Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki

A good basketball game can have us all on the edge of our seats. Games are all about the glory, pain and the play by play. And then there are the more solitary games. The games we each play all by ourselves. The social games, the mind games. We use them to pass the time to make life more interesting... to distract us from what's really going on. There are those of us who love to play games, any game. And there are those of us who love to play a little too much. Life is not a spectator sport. Win, lose, or draw, the game is in progress whether we want it to be or not. So go ahead... argue with the ref, change the rules, cheat a little, take a break and tend to your wounds. But play. Play. Play hard, play fast... play loose and free. Play as if there's no tomorrow. Okay, so it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game... right?

The Name of the Game is the twenty-second episode of the second season and the 31st overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[]

In light of recent events, Bailey is being mommy-tracked, so she becomes Derek's intern to get some OR time. George discovers many secrets during the day, not least that Meredith has a sister, one of Addison's patients, and Callie is living in the hospital. Meredith begins knitting with Izzie, while the Chief and Cristina battle it out during a skills class.

Full Summary[]

At Joe's, everyone's watching a basketball game but Meredith, who's knitting a sweater at the bar. As her friend, Derek tells her that she's looking weird. Joe says she's scaring the customers. She announces she's celibate. Drinking doesn't go well with celibacy, and the knitting is good for surgical dexterity. Addison comes over, surprised to hear about Meredith's "no more men" talk. Meredith lists her more recent mistakes in the dating area to prove her point. So, she's knitting a sweater instead.

While knitting as well, Izzie's talking to Denny about how George is broken. First he chops off his hair and now he's hanging out with this Callie person. Denny's beating Izzie at Scrabble because she's not paying attention. Izzie says she's knitting to replace pieces of Meredith's sweater, because Meredith really can't knit and Izzie really wants to support Meredith's vow of celibacy. Meredith really needs celibacy because she broke George. Izzie mentions she's also taken the vow, which Denny doesn't like to hear because in his head, Izzie did him some sexual favors. Because of that comment, Izzie is now determined to beat Denny, but she sees he's laid down "mount".

Callie and George are playing the fishbowl game with Cristina and Burke. It turns out that contrary to Cristina and Burke, they can understand each other with very few words.

Up in the OR gallery, Cristina is still frustrated that Burke couldn't guess Madonna off her clues. George thinks she's a sore loser. She doesn't think that's bad. There's a winner for a reason. Settling for mediocrity is a sign of self-loathing. She really wants George out of the apartment, but she can't kick him out because it has to be Burke. Izzie would love to have George back with her and Meredith.

Burke and Alex are operating. Next up is excising the endobronchial mets for symptomatic palliation. Burke says Alex has been doing his homework. They find that the mets are adhered to the chest wall. Alex says the patient is toast, which Burke finds insensitive. Bedside manner is important.

Derek meets with Addison at the hospital. He had to push back his surgery because Doc is sick. He dropped him off at the vet and they're going to observe him overnight, and Meredith's picking him up. Addison gets a page about a transfer from Mercy West. They agree to leave tonight together.

Cristina is attending a seminar about laparoscopic general surgery when Richard walks in and sits down behind Cristina. He's taking the class as well to refresh things. Cristina immediately volunteers for a first try.

George presents the case of Molly, a pregnant woman whose baby was diagnosed with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Addison introduces herself to Molly and her mother, who puts pressure on Addison to save her grandchild. Susan admits she can be a mother lion. Addison says she's the best, so she can fix it with a fetal surgery. She has a strong record for the surgery.

As they leave the room, Addison asks George for the MRI results as soon as possible. George notices a man outside the room who's looking a little lost. It's Thatcher, Meredith's father. He asks if Meredith Grey is working today. George says yes. He can have someone page her if he'd like, but Thatcher declines. George asks his name. Thatcher says he's Thatcher Grey, but he really doesn't want Meredith paged because it's complicated. Susan, Thatcher's wife, calls him into the room. Susan tells him she roared a little. They go inside the room to check on their daughter.

Bailey's staring at the board as Derek comes over. Bailey's name is not on the board. She had a baby and now she's being punished for it. She's being mommy tracked. She needs to get on a surgery now, so she's Derek's intern for the day.

Izzie talks to Meredith about George's date game night with Callie, who didn't take him home afterwards. Izzie finds that weird, but Meredith says George doesn't want her in his life. Izzie thinks Callie is hiding something. Callie comes over and gives them some pieces of equipment. They're on ortho today.

