I don't like questions without any answers. Like, where do we go when we die? I mean, I know what happens physiologically speaking, but beyond that, what really happens? Anything? That's what you start asking yourself when you live on a clock. All these questions without any answers. They drive you nuts. That's why I like what I do. Fixing babies. Birthing babies. No ambiguity there. No questions, just answers. Clear, precise, obvious answers. And life, beautiful, new life. Hope for the future. God, I miss that. I never placed much value in wondering about an afterlife. My concern was always this life. What would I do with it? How would I make my mark? I wanted to break new ground. I wanted to leave a legacy. I wanted my life, my brain, my existence to mean something. The thing I never really thought about though, the thing I never really wrapped my brain around until now was, in order to be remembered, in order to leave something significant behind, you have to leave.

Staring at the End is the thirteenth episode of the eleventh season and the 233rd overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

The hospital doctors become fascinated with Dr. Herman's case when Amelia gives a lecture detailing the intricacies of the surgery. Arizona and Herman continue to bond over the amount of cases they are trying to complete before the big surgery. Meanwhile, Bailey brings them the case of a pregnant woman who is close to her heart.

Full SummaryEdit

Herman's voiceover talks about not liking questions without answers, such as what happens when you die.

Herman lies awake and looks at the board with the patients. She gets out of bed, brushes her teeth and hair, pours herself a hot beverage, and looks at the board again. Arizona comes in and says good morning. Herman asks if she's ever not chirpy, to which Arizona asks if Herman's ever not snarky. She also points out that Herman snores, so she can't stay the night again without earplugs. They have seven cases to cover for the day, the first of which is in two hours. Also, it's Friday, which means Herman needs an MRI, which she sees as a waste of her limited time. Arizona tells her to come and Herman tells her to stop chirping. Arizona says to stop snarking.

As Herman gets her MRI, Arizona talks to her about their schedule for the day. Amelia is waiting for the scans to come up when Owen comes in and gives her a cup of coffee. He says he's had multiple requests from other hospitals to record her lecture. When he goes to say more, Amelia says she has a lot on her plate at the moment, with Herman and the tumor. She needs to focus on that. She says Owen is very hard to ignore. Owen says it was just coffee, which Amelia appreciates. It's great coffee. He says he can just get his own and let her get her own. She says she doesn't want to get her own coffee. She can and she will, but ... She then tells Owen thank you for the coffee and she likes it. Then Herman sits up and asks her about her tumor.

Amelia says the tumor had no signs of growth into the optic chiasm. Herman needs a number for how much time she has until that happens. Amelia says about six weeks, maybe eight if she does radiation. Herman says she tried radiation and hated it. Herman sees Bailey approaching her and tries to walk away before Bailey can start talking to her, but Bailey shouts, "Glenda Castillo!" Glenda is a patient Bailey wants Herman to see. Herman denies her request as she had already done once before. They're on a limited schedule. But Herman offers to give Bailey come names.

Herman and Arizona are then shown doing multiple surgeries.

Herman removes the cards for the surgeries they've performed from the board. Arizona says they have four months' worth of surgeries on the board and wonders how they'll fit them all into eight weeks. Herman says they just do and Arizona will do the next one herself with Herman watching. Arizona declines, but Herman insists, saying she needs to see what Arizona can do while she's still around to fix things if Arizona screws up. Herman asks what's next and Arizona says it's time for her radiation treatment. Herman says it hasn't worked yet, so why should it start now? Arizona reminds her that Shepherd says it's necessary and she's the doctor here.

Amelia starts her presentation with a half-full room, including Jo and Stephanie. She tells the crowd that the origins and lessons of evolution boil down to life will out. Life will always find a way to continue. She shows them Herman's MRI and asks them to look at the tumor, look very closely. She says the tumor is growing, adapting to its environment. It's alive and trying to stay alive. She tells them to imagine the tumor like a fetus. It's thriving. There are tumors that grow teeth, hair, and sometimes eyes. She wants them to see that to the tumor, they are the problem. They are the cancer. The tumor's just trying to stay alive. She says the tumor deserves respect and humanity.

Arizona is by Herman's side as she goes in for her radiation treatment. Herman notices the clouds on the ceiling and wishes they'd put something interesting, like porn, there instead.

Amelia says it's not just a tumor. It's ingenuity, strength, adaptability, poetry, and one of God's masterpieces. It is alive.

