You know how when you were a kid and you believed in fairy tales? That fantasy of what your life would be – white dress, prince charming who’d carry you away to a castle on a hill. You’d lie in your bed at night and close your eyes and you had complete and utter faith. Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, prince charming –they were so close you could taste them. But eventually you grow up and one day you open your eyes and the fairy tale disappears. Most people turn to the things and people they can trust. But the thing is, it’s hard to let go of that fairy tale entirely because almost everyone has that smallest bit of hope and faith that one day they would open their eyes and it would all come true. At the end of the day, faith is a funny thing. It turns up when you don't really expect it. Its like one day you realize that the fairy tale may be slightly different than you dreamed. The castle, well, it may not be a castle. And it's not so important that it's happy ever after. Just that it's happy right now. See once in a while, once in a blue moon, people will surprise you, and once in a while people may even take your breath away.

Save Me is the eighth episode of the first season and the 8th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

Meredith and Derek grow closer, Alex and Burke argue and perform a risky procedure, Izzie treats a psychic while Cristina treats a pregnant patient.

Full SummaryEdit

Episode in detail.


  • Meredith Grey
  • Cristina Yang
  • Izzie Stevens
  • Alex Karev
  • George O'Malley
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Preston Burke
  • Derek Shepherd
  • Zoey Glass
  • Mr. Duff
  • Tommy Walker
  • Devo Friedman
  • Nurse Harper
  • Seymour Glass
  • Dr. Chesney
  • Doris and Sam Friedman
  • Anesthesiologist Jeremy
  • Reproductive Counselor
  • Ruby Walker
  • ER Nurse
  • Raj Sen

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit



Medical NotesEdit

Cristina YangEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Pregnancy
  • Doctors:
  • Treatment:

Cristina made an appointment to terminate her pregnancy.

Devo FriedmanEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Excessive bleeding post-root canal
    • Heart murmur
    • Von Willebrand disease
    • Mitral regurgitation
  • Treatment:
    • Root canal
    • Antibiotics
    • Bovine valve replacement

Devo, 17, had a root canal and couldn't stop bleeding afterward, so she was sent to the hospital, where they detected a heart murmur. Her fever went down with antibiotics. She was diagnosed with Von Willebrand disease, which made her ineligible for the mechanical heart valve, meaning she'd need a porcine valve replacement. Devo declined due to her religious beliefs, but Alex found out that she could get a bovine valve instead. Using a video feed from a doctor who had performed the procedure before, Burke replaced her valve. She woke up stable after surgery.

Mr. DuffEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Epilepsy
    • Arteriovenous malformation
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Mr. Duff was put in the hospital by his family, who felt he was dangerous because he talked to dead people and claimed to have visions. He had seizure activity, so he was sent to get that checked on before he could be sent back to psych. He was diagnosed with an AVM. He didn't want to have the surgery because he still believed he was having visions. Izzie eventually convinced him to agree to have the surgery and after he woke up, he had another vision.

4th Floor PatientEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Cardiac arrest
  • Doctors:
  • Treatment:
    • Attempted resuscitation

A 4th floor patient coded and attempts and resuscitation were unsuccessful.

Zoey GlassEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Breast cancer
    • Pregnancy
  • Treatment:
    • Frozen section biopsy

Zoey, 47, had a frozen section biopsy to check for cancer. She was also pregnant. She declined to terminate the pregnancy. She reconsidered for a brief time before ultimately deciding not to terminate and continue the pregnancy, making her death inevitable.

Tommy WalkerEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Paralysis
    • Clot
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Mr. Walker fell rock climbing and was left with ascending paralysis. Scans didn't reveal a cause, so Meredith suspected a conversion disorder. When the paralysis reached his upper body, Derek took him into surgery, believing there was a clot that the scans weren't showing. After hours of searching, they found the clot and evacuated it. After surgery, he woke up and the paralysis started to reverse itself.

ER PatientEdit

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Intubation

George attempted to intubate a patient, but Burke had to step in and do it himself.

George's PatientEdit

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Intubation

Olivia called George into a room to intubate a patient, which he did successfully.