Alex tells Beatrice Carver that the cancer as metastasised to her chest wall. They took a small tumor out of her airway, but it's not a cure. Beatrice doesn't want to die. She tells them to go back in and carve out as much of the tumor as they can. She wants as much time as they can give her. While Burke wants to say something, Beatrice's daughter comes in and complains about the food in the cafeteria. Beatrice says her doctors were just leaving.

Richard and Cristina are both practicing in the seminar. Cristina does it better, which frustrates Richard. Cristina is happy to finish first and announces that she's done.

While reducing a hip dislocation, Izzie tries to get to know more about Callie's history and her supposed secrets because she is George's best friend. Callie finds that funny, because from what's heard, Izzie's not the best matchmaker. Meredith rolls her eyes while keeping the hip steady.

Izzie finds George. She offers to cut George's hair, or hang out and talk about stuff. She brings up Callie. Izzie says she'll like Callie if George really likes her. George says he really wants to escape "her", but he can't seem to do it. Izzie thinks he's talking about Callie, which is good because she finds Callie a total freak. George was talking about Meredith. George tells Izzie that Meredith has a sister so that it can become her problem instead of his.

Because of the size of his tumor, Bailey is surprised to find out that Derek's patient is a kid. They're going to perform awake brain surgery on Andrew. Derek asks Andrew to count for him, which he does.

The tumor is located near the language center, so Andrew has to keep talking so they know they're not damaging that area. Derek's questions only lead to superficial and short answers, so Bailey takes it on her to keep the conversation going. It turns out Andrew's getting ready for the National Spelling Bee. Bailey gives him "acetaminophen" to spell.

Addison passes by George, who still doesn't have Molly's MRI results. She gets mad and demands that he gives the case his full attention. She asks for one good reason not to throw him off the case. George says Molly is Meredith's half-sister, but Meredith doesn't know Molly exists. Apparently God hates George, because he's on this case while trying to avoid Meredith.

Beatrice wants to leave the hospital, because she doesn't want to spend her daughter's birthday in here, especially if it's the last one she'll get to be part of. Burke says she's at risk for infection or hemorrhage if she leaves. Alex says her daughter doesn't even know she has cancer, so he wonders if she really wants to risk dropping dead outside the hospital.

Outside the room, Burke calls Alex out for scaring the patient into staying. It's not Alex's job to take that tone with a patient.

Over lunch, Izzie asks what Meredith's father and sister are like. George says they're nice. Izzie wonders if Meredith's going to freak out. George says it's not his responsibility to care. Richard comes over and sits down with them. He says Cristina's been kicking his ass all day. Of course, speed and precision aren't a surgeon's most important skills. The basics are the key. Richard notices it's weird for him to be sitting with interns and leaves with his coffee. Cristina takes the moment to gloat as Meredith sits down. George leaves. Meredith says she can accept rejection now because she has her knitting. Meredith says she thinks she saw her father earlier. Cristina bluntly asks if she met her sister, too.

In the OR, Andrew is talking about previous winners of the spelling bee. Derek gives him fibromyalgia to spell. Honestly, that was an easy one. Derek then gives him "omphalocele". As Andrew repeats the word, his speech is slurred. Derek says they've hit the language center, so they have to pull back.

Andrew's speech is still slurred. Bailey tells Andrew to hold on, because they're working to fix it. After a while, Andrew perfectly spells "omphalocele". Bailey starts crying, but she claims she's got something in her eye. She defends herself, saying she has an excess of estrogen. Andrew spells estrogen. Derek then gives him "delusional".

Richard and Cristina are ready for the final assignment of the seminar, which will test all the skills they learned today.

While Addison tells Molly that she can recover at home, Meredith is pacing outside the room. Addison notices Meredith and introduces Molly to Meredith, who's going to prep Molly. Meredith takes her blood pressure and notices her wedding ring. Molly says it came from her mother's grandmother. She knows she looks too young to be married. Meredith asks how old she is. Molly replies 22. Eric is 23 and he's in the army. He was gonna get shipped out, so she proposed. Meredith asks if her parents approve. Molly says her father was a little protective at first, but he cried when he gave Molly away at her wedding. She'd never seen that before, but it was also weird for him because she's his little girl. Her older sister is nowhere near marriage. Her name is Lexie. She's in medical school at Harvard. Their dad is crazy proud of her. Molly asks Meredith if her baby will be okay. Meredith says she hopes so and leaves.

Meredith finds Callie and Izzie and says she needs some bones to break. She needs to smash something. Callie points her towards a cast that can be demolished. While Meredith's going at it, Izzie asks Callie if George is her type. Callie says neither of them see George for who he is. He makes her world stop. George is sweet, kind, smart, and strong, so Izzie has to shut up about him. She reminds Meredith to clean up the mess when she's done smashing.