They clasp the mask down around Herman's head and she start to breathe heavily. Arizona asks if she's okay and she says that she is.

Amelia talks about how the tumor will be almost impossible to remove, because it's trying so hard to stay alive.

Arizona tells Herman she'll see her after her treatment. She goes to leave, but Herman grabs her hand.

The tumor would rather destroy the brain that holds it than go gently.

Arizona puts Herman's hand down and leaves.

Amelia says the tumor's alive and it all comes down to life will out.

One week later

Herman again gets up, brushes her hair and teeth and pours herself a hot beverage. Some of her hair comes out when she brushes. She goes in for another MRI.

Amelia is talking to a slightly larger crowd about Herman's tumor. She talks about how to remove the tumor without damaging Herman's brain. The tumor thinks it's in charge.

Herman skipped radiation and says she doesn't have to explain herself to Amelia. Herman says she's not doing radiation anymore. It's her tumor and her head, so it's her call. Amelia says the tumor will be easier to remove after radiation. She begs Herman to go to radiation and Herman says she'll think about it as she walks away.

Amelia continues to talk about not letting the tumor intimidate them. You just need a plan.

Herman and Arizona are shown operating on another set of patients. Herman tells Arizona it's her turn to step up. Arizona's hesitant, but steps up and starts.

Amelia says starting is the hardest part. The first cut sets the tone. You have to be careful and sure or you're in trouble.

Arizona and Herman eat lunch in the cafeteria and Callie, along with Meredith, Alex, and Maggie, watches from the other side of the room. Callie sees them laughing and notes that they're spending a lot of time together, laughing, and Arizona seems happy. Meredith tells her that she seems happy, too. Callie claims she doesn't care and is just making conversation. Callie asks if they think it's weird that they're always together. Meredith says they aren't, but Alex points out that they bunk up together. Arizona hasn't slept at the house all week. Meredith tells Callie that they're not together together and she knows it, but Callie says Arizona used to hate her and now they're having sleepovers. Maggie says it's a good thing that they're getting along, isn't it? Herman's not the warmest. Amelia sits down next to Meredith and asks her if, when she talks to Derek that evening, she'll ask a question for her, but not say it's for her. It's something to do with Nicole's tumor. After talking for a moment, she says she doesn't need him and she'll figure it out herself before leaving. Callie immediately goes back to talking about Herman and Arizona. She wonders when it happened. Arizona has found the perfect rebound without having to rebound. No risk. No grooming. Then she wonders if she's really to the point of wishing for a sexless relationship. Maggie says it sounds good to her. Meredith says it's her life these days. Alex says they need to get laid. Maggie says that also sounds good to her. Meredith says no without the grooming, but Maggie points out that it's in there. He can find it. Alex says he likes her and Callie watches as Herman and Arizona finish their meal and get up.

Arizona turns around to see Bailey, who says, "Eddie." Eddie is the name of Glenda's husband, who died of injuries he got in a car accident while Bailey was trying to save him. She then had to tell Glenda about it. Three weeks later, Glenda found out she was pregnant. She's not insured, but she remembered Bailey and came to see about prenatal care. But Bailey found a large tumor on her baby's back, which is why she needs fetal surgery. She feels she owes something to Glenda and wants Arizona to get Herman to see her. Arizona says she can't trick her into seeing a patient she doesn't want, but Bailey reminds her that she takes care of Herman's schedule and tells her where to go and when.

Arizona and Herman examine Glenda Castillo while Bailey watches. She's concerned about Glenda's blood pressure and the swelling. Glenda says she used to have feet, but now she has balloons with toes. Herman explains the tumor to Glenda, saying it's probably benign, but dangerous. Glenda asks if she can remove it and says Bailey says she's the best.

Herman calls Bailey out on what she did. She said no twice already. She then questions how she can trust Arizona with anything. Bailey says she didn't do anything except try to get her help on a patient who needs her help. Arizona says if Herman just knew her story, but Herman says it's a tactic and it doesn't work with her. Bailey says she'll appeal to her ego instead. She's the best and she can save Glenda's baby, so she should do it. Herman says again, "No."

