Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki
Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki

The brain is the human body's most mysterious organ. It learns. It changes. It adapts. It tells us what we see, what we hear. It lets us feel love. I think it holds our soul. But no matter how much research we do, no one can really say how all the delicate gray matter inside our skull works. And when it's hurt, when the human brain is traumatized, well, that's when it gets even more mysterious.

Song Beneath the Song is the eighteenth episode of the seventh season and the 144th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[]

A cataclysmic event shakes the doctors of Seattle Grace to the core, as Callie, on the verge of a life-changing moment with Arizona, envisions her hospital and friends as they have never been seen before.

Full Summary[]

Following the car crash at the end of the previous episode, Arizona raises her head from the airbag. She sees the seat next to hers is empty. She then sees Callie's feet through the broken windshield. She takes off her seatbelt and gets out of the car. While we see Callie's injured body lying on the car, we also see short flashbacks of the car crash. Callie sees her own spirit standing next to the car. Arizona screams for help. The driver of the truck the car crashed into tries to help, while Arizona calls for an ambulance.

Meredith is in Sloan's OR as he operates. She must tell him what has happened, but decides to wait until he's finished. Mark is complimenting his own work as he completes it. "What do you got?" he asks her.

In the ambulance bay, all the attendings and residents are waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Mark is panicking, and as we hear the ambulance approach, Richard convinces Mark to step back and let them do their jobs. The doctors open the ambulance doors, and they take Callie into the ER. Mark and Arizona are left behind. Mark asks her what happened. "I asked her to marry me and a truck came out of nowhere," Arizona stammers. 

In the ER, Owen urges Callie to stay with him, while she starts crying. In a trauma room, all doctors are examining her. Mark and Arizona urge Lucy to tell them if she can hear a fetal heartbeat. Richard pushes them back and tells them to stay silent. Richard tells someone to have an OR prepared for them. Everyone stays silent when Lucy asks them to and she finds a fetal heartbeat. Callie then crashes. They intubate her and try to resuscitate her. They successfully do and take her to the OR. Arizona watches while they take her into an elevator. Meanwhile, Callie's spirit stands there, too. "I asked her to marry me and a truck came out of nowhere," Arizona says again.

Everyone is on edge in the OR. Owen tells everyone to take a breath and calm down, saying they'll make mistakes if they rush. Lexie is talking to Callie and telling her to breathe. When Derek sees Arizona is sitting in the gallery, he says that someone needs to keep an eye on Mark. Richard sends out Lexie to do so. She leaves and a nurse points her to where she saw Mark.

Derek and Meredith are operating on Callie's brain, while Bailey, Richard, and Owen try to control the different bleeds. Lucy is watching the monitor to keep an eye on the baby and Callie suddenly starts contracting.

Lexie is looking for Mark in the hallway, but she doesn't see him anywhere.

As April drops an instrument, Richard sends out everyone who's not needed. Lucy tells Alex he can go, as the contractions have stopped. Owen instructs Bailey and Richard to pack Callie up or she'll bleed to death. Bailey explains to April that Callie will be kept in the ICU for the next 24 hours, and if she stays stable, they'll operate on her again later. Richard asks Lucy about her plan if the contractions starts again and she has to deliver the baby early. "I may be a little out of my depth here, Sir," Lucy confesses. 

Lexie finds Mark crying in a staircase. "You don't have to do this. I know you hate me," he says, but she says she doesn't hate him.

Alex sits down next to Arizona and comforts her when she starts crying, and Lexie does the same thing for Mark. 

Lucy and Alex are waiting on the helipad. Lucy is humiliated as she's been benched. The helicopter lands, and Addison gets out of it. Addison and Lucy enter Callie's room, where Addison sends out April to take a break. Lucy wants to consult with Addison, but Addison sends her out too, because she didn't do for Callie and the baby what she should've done. Lucy leaves. Addison promises Callie that she and the other attendings will come up with a plan to figure everything out.

The attendings are discussing Callie's case. They all start screaming and Owen manages to shut them up and make them work together as a team. Richard closes the door, as Cristina, Alex, and Meredith are outside, watching them. They question if the baby will make it, as Alex says that it's possible that they'll have to choose between Callie and the baby. Meredith then notices a hickey in Alex's neck and comments that Lucy is the first he's really liked since Izzie. He says not to make a big deal out of it, as she works at Seattle Grace Mercy Death. Both Cristina and Meredith think he has a point about the name.

