I am a rock. I am an island. That's the mantra to pretty much every surgeon that I've ever met. We like to think we're independent. Loners. Mavericks. That all we need to do our jobs is an OR, a scalpel, and a willing body...But the truth is, not even the best of us can do it alone. Surgery, like life, is a team sport...and eventually, you've gotta get off the bench and decide... which team are you batting for. The thing about choosing teams in real life.. It's nothing like it used to be in gym class.. being 1st picked can be terrifying And being chosen last...isn't the worst thing in the world. So we watch from the sidelines...clinging to our isolation...because we know as soon as we let go of the bench...someone comes along and changes the game completely.

There's No 'I' in Team is the fifth episode of the fifth season and the 83rd overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[edit | edit source]

Bailey orchestrates a massive 12-person simultaneous "domino" surgery with six separate kidney transplants. Alex and Izzie share a kiss, Callie sleeps with Mark and a rift comes between Meredith and Derek when their clinical trial is published and called the Shepherd method with no inclusion of Meredith.

Full Summary[edit | edit source]

While Derek is asleep, Meredith is reading the diaries with a flashlight.

Erica and Callie come home after a date, visibly having fun. Cristina is not in the apartment as she's on call. Callie pours wine into two glasses, hands one over to Erica and they toast on taking things slow. It takes the pressure off, as they're without expectations. They then start kissing passionately and fall on the couch.

Meredith rushes into the kitchen and grabs something from the fridge. She's gotta be at the hospital early for Bailey, but Derek stops her and shows her a magazine. They published their trial and it's on the cover. She reads it's called the Shepherd method. He notices she's making a face. She claims she's not and states she loves the picture. She then leaves.

Richard is holding a copy of the magazine and tells Bailey it's about time the hospital got some good publicity again. He also heard she found a donor. She confirms they got the final piece of the puzzle. Richard says this the day that Seattle Grace comes back swinging. Bailey wants to wait to celebrate until they actually pull this thing off. He says that's a good call and walks off. "Eat that, Mercy West," Bailey whispers as she starts filling in the OR board.

Callie finds Mark in a lounge. He's reading the magazine and think they edited Derek's picture. Callie takes the magazine from him as she needs him. Not for sex, but to talk. She says that she and Erica sort of did it last night. He congratulates her, but it was not good at all. She choked and couldn't go down there. She tried, but it felt weird and clinical. She left early this morning as she couldn't face Erica. Mark gets up as he doesn't want to listen to one girl talking about how much it sucked to get down with another girl.

The residents are getting ready for work in the dressing room. They all have to assign one of their interns to George, except for Meredith as she already lost George. Cristina mentions all of her interns are dead weight. Lexie enters the room with a bunch of balloons and decorating stuff, as she wants to decorate George's locker now that he's still busy. Meredith is holding a copy of the magazine as well. She doesn't need the credit, but the clinical trial was her idea. She had to beg Derek to do it. Cristina says attendings always screw you when you screw them. Lexie says they could just screw interns as they're non-threatening. She mentions a study where interns turned out to be make the most harassment complaints. They all give her a look.

The residents are following Bailey. They're all off their assigned services today. George joins the group. They don't know what they're going to do. They all complain about not getting to do what they were promised by their attendings, but Bailey says today is not about them. Today is not about services or their careers. This day is about her. She's spent a lot of time to put together this project and it's dear to her, so it's dear to them. They can only pull this off if they work together as a team. They work as one to represent the hospital. Meredith wonders why they need 15 surgeons for one surgery. Bailey replies it's not one surgery. They enter the clinic as she says it's 6 kidney transplants in 6 ORs, all at the same time. It's called paired matching kidney donation. 6 people donate a kidney to total strangers, 6 other people get kidneys from total strangers. Another name for is a domino surgery. They all happily look around to 6 pairs sitting around.