Arizona asks why Herman said no again. She's seen this kind of tumor before, but it can't all be about her education. Herman says they need to make decisions and stick to them. They don't have time and they already have a plan. Arizona asks if they can adjust the plan. Herman goes over to the board and pulls off a few cards. She asks which card, which baby, she'd sacrifice to have time for Glenda's case. She asks about a woman whose husband is in Iraq and one who did two years of fertility treatments to get pregnant. Herman says to pick which baby doesn't get to live so Glenda's can. When Arizona doesn't respond, Herman knows she gets it.

One week later

Herman again gets out of bed, brushes her hair and teeth, and pours herself a hot beverage. More of her hair is coming out. She goes in for another radiation treatment, but panics once she's strapped down and tells them to get her out.

Amelia tells her she has to do radiation, but she says she doesn't. Amelia says radiation with help, but Herman says it's a minimal gain for her. Amelia says she'll take what she can get. She's trying to save Herman's life, but Herman says she's making her feel like she's already died. She's losing her hair. She doesn't want to spend the rest of her life feeling like a pile of crap. Amelia insists that she's going to give Herman more than a few months. She's going to save her life and she's about to give a presentation on how she's going to do it. It's hard to do that when Herman doesn't seem to care at all. Herman says that's Amelia's problem.

In the presentation hall, Richard tells Owen it was a good idea, a master class in neurosurgery. It'll put Amelia on the map, unless it fails, which he says it won't. And if it does fail, there's a lesson there, too.

Jo asks Stephanie if they just sit around and talk tumor. She wants to do that, too.

Amelia starts her presentation. She talks about how radiation failed in the past. She wanted to use radiation this time, but said it became unrealistic. But she still won't quit. The tumor's fierce, intimidating, and aggressive, but so is she.

Herman and Arizona operating on another set of patients.

Amelia says she needs to see every piece of the tumor.

Arizona tells Herman that in case of emergency, she could try opening the mother up or delivering the baby no matter how early.

Amelia says she's using fluroscein to highlight every margin.

Herman and Arizona rush into Julie Hall's room. Maggie says her pressure dropped. She's in pain and cramping. Herman says she was scheduled for surgery the next day. Maggie says she's trying to get her pressure back up, but there's no fetal heartbeat. Herman asks where her husband is, but when they see that she's bleeding, Herman says they need to do a crash c-section in her room and says for them to gown her. She tells Arizona she'll do the c-section. Arizona panics because she's never done a crash c-section like this. Herman says it's like any other, but when the moment comes, she tells Arizona she'll do it. It's fine.

Arizona has to tell Julie that they did everything they could, but it wasn't enough. Julie just cries.

Herman tells her good job and they go back to the office, where Arizona sits on the couch and sobs. Herman tells her to stop crying until she does. She pulls Julie's card off the board and says there's no time for crying. They have work to do. She replaces Julie's card with Glenda's. Arizona asks how she can do that and Herman says that's how it goes. Call Bailey and tell her they'll see Glenda again.

One week later

Herman gets up, brushes her hair and teeth, and pours herself a hot beverage. Then she goes in for her weekly MRI.

Amelia gives her presentation to a crowded room. She says arguably the move important part of the brain is what makes them hope and dream. One single part makes you you and her her and everyone everyone. It's called the fornix, but she calls it the dream box. The question is what happens when it's being invaded, when the tumor is so large and demanding, it takes over the dream box, stealing hopes and dreams. She questions what will be left once the tumor's gone.

Herman and Arizona lie on the ground outside. Herman says her mom told her that when people die, they go to heaven. She couldn't picture it. She says no one really knows what's up there. Arizona says that as a kid, she thought people were like dandelions. When they die, the part that makes them them just fly out and find ground. Herman interrupts that she doesn't want to be buried. She wants to be cremated. She say to give her 5-7 days to wake up after surgery before pulling the plug. If she's dependent on a vent or a tube, pull the plug. Arizona says they don't need to talk about it because she's not dying or waking up gorked. Amelia knows what she's doing, but Herman doesn't believe. She says a bird's going to poop on them and asks what's next. Glenda Castillo.

They examine Glenda again. Arizona sees that the tumor has grown and she has early signs of hydrops. Herman wants to operate that evening. Glenda says the baby wouldn't survive if they had to deliver suddenly, so she wants to wait.

