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

I used to spend hours studying old footage of my mother's surgeries. I dissected every move, every cut, every decision. I was piecing together a puzzle, watching, studying, learning. It's a luxury we don't have when the patient is splayed open in front of us. We can't rewind. There's no replay. We just have to cut and hope to God we know what the hell we're doing. Hindsight is always 20/20. It's easy to figure out what you should have done when you replay it. You see your mistakes. You know how you'd correct them. But that's the kicker, isn't it?

There's a Fine, Fine Line is the eighteenth episode of the twelfth season and the 263rd overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[]

After a missing child forces the hospital into lockdown, Ben decides to operate on a pregnant mother without the proper surgical equipment. Miranda, as Chief, is faced with the repercussions of the event and whether or not Ben's impulsive actions were justified.

Full Summary[]

Bailey is looking at the security cameras with Phil, the head of security at the hospital. Phil is confident they'll find him. Phil's job is to overreact and he's not there yet. He's confident it's not a code pink situation.

Alex does think it's time for code pink, as the kid probably ran away from his dad, who's got anger issues. They just had a custody battle this morning. Phil thinks the kid is probably just hiding. Alex wants to find Gage right away, because his infection puts him at risk for an airway obstruction. An announcement for Gage asks him to return to his room, and Alex says that won't help. Phil says a code pink locks all the automatic doors, which means it disrupts the entire hospital. Alex says that's good as it'll stop the dad and asks Bailey what if it was Tuck. Bailey then decides to call it. Phil then calls his people to initiate the lockdown.

April tells Jackson she wouldn't have filed the restraining order had she known he wasn't trying to take the baby. The alarm starts.

Richard, Meredith, Stephanie, and Maggie are moving their patient as the alarm begins. They rush to reach an OR in time before they're stuck somewhere.

Nathan and Amelia are scrubbing in. She informs him the alarm is a code pink. He finds it the alarm relaxing. She replies they don't want to freak people out. 

Arizona is counting all the babies in the NICU. Intern Hannah says the code was for a 6-year-old, but Arizona always counts all the babies when one goes missing.

Owen and Callie read the missing kid's description as they are operating. Callie calls out his name to check if he's in there, so they at least did something.

Isaac faces a blocked door.

Phil asks Gage's mother for a description of her ex-husband. Alex says he knows the guy, so he'll start looking. Phil says he can only move through the hospital with a special badge. Alex grabs the badge and runs off.

He passes Isaac, and opens the door with his badge. Isaac runs after him.

Alex passes a supply closet where Jo is grabbing supplies. She hasn't seen the kid but she thinks he's just hiding, as kids do that. "Yeah, right," Alex replies before continuing on his way.

Alex runs up the stairs in the main lobby, and then spots Gage hiding under the steps.

Phil's on the phone as Alex returns to him with Gage in his arms. Aside from being a little shaken up, Gage is fine. Phil said he was right: Gage was hiding. Bailey gets a page and runs off.

In an empty hallway, she arrives just in time to see Ben deliver a baby. There's a lot of blood and Andrew is performing CPR on the mother. She asks what happened. He replies she has to help.

Ben has to go now as the baby's lost almost his entire blood volume. Andrew can't get a pulse. April arrives to answer her page. Andrew keeps going as nurses arrive. They help out as Bailey says they need Robbins and a clear OR now. She switches with Andrew and wonders who butchered this patient, and then recognizes her as Gretchen McKay.

Flashbacks to earlier that day. In the ambulance bay, Bailey talks to Gretchen as the paramedic unload her from the rig. Gretchen is worried about her three other kids and Omar, her husband. The paramedic informs Bailey Gretchen was in a car pile-up. 

Richard, April, Stephanie, and Meredith check on Omar, who was brought in by another ambulance. Stephanie barely feels a pulse. Omar was unrestrained and got T-boned from the side.

Gretchen's belly is hurting. Bailey tells her not to be scared as they got her now. They take her inside. April decides to wait for the kids to arrive. Alex arrives and tells Bailey he needs her for a possible code pink. Bailey asks Meredith to take over and follows Alex.