Bailey presents the case of Stan Mercer, who has chronic renal failure. His wife Nancy wanted to donate, but she wasn't a match. She'll instead donate to Sally Chen, while Stan will get a kidney from P.J. Walling. Stan wants to shake P.J.'s hand, but P.J. doesn't do it until his father Kurt urges him to. Kurt will get a kidney from Lindsay Herman. They shake hands. The residents all look puzzled, except for Lexie's, who memorized the situation by now. There's a board in the conference room for those who can't remember it. Lexie wonders why all the transplants have to take place at the same time. Meredith says it's so no one backs out at the last minute. Bailey stresses the entire project is a house of cards: if one person backs out, it falls apart. Therefore, they should all treat their patients with excellent care and make sure they're happy. Cristina heard that at another hospital, a resident got to keep a diseased kidney in a jar. She wants one as well. All the residents now want one too, but Bailey says it won't happen.

Erica finds Callie, who's swamped in the ER now that Bailey took all the surgical residents and interns. Erica will be brief. She was thinking they go to her place, order food and rent a movie. She had a lot of fun last night. Callie doesn't seem too thrilled. Erica asks to let her know.

Cristina tells her interns she has to assign one of them to George. Lexie volunteers, but Cristina says she'll decide when she figures out which one of them sucks the most. She'll know if they suck on purpose, though.

George puts Stan on the dialysis. He asks intern Megan to secure the needle. She whispers he sounds just like a real doctor.

Lindsay Herman is the one patient in the domino surgery without a loved one. She's just donating to a stranger. Lexie is amazed, but Lindsay's done with the "yay, you!". Cristina understands.

Derek's done press all day, so his mouth hurts from smiling. He joins Meredith as she's waiting for the elevator, and pushes the button himself, stating it comes faster when he pushes it. She says it must be the Shepherd Method. Meredith will go take the stairs. Derek asks if she's bothered. Meredith says no, because if he had called it the Shepherd-Grey Method, people would think he had help. After an angry look, she walks off.

P.J. has to donate his kidney to Stan, whom he calls old. Kurt says he's only 22 so everyone over 40 is old to him. P.J. reminds him he turned 23 in August. Kurt says they could hold a belated party, but P.J. just wants to get this over with and get out. Izzie asks about his dialysis. Kurt says he's lucky to have a son who can help him get rid of it. P.J. says he's here for the 10,000 bucks his father promised him, wondering when he'll get those. Kurt explains to the doctors it's a Christmas gift. Alex mentions it's October.

Alex and Izzie go to Bailey and asks what would happen if a patient was paying his kid money for his kidney. Bailey says Izzie should know that the patient would be out of the exchange, which means the entire domino surgery would fall apart. So, if that is going on, they better be damn sure about it. Alex then says the money is just a gift.

The Mercers are talking to Lindsay, thanking her for saving Stan's life. Stan asks his wife to got a wash cloth.

Meredith feels outpaced by her dead mother, as she came up with her own method. Cristina considers sleeping with intern Pierce to scratch an itch. Suddenly, Lindsay yells that she can't do this anymore. Stan promised he would tell Nancy. Stan is in pain so Cristina and Meredith come to check up. Lindsay yells he has to tell Nancy if the past three years meant anything to him. Nancy overheard.

Nancy always knew Stan was seeing other women, but she figured it was just sex. However, giving up a kidney is not just sex. That's family. Erica says he had an anxiety attack, but she can clear him for surgery. She leaves the room. Nancy says she gave up her entire life to care for him, but he never asked her to. Nancy then says she won't do anything for him anymore, which includes giving up her kidney. Bailey instructs Meredith to call UNOS to ask for a match for Nancy's kidney, but it's a long shot.

Derek is talking to Mark about Meredith. He was the one who developed the virus. Mark says these women overthink everything. Mark is doing research for his own trial, looking to make a contribution to medicine, like Derek did. Derek tells him to read his article. Mark was saving it for the bathroom.

Lindsay tells Cristina it started off as a fun office thing, but she fell in love with Sam. She'd do anything, even give a kidney, to save his life. Then he'll finally have to choose: Nancy or her.

Callie tells Mark Erica loved the non-sex and she may want more. Mark is occupied to prove he's a world-class doctor, so he has more worthwhile things to do then dispense sex advice. Callie really needs his help, but he walks out.

