You may be looking for the Station 19 episode of the same name.

They say lightning never strikes twice. But that's a myth. It doesn't happen often. Lightning usually gets it right the first time. When you're hit with 30,000 amperes of electricity, you feel it. It can make you forget who you are. It can burn you, blind you, stop your heart and cause massive internal injuries. But for something that happens in only a millisecond, it can change your life forever. Lightning doesn’t often strike twice. It’s a once in a lifetime thing. Even if it feels like the shock is coming over and over again. Eventually the pain will go away, the shock will wear off. And you start to heal yourself. To recover from something you never saw coming. But, sometimes the odds are in your favor. If you’re in just the right place at just the right time you can take a hell of a hit. And still have a shot at surviving.

Shock to the System is the second episode of the seventh season and the 128th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

After weeks of concealing the fact she was pregnant and miscarried, Meredith at last tells Derek and is finally cleared to return to her surgical duties in the wake of the hospital shooting spree; Cristina experiences post-traumatic stress disorder in the midst of an operation; and Bailey refuses to let Alex operate until he agrees to have the bullet in his chest removed.

Full SummaryEdit

In a conference room, Meredith's crying in front of Andrew. She says it was so scary to see Derek bleeding out. It feels good to finally get that out and thanks Andrew. She feels like she's ready to go back to work now. Andrew says they'll talk more about that tomorrow and starts packing his stuff. "Come on," she says. He asks if she needs another tissue or a hug. She tells him to go hug himself and angrily leaves.

Cristina and Owen are in bed together. She looks at the ring on her finger and sits up. He calmly tells her that they're married, but it's just like any other day. He gives her a multi-bran bar to eat. They'll get up, shower, have some soapy sex, he'll wash her hair, and then they'll get her hands bloody at the hospital. She agrees to that.

In the residents lounge, multiple pagers go off. Alex and Jackson comment it must be something big. As Alex leaves, April wonders when people are gonna stop staring at them. Jackson tells her to ignore them.

Cristina tells Meredith that Owen planned out her day, including a surgery. She's a bride and she's going with it. Meredith reminds her she's not cleared yet, but Owen told Cristina he'd take care of that. Lexie then turns around at the staring people and yells that she is indeed the crazy one who screams at people, like this. More pagers go off. Meredith asks Lexie if she's okay, but Lexie is done with that question. Meredith told Cristina she tried everything to get Andrew to clear her, but nothing worked. Also, she's going to avoid Derek today because she left him in prison. Cristina asks if she felt different after the post-it. Meredith tells her to give it some time.

A police car drops off Derek in the ambulance bay, where April says the Chief is looking for him. She also comments he smells like pee. He knows.

Derek forces Meredith to stay on an elevator with him. He got a incarceration record. Meredith comments on his smell and gets off to go to the pit for consults. He says they're not done talking about this.

Arizona wants to redecorate as Cristina made the place look harsh and frowny. Callie says she is the one who decorated it, not Cristina. Arizona needs the place to be more smily. Callie gets paged away.

Bailey bumps into Alex and feels the bullet is still inside his chest. He says it's worked its way to the surface, but it's fine. It doesn't hurt. Bailey tells him to have it taken out, and she won't let him operate until he does.

Owen and Teddy are advocating for Cristina, wanting Richard to allow her to get back in the OR. Teddy is doing an ex vivo heart reconstruction. Richard says it's a lot of pressure, but Teddy doesn't think that's an issue for Cristina. Owen says they owe it to Cristina.

Jackson presents the case of Linda Cotler. They removed myxomas from her heart 5 times in the past 8 years already, but today's procedure, which involves removing both atria and hopefully all the cancerous cells, will prevent the formation of new myxomas. Linda and her husband greet Cristina, a familiar face. Burke and Cristina operated on Linda before. Linda and Paul ask about her marriage to Burke, but Cristina says that didn't happen, but she did get married to Owen, who's also in the room. Linda congratulates them. Teddy breaks up the awkwardness and says they'll be back soon with forms to sign.

Callie is listing all the injuries in the ER and informs the doctors there was an Act of God, a lightning strike, that took out a whole football team. Bailey looks around at all the patients and says God was in a mood today.