Miranda explains to Mark and Arizona that Callie may have a better chance if they took out the baby now. Arizona says that the baby is barely viable, but Mark asks why they're even talking about the baby. "Did you just say that?" Arizona asks. Mark wants to give Callie the best chance, but Arizona thinks Callie wants the baby to survive, too. As they continue to argue over it, Bailey goes into Callie's room. 

Lexie is washing her face and Jackson comes in. He tells her that Callie will go back to the OR tomorrow, and that they're still waiting on Arizona and Mark to decide about whether or not the baby should be taken out now. He says that Mark is doing okay. Lexie wants to stay in the hospital to support Mark and Jackson walks away.

Cristina is looking at scans.

Derek tells Meredith that her brain may not come back even though they manage to save her body. He says he can't tell Mark. He and Meredith then lie down in a bed in an on-call room to get some sleep.

Mark and Arizona are still arguing, but things are now getting personal. He thinks she doesn't get to have an opinion because she didn't want a baby in the first place, while she says that she didn't want to have him involved in it, and she says he's basically just a sperm donor. He yells that he's the father, while she's nothing. 

Miranda and April are still in Callie's room, making sure she's comfortable.

Cristina is still looking at scans, when she gets an idea.

In Callie's dream, she and Arizona are back in the car. Things happen like in real life and suddenly, Callie realizes that Arizona is going to ask Callie to marry her, while Arizona urges her to put her seatbelt back on. Callie compares their relationship to those of their colleagues and she says that she loves Arizona.

Eli is trying to seduce Bailey by dancing with her. 

Owen and Cristina are making out in the kitchen. 

Henry is trying to seduce Teddy, who just tries to examine him. 

Alex and Lucy are dancing in the trailer. 

Arizona tells Callie to get over herself.

Lexie is stroking Mark's hair, while he's sleeping on her lap.

Derek and Meredith wake up in the on-call room.

Callie is woken up by Derek and Meredith, who want to do a neuro exam, but Callie can't do any of the tests. Derek tells Arizona and Mark that it's too soon to tell and that the only thing Callie did was opening her eyes. 

Cristina is pitching a percutaneous repair for Callie's heart, which would be better for both Callie's brain and the baby. Burke taught her a special technique which reduces the risks of the procedure. Owen seems to think it's a good idea, but Teddy isn't confident it'll work, so she refuses. She tries to get Owen to agree with her, but he decides to side with Teddy, because she's the Head of Cardio. Cristina angrily leaves.

Arizona is talking to Callie, saying Mark was right: legally, she's nobody to the baby, nor to Callie, even though she does feel like the baby's mother and Callie's wife. She begs Callie to live. Callie's spirit watches Arizona closely. Mark is outside, watching them. Addison comes over and advises him to go in and make peace with Arizona, as they both love Callie. Suddenly, Callie starts deteriorating. Addison and Mark rush in, and Addison orders a nurse to get an OR ready for them.

Callie is rushed to the OR. As Bailey, Teddy, Owen, and Richard have scrubbed, the OR is prepared. When the residents scrub in, Callie is brought in on a gurney and led on the OR table. Mark and Arizona sit down in the gallery. While the other surgeons are preparing to go in, Addison sits down to look at the baby monitor. Arizona wants to pray and Mark says he hasn't stopped praying since yesterday.

Meredith and Derek need to operate on Callie's brain again, while Cristina says she can still do the percutaneous repair. Owen agrees with her. He and Richard ask Teddy to stabilize the heart and to step back after. Meanwhile, Cristina prepares to do the procedure. As everyone keeps on operating, Mark and Arizona watch them closely. Derek manages to control the brain bleed, but Callie's heart has stopped beating. Callie's spirit is in the gallery, too. Addison gets ready to take out the baby. Mark runs out of the gallery. As he enters the OR, Addison just took out the baby, whom she hands over to Lucy. Arizona enters the OR, too. Alex helps Lucy, who can't get a heartbeat. They have to ventilate the baby and eventually intubate. Mark looks at Arizona and he nods. She then takes over from Lucy. As Arizona says she has a heartbeat, Richard tells them that Callie's heart is strong now, too. 