Song Performer Scene
"David" Nellie McKay
  • Derek gets ready for work.
  • Izzie tells George the cupcakes still don't sound right.
  • Derek defends himself.
"Feels Like" Masha Qrella
  • The interns talk.
  • Cristina points out Olivia to George.
  • Izzie looks at her phone and George encourages her to call her mom.
"Rapture" Laura Veirs
  • Alex explains to Devo that her condition is getting worse and they talk about faith and beliefs.
  • Izzie gives Bailey Mr. Duff's scans.
  • Derek and Meredith start the surgery.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Glass decide to do the abortion, so Bailey tells Cristina to do it.
"I Love the Rain the Most" Joe Purdy
  • Zoey Glass decides to forgo any treatment for the breast cancer.
  • Cristina and Burke talk.
  • Meredith and Derek look for a reason for the paralysis.
"No Illusions" 78 Saab
  • Cristina delivers discharge papers to Zoey Glass.
  • Zoey explains her position.
  • Izzie talks to Mr. Duff about his surgery.
  • He signs the consent form.
"Fix You Up" Tegan and Sara
  • Meredith's patient and his family smile.
  • Mr. Duff tells Izzie the missing ingredient.
  • Meredith gets in Derek's car.
  • George and Olivia leave the hospital together.
  • Cristina watches Zoey Glass leave with her husband.
  • Alex examines Devo.
  • Izzie adds coconut extract and calls her mom.
  • Derek takes Meredith to his land in the woods and tells her that he lives in the trailer.
  • Derek shares his personal life with Meredith.

Notes and TriviaEdit

  • This episode's title originated from a song called Save Me, originally sung by at least two dozen different artists.
  • This episode scored 18.33 million viewers.
  • Goof (medically incorrect): When Dr. Grey suggests that Mr. Walker has a conversion disorder, Dr. Shepherd asks if it's psychosomatic. This is a common mistake. A psychosomatic disease is a genuine physical ailment caused in part by psychological factors. However, a conversion disorder is considered a somatoform disorder (one that cannot be fully explained by organic conditions and are largely due to psychological factors, i.e. what many people consider to be "psychosomatic").
  • Goof: There were several religion-related mistakes in this episode. First, the religious Orthodox Jew refused to have a "pig part" inserted in her body. But, according to Jewish Law, in order to save one's own life, one must break any of the laws of Judaism (except idolatry, adultery, or murder). When Esther is praying to herself she is reciting the silent Amidah prayer but then covering her eyes as if she is saying the 'Shma' prayer. On top of this, the words she is saying don't mean anything. She also bows three times after her prayer but in the wrong order. Also, the Jewish girl wanted a rabbi to pray over her before her surgery, but the rabbi was female, which is not permitted according to Orthodox Judaism. Also, the religious chants she is singing would not be something appropriate for this occasion. Also, Orthodox women do not sing in front of men.
  • This was the episode submitted for Sandra Oh for the 57th Primetime Emmy Awards under 'Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series'. 
  • The Grey Matter blog post for this episode was written in retrospect during the hiatus between season two and three.


Episode StillsEdit

Quotes Edit

Meredith: I want facts, and until I get them, my pants are staying on.
Derek: Or you could just roll with it, be flexible. See what happens.
Meredith: I'm not flexible.
Derek: Now there I disagree... We'll find these things out. That's the fun part, you know? That's the gravy.

Derek: My mother's maiden name, Maloney. I have four sisters. I have, uh, nine nieces. Five nephews. I like coffee ice-cream, single-malt scotch, occasionally a good cigar. I like to fly fish. And I cheat when I do the crossword puzzle on Sunday. And I never dance in public. Um, favorite novel, The Sun Also Rises. Favorite band, The Clash. My favorite color is blue. I don't like light blue, indigo. The scar right here on my forehead, that's why I don't ride motorcycles anymore. And I live in that trailer. All this land is mine. I have no idea what I'm gonna do with it. So that's it. That's all you have earned for now. The rest you're just... just gonna have to take on faith.

Meredith: You know, you keep taking everything on faith. How do you know what's real and what's not?
Derek: You just do. You know some people would call this a relationship. Time to exchange keys, leave your toothbrush over.
Meredith: Who, who would call it that?
Derek: Me, I would.
Meredith: And I'm supposed to believe you? Show me something. Give me a reason to believe.

George: How's a pompous cocky jackass like you always have women all over him?
Alex: Little bluebell pills. Lots of them.
George: Oh, c'mon.
Alex: Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. O'Malley, you think too much. Can't you see it? You gotta dance and jab, dance and jab! Like me. I am the Ali of this place.

Cristina: Dr. Bailey, I want off the psychic case, I'll take whatever you've got. Can I switch?
Bailey: Ask nicely.
Cristina: What? This is me doing nicely.

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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