April wonders how one lightning strike took down a whole team. Judging by the injuries, Mark guesses it hit one and conducted off to the rest. Mark recruits Lexie for a patient with ruptured ear drums. Lexie goes to the trauma room while Mark asks Callie what the appropriate amount of time is before proposing. Callie says a long, long time.

Russ is impressed by the furning on his body, and complains about not being able to feel his arm. Derek, who has showered twice, checks the arm, but deems the paralysis transitory, which is common after lightning strikes. It should be back to normal soon. Russ asks someone to go check on Kerry. Meredith leaves to do so, to avoid Derek, who still wants to talk.

In the trauma room, Callie asks Kerry to wiggle her toes, but she can't. Callie says they'll do a CT, but it's probably temporary. Lexie and Mark are looking at her ear drums. Meredith comes in and says Russ asked about her, but Kerry wants to know if Warren did, too. A boy, Mitch, comes in and tells Kerry he loves her. If they get through this, he'll love her forever. Kerry pretends she can't hear. Lexie takes Mitch outside. Kerry thinks Mitch is just excited because he survived. Lexie gives some pretty specific statistics to prove they were lucky. Kerry wants someone to go check on Warren, who's not her boyfriend. Mark tells Kerry her ear drums will heal themselves. Lexie wants to go see if Derek has a surgery for her, but Mark wants her to stay on Kerry for a work-up.

Paul is not sure why Teddy's approach is better than Burke's. Teddy says he was conservative, and this is radical and risky. Teddy says Linda's heart wall has weakened with every surgery, so there's a greater chance of cardiac rupture. This may be her last chance. Linda is done with the worrying every two years. Paul turns to Cristina and asks her opinion. Cristina says she would go for the surgery. Paul then agrees to it.

Arizona shows Callie color choices for paint to cover the chrome and concrete. Callie doesn't like the colors as they all look beige to her, and then leaves since Kerry's scans are ready.

Meredith shouts she's looking for Warren Griffith. Warren says that is him. Alex is taking care of him, and it looks like the bolt went into his neck and come out of his foot. It looks like Warren's the one who got hit first. Meredith says Kerry asked about him, which surprises him. Mitch comes over and says he tried to tell Kerry he loves her, but her ears are all messed up. Warren gets up as he needs to tell Kerry, but Russ stops him and says Kerry is his. They all start arguing.

Callie informs Kerry there's no damage to her spine, but Mark still wants Lexie to observe her. All the guys come in, rambling to Kerry, who tells them to shut up. Only Warren can talk. He starts to, but then stops and throws up blood and falls to the floor.

Bailey tells Warren they have to operate on him as his bowel is perforated somewhere. He wants them to make sure Kerry is fine, but Bailey wants to take care of him. Bailey asks who's free. Alex volunteers, but the bullet is still inside his chest. Lexie says she's free, but Mark heavily shakes his head behind her back. Bailey then picks Meredith, but April comes running over and says she is available, as Meredith is still not cleared for surgery. Meredith tells April to stop doing that. Bailey decides on April. Lexie assures Mark she's fine.

Teddy explains she'll remove both atria and build new ones out of bovine pericardia. During reconstruction, Owen will use a human donor aorta to prepare the vessels for reimplantation, and all of that in 4 hours. Jackson's ready for it. Cristina claims she is excited, too. Teddy and Jackson leave. Owen tells her the fear of going back in is worse than actually doing it.

Teddy has heard that Arizona is moving in with Callie. Arizona asks her about her hot, hot trauma counselor. Teddy says it's great. The conversation never stops and she feels good whenever she sees him. Come to think of it, Teddy realizes she mostly talks and he just listens. He's a good listener. Arizona says that is his job.

Russ and Mitch can't believe Kerry loves Warren, who's bald. Kerry says they just think they love her because of the football. Kerry starts crying. Lexie says that is because everything's changed after the lightning. They were her team and now they're looking at her differently. Kerry says she was actually crying because she's worried about Warren. She wants to know if he's okay.