Derek, Mark, and Arizona are watching Callie in the ICU. Derek says that they now have to wait for Callie to wake up, which may not happen. Derek walks away. Mark apologizes for saying Arizona's nothing.

Meredith and Derek are in the elevator, and she confesses that she was jealous of Callie at the baby shower. She doesn't get why the universe is so screwed up, and random, and mean. Derek hugs her, and he promises her they will have a baby of their own, too.

Arizona is talking to Callie about their baby, who's small but fighting against all the complications. "She can't open her eyes yet, but I can tell, she's looking for you," Arizona says. Callie's spirit is stroking her own body's face. She's standing on the bridge inside the hospital. Later, she's watching Mark and her daughter in the NICU.

Jackson tells Lexie that he's not the guy who waits around for the girl who's still in love with someone else. Lexie asks him to go home together and takes his hand. 

Teddy tells Cristina she can't teach her anymore, as she doesn't want to listen to her. "Find someone else to learn from," Teddy says.

Callie's spirit comes back into the ICU, where Arizona is sleeping. Callie's spirit is shaking the bed in an attempt to wake up her body, but nothing happens. When she grabs her body's feet, Callie suddenly opens her eyes and the spirit disappears. "Yeah," Callie says, which wakes up Arizona. "Yes," she says again. "What? Callie? What?" Arizona asks. "I'll marry you," Callie says and Arizona laughs.


Main Cast[]

Special Guest Star[]

Guest Stars[]


Medical Notes[]

Callie Torres[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Blunt trauma
    • Traumatic brain injury
    • Depressed skull fracture
    • Epidural bleed
    • Subdural bleed
    • Liver laceration
    • Traumatic ventricular septal defect
    • Flash pulmonary edema
    • Abdominal compartment syndrome
  • Treatment:
    • Chest Tube
    • Intubation
    • Ringers Lactate
    • Surgery
    • C-section delivery

After the car accident, Callie was brought to the hospital in critical condition. In the trauma room, they assessed Callie's injuries and Lucy checked for a fetal heartbeat. They intubated her and then rushed her up to surgery. While she was in surgery, she started to have contractions, but they quickly stopped. When she reached the point where they were doing more harm than good, they closed and moved her to the ICU. Addison was called in to monitor the baby. She was tachycardic and contracting. The attendings then met up to make a surgical plan. She had a traumatic VSD, so Teddy wanted to put her on bypass to fix it. They argued over whether that was the best option. They went to Arizona and Mark about whether they felt the doctors should deliver the baby while Callie was stable. They fought over which way to go. Arizona favored waiting and Mark wanted to deliver the baby. The next morning, Derek woke Callie to check her neuro function. She didn't respond to their commands, so they sedated her. Cristina proposed fixing Callie's heart percutaneously, which would reduce the amount of heparin needed, so it lowered her chances of re-bleeding in her brain. Despite Cristina's confidence, Teddy rejected the idea and Owen backed Teddy up. Later, Callie developed abdominal compartment syndrome. They took her back into surgery. Teddy started to repair the heart her way, but as soon as they pushed heparin, her brain started to bleed again. Owen said they needed to reverse the heparin and let Cristina fix her heart while Derek fixed her brain bleed. After those two repairs were done, she flatlined. Addison warned that they had one minute to get her heart back before she'd deliver the baby. She delivered the baby. They were able to resuscitate her, but Derek warned them that Callie still might not be able to wake up. However, Callie later woke up and accepted Arizona's marriage proposal.

Arizona Robbins[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Facial laceration
  • Treatment:
    • Stitches

After the car accident, Arizona was left with a laceration on her face, which was later sewn shut.

Mark's Patient[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Broken jaw
  • Treatment:
    • Mandibular repair

Mark operated on a patient whose jaw had been broken in five places.

Callie's baby[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Prematurity
  • Treatment:
    • Intubation

Addison was forced to deliver the baby while she was flatlining. Lucy and Alex worked to get her breathing, but Arizona stepped in and took over. She worked and successfully got her daughter breathing. She was then moved to the NICU. She weighed only one pound and one ounce.