The interns are lined up in the cafeteria so the residents can decide which ones to give to George. Cristina wants to keep Lexipedia, who at least doesn't smell, like Steve. Izzie prefers Graciella over Claire, as Graciella at least can put in a line. Alex wants to dump Pierce as he hates saying his name. Lexie quietly suggests to her colleagues they revolt, as it might earn them respect. Meredith informs the others she called UNOS. Izzie really wants her patient to get a kidney to make up for his crappy kid. Steve puts his tray down, but Cristina orders him to pick it up. She decides he has no stamina, but Alex points out he does take orders.

Bailey is listening to the participants from the domino surgery. They all won't donate if their loved one is not getting a kidney. Richard appears and reminds Bailey that all eyes are on them, so she needs to fix this. She will.

P.J. can't believe he got examined for nothing. Kurt says they at least got to spend time together, but P.J. replies that's about 20 years too late. He wants to know if he still gets the $10,000 if the surgery doesn't happen, because otherwise he's out of here. Kurt needs him and asks him to be patient for longer.

Izzie angrily leaves. Alex follows her. Izzie wanted to punch the kid. Alex thinks Kurt did something bad to make P.J. hate him, but Izzie thinks P.J. is too emotionally stunted to see his father cares about him. Alex says this is her problem: she cares too much and gets all wrapped up. Her patient is the moron who'll get disappointed sooner or later, as his son won't give him what he wants. He stops mid-sentence, but Izzie urges him to go on and be a selfish ass. The whole act of being a decent guy one moment and a total jerk the next is getting really old. She tells him to pick one.

Lexie asks George where he was during lunch. George had to chart himself as his interns don't respect him. Lexie says she would. Cristina says the lack of respect is because they're not scared of him. She gives him a demonstration in decimating interns. Lexie says that's brutal but effective.

Derek is done with his silent fight with Meredith. He'll call the editors to have them change it to Shepherd-Grey Method. She only wants the credit if he thinks she worked hard enough to deserve it, but he says she doesn't. She's a baby with the potential to be a great surgeon, but she's only scratching the surface of what she has to learn. She gets paged.

She arrives in the conference room and informs Richard and Bailey that UNOS does not have a match. Bailey says she can talk to Nancy, but Richard forbids her from doing anything that looks like coercion. The last thing they need is lose their status as a transplant centre. He tells Bailey to send the patients home. It's over.

Erica finds Callie and asks if she wants to go get coffee in an hour. Callie says she can't do this, the whole girl thing. Erica doesn't understand, but then understands it wasn't good for Callie. She leaves.

Kurt can't believe it. They got so close. Izzie says something else will come up, but Kurt is not upset over the kidney. He hadn't talked to his son in over a year and it took him months to find him. This was their chance to reconcile. He knows P.J. can be selfish and rude, but it hasn't been easy for him. His mother died and he worked late. He made a lot of mistakes. Izzie says it's not his fault, as some people are just too broken. She advises him not to care too much. Alex understands it's also about him, and gives Kurt his discharge papers. Kurt breaks down. He's so sorry.

Bailey gives Nancy her discharge papers. She thinks Bailey must think she's a terrible person. Nancy says Stan has taken everything from her. The one thing he doesn't have from her is her kidney. She thought about giving him that last part. Bailey says there are rules that prevent her from having an opinion, as donating an organ that God put in her body is not something she can be coerced into doing. It's a big thing. The gift must be freely given and if Nancy were to give it, it's not just for Stan. It's for five other people as well. Nancy can't bring herself to sign the papers.

Richard is talking to his surgeons. The donors are anesthesized, the recipients are next. This surgery is a hornets nest, so they need to work fast. They have to operate as a team. Now, up to making medical history. Richard tells Bailey they're lucky Nancy changed her mind. Bailey agrees.

The kidneys are removed from the donors by all the surgical teams. The kidneys are put on ice, and the donors are taken back to their rooms.

The recipients are transported to the ORs.

Richard lets Cristina do part of the transplant. There's a geiser of urine, meaning they did well. Richard never gets tired of seeing that.