Herman tells Bailey and Arizona she won't negotiate with a patient. She's the doctor, so she makes the call. Arizona laughs because Herman's doing the same thing with Amelia, refusing radiation and delaying the surgery. Arizona says it's fun to watch it happen to Herman, like divine justice. Herman relents. She'll give Glenda a week, but she has to be admitted and if she so much as hiccups funny, they'll take her into surgery. Bailey understand and thanks Herman for taking the case. Arizona laughs again and Herman tells her to shut up.

Herman and Arizona drink some vodka and talk.

Amelia asks the group how she accesses that area and then how she keeps from screwing it up.

Amelia looks at scans and talks through ideas while Stephanie watches. Stephanie offers her food, but she hasn't figured it out, so she doesn't want food yet. Amelia says this has never been done before. She wonders who she is to try it. Stephanie steps forward and asks if she's called her brother. Amelia says she doesn't need her brother. Stephanie says it might be nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of who understands it like she does. Amelia says again that she doesn't need Derek. She's not stuck. She's figuring it out. She's about to make a breakthrough. She just needs some quiet, but she can't get that because Stephanie keeps talking to her. Stephanie grabs her things and goes to leave. Amelia apologizes. She's tired and frustrated. The tumor's making her crazy. Stephanie says she gets it. But she tells Amelia that even though she's tired and frustrated, she can't call Stephanie names. She's Stephanie's mentor and Stephanie needs her to be someone worthy of that. If she's wasting her time, Amelia should at least pretend that she isn't. She tells her to get it together and leaves. Amelia then tells herself to get it together.

Herman burns her radiation mask while Arizona watches.

One week later

Herman gets up, brushes her hair and teeth, and pours herself a hot beverage. Then she gets a 911 page for a patient.

Arizona is in the hospital day care, playing with Sofia while Callie watches through a window. Arizona hugs Sofia goodbye and leaves the room. Callie asks her how she is and how Herman is. They're both good. Callie asks Arizona if she's good with Amelia's plan. Arizona's confused, but Callie says she's just checking in, seeing how Arizona is. She says it seems like Herman and Arizona are getting along really well and she used to complain that she was killing her, but now she's happy that she's killing her. It seems like Arizona likes her. Arizona says she does. She's great. Callie says she's sick. Arizona says Amelia's got it covered and she'll be fine. Callie says she's worried about Arizona. She knows she shouldn't and it's not her business, but old habits die hard. Arizona thanks her and leaves when she gets a page.

Amelia is walking to her presentation when Owen tells her that the auditorium is packed. The fire marshal made him move people to an overflow room. Amelia stops and Owen is concerned, but she just needs a minute. He tells her she can talk to him. Amelia says she's spent her whole career as "The Other Dr. Shepherd." Derek was the real one and she was the other one. Her plan is just theoretical at this point. But at some point, she's going to make the cut and she has a sick feeling that when she faces the tumor, she'll discover that she's not just the other Dr. Shepherd, she's the wrong Dr. Shepherd.

Arizona rushes to join Herman and asks what's going on. They meet a helicopter on the helicopter pad. Arizona says she knows Herman was planning for her to take the lead, but she wants Herman to do it because it's emergent and she's never tried cutting umbilical bands. She says she's not ready to take it over, but Herman says it doesn't matter. Arizona tells her to stop, because it does matter and she's not ready. Herman says it's not easy for her either and she's not ready, but there's no choice. She got fine with dying, but then Arizona infected her with the hope and it's harder than ever to hand it over to Arizona. She's scared to and it's all Arizona's fault. So the least she can do it deserve it. She needs to take over, do well, and make her not regret it. Arizona says she can do that.

Amelia says this is where things get most dangerous and it needs to happen the fastest. Everything has led up to this point, the moment where she places the radioactive seeds. It requires precision and accuracy and speed, but those don't go together well.

Arizona is cutting the bands in surgery. She can't get to where she needs to be to cut the last band.

Amelia asks them to imagine picking up grains of sand while wearing oven mitts. She'll be doing that inside someone's brain.

Arizona asks for a glove. She's using a trick she learned in peds. She cuts the glove to make a more flexible opening. Herman says that's not in the notes, but Arizona says it'll work.

Amelia says once she places the final seed, it's smooth sailing.

Arizona did it. She cut the last band.

Amelia says goodnight to the tumor. It's been lovely, but they're done. The audience claps and she opens it up for questions. Jo asks if she's nervous and she says she'd be crazy not to be, but she's also excited. This surgery will be history and how could she not be excited about that.