Cristina notices that Webber is working with his eyes closed. He finishes first. The teacher says his work is flawless. Richard tells Cristina that is why he's Chief. He keeps singing that as he leaves the room.

Beatrice tells her daughter that she has to stay in the hospital for a couple more days, so Amelia is going to have to spend her birthday with her aunt. Beatrice promises they'll do something special next year. Amelia angrily leaves the room. Alex asks Beatrice if the lying thing is working for her. He reminds her she's dying soon. There's no rosy picture to paint here. Beatrice says Alex doesn't know what it's like to be a mother. Alex says this is not protecting your child. Beatrice is leaving behind a kid who'll hate her for the rest of her life. Burke clears his throat from the doorway.

Outside the room, Burke wants to deliver a speech, but Alex says he's doing the talking now. He tells the truth and it doesn't make him a bad doctor. Maybe he's a vermin like everybody says, but he tells his patients the truth. That's the one thing he's got going for him. Burke doesn't get to take that away from him and call it a lesson.

Meredith passes Susan in the hallway. Susan says she saw a picture a long time ago and she thinks Meredith looks just like her mother. She also looks a lot like her girls. Meredith says she didn't say anything to Molly. Susan says Molly knows that her father had another daughter. Susan says that Thatcher thinks about Meredith a lot, but Ellis broke him. Meredith says she has to work and walks off.

Richard stands with Thatcher, who says he spent years studying the OR board while holding a crying baby, trying to figure out when his wife would get out of surgery. He knows an appy takes about an hour. Richard asks Thatcher if he's aware about what's going on with Ellis. Thatcher says he has no right to talk to him about Ellis. Richard tells Thatcher that she has advanced early onset Alzheimer's. It's really hard on Meredith. Richard thought that Thatcher would like to know.

Andrew wakes up after surgery with Bailey in his room. He doesn't remember her. It's normal for kids not to remember after the surgery. Bailey tells him the surgery went really well. He thanks her. Bailey says she has a son as well. She's going home to tell him that she met the best speller in Seattle today.

Meredith's walking down a hallway and sees her father. She hides behind a corner as Thatcher sees George. He was looking for him. Thatcher asks George if he knows Meredith. George says they used to be roommates. Thatcher says Meredth came to see him a couple of weeks ago and he didn't know what to say. She looks so much like her mother. Ellis was cold and he was a coward, so he left. Ellis would never let him know Meredith and now he doesn't know how to know Meredith. George says Meredith is anything but cold. When she smiles, it's like you feel warm. She's flawed, but she's kind and caring. She's going to make a brilliant surgeon. That she has in common with her mother, but she probably got the rest from Thatcher. Thatcher would like to talk to Meredith. George, knowing she's hiding, says she left already, but he offers to let her know Thatcher was asking about her. Thatcher thanks him and walks off. Meredith thanks George.

Addison's operating on Molly. Up in the gallery, Meredith is knitting as Derek walks in. He tells her about his surgery and she tells him about meeting her father and sister. He asks if she's okay. She replies she has her knitting.

Beatrice is talking to Amelia about getting good grades and getting into a good college. Also, she'll have to remind her aunt about personal hygiene. Also, she should wear underwear with pantyhose to avoid yeast infections and being slutty. Amelia says it's morbid and gross. Beatrice advises Amelia to marry a kind man, but not to get drunk at her own wedding. That's tacky. Amelia slowly realizes why her mother's telling her all this. Beatrice says the doctors don't think she's getting better. Beatrice has one more piece of important advice. One day, she's gonna have a baby and worry that she's doing everything wrong, and that's normal. She's going to obsess over everything, but all the details don't matter, because all that matters is that your kid is happy. Beatrice makes her promise not to feel sad for too long after she's gone. They hug. Alex's been listening from outside the room and walks off.

Thatcher returns to his daughter's room.

Izzie's finished the sweater for Denny. He asks if this means he's not getting any sexual favors. She tells him to smell the sweater. It smells like her. She wore it for three hours. That is the closest he's getting to her body. They set up for another round of Scrabble.

Richard's on his way out. He tells Cristina he hopes her fellow interns will be as adept on the scope as her. She brings up he wasn't even looking. He didn't need the screen to help him navigate the needle holder. Richard says it's muscle memory. He advises her to go back to the basics if she wants to win.

George and Burke are playing chess as Cristina walks into the kitchen naked. She says she's being comfortable in her own apartment. George says he didn't see anything, but a shocked Burke tells him to leave. Cristina smiles as she goes back into her bedroom and tells herself "basics".