Cristina sits down with Meredith in the waiting room, where Meredith is watching Wheel of Fortune. Cristina immediately solves the puzzle and asks if she's talked to Derek yet. The answer is no. Jackson and Alex join them. Jackson is a little nervous. Alex says he's lucky to get to do any surgery at all. Lexie comes over and asks Alex about Warren. Alex leaves to go observe the surgery. Lexie is worried they'll never allow her to operate again. There's a news report about the lightning strike, and Lexie rushes off after realizing something.

Mark asks Derek about his night in jail. Derek says he got almost charged with reckless endangerment. Richard overheard that. He can't have this. Derek talks about the joy of speeding and offers to take Richard sometime. Richard would like that. Lexie comes running over, needing Derek's help. She says Kerry's paralysis won't go away. She needs Derek to listen to her.

Jackson and Cristina are scrubbing in. Having Cristina with him makes him a little less freaked out. Cristina points out their experience didn't make them bond.

Bailey and April are operating on Warren. Alex is observing. Bailey talks about infection in Alex's chest. Bailey orders him to stay right there until he's lead-free.

In Teddy's OR, the clock is started and Cristina removes the heart from Linda's body. She puts it in a bowl of ice and Teddy starts to excise the right atrium. She welcomes Cristina back.

Lexie shows the video footage to Kerry, which shows that she went down before the lightning even struck. Kerry is horrified upon seeing how Warren got struck. Lexie tells her that Warren is in surgery. Derek says her new scan revealed an epidural hematoma that's compressing her spinal cord. They probably missed it earlier because it was too small. It's easy to relieve the pressure, and then she'll walk again. Derek tells Lexie he'll see her in the OR. Kerry tells Mark she had all these reasons not to tell Warren how she felt, but they're all out the window now.

Alex sits down with Meredith in the gallery. He wants to know if Lexie's okay. Meredith says he's the one who ended it. Alex says his chicks always go crazy. Meredith says he's not that special, he's just gone through a lot of crap. She wishes she could take out his bullet.

Teddy's behind on schedule. Owen is putting in the aortic graft. Teddy asks Cristina to trim the pericardium when Jackson accidentally knocks over a tray. Teddy asks Cristina for help, but she doesn't see Cristina anywhere. They find her lying on the floor, gasping for air. Teddy needs more tissue from the pharmacy as the one she wanted to use it not usable. Owen asks Cristina to go get it, but she can't move. Jackson runs out to get it.

Derek tells Lexie it was a good catch. Lexie thanks him for not being afraid of her, like Mark. Derek says Mark hovers because he is afraid for her. It may not the same as Meredith keeping him in a cell, but it comes from the same place.

Meredith gets in the scrub room, where April tells her she can't be here. She then remembers she had to stop doing that to be friends. Meredith proceeds to the OR and lies down with Cristina. Cristina says she can't be in here, but she can't feel anything so she can't move. Meredith takes her hand. Cristina can feel that. Meredith tells her she's okay. They'll go whenever she's ready.

Meredith and Cristina walk down a hallway. Paul sees them and asks them how Linda is doing. Cristina starts crying and walks off, but Meredith assures Paul that Linda is fine. The doctors are still working.

Mark tells Callie she was wrong. There's no time to wait. His best friend got shot, so why should he wait? He won't wait around to be happy. Callie says the two of them skip steps. She did it with Arizona, who's new moving in after she took some steps back. Proposing would be too much. Mark wants to be there to go through this worst part with Lexie. She makes him happier than anything he's ever known, and all he wants is have a part in making her happy again. Callie tells him to go tell her that.

Owen finds Meredith comforting Cristina and tells them that Linda is fine. Meredith leaves them. Cristina tells him he was wrong about everything. He apologizes.

Derek asks Meredith if Cristina is all right. She says she's not. No one's all right and Andrew just keeps clearing everyone. She then tells Derek to stop talking about the prison thing as it was just one night. Derek doesn't want her to worry about it anymore. Meredith says all she does is worry, all the time, that she's gonna get a phone call that he's wrapped his car around a pole. She left him in jail so for a little while, she wouldn't have to be worried about him dying. Derek says he's right here, and they're okay. She then confesses she was pregnant, and that she lost it. He wonders why she didn't say anything as he could have helped her. She says he can help by keeping his driving under control. They kiss and hug.