Herman tells Arizona she did excellent work and should be very proud of herself. She goes to leave and tells Arizona to close up. Arizona asks where she's going, but she doesn't answer.

Richard says it's seven different surgeries, none of which she's tried. He asks about how long the surgery will take. She says 18 hours, give or take a few hours. Jo then asks if she needs a second resident on the case. Amelia says no unless Stephanie's planning to bail, which Stephanie says she isn't.

Herman walks down the hall, guiding herself with a hand on the wall.

Callie then asks if Amelia's going to have help. She wonders if she'll call in the other Dr. Shepherd. She says she's just asking. She wonders if it's a good idea for Amelia to operate by herself. Amelia just says she is operating by herself and asks for the next question.

Herman enters the room where Amelia is working and says Amelia needs to scan her. She's experience a symptom, fuzziness at the edges of her vision, darker than it should be. Amelia takes her hand and leads her to get the scan.

Herman is getting another MRI. The scan comes up and Amelia stares at it.

Bailey comes into the OR where Arizona is finishing up and asks where Herman is. Arizona says she stepped out and asks what Bailey needs. It's Glenda Castillo.

Arizona comes to Amelia and says she needs Herman. Glenda's baby's in distress and Glenda's showing signs of heart failure. She needs surgery immediately. Arizona asks her to finish up. Arizona asks why she's just standing there and Amelia shows her the scan. It's time. Amelia tells her she's going to get an OR ready. Arizona asks if she's ready and she says she is. She asks again and Amelia just say she's going to get an OR ready and asks Arizona to inform the patient.

Arizona goes into the room and Herman asks if the surgery's all finished. Arizona says that it is, but Herman realizes that it's time for her own surgery. Arizona confirms that Shepherd's preparing the OR. Herman guesses that the tumor's invading the optic chiasm, which it is. Some orderlies bring in a gurney to take her to surgery. She grabs the gown and asks them for privacy so she can change. Arizona turns to face away from Herman and tells her what's happening with Glenda. Herman starts to explain to Arizona what she needs to do. Arizona says that Amelia has her and this is the part where Herman needs to trust Amelia. Herman tells Arizona to check Glenda's platelet counts and cross-match. Arizona says again that Herman needs to trust Amelia. Herman says not to let her platelet count drop below 100. Arizona knows. Herman asks her to tie her grown, which she does while fighting tears. Herman gets on the gurney and Arizona covers her with the sheet. "Let's do this," Herman says. Arizona lets the orderlies back in to come take her. They start to wheel her to surgery.

Herman's voice over talks about how she was never concerned about an afterlife. Her concern was this life and what she'd do with it.

Herman tells Arizona to be sure and fast. She doesn't have half the time she imagines and tells her not to hesitate to make the call. Herman says if Glenda's awake, she'll tell Arizona for the 50th time to save her baby over herself. She tells Arizona to let her speak, but when it comes down to it, do what needs to be done. Arizona starts to doubt that she can do it, but Herman says she can and will. Amelia then appears and says they'll get her in now.

Herman wanted to break new ground, leave a legacy. She wanted her life, her brain, her existence to mean something.

They get Herman ready for surgery in the OR. When they try to put the mask over her face, she pushes it away, but Arizona's right there and tells her she's going to be fine. Amelia has it and she has it. Herman goes to say something and Arizona tells her not to say it, so she just says it's time to go.

Herman's voice over says in order to be remembered, you have to leave.

They put Herman under for surgery.


  • Meredith Grey
  • Alex Karev
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Callie Torres
  • Owen Hunt
  • Arizona Robbins
  • Amelia Shepherd
  • Jo Wilson
  • Stephanie Edwards
  • Maggie Pierce
  • Nicole Herman
  • Glenda Castillo
  • Julie Hall
  • Julie's Husband (by Julie's side)

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit


Medical NotesEdit

Lesley BarrettEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Diaphragmatic hernia
  • Treatment:
    • Tracheal balloon occlusion

Lesley, 27 weeks pregnant, had a baby with a diaphragmatic hernia. Herman and Arizona operated to repair it with tracheal balloon occlusion.