Bailey tells Meredith they're ready for the kidney. Meredith takes it out of the bowl and turns around. It slips out of her hand and falls onto the floor. "5 second rule!" Bailey yells.

The kidney is back in the bowl as Bailey's looking for damage. She refuses to let Meredith touch anything else. Richard barges in.

Callie finds Mark in an on-call room. She knows he's over it, but she needs him to hear her out. Callie likes to be good at things and she wants to be good at this, so she needs Mark to show her. Just because he didn't publish a trial, doesn't mean he's not a genius. He says fine and instructs her to take off her pants. He'll show her the Sloan method. She thanks him.

In the OR, Richard, Bailey, George, and Meredith are waiting for the kidney to pink up. It takes a while, but it does pink up. The surgical staf applauds.

The residents have made cards with the interns' faces on it. They're still discussing which ones to give to George. Meredith feels bad about dropping the kidney. Richard and Bailey approach and asks what they're doing. Bailey reminds them she didn't get to pick her interns either, and calls them out on their flaws. Richard takes the cards and gives George a couple. These are his interns. Bailey gets a page.

Kurt's monitor is beeping. Bailey orders Alex and Izzie around. There may be a bleed. Kurt asks about his son. 

Lindsay says Stan better be dead, because he hasn't asked about her. It's been three years. She gave a kidney for him and he still hasn't made a choice. Cristina says he hasn't asked about her. She thinks he's made his choice. Lindsay breaks down as she realizes the truth.

Alex tells P.J. his dad had a seizure. That means something is wrong, that he may be dying. If P.J. does give a crap, he'll have to live with this for the rest of his life. Alex angrily asks if he really wants that.

George asks his interns to come in before pre-rounds, but they says the other residents never made them to do that, so they refuse. They tell him to chill and walk off. Lexie witnessed this and asks if George even asked for her. She helped him study and decorated his locker. He doesn't see anything she does. She's such an idiot for thinking otherwise, and George is a jerk for not even thinking about asking for Lexie. "Screw you, Dr. O'Malley," she says.

Bailey and Richard are looking at the domino surgery board. All patients are doing well, except Mr. Walling. Richard happily says the press will be all over this. Bailey repeats Kurt has a serious complication. The other 5 saved lives is a pretty good scorecard, though, Richard says.

Bailey brings Nancy into Sally Chen's room. Sally introduces Nancy to her visitors, and they all clap for her and thank her. Bailey smiles.

Meredith is charting outside her patient's room. So far, she's completely stable. Richard joins her and asks her to come.

He takes her to Kurt's room, where Izzie is checking up on him. Richard says his donor kidney wasn't dropped on the floor, yet Kurt has a severe complication. There's only so much they can help and so much they can hurt. He tells her to forgive herself.

Alex brings P.J. to his father's room. P.J. starts crying. Kurt opens his eyes and P.J. takes his hand.

George tells Stan his urine output looks good. Stan says his wife doesn't care about that anymore. George says things are going to be different.

Derek and Bailey are on their way out. Derek heard her surgery went well. Bailey says it must be nice to appear in an article. Derek says it'd feel better if Meredith wasn't acting silly over the credit. Bailey says Meredith worked her ass of and got none of the credit. Derek says he also would have gotten all the blame had it gone wrong. He's an attending, she's a resident, it's simple. Bailey says it's messy because he's living with her. She advises him to start with a "thank you". He'd be surprised how far that goes.

At Joe's, Meredith tells Cristina what Derek told her. Cristina says Derek was not right about calling her a baby, and tells her to stop caring what he thinks. It makes them seem weak. Cristina has decided not to sleep with interns, as they're weak. Cristina says Burke was a man. Meredith orders another round. Derek comes over and gives Meredith a bag. In it is a kidney in a jar. Joe is grossed out, Cristina is jealous. Derek tells Meredith he couldn't have done it without her and thanks her. Joe wants them to take the kidney out. Meredith and Derek leave.

Callie finds Erica in an on-call room. She tells Erica to take off her pants. They're trying this again. Callie takes off her top.