George's sitting in the tunnels and calls Callie. He's surprised to hear her phone ring nearby. He follows the noise and discovers that she's living in the hospital basement. She's surprised to see him there. She says she's not crazy or anything, but she spends so much time here that it's easier to live here. She does some keep cleaning up. He picks up scissors and asks if she knows how to cut hair.

As she's cutting his hair, George pulls Callie closer and they share a kiss.

Meredith's at the vet. The receptionist asks Meredith if she's getting the hang of it. Meredith replies not really. The receptionist asks if she's giving up on men. Meredith smiles and says yes. Meredith says she's just hear to spend time with her dog. The vet comes down the stairs and introduces himself. Finn is happy to finally meet Doc's other owner. They shake hands and there's a spark. Meredith is suddenly really focused on her knitting.


Main Cast[]

Special Guest Star[]

Guest Stars[]


Medical Notes[]

Denny Duquette, Jr.[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Congestive heart failure

Denny was still in the hospital with his LVAD.

Beatrice Carver[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Metastatic cancer
  • Treatment:
    • Tumor resection
    • Surgery

Beatrice had surgery as part of her cancer treatment. Her mets had adhered to her chest wall. They removed a tumor to ease her breathing, but informed her that it was not a cure. She wanted them to go back in and remove as much as they could to give her as much time as possible, but they told her any additional surgery would be too stressful.

Molly Thompson[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Pregnancy
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Molly, 22, was 32 weeks pregnant with her first baby. Her baby was diagnosed with congenital diaphragmatic hernia. Addison operated to open her airway so her lungs could develop properly.

Molly's Baby[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
  • Treatment:
    • Fetal surgery

When Molly's baby was diagnosed with a CDH. Addison planned to insert a balloon to open the baby's airway and allow her lungs to develop properly.

Callie's Patient[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Dislocated hip
  • Treatment:
    • Closed reduction

Callie, aided by Meredith and Izzie, reduced a hip dislocation.

Andrew Willis[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Brain tumor
  • Treatment:
    • Tumor resection

Andrew was in to have a very large brain tumor removed, which had to be done while he was awake. His surgery went well and he was awake afterward.


Song Performer Scene
"Girl, You Shout!" Dressy Bessy
  • The crowd at Joe's watches a basketball game, while Meredith knits.
  • She tells Joe it's how she's staying celibate.
  • Denny and Izzie play Scrabble while Izzie knits.
  • Callie, George, Cristina, and Burke are playing a game.
"Crazy" Gnarls Barkley
  • George, Izzie, and Cristina talk about Meredith's secret sister.
  • Richard sits down and talks to Cristina about the skills lab.
  • After he leaves, Meredith sits down and George leaves.
  • Cristina accidentally reveals to Meredith that she has a sister.
"C'mon Yeah" The Sunshine
  • Meredith smashes a cast in anger while Izzie and Callie talk about George.
  • Cristina looks over during the skills lab to see Richard doing it with his eyes closed.
  • He finishes first and gloats.
"Wreck of the Day (acoustic)" Anna Nalick
  • Thatcher talks to Richard at the surgical board about Ellis and Meredith.
  • Andrew wakes up and doesn't remember Bailey from his surgery.
  • She tells Andrew she's going to go home and tell her son about him.
  • George talks to Thatcher and hides Meredith from his view.
  • George tells Thatcher about Meredith and says she's worth knowing.
  • Meredith whispers a thank you to George as he walks away.
"The Fear You Won't Fall" Joshua Radin
  • Burke watches Cristina.
  • George calls Callie and follows the noise to her home in the basement of the hospital.
  • She tells him she just spends so much time in the hospital, it's easier.
  • He asks her to cut his hair. He pulls her forward and kisses her.
  • Meredith waits at the vet's office to see Doc.
  • Finn comes downstairs and introduces himself to Meredith.
  • Meredith goes back to her knitting quickly.

Notes and Trivia[]

  • This episode's title originated from the song The Name of the Game, originally sung by ABBA.
  • Jeff Perry and Laurie Metcalf, who were previously married to each other, both appear in this episode. However, their characters never interact. The couple's daughter Zoe later appears in season nine.
  • This episode scored 22.35 million viewers.
  • This is the first episode to mention of Lexie Grey.


Episode Stills[]


Izzie: So George? He's really, really your type, huh?
Callie: You don't see him. Either of you. He's just, he's just George to you. He's ... he's just O'Malley, your roommate.
Izzie: You don't have to get all...
Callie: He makes my world stop. George O'Malley is sweet and kind and smart and strong. And he makes my world stop. So you shut up about him. Don't forget to clean it up, when you're done smashing.
Izzie: Holy crap...George is her McDreamy.

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.