little crazy earlier. Teddy says it's perfectly normal to act a little crazy when you feel like you love a person more than they love you. 

In another waiting room, Owen and Richard are informing Audrey's family that the surgery was success. Meanwhile, Cristina thinks aloud about Owen taking his name off the case so that Richard may be nominated for a Harper Avery, but Meredith brings to her attention Owen was already halfway done when Richard joined in. Cristina says it was a waste then, but Jackson says this is why his grandfather created the award. Make surgeons take things to the next level, even if they're already at the top of their game. That's exactly what happened today. Cristina mocks Jackson, making him leave. Owen comes over with Audrey's chart. Cristina will do the post-op notes. Owen compliments Grey's work today, saying they're a good team. Meredith says they're not a team. She and Cristina are a team. She says she watched him and Teddy and Mark today, and she noticed he was jealous. It took a long time to make Cristina happy and if Owen messes with that, Meredith will turn on him. That's how a team works.

Arizona is happy to see Noah reunite with his parents in post-op.

Richard, Don, and Kim are in their mother's room. Audrey is slowly waking up.

Arizona suggests Callie takes her research to bio-engineers, but they said it won't work. Callie doesn't believe them, saying she's more invested than them. Suddenly, Callie finds that her cartilage is not liquid anymore. She's on fire, and it's not just her research. Everyone came to her for relationship advice, and she gave them sane, healthy advice. She's seen as someone sane and healthy enough to give advice. She wasn't seen that way when she lived in the basement and married the intern in Vegas. Arizona tells her she's amazing. "We're amazing," Callie corrects her. They're the stable couple now that everybody wants to be. She can see them in their future, in a big house with kids running around, giving sane advice to Mark, who will still be single. Arizona totally sees it that way too, except without the kids. Absolutely no kids for her. Callie thinks she's joking as she's a peds surgeon, but that's the reason. She's seen how big a mess parents become when their kids get hurt. Arizona doesn't notice Callie is upset with that, and asks Callie if they can have chickens.

As Teddy finishes up with Alex, she sees Mark. She approaches him and says she'd love to have dinner with him, if still wants to. He says he's not taking her to dinner. He will take her to lunch, in broad daylight. They'll get to know each other and see if they have common interests for the future, because he wants to build a life, a future. He's not wasting his time on someone who doesn't share that interest.

Bailey is at Ben's apartment. She's not paying attention to what he's saying and keeps looking around. She wants him to know that she doesn't do things just because there's a timeline. She may have been out of the dating game for a while, but she doesn't play by anyone's rules but her own. So whatever expectations he has... He asks if she's lecturing him. He's noticed that she lectures people, because they're too scared of her to interrupt her once she's on a roll. He's not scared of her, so the lecture thing is not going to work. They'll have a normal conversation where she asks questions and he'll answer them. She asks him if he's planning on having sex. No, he isn't, because he sees them as adults, so he thought the third date would be a little early. Bailey wants to make a statement. She confesses she's never had sex with anyone other than her ex-husband. He thinks it's great that she doesn't get into it too fast, because neither does he. She wonders what he thinks is the right time. He thinks they'll know it when the time comes, but he suspects somewhere between date 8 and 12. She wonders if he's concerned that they'll end up being just friends. He's confident that won't happen, as neither of them has gone into this looking for friends. He has enough friends. He kisses her.

Derek finds Richard looking over the main hall. He's heard Audrey's doing great. Hunt told him he couldn't have done it without Richard. Derek once again apologizes for choosing Owen's side, but Richard doesn't want to hear it. He knows Derek is just doing his job, even though he may not be very good at it.

Lexie find Alex and asks him how Mark was. Alex says he was totally cool. Alex thinks Mark's into Teddy now. Lexie thinks he's just acting like that to make it seem like he's moved on from Lexie, but Alex says it looked real. He wants to take things slow and get to know each other, and it seemed like Altman was going for it.

Lexie is shocked and wanders off into the restroom, where she bumps into Meredith. Lexie is doing her best to hold back her tears and tells Meredith that Mark is moving on. Meredith thought that was what Lexie wanted. Lexie nods yes and stammers it's perfect, but she breaks down, revealing she's actually not okay with it at all.

While Meredith's voice over says that the pain and anguish of taking things to the next level is totally worth it once you get there, Ben and Bailey are still kissing, and visibly enjoying it.