Song Performer Scene
"Cosy in the Rocket"

Sara Ramírez

(originally: Psapp)

  • Callie's ghost watches her wounded body.
"Chasing Cars"

Sara Ramírez, Kevin McKidd, and Chandra Wilson

(originally: Snow Patrol)

  • Callie and Arizona arrive at the ER.
  • Mark and Arizona talk about what happened.
  • Callie's colleagues start treating her.
  • Callie is rushed to an OR.
"Breathe (2AM)"

Chyler Leigh

(originally: Anna Nalick)

  • Lexie leaves the OR to go look for Mark.
  • Callie's surgery start, but they discover she has several bleedings.
  • Lexie is searching for Mark in the hospital.
  • Lucy tells Richard she's out of her depth on Callie's case.
  • Lexie finds Mark and comforts him.
  • Arizona breaks down in front of Alex.
"How We Operate"

Kevin McKidd

(originally: Gomez)

  • All attendings discuss Callie's case.
  • Alex, Cristina, and Meredith watch them as they talk about Callie and Lucy.

Chandra Wilson, Sarah Drew, and Chyler Leigh

(originally: Get Set Go)

  • Arizona and Mark start arguing about the baby.
  • April and Bailey comfort Callie.
  • Jackson informs Lexie on Callie's treatment.
  • Cristina looks at CT scans of Burke's old patients and finds a clue on how to treat Callie.
  • Derek reveals to Meredith Callie's brain may not come back.
"Running on Sunshine"

Sara Ramírez, Daniel Sunjata, Kevin McKidd, Scott Foley, Justin Chambers, Chandra Wilson, Kim Raver, Jessica Capshaw, Chyler Leigh, and Ellen Pompeo

(originally: Jesus Jackson)

  • Callie and Arizona are driving in their car in a dream world.
  • Eli starts to seduce Bailey.
  • Cristina and Owen are kissing and undressing.
  • Henry tries to charm Teddy.
  • Alex and Lucy are dancing in his trailer.
  • Lexie is comforting Mark.
  • Derek wakes up next to Meredith.
"Universe & U"

Sara Ramírez and Jessica Capshaw

(originally: KT Tunstall)

  • Arizona begs Callie to recover.
  • Callie's ghost talks to Arizona.

Sara Ramírez, Sarah Drew, and Chyler Leigh

(originally: Kate Havnevik)

  • Callie is rushed into surgery.
  • The attendings are scrubbing for the surgery.
  • The OR is prepared for the surgery.
  • Mark and Arizona sit down in the gallery.
"How To Save a Life"

Kevin McKidd, Ellen Pompeo, Kim Raver, Eric Dane, Jessica Capshaw, Chandra Wilson, Chyler Leigh, Sarah Drew, Justin Chambers, and Sara Ramírez

(originally: The Fray)

  • Cristina performs a difficult cardiac procedure.
  • Mark, Arizona and Callie's ghost watch the surgery.
  • Callie's heart stops and Addison gets ready to take the baby out.
  • Mark enters the OR as Addison takes the baby out.
  • Lucy asks Alex to help her with Callie's baby.
  • Arizona takes over from Lucy.
  • Owen and the other attendings managed to deal with every complication and save Callie.
"The Story"

Sara Ramírez

(originally: Brandi Carlile)

  • Callie's ghost wanders around the hospital, hoping her body will wake up soon.
  • Callie's ghost watches Sofia.
  • Callie's ghost tries to wake up her body and disappears as Callie opens her eyes.

Notes and Trivia[]


7x18 Grey's Anatomy Promo1


Grey's Anatomy - BEHIND THE SCENES - THE MUSICAL EPISODE - extended!