April, Bailey, and Andrew are moving a bleeding Gretchen to the OR. April paged Robbins. Andrew is trying to pack the bleeding, but it's coming out faster than it's going in. He tells Bailey she was hypotensive for a couple of minutes before Bailey arrived.

Gage apologizes to his mother. He was scared about the peritonsillar abscess. Alex says he can easily fix it, and he'll feel better after. He asks Gage not to run away. Ben then runs by the room with the blood-covered baby in his hand. Alex leaves to run after him.

Arizona is scrubbing in for Gretchen's crash C-section. April joins her and tells her the crash C-section already happened.

Alex checks on the baby in the NICU. He's not oxygenating and he asks to have neuro and cardio paged. Alex asks how far along the mother was. Ben thinks 34 weeks. He says it was a delayed placental abruption. Alex needs to know more.

Arizona is trying to stop Gretchen's bleeding, but she can't see a thing. April tries to help. Bailey asks her if she has this. Arizona says she doesn't, but she can try to get it if Bailey stops talking. She wonders who did this. Bailey leaves the OR.

Flashback to Ben pushing the elevator button, Gretchen asking him if her baby's going to be okay, and Ben delivering the baby through a crash C-section.

Alex asks Ben what the hell happened as he did an emergency C in the middle of a hallway. Ben says he would have lost them both if he hadn't done it. Alex says that might happen now anyway. Bailey arrives and asks Ben to speak with him privately. She demands he come with her instead of helping out Alex.

Bailey takes Ben into her office. She tells him not to tell her a single thing, because she'll have to use every thing he tells her. She tells him to stay in the office and talk to nobody. She'll be back. He asks how Gretchen is. She repeats: not one word. Ben watches her walk away over the catwalk.

Meredith, Maggie, Richard, and Stephanie are operating on Omar. Stephanie says they almost did a thoracotomy in the ER and she's bummed they didn't get to do it. Richard says operating outside the OR isn't as fun as it sounds. Bailey comes in and tells Meredith a resident did the emergency C-section on Gretchen. Bailey wants to know when and why Meredith left her. Meredith says she did the initial trauma eval until she got pulled into Omar's room. It was Robbins's case. Meredith left Gretchen with Warren.

Flashback. In the trauma room, Ben and Andrew take Gretchen off the board and put her on the gurney as Meredith asks for an OB consult. Gretchen says Omar wasn't wearing his seatbelt because he was reaching back to grab a book one of their kids dropped. Then the car in front of them stopped. Gretchen's bp drops. Ben knows to put her on her left side and support her with a pillow, which helps. Gretchen asks about her kids. Ben tells her all her kids are fine, knowing their names. One of them has two loose teeth, but that was the case before the accident. He says they got them. Richard asks Meredith to come from another trauma room. Meredith tells Ben Robbins will be by and asks if he's okay here. He is, so she leaves.

Bailey asks Meredith if she asked Ben if he was good, or if he told her he was. Meredith says he was fine. Bailey says how they know Robbins even got there. Richard tells her he saw her.

Flashback. Meredith arrives in Omar's trauma room and Richard informs her his belly is full of blood. He tells Stephanie to prepare for a thoracotomy. As he takes supplies, he sees Arizona in the other trauma room.

Richard once again tells Bailey he saw Robbins. Meredith asks Bailey how Gretchen and the baby are, but Bailey leaves the OR without replying.

Ben is waiting anxiously in Bailey's office. From the hallway, Isaac and Hannah are watching him. The story's spun out of control, as Isaac heard he did an amputation. Callie and Jo approach and tell them this is not a movie. Ben is not there to entertain them. She takes Isaac's chips. The interns apologize and Callie and Jo tell them to leave.

Bailey finds Andrew, who's holding on to a tooth from one of Gretchen's kid. Bailey needs to know everything, how and why it happened, as Gretchen's scans all look clear to her.

Flashback. Gretchen gets out of the scanner and Ben informs her her scans look clear. She wants to go see her kids. Ben says they'll bring them up to her once she's settled in the OB ward. Gretchen's a little cold. As they're moving her, she asks if they can find out about her husband. Gretchen's back and belly still heart. Ben uses another pillow to prop her up a little more. Her stomach still hurts. She doesn't feel good.