Nicole HermanEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Grade IV Astrocytoma
  • Treatment:
    • Radiation
    • Surgery

After an MRI, Amelia told Herman that she had about six weeks before her tumor would invade the optic nerve, maybe eight if she did radiation treatments. When she started having fuzziness in her vision, Herman went to Amelia for another MRI. The MRI showed that the tumor had invaded the optic chiasm, which meant the surgery had to happen right away.

Glenda CastilloEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Sacrococcygeal teratoma
    • Hydrops
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Glenda was 24 weeks pregnant and her baby had a sacrococcygeal teratoma. She was starting to show early signs of hydrops, so Herman recommended immediate surgery. Glenda decided she wanted to wait an extra week to give her baby a greater chance in case they should have to deliver. While she was waiting, her baby went into distress due to hydrops and Glenda was mirroring and going into congestive heart failure, so they had to take her into emergency surgery.

Elizabeth WaveEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Bladder outlet obstruction
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Elizabeth was 19 weeks pregnant and her fetus had a bladder outlet obstruction. Herman and Arizona operated to relieve the obstruction.

Kathryn ThompsonEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Pleural effusions
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Kathryn was 29 weeks pregnant with a fetus with pleural effusions, which Herman and Arizona corrected with fetal surgery.

Christina SchmidtEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Congenital pulmonary airway
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Christina was 24 weeks pregnant with a fetus with congenital pulmonary airway. Herman and Arizona operated to correct the problem.

Eddie CastilloEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Car accident injuries
  • Treatment:

Bailey told of Eddie Castillo, Glenda's husband, who died after being in a car accident.

Megan CarlsonEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Congenital airway obstruction
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Megan was pregnant with a fetus with congenital airway obstruction which Herman and Arizona treated with surgery.

Julie HallEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Vasa previa
  • Treatment:
    • C-section delivery

Julie was 31 weeks pregnant and had vasa previa. Herman and Arizona intended to fix the problem with fetal surgery, but before they could, she became unstable and there was no fetal heart beat. They did a crash c-section in her room, but it was too late and her baby died.

Caroline LockeEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Vavular aortic stenosis
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Caroline Locke was 26 weeks pregnant with a fetus with valvular aortic stenosis. Herman and Arizona operated to correct the problem.

Cynthia YoungbloodEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Lymphangioma
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Amrita ThapaEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Umbilical bands
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Herman got a 911 page from the ICU for Amrita Thapa. She had umbilical bands that needed to be cut.


Song Performer Scene
"Grow" Odessa
  • Herman and Arizona drink vodka and laugh together.
  • Amelia continues to give her presentation.
  • Amelia looks at Herman's scans and tries to talk through how to do it.
  • Stephanie offers her food, which she declines.
  • Amelia yells at Stephanie and then apologizes.
  • Stephanie tells her to be someone worth respecting.
  • Amelia tells herself to get it together.
  • Herman burns her radiation mask as Arizona watches.
"Seasons" Hollow Wood
  • Nicole is brought to the OR as she instructs Arizona on how to operate on Glenda Castillo.
  • Everyone gets ready for the surgery.
  • Nicole seeks support with Arizona. Nicole takes a breath before being put under.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Grey's Anatomy 11x13 Promo "Staring at the End" (HD)

Grey's Anatomy 11x13 Promo "Staring at the End" (HD)

  • This episode's title originated from the song Staring at the End of Our Lives, originally sung by Ha Ha Tonka.
  • This episode scored 7.56 million viewers.
  • The table read for this episode took place on December 12, 2014.
  • Filming for this episode was scheduled from December 11, 2014 to January 7, 2015 with a holiday break from December 22, 2014 to January 2, 2015.
  • Nicole's scans shown during Amelia's presentation are actually scans of Geena Davis's brain, albeit with the tumor digitally added to it later.
  • While Dr. Herman had a panic attack while wearing the mask, Geena Davis didn't mind wearing the mask at all.
  • This episode marks the first time Sofia is seen on screen in season 11.
  • This episode is only the fourth time in the entire show's history to have a guest star do the voice over. The other three were Denny Duquette, Jr. in Stairway to HeavenMaggie Pierce in Puzzle With a Piece Missing, and Ellis Grey (partially) in Only Mama Knows.
  • This episode spans four weeks and starts and ends on a Friday.