Izzie appears in Alex's doorway. She tells him she cares about him and she won't stop, no matter how hard he pushes her away. She knows he cares about her, too. It's not too late for them. She repeats she cares about him. He kisses her.

Meredith is looking at her kidney in a jar on the nightstand with a smile on her face. Her mother wasn't dropping kidneys. She informs Derek she's reading the journals. She's not half the surgeon her mother was. They get ready to sleep.

Cristina gets ready to leave the bar. She tells Joe there are no real men left in the world. As she's on her way out, she hears Owen changing his order. He ordered a whiskey and a beer, but he better just make it a beer since he starts working tomorrow.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Main Cast[edit | edit source]

Guest Stars[edit | edit source]

Co-Starring[edit | edit source]

Uncredited[edit | edit source]

  • Maria Felipe as Mrs. Gomez

Medical Notes[edit | edit source]

Mark's Patient[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Cleft palate
  • Treatment:
    • Palatoplasty

Mark mentioned doing an early-morning palatoplasty.

Mark's Other Patient[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Transpalatal advancement

Cristina said that Mark was doing a transpalatal advancement that day.

Erica's Patient[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Aortic bypass

Meredith said that Erica had said she could scrub in on her aortic bypass surgery.

Stan Mercer[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Chronic renal failure
    • Acute anxiety attack
  • Treatment:
    • Domino kidney transplant

Stan, 46, was in chronic renal failure secondary to high blood pressure. He was receiving a kidney transplant from P.J. Walling. When confronted by his mistress in front of his wife, he had an acute anxiety attack. The transplant went well and he was awake and stable post-op.

Sally Chen[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Renal failure
  • Treatment:
    • Domino kidney transplant

Sally was receiving a kidney transplant from Nancy Mercer. After surgery, she was stable and doing well.

Kurt Walling[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Chronic renal failure
    • Diabetes
    • Seizure
    • Delayed graft function
  • Treatment:
    • Dialysis
    • Domino kidney transplant

Kurt, 58, was in chronic renal failure secondary to diabetes. He received a kidney transplant from Lindsay Herman. Prior to the surgery, he was on dialysis four times a week. The transplant went well, but he had a seizure post-op.

Mr. J. Patel[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Renal failure
  • Treatment:
    • Domino kidney transplant

Mr. Patel was in kidney failure. He received a kidney transplant from Ms. Chen's sister. After the transplant, he was doing well.

Betsy Loring[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Renal failure
  • Treatment:
    • Domino kidney transplant

Betsy was in renal failure. She received a kidney transplant from Mr. Patel's wife. After the transplant, she was doing well.

Edwin Cross[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Renal failure
  • Treatment:
    • Domino kidney transplant

Edwin Cross was in renal failure. He received a kidney transplant from Ms. Gomez, Ms. Loring's cousin. After the surgery, he was doing well.

Cristina's Patient[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Small-bowel obstruction
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Cristina had a post-op patient whose drain Steve had failed to remove.

Erica's Other Patient[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Coronary artery bypass graft

Erica told Callie she had a CABG in an hour.

Music[edit | edit source]

Song Performer Scene
"Love Save the Empty" Erin McCarley
  • Meredith's reading her mother's journal in bed.
  • Erica and Callie return from their date and start making out.
  • Derek shows Meredith they published their trial, and she finds out he named it after himself.
  • Richard thinks it's a good day for the hospital. Bailey agrees.
"Ordinary Day" Emilie Mover
  • The residents try to decide which interns to give to George, in front of the interns.
"These Quiet Times" Shady Bard
  • Bailey reminds Nancy that five people besides her husband could benefit from her kidney donation.
  • Richard briefs everyone on the surgery. He suspects Bailey changed Nancy's mind.
  • The surgeons perform the domino transplant.
"Comes and Goes (In Waves)" Greg Laswell
  • Richard chooses George's interns for him.
  • Kurt's monitors start blaring. Bailey, Izzie and Alex respond. It looks hopeless.
  • Cristina and Lexie check up on Lindsay, who is angry that Stan chose his wife over her.
  • Alex tells PJ that Kurt is dying.
  • George talks to his intern, who disobey him.
  • Lexie is mad at George for not noticing her.
"Hiding My Heart" Brandi Carlile
  • Bailey takes Nancy to see a grateful Ms. Chen and her family.
  • Richard tells Meredith to stop beating herself up about dropping the kidney as the patient's fine.
  • Richard shows Meredith Kurt, who is dying, to prove there's only so much they can do.
  • Alex brings PJ to see Kurt. PJ breaks down.
  • George acknowledges Stan's life's going to be different.
"Live Like You're Dying" Lenka
  • Cristina and Meredith are drinking as Derek comes over to give Meredith a kidney in a jar.
  • Meredith leaves with Derek.
  • Callie tells Erica they're gonna try again.
  • Izzie tells Alex she won't stop caring about him and they share a kiss.
  • In bed, Meredith and Derek talk about Ellis.
  • Cristina sees Owen sitting at the bar.