Cristina tells Owen she can't do it. Owen thought she was ready. She's never not been ready. He knows what she's feeling. She says she's not feeling anything. She can't be in the OR and she doesn't know where she's supposed to be. Owen says she can just be here. She apologizes and leaves. He opens his hand and sees she gave him back the ring.

Lexie enters Kerry's room with Warren in a wheelchair. They told him he slammed her hard in the field. She says accidents happen and she's fine. Warren wanted to say he's sorry, also about getting them struck by lightning. Kerry then tells him she's been in love with him forever. Warren wants Lexie to push him closer. She does so. Kerry and Warren hold hands.

Alex finds Bailey in the scrub room to answer her page. She tells him to get on the table. She does not need a reminder of that day, as she's going to have it on her mind for the rest of her life. She's tired of bullying Alex, so she's asking him to please have the surgery. He agrees to it.

Teddy delivers the good news to Paul, who hugs her.

Derek and Meredith come home and find Cristina in the waiting room. Meredith sits down with her.

Teddy meets with Andrew in a conference room. She's enjoying this, but she thinks she talks too much. She wants to be sure she's not using him as a shrink. He says listening to her is not work. He's listened and talked a lot today, so for now, he'd like to say he's enjoying this too. They kiss and he suggests they both not talk for a while. He brings up that Richard went over his head to clear Yang, but Teddy repeats they don't have to talk and kisses him.

Mark follows Lexie and says he wants to talk. She knows he wants to be there, but he doesn't have to. He helped her through a rough patch and she's grateful for that, but she's trying to get out of it, and he won't let her. He's treating her like a basket case and everybody believes him. Lexie saved a girl today. She's a good doctor and she doesn't deserve for people to think anything less than that. She asks Mark to please leave her alone. He says he will.

Bailey is taking out the bullet. Alex says Charles was a good guy, and Reed was messed up, but she wasn't a bad person either. He doesn't know why they made it, why they just get to walk away. Bailey doesn't know either. They just have to find a way to be grateful. They look at the bullet and she puts it in a bowl.

In her apartment, Mark advises Callie to just paint the walls beige as they share a bottle of wine. She's got a girl she loves and who loves her back. 

Meredith and Cristina are lying on the living room floor. Cristina says 50% of marriages end in divorce, so between them, Meredith and Derek should be fine. Cristina thought the marriage would fix her, but she's dead inside. Meredith says she told Derek about the miscarriage. She says Cristina got married for better or worse. This is the worse part, but there will be better ones. She says Cristina should go back to Owen. Cristina agrees. Owen then comes walking in and says Cristina does not feel nothing. She felt scared and angry today, and she's allowed that after what she's been through. He also felt all those things when he was in that place. He took it on Cristina back then, and she stayed with him through it all because she loves him. So, she can be scared and pissed with or at him, but he'll stay through it all. He's not going anywhere without her. She gets up and suggests they go home. She goes outside. Meredith says that was a nice speech, although she already fixed Cristina before he came. Owen follows Cristina outside.

The next morning, Meredith tells Andrew she lost a baby, almost lost her husband, and her best friend may never recover. So, she doesn't care what Andrew does. She has no control over it, so she gives up. Andrew then signs a paper to clear her. She takes the paper and leaves.


  • Meredith Grey
  • Cristina Yang
  • Alex Karev
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Callie Torres
  • Mark Sloan
  • Lexie Grey
  • Owen Hunt
  • Arizona Robbins
  • Teddy Altman
  • April Kepner
  • Jackson Avery
  • Derek Shepherd
  • Andrew Perkins
  • Linda Cotler
  • Paul Cotler
  • Kerry Schultz
  • Russ Gammie
  • Mitch
  • Warren Griffith

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit

Medical NotesEdit

Meredith GreyEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Emotional trauma
  • Treatment:
    • Trauma counseling

Meredith still hadn't been cleared for surgery, despite her best efforts to convince Andrew that she was ready. Meredith ultimately told him that she had a miscarriage, almost lost her husband, and her best friend was possibly irreparably traumatized. He then signed the paper to clear her for surgery.