  • Meredith Grey
  • Cristina Yang
  • Alex Karev
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Callie Torres
  • Mark Sloan
  • Lexie Grey
  • Owen Hunt
  • Arizona Robbins
  • Derek Shepherd
  • Teddy Altman
  • Audrey Taylor
  • Don Taylor
  • Ben Warren
  • Jackson Avery
  • Jim
  • Kelly
  • Todd Holmes
  • Molly
  • Noah
  • Kim Taylor

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit


Medical NotesEdit

Audrey TaylorEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Abdominal tumor
  • Treatment:
    • Chemotherapy
    • Brachytherapy
    • External radiation
    • Tumor resection

Audrey had cancer. She'd had chemo, brachyterapy, and two rounds of external radiation. She had a tumor in her abdomen the size of a football. She wanted to avoid surgery, but Owen and Richard each developed a surgical plan and presented them to Derek, who would choose the better option. Owen's plan won, but in surgery, he needed Richard's help to finish the surgery successfully. They ended up removing her liver and cleaning off the tumor ex-vivo. It was successful and she was awake and stable after surgery.

Todd HolmesEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Post-pneumonectomy syndrome
    • Bronchial compression
  • Treatment:
    • Saline implants

Todd had had a lung removed when he was nine. He was in the hospital with trouble breathing and he believed his other lung was failing. His heart was not in the chest cavity where it was supposed to be. Instead, it had drifted down by his kidney as a result of his lung not being there. It caused bronchial compression, which is why he couldn't breathe. They used saline implants to hold his heart back where it was supposed to be.


  • Diagnosis:
    • Sepsis
    • Ruptured cyst
  • Treatment:
    • Antibiotics
    • Surgery
    • Cholecystectomy

Noah came into the ER with severe abdominal pain. He became septic, so they gave him antibiotics and ordered a CT. They found a cyst on his liver which had ruptured, so they took him into surgery. The cyst was so large that they had to remove his gallbladder. He was stable after surgery.


Song Performer Scene
"Serve Them Well" Swimming in Speakers
  • Mark gets ready for his day.
  • Callie comes in and says she thinks she'll get cartilage in a bottle.
  • Callie tells Mark he needs to date.
"L-O-V-E" SugaRush Beat Company
  • Callie and Arizona talk about Teddy and Mark while they have lunch.
  • Mark joins them and talks about Teddy.
  • Alex comes to tell Mark when the surgery is.
  • Alex tells Lexie he thinks Mark has crazy eyes.
  • Lexie tells Meredith and Cristina it's easy with Alex.
  • Owen talks to Cristina about his surgical plan. Cristina says Richard is flailing, but Owen doesn't buy it.
  • Derek tries to get a consult from Bailey, but she's says she's leaving.
"Tonight" Emy Reynolds
  • Molly sits by Todd's bed.
  • Noah's parents watch him.
  • Kim visits her mother after her surgery.
  • Arizona watches Callie work. Callie makes a solid in a tube.
  • Callie's happy that they're the stable, adult couple now.
  • She imagines the future and Arizona reveals that she doesn't want kids.
  • Teddy goes to Mark and they agree to get lunch together.
"Worrisome Heart" Melody Gardot
  • Bailey and Ben discuss their expectations.
  • They agree to the terms of our relationship.
"Cold Summer" Seabear
  • Ben and Bailey kiss.
  • Derek and Richard agree that the job is hard and Derek's not good at it yet.
  • Alex tells Lexie that Mark is moving on.
  • Lexie cries in the bathroom to Meredith about it.
  • Ben and Bailey keep kissing.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Grey's Anatomy 6x17

Grey's Anatomy 6x17

  • This episode's title originated from the song Push, originally sung by The Cure.
  • This episode scored 10.94 million viewers.
  • The computer Richard used while convincing Cristina to switch sides uses the Windows 7 operating system.
  • Chandra Wilson originally wasn't supposed to be directing this episode, but was asked to do it when the director fell out. This made it a very busy time for her, as there were a lot of Bailey scenes in the episode. Therefore, schedules were rearranged so she could do the acting parts in the morning and be directing for the rest of the day.


Episode StillsEdit


Callie: Find a grown up who wants what you want, and date, like a grown up.
Mark: I don't know what that means.

Richard: A tumor like this calls for a methodical analysis of the scans, a careful plan...
Owen: Old-school, which...
Richard: Old? Wow. I didn't see that coming.
Owen: I did not mean your age, I meant the approach. Let's not make this personal.
Richard: You just did, Ginger.

Owen: Wait. You're gonna spy on him? That's cheating.
Cristina: You're adorable when you're slow.
Owen: You have a dark, dark mind.

Todd: Do I have a choice?
Teddy: Do you like to breathe?

Teddy: I wanted to talk to you about breast implants.
Mark: Really? Good for you. You know, it crossed my mind the first time I saw you, but I didn't think you were the type to go for it.
Teddy: No. Not for me. For my patient.
Mark: Oh. Oh.

Mark: Uh, so asking you out tonight... Probably a bad idea?
Teddy: Ya think?

Arizona (to Callie): Oh. Can we have dogs, and chickens. I have this weird thing for chickens.

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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