Andrew tells Bailey that Gretchen's pulse was a little low, she was clammy and shivering, so Ben made a call.

Flashback. Ben decides to take Gretchen to OB and page Robbins. As they're moving her, she gets hypotensive. Ben pushes the elevator button. Andrew says they lost the fetal heartbeat, which upsets Gretchen. Ben tries to calm her, saying they're close to the OB ward. He instructs Andrew to go find somebody from OB. He'll take Gretchen up by himself. Andrew runs off, just as the alarm begins and the doors shut, closing them in.

Andrew tells Bailey they were trapped and Gretchen was crashing. They were going to lose them both. He's sure about that, because Ben said it.

Penny finds Stephanie and Jo outside Bailey's office and tells them that the McKay baby is on an oscillator. It's hard to watch. Jo offers her some chips. Jo wonders why he did it. Penny guesses he felt like they had no choice as they didn't know how long they'd be stuck. Penny gets paged to the NICU. Stephanie says surgery is a drug, and operating outside the OR is mainlining. Richard comes over. Jo says Ben is a level-head. Stephanie reminds her that he used a clipboard before to cut open a patient. They both think they'd be fired, but Ben's married to the Chief. Maybe he's invincible. They then see Richard and walk off, feeling awkward.

Penny, Nathan, Amelia, and Alex are working on the baby. Nathan says he needs to go on ECMO as it's the baby's only chance. Since the parents are both in the OR, they don't need parental consent. Nathan makes a cut in the baby's neck.

In Gretchen's OR, Arizona says she's not clotting. She orders 8 units of blood as Bailey enters. Arizona tells her that she wants to talk to Warren to find out what happened. That's exactly what Bailey's doing. She asks Arizona where she was when it all happened. She says she had Ben take Gretchen to CT. She doesn't remember what she was doing, but a resident can take a stable patient to CT. The fetus was stable as well when she left.

Flashback. In the trauma room, Arizona tells Gretchen the baby is strong. She's happy to hear that and says they chose to temporarily name the baby Cosmo, because it took 3 cosmopolitans at a boring partner dinner for the baby to be conceived. Ben comes in and tells Gretchen Omar is on his way to surgery. Gretchen's daughter Jasmine comes in and gives her mother her brother's tooth that she helped to pull out. Arizona says they'll get her to CT first, then OB. She can meet her kids back there. Gretchen tells Jasmine she's in charge. Arizona asks Ben to page her when the scans are done.

Arizona once again assures Bailey Gretchen was fine when she left. April says it was Warren. If there's any resident she'd want to do an emergency C-section, it's Warren. He's good. She believes him if he said he had to do it. Arizona and April continue to operate. Gretchen's heart rate drops drastically and the surgeons rush to replace the pads in Gretchen's uterus with fresh ones, but it doesn't help. Andrew starts CPR, but Gretchen flatlines. Arizona tells Andrew to stop. They all stop working and Arizona calls time of death 17:02.

Meredith meets up with Bailey outside the NICU. Meredith informs her Omar made it. Bailey tells her Gretchen didn't. They both hate it when it's babies. Meredith touches Bailey's shoulder before walking off. Bailey enters the NICU, where Alex and his colleagues have failed to save the baby. Nathan shuts off the monitor and leaves. Amelia and Alex wrap the baby in a blanket.

Bailey asks Richard to discipline Ben in her place, since he's the head of the residency program. Nothing too harsh, whatever he deems fit. He says no. A resident could be responsible for the deaths of two patients and that's above his jurisdiction. That resident may be out of control. Bailey says Ben isn't a danger. Richard asks if she's sure. Was it a mistake or was it hubris? Did he overstep? He knows her situation is hard, but she has to do her job.

Jackson checks up on Ben. Ben is not holding up. Jackson doesn't want Ben to tell him anything, but then decides to give Ben 10 minutes, and they'll pretend it didn't happen. Ben can tell him anything and he'll forget it ever happened. Ben says he was out of options.