Alex KarevEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Remnant bullet
  • Treatment:
    • Surgical extraction

When Bailey found out that Alex still had the bullet in his chest, she insisted that he have it removed. At the end of the day, she operated on him to remove the bullet.

Linda CotlerEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Malignant myxomas
  • Treatment:
    • Ex-vivo heart repair

Linda, 51, had been in the hospital three times in eight years to have malignant myxomas removed from her heart. She had been a patient of Preston Burke in the past. However, Teddy was planning a more radical approach, which involved removing both atria and hopefully all the cancer then reconstructing them with bovine pericardium. Her husband was reluctant to agree to the surgery, but Linda insisted that she needed it so that they could have peace of mind. In surgery, there was a complication when Cristina collapsed on the floor in fear. They had to get more bovine pericardium to continue the procedure. The surgery was ultimately completed successfully.

Russ GammieEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Lightning strike
    • Transitory paralysis
  • Treatment:

Russ was a member of a flag football team that was struck by lightning. In the ER, he had ferning on his chest and couldn't feel his left arm. When Derek evaluated him, he was already starting to regain feeling and was told it was likely transitory paralysis and would resolve in a few hours, which it did.

Kerry SchultzEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Lightning strike
    • Punctured ear drums
    • Epidural hematoma
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Kerry was part of a flag football team struck by lightning. She experienced paralysis in her legs, which Callie hoped was transitory paralysis, but she ordered a CT. She also had two burst ear drums, which she was told would heal themselves. Kerry's CT was clear, but she was kept for observation. After seeing a video of the lightning strike, Lexie noticed that Kerry was hit and knocked down before the lightning strike. She went to get Derek to check Kerry out. She was discovered to have an epidural hematoma. She was taken into surgery to repair the bleed.


  • Diagnosis:
    • Lightning strike
  • Doctors:
  • Treatment:

Mitch was part of the flag football team that was struck by lightning.

Warren GriffithEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Lightning strike
    • Bowel perforation
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Warren was part of a flag football team that was struck by lightning. It entered in his neck and went out his foot. He was the original target of the lightning strike and it spread from him to the rest of the team. While visiting his friend, Kerry, Warren coughed up blood. He was diagnosed with a bowel perforation and was taken into surgery. His surgery went well.


  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Teddy and Arizona examined a baby who was post-op. Teddy said the incision looked great and she heard no heart murmur.


Song Performer Scene
"Precious" Tobias Froberg
  • Meredith pretends to make a breakthrough with her trauma counselor.
  • He sees through it and says they can talk more about it later.
"Wishing He Was Dead" The Like
  • Meredith is watching Wheel of Fortune and Cristina comes by and solves the puzzle.
  • Meredith, Cristina, Jackson, and Lexie watch the footage of the lightning strike on the TV, which makes Lexie realize something.
"Into the Mystic" Greg Laswell
  • Kerry realizes she's an idiot for never telling Warren how she feels.
  • Alex and Meredith talk about Lexie.
  • Alex rubs his bullet and Meredith says she wants to cut it out.
"The Wait" School of Seven Bells
  • Derek tells Lexie that Mark is afraid of her.
  • April tries to stop Meredith from entering the OR, but steps back.
  • Meredith lies down on the floor next to Cristina and talks to her.
"Calling Me" Alva Leigh
  • Callie tells Mark to back off Lexie for a while.
  • He says he just wants to make Lexie happy, so Callie tells him to tell her that.
  • Owen tells Meredith and Cristina that Linda is fine.
  • Meredith tells Derek about her miscarriage and says he needs to stop speeding.
  • Cristina tells Owen she can't go back to surgery.
  • She gives Owen her ring and leaves.
"Business Transaction" Home Video
  • Kerry tells Warren she loves him.
  • Bailey tells Alex to get on the table so she can take his bullet out.
  • Teddy tells Linda's husband that she made it.
  • Derek and Meredith come home and find Cristina.
  • Teddy asks Andrew if she talks too much.
  • He says it's not work to listen to her. They start kissing and agree not to talk.
  • Mark tries to talk to Lexie.
"White Blank Page" Mumford & Sons
  • Mark watches Lexie walk away.
  • Bailey takes out Alex's bullet and the two of them talk about Charles and Reed.
  • They both feel guilty for living while the other two died.
  • Mark tells Callie to let Arizona paint the apartment whatever color she wants.
  • Meredith talks Cristina back into her marriage.
  • Owen comes in and gives Cristina a speech and she goes home with him.
  • Meredith tells Andrew about the miscarriage and gets cleared for surgery.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Grey's Anatomy Season 7 Episode 2