  • This episode's title originated from the song Song Beneath the Song, originally sung by Maria Taylor.
  • This episode scored 13.09 million viewers.
  • It is a musical episode, which is why Patrick Dempsey jokingly referred to this episode as Glee M.D..
  • An extended version of this episode can be found on the season 7 DVD box.
  • This episode is the first appearance of Callie, Arizona, and Mark's daughter, Sofia Robbin Sloan Torres
  • This episode marks the last appearance of Addison Montgomery in the present timeline of Grey's Anatomy
  • Sandra Oh, James Pickens Jr., Patrick Dempsey, and Jesse Williams are the only main actors in Grey's that do not sing in this episode. Additionally, guest stars Kate Walsh and Rachael Taylor also did not sing.
  • Every song sung in this episode has appeared in an earlier episode.
  • At the beginning of this episode, Mark is shown completing a mandibular repair (a 2-4 hour surgery) before he finds out about the accident. However, in the previous episode, he sent Callie a text just minutes before the accident, indicating that he wasn't in surgery at that point. However, it is possible that due to being trapped in the windshield, Callie had a prolonged extraction time, accounting for the extra time. Also, surgeons have been shown to have nurses send texts with their phones, so it's possible Mark had a nurse text Callie.
  • According to production manager Chris Hayden, this was one of the most expensive episodes because of all the extra rehearsals and the additional music crew.
  • This episode runs in parallel with Private Practice's The Hardest Part.
  • Because of Lucy's little experience in maternal-fetal traumas, Addison was called in by Richard.
    • In a deleted scene, Addison chastizes Lucy for not handling the trauma appropriately and failing to give steroids to the fetus to encourage lung development should a premature delivery by C-section occur. Lucy admits that she admires Addison and her career, but was not prepared for this case; Addison then tells Lucy to get experience and ultimately throws her out of the ICU.
    • It should be noted that administering steroids for lung maturation is pretty basic knowledge and not at all limited to the trauma setting of the specialty, so Lucy's failing to do so is actually a pretty grave error.
  • The songs from this episode, plus a few others, were later performed live by the cast at The Songs Beneath the Show.


According to Shonda Rhimes, she already wanted to do a musical episode since the third day of filming the pilot episode, explaining she loves musicals and got inspired by the musical episode of the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She mentioned this desire to Betsy Beers, who just nodded at the time.

As to why it took seven seasons to actually get to it, Rhimes given multiple reasons, stating it was much more complicated. She mentions she was too busy telling other stories at Seattle Grace and creating Private Practice, she was raising her kid, the network was against it, and most important of all, she had no idea how they'd do it. So, she forgot about her idea, until the fourth season of the show.

That was the season during which the Writers Guild of America went on strike. That got Shonda to take part in protesting and to worry about the crews of her shows. To raise money for the crews, a benefit concert with people from Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice was organized. Shonda stood backstage at the concert and she got amazed by the musical talent of her cast, Audra McDonald's and Sara Ramírez' in particular. Later on, she also discovered that Chyler Leigh (who didn't know it herself), Kevin McKidd (who knew it but humbly chose not to reveal it), Chandra Wilson (who's usually too nervous to sing), and Justin Chambers are talented singers as well. Upon discovering all this talent, the idea of doing a musical episode got back in her head, but they didn't do it for another two seasons.

At the beginning of season 7, as she said to the other writers that Callie should get pregnant with Mark's baby and that it all should be complicated and horrible and upsetting Arizona, she suddenly realized what the musical episode should be about. She then started to beg the studio and the network people. They all politely declined, so Shonda organized a concert where she dragged all the studio and network executives to. They had an amazing band and Chandra, Sara, and Kevin as the evening's vocal talents. Amazed by the actors' talents, the people said yes.

Rehearsals started a full four months before they filmed, something they had never done before, as usual preps take eight days. Sara Ramírez was the one who pitched that they should sing the songs that the show had made famous. The crew went all in and took the leap and all of the cast came together to do it right, like a family. The result has made the entire cast and crew incredibly proud of their accomplishments.


Episode Stills[]

Behind the Scenes[]


Arizona: I asked her to marry me and a truck came out of nowhere.

Callie: I'll marry you. Yes. Yes.

Alex: I'm sure she's pretty much going to go crazy or get cancer, shot by a gunman, or get hit by a truck, so don't get your hopes up Karev's big happily ever after.

Cristina: Dr. Altman, is there... did you have anything you wanted to add?
Teddy: I can't teach you anymore.
Cristina: What?
Teddy: If you refuse to learn, if you won't listen, I can't teach you.
Cristina: I'm-I'm sorry, what?
Teddy: Find someone else to learn from.

Arizona: She's really small, but she's strong. She's one pound, one ounce of strong, fighting against all the complications. She's got beautiful black hair, Calliope, beautiful hair. She's - she's beautiful. She can't open her eyes yet, but I can tell she's looking for you. Okay? She's asking for you!

See Also[]

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

The Grey Matter blog post on this episode can be found here.