Flashback. Once they realize they're stuck, Andrew pages April and Arizona. Ben promises Gretchen he's not going anywhere. They just have to wait it out a little longer. Gretchen asks him if her baby's going to die.

Ben tells Jackson he told her no.

Isaac and Jo are checking up and Gretchen and Omar's kids. They are doing well. Bailey enters the room. She says they are staying here tonight, like a slumber party. Jasmine asks about her parents. Bailey says they're upstairs. Jasmine asks to talk to her. They leave the room. Jasmine is in charge now, so Bailey can tell her the truth. Bailey says her dad had a long surgery, so he's going to be asleep for a while to heal. Jasmine asks if her mother died. Bailey says she's sorry. Jasmine says her brother lost his tooth. Bailey has the tooth and she gives it to Jasmine, who asks Bailey if she has any money, as the tooth fairy is supposed to come. Bailey gives her all the money she has on her. Jasmine thanks her and goes back to her brothers.

Bailey is watching the camera images from the hallway where it happened. Phil comes in with the damage report, which says there's no damage done. He needs her signature as the PD's gonna need to know who called the false alarm. Bailey then notices something on the footage.

Bailey enters her office and hugs her husband. She says she spent the day trying to uncover why he did what he did. She wanted to know he made the right call. She wanted to believe that. Bailey says he made a decision he didn't have to make. She wants him to tell her what happened. Ben tells her the patient was in distress, but lucid.

Flashback. Ben promises Gretchen he's not going anywhere. She asks him if her baby's going to die. He says no. They're just a little stuck. Gretchen asks him to save the baby over her. She knows he's doing his best, but just in case. He asks her to keep breathing, but she soon loses consciousness. Ben asks DeLuca for a crash cart. He finds one. He takes supplies from the cart to cut her open, because they have no other choice. Her heart is about to stop and if it does, they lose both Gretchen and the baby. Andrew says he paged people, so they're coming. Ben says they're in lockdown so they can't reach them in time.

Ben tells Bailey the doors were locked and the elevator closed, so there was nothing else to do. He didn't know when they were gonna open, so he had no choice.

Flashback. Ben has made the cut and reaches into Gretchen's uterus for the baby. He delivers the baby while Andrew is performing CPR. Bailey arrives and sees the baby.

Ben tells Bailey he had to do it. There was no other option. He thinks Bailey gets that. Bailey says she found something. He sticks to his story. She shows him the footage, which confirms they were trapped.

Flashback. Ben gets ready to open up Gretchen, and lifts the scalpel. Right before making the cut, the elevator doors open. Ben looks up for a second, and then proceeds to make the cut. The elevator doors close.

Bailey tells Ben he had a choice. Ben says that's not what happened. He didn't know the doors opened. She says he saw what he wanted to see, as he made a choice. He asks if she really believes it. She asks what else she's supposed to believe after seeing the footage. Ben screams he's her damn husband. He angrily leaves the office, slamming the door.

Camera footage show Ben angrily walking down a hallway, and Bailey left in her office, gathering herself.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]



Medical Notes[]

Gage Dean[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Peritonsillar abscess
  • Treatment:

Gage, 6, had a peritonsillar abscess for which he needed surgery.

Omar Singh[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Crash injuries
  • Treatment:
    • Thoracotomy

Omar, 36, came into the hospital after a car accident. He had abdominal bleeding. Because of the code pink lockdown, they prepared to do a thoracotomy in the trauma room, but when the lockdown was lifted, they were able to move him to the OR before operating.

NICU Patients[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Various
  • Treatment:
    • Various

Arizona checked to verify that each of the NICU babies was still in the room, including one with esophageal atresia, pulmonary sequestration, two with spina bifida, and one with a teratoma.

Callie and Owen's Patient[]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Callie and Owen operated together on a patient.