Grey's Anatomy Season 7 Episode 2

  • This episode's title originated from the song Shock to the Sytem, originally sung by Billy Idol.
  • This episode scored 12.53 million viewers.
  • Meredith finally gets cleared for surgery by Andrew Perkins at the end of the episode.
  • This episode marks the first time that Alex is being operated on in an OR in Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital. When he got shot in the Season 6 finale, Lexie and Mark gave him some first-aid help before he was transported to another hospital.
  • This episode marks Sara Ramírez' 100th episode as Callie Torres.
  • Meredith finally tells Derek about her miscarriage in Death and All His Friends.
  • This episode follows directly on With You I'm Born Again, as April mentions that Owen and Cristina's wedding was last night.
  • Cristina says 50% of marriages end in a divorce, so that between her and Meredith, Meredith and Derek's marriage should be fine. Ironically, in season 9, Cristina and Owen really get divorced.


Episode StillsEdit


April: Dr. Shepherd, the chief is looking for you.
Derek: I know.
April: You missed the wedding last night.
Derek: I know.
April: You smell like pee.
Derek: I know!

Derek: Hey I've heard about Cristina. Is she all right?
Meredith: No, she's not all right. No one is all right. That idiot is clearing everyone for surgery like they're fine and they're not fine.
Derek: Stop, stop it, I need to talk to you.
Meredith: Just leave it alone Derek, it was one night in jail, you drive too fast, just forget about it!
Derek: I don't wanna talk about that, don't worry about that.
Meredith (teary eyed): Don't worry about it? All I do is worry. All the time, I spend every minute of every day worrying that I'm gonna get a phone-call that you've wrapped your car around a pole. That's why I left you in jail. So that just for a little while I would know that you weren't dying like you were dying on that table. That's what I think about every time you pull out of the driveway.
Derek: I'm right here. I'm okay. We're okay.
Meredith: I was pregnant. That day, I was pregnant, and I lost it.
Derek: I... (pause) You didn't say anything. I could've helped you.
Meredith: If you wanna help me, your driving is something you can control. Just do that. Just do that. 
(They kiss and hug)

Meredith: (to Perkins) Go hug yourself!

Meredith: (to Perkins) I lost a baby, I almost lost my husband, and my best friend may never recover. So, I don't care what you do. Clear me or don't clear me, I have no control over any of it. I'm giving up.
Perkins: Well... (signs the form, she's cleared) That sounds like a good plan. You're cleared for surgery, Dr. Grey.

Mark: (to Derek) Hey, how was your night in jail? You shank someone right off the bat? You gotta let the other cons know not to mess with you.
Derek: That's not funny. They almost charged me with reckless endangerment.
Webber: I'm sorry, what?! I mean, that's where you've been all morning, in jail for reckless endangerment?
Derek: Nobody was endangered.
Webber: I can't have this, Derek. I won't...
Derek: Have you ever been over 120mph before? Richard, have you ever been over 80? It's fun, really fun. (excitedly) I mean, especially when you go through a corner like that, at that speed and you're not sure if the rear end is gonna stick or not and you lose control, and then you put the throttle down and the car corrects a little bit and you take it to the limit. And you don't lose control, you just grab it! Have you ever done it?
Webber: No, Derek.
Derek: You want to? I'll take you.
Mark: You should, it's really great.
Derek: Let's go. Right now. Come on.
Webber: I'd like that.

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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