Notes and Trivia[edit | edit source]


Grey's Anatomy Promo 5x05

  • This episode's title originated from the song There's No 'I' in Team, originally sung by Taking Back Sunday.
  • This episode scored 14.21 million viewers.
  • Goof: This episode is said to take place in October, which is odd because in season 4 there is a Halloween episode, yet both episodes take place during the residents' second year.
  • Possible Goof: Cristina requests a kidney to take home after the surgeries. However, in most kidney transplants, the recipent keeps both original kidneys plus the donor organ. A recipent kidney may be removed if it's infected, causes stones, or other complications. With 6 patients it is possible that there would be at least one removal.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Episode Stills[edit | edit source]

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Richard: What are you people doing?
Izzie: We were just uh, just deciding which of our interns to give to George.
Cristina: Uh huh.
Bailey: Oh you think I got to choose my interns? And I picked you people... 'cause you're all such a surgical dream team? (to Alex) You, you're lazy, (to Izzie) you're whiney, (to Meredith) butter fingers over there... down right depressing, and (to Cristina) you, Yang, you're just annoying. Choosing their own interns! What are...
Richard: Give me those damn cards. (hands cards to George) O'Malley, you have interns.

Meredith: What is going on?
Izzie: We're trying to decide which of our interns to give to George.
Lexie: In front of us. They're deciding in front of us, like livestock at a state fair.
Cristina: I think l'll keep Lexipedia. She remembers many things. And she bathes, which is much more than I can say for... (sniffs) ...stinky Two over there.
Izzie: Well, Graciella charts like crap, but she can put in a line. Claire, on the other hand, nearly castrated a guy with a catheter.
Lexie: We can hear you.
Alex: I might dump Pierce.
Izzie: How does he suck?
Alex: I just hate saying the name Pierce.

Izzie: You can't blame yourself. Some people are just broken. I guess you just try not to care too much and you can't be disappointed.

Miranda: Five-second rule! Five-second rule!

Meredith: If Derek needed a kidney I wouldn't give him one. He'd take the credit. He'd say he magically grew it himself.

Miranda: If it were me, I'd start with thank you. You'd be surprised how far that one goes. Especially with us silly emotional women.

Cristina: I think I'll keep Lexipedia. She remembers many things... and she bathes, which is much more than i can say for stinky 2 over there. You smell.

Izzie: Maybe he just cares about his son but the moron is too emotionally stunted to let him.
Alex: See, this, this right here is your problem. You get all wrapped up and involved and you start caring about these people! Your patient in there? He's the moron. His son's never gonna give him what he wants and he's just gonna be disappointed! And the sooner he gets that the sooner you get it, and ...
Izzie: No, go on please. Be a selfish ass. Because then at least I know what to expect. This whole 'be a nice guy one minute and a total jerk the next' is getting really. Old. Alex. So who's it gonna be? Pick one.

Lexie: So those are your interns. Did you even ask for me? I helped you study. I helped decorate your stupid locker and you don't even see it! You don't see anything! I am such an idiot. And you are a jerk. You didn't even think to ASK for me? Screw you, Dr. O'Malley.

Mark: Do you think they airbrushed this picture? The man does not have one damn pore!

See Also[edit | edit source]

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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