Gretchen McKay[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Pregnancy
    • Delayed abruption
  • Treatment:
    • C-section delivery

Gretchen, 35, came into the hospital after a car accident. She was 34 weeks pregnant and complaining of abdominal pain. Her BP dropped in the trauma room, so they moved her onto her side, which brought it back up. Arizona came in to examine her and said they both looked healthy, but she ordered a CT to confirm. She was taken for the CT, which was clear, so they starting moving her to OB. She was in pain, so they propped her up more. On the way to OB, the hospital was locked down for a code pink just as they lost the baby's heartbeat. Ben had Andrew find a crash cart and he made the decision to do a crash c-section in the hallway. He cut into her abdomen and quickly removed her baby. After her emergency c-section, Gretchen was bleeding heavily. She was rushed into surgery. Arizona worked to stop the bleeding, but the loss was too great and she was pronounced dead in the OR at 17:02.

Baby Cosmo[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Prematurity
    • Respiratory distress
  • Treatment:
    • ECMO

"Cosmo" lost almost half his blood volume after being born at 34 weeks. In the NICU, Nathan suggested ECMO as the only chance he had. They hooked him up, but it didn't work and he died in the NICU.

Jasmine Singh[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Stiff neck
  • Treatment:

Jasmine came into the hospital after a car accident. She had a stiff neck, but was otherwise okay.


There is no licensed music in this episode.

Notes and Trivia[]


Grey's Anatomy 12x18 "There's A Fine, Fine Line" 12x19 "It’s Alright, Ma" Promo (HD)

  • This episode's title originated from the song There's a Fine, Fine Line, originally from the musical Avenue Q.
    • Chandra Wilson was actually in the Broadway cast of Avenue Q in 2003.
  • The special title card.

    This episode scored 7.97 million viewers.
  • The table read for this episode took place on February 8, 2016.
  • This episode is the first part of a two-hour event, the second being the next episode.
  • As of this episode, the show no longer films at the VA Supulveda Ambulatory Care Center. Scenes featuring the catwalk outside the Chief's office were created with CGI.
  • The episode is somewhat reminiscent of I Saw What I Saw, as both episodes feature flashbacks to find out what went wrong with a patient.
  • The episode features a special opening title card, showing several security camera images on the background.
  • There's also a special ending title card, showing the show's logo on a monitor screen.
  • April mentions that if there was any resident that she'd want to do an emergency c-section, it would be Ben. In the season 12 finale, Ben had to do an emergency c-section on April in Meredith's kitchen due to the weather and EMS not being able to get there in time.
  • Goof: During the episode, it's mentioned multiple times that Spencer is the kid with the loose teeth, yet during her conversation with Bailey, Jasmine says her brother Trevor lost his teeth.
  • Goof: When Dr. Warren tries to take his patient up to OB, prior to the Code Pink being called and lifts being disabled, he presses the 'up' button on the lift control panel, but in the next shot, the light is illuminated on the 'down' button instead.


Episode Stills[]

Behind the Scenes[]


Stephanie: Surgery is a drug. And operating outside the O.R.? That's mainlining.

Callie: (to Cross and Hannah) What the hell are you two doing? This isn't a movie. Dr. Warren is not here for your entertainment. What is this? Concessions?

Richard: Was this a mistake, or was it hubris? Did he do his job, or did he overstep? Bailey, I know it's hard being his wife and his boss, but you're the Chief now. This is your call. It's your job. Do your job.

April: Besides, it's Warren.
Miranda: What do you mean, "It's Warren?"
April: I mean if there was any resident I'd want to do an emergency C-section, it would be Warren. He's good.
Miranda: He has done them before.
April: If he said he had to, I believe him.

Hannah: It says here the code's for a 6-year-old kid, not an infant.
Arizona: I don't care. If someone's stealing babies, you count all the babies.

Miranda: You had a choice.
Ben: No, no. No, no. That's not... That's not what happened. I didn't know that the doors had opened. I...
Miranda: Well, I'm looking at it, and so are you.
Ben: No, no. I don't care! Look. I didn't know!
Miranda: No, you saw what you wanted to see. You made a choice that you wanted to make.
Ben: Do you really believe that?!
Miranda: What else am I supposed to believe?
Ben: Oh, son of a... I am your damned husband!

Nathan: What is that, an alarm?
Amelia: Code Pink. Missing kid.
Nathan: Huh. It's almost relaxing.
Amelia: They don't want to freak people out.
Nathan: It seems like they would want that.

See Also[]

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