Episode StillsEdit

Behind the ScenesEdit


Owen: You can talk to me. You're wound pretty tight. I just want you to know you can talk to me.
Amelia: My whole career, I have been the other Dr. Shepherd. He's the real one. I'm the other one. Right now, this plan of mine is theoretical. It's just talk. But at some point, I am going to slice into Dr. Herman's brain, and I have this sick feeling that when I face that tumor, I will discover that I am not just the other Dr. Shepherd... I'm the wrong Dr. Shepherd.

Nicole: Charming, isn't it? They put clouds on the ceiling to distract you. Least they could do is put something interesting up there, like porn.

(Arizona and Herman are lying in the grass.)
Nicole: I remember my mom telling me once that when we die, we go to heaven. I couldn't picture it. All I could imagine was what we see in cartoons... little people in robes with wings, sitting on clouds. But nobody really knows what's up there, do they?
Arizona: When I was a kid, I used to think that we were like dandelions... like, the part that makes us us would just blow away and land and grow into...
Nicole: I don't want to be buried, by the way. Have me cremated.
Arizona: Excuse me?
Nicole: If I survive the surgery but don't wake up, give me five days, a week, tops. Then pull the plug.
Arizona: This is... We don't need to be talking about this.
Nicole: If I do wake up but I'm dependent on vents or tubes, pull the plug then, too.
Arizona: You know what? You're not... You're not dying. You're not gonna wake up gorked. Shepherd knows what she's doing. She does.
Nicole: Okay. Sure.
Arizona: She does! I heard you. That bird is gonna poop on us.

Nicole: What does she think we're trying to do here? I am not negotiating with a patient. I am the doctor. I'm gonna tell her when we're go...
(Arizona scoffs.)
Arizona: I'm sorry.
Nicole: Robbins, what's the hell?
Bailey: What's funny about this?
Arizona: I'm sorry, I'm sorry. It's just... It's just... It's funny listening to you get so bent out of shape when this is the exact same thing that you've been doing to Amelia Shepherd ever since she offered to save her life. I mean, she has. Exactly. "We'll do the surgery when I'm ready." And it's so frustrating. It's torture, and it drives us crazy. So, it's just fun to watch it happen to you. It's like divine justice.

Callie: Well, it just seems like you and Dr. Herman are getting along really, really well, and you used to complain that she was killing you, but now you're happy that she's killing you, and it seems like you really, really like her.
Arizona: I do. Actually, I do. She's great. She's... I mean, she's amazing.
Callie: And she's sick. So, I worry.
Arizona: Amelia's got it covered. She's gonna be fine.
Callie: I worry about you. I know I shouldn't. I know it's none of my business, but, uh, old habits.

Callie: She found the perfect rebound without having to actually find a rebound... I mean, she just gets all the good times and the fun, none of the bad times or the mess, no chance of getting hurt. You don't even have to wax. It's not fair! Oh, my God. Am I seriously wishing for a sexless relationship where I don't have to groom myself?

Stephanie: Have you called your brother?
Amelia: What did I say about my brother?
Stephanie: I know. You don't need him. I was just thinking you could, just to have someone to bounce these ideas off of who understands this kind of thing the way that you do, a peer. He might have a suggestion.
Amelia: I do not need my brother! I am not stuck! I am thinking! I am figuring it out! I am right on the edge of figuring it out, of making the breakthrough of a lifetime! I am this close! My genius is flying around this room right now, trying to find a clear path to land on me, but I can't clear the runway for landing because I can't find any quiet because some idiot resident keeps talking to me! (sees Stephanie is hurt.) I shouldn't have said that. I didn't mean it. I'm tired, and I'm frustrated. I... I am so sorry. I just... This tumor is making me crazy, Edwards.
Stephanie: As bad as you want to get that tumor, that's as bad as I want to watch you get that tumor. You're tired and frustrated and terrified, but guess what. I don't give a damn. You're supposed to be my mentor. You are my mentor. I believe in you, I look up to you, I want to be you. That's an enormous responsibility, so don't call me names. And stop pouting because you don't understand what to do. Be worthy of being believed in, of being looked up to. Or if you can't actually be worthy, if I am actually wasting my time, if there is nothing about you that is special or wise, for God's sake, at least have the decency to pretend that there is. Get it together, Dr. Shepherd.

Nicole: Wait, Robbins.
Arizona: No. Don't you dare. Don't you dare say it, Nicole.

See AlsoEdit

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

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