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

There is a procedure to treat epilepsy that involves surgically severing the connection between the left and right brain. The goal is to block signals that cause seizures. The problem is this also cuts off the brain's ability to communicate with itself. The left side has no idea what the right side is up to. They patient may experience problems with coördination, memory, speech. It's a drastic solution that's only considered when all other options have failed, because once a surgeon makes that cut, there's no going back. There's a reason surgeons are willing to roll the dice on a risky, go-for-broke, point-of-no-return surgery with potentially devastating consequences. Sometimes, it works.

This is Why We Fight is the sixteenth episode the ninth season and the 188th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[]

As word of Seattle Grace’s financial trouble spreads, Catherine encourages Jackson to move to Boston, and the interns fear they might lose their jobs. Meanwhile the doctors meet with a potential investor in a last-ditch effort to save the hospital, and Alex impresses Jo while caring for a patient.

Full Summary[]

Meredith and Cristina are in Alex's house looking at the packages that they'll use to convince someone to give them money to buy the hospital. Cristina says that Owen will never forgive her if it doesn't work out. As Meredith starts talking about what will happen when they buy the hospital, Alex walks into the kitchen, and she stops talking. He notices this and wants them to tell him what's going on, as the hospital is falling apart since they walked out. He tells them that the place could go belly up in a month. Cristina wants to tell him, but Meredith stops her. 

Shane is carrying a lot of charts, which he drops when Leah asks him if he's seen the Chief. They're afraid the hospital will close. Leah tells them that there's not enough staff to staff the ORs. Owen tells her to push back all surgeries that can be pushed back, when Bailey walks by, wearing a suit. She's going on a job interview, calling the hospital a "sinking ship". Owen objects to this, as Cahill has convinced Pegasus, which is reevaluating their offer, again to buy the hospital. He tells Bailey they can't afford to lose her, as she's the "heart of the hospital". She's then convinced to stay, though she warns him she'll come looking for him when the hospital goes bankrupt.

Jackson and Stephanie are walking towards Richard and Catherine Avery. Richard signs at them, and Jackson tells Stephanie to go and she does so. "She's pretty," Catherine says. Richard told her that Pegasus will be buying the hospital, so she believes it's time for him to come to Boston, as she's seen the "garbage" that goes around in Pegasus hospitals. Richard and Jackson agree, saying they can't flee at the first sign of trouble. 

Leah asks Jo to push back her surgery, but Jo makes it clear they can't as it's a child with a tumor. Alex is pissed, and Jo thinks he is because she blew him off last night, but he says he's pissed because Arizona left, and now he has a lot of work to do. 

Stan, Arizona, Meredith, Cristina, Derek, and Callie are at Crest Capital, preparing their speech for Julian Crest, a billionaire. Julian is late, and they have been waiting for half an hour. Stan really believes Julian Crest will invest with them. Meredith calls Brooks to give her advice on her patients. As the assistant brings coffee and a bagel for Cristina, they can go into the meeting.

Bailey is cranky because she didn't quit and now has to take care of the patients Meredith left behind. Heather gets a call from Meredith, but doesn't answer as Bailey is walking next to her. They patient they're about to see is one of Meredith's, and one who is "done", according to Bailey. As they enter the patient's room, the patient's daughter tearfully says that her mother won't wake up. 

Cahill leaves the conference room to talk to Owen, who's lurking outside the room. She tells him that Pegasus is back in, and the deal closes at 8 AM tomorrow. He thanks her, she smiles and goes back in.

The plane crash doctors are explaining how they see the future of Seattle Grace. "We invite you to be part of it," Derek concludes. It turns out they've told their speech to two junior executives. "Neat. We'll let you know," one of them says. Outside the building, Stan explains to the doctors that the junior executives have to pass it on to Julian's business development guys, whom they have to impress too, and they'll pass it on to Julian himself. Stan tells him that his phone will ring any second to tell them that they've passed on to the second round. They wait for a couple of moments, and we hear the phone ring as we see the opening title card.

Stan is on the phone, while the doctors want him to tell them what they're saying on the phone. As he hangs up, he tells them they got the second meeting. As the other doctors cheer, Meredith receives a call from Heather. She tells her about the patient's status, and Meredith tells her that she read an article on surgeons crafting artificial arteries for patients with exhausted vessels. Bailey comes into the conference room where Heather is calling, so Heather hangs up the phone. She tells Bailey that she read the article Meredith told her about, and Bailey tells her to find it for her.

Stephanie tells Jackson that she knows he's angry, as he's doing a typical thing with his eyebrows. He tells her that it's because of his mother, as she's pushing him hard to take a bigger role in the Harper Avery Foundation, but he says he's staying. When Stephanie tells him that his surgery got cancelled, he gets more frustrated because it's the fifth time this week. "Never thought I'd say this, but maybe my mom has a point," he says.

Alex and Jo are in a patient room that's decorated with a giant poster that says "Adios, Phil!". Everyone in the room is wearing a badge with the same text on it. Alex and Jo are explaining to Bobby, a young boy, how they'll take out Phil, a tumor inside Bobby's body. They explained to Bobby that there was an evil little man inside of him, as this was easier for him to understand it. 

April, Shane, and Owen need to operate again on Andy, a patient who's had 4 surgeries in 2 years because he keeps getting adhesions. He thinks that they'll actually do more harm than good when they go back in. He wants to call it off, but April tells him that he'll die if his blockages stay blocked, which makes him agree to have the surgery.

Jackson enters Richard's OR, Jackson thinks that Richard knows something more about what's going on with the hospital. He tells Jackson that he suspects Yang, Robbins, Grey, Shepherd, and Torres are up to something.

Derek and co are in the second meeting. The executives would love to see more of the financial side, and the doctors give them the documents. The executives look into them, and one of them then runs it by Mr. Crest. He texts her back to tell them that he's leaving for Dubai tonight. The doctors are disappointed, but there comes another text from Julian. He can make 15 minutes for them in the afternoon. 

Outside the hospital, Alana meets Roberta. Roberta will call an emergency meeting for board to accept Pegasus' counteroffer, which turns out to be that Pegasus will buy the hospital to liquidate its assets and lay off its  staff. Cahill hasn't told Owen yet, but Heather, who's on the phone with Meredith, overheard what they said.

Meredith told the others what Heather told her, and they feel guilty. They realize they need to make the most of the 15 minutes they get with Julian Crest, and they start studying "Stan's boring crap" so they can answer every single question of Julian.

Heather tells Bailey what she heard Cahill say. Bailey asks her to keep it silent, and she confesses that she didn't really think that the ship was actually sinking. "You keep your mouth shut, you hear me?" Bailey asks.

Heather is telling the other interns what Pegasus will do with the hospital. Shane leaves for his final surgery, and Stephanie thinks about following Jackson to Boston, but Jo tells her not to be that kind of girl. Near them, Richard, Alex and Jackson are speculating about why the doctors quit. Alex thinks they'll start a private practice with the money they were awarded, but Richard doesn't believe that. Jackson then asks what the interns are talking about. Heather tells the others not to talk about what she just told them. "Don't say anything about what?" Richard asks.

Bailey is standing on the bridge, and Richard joins her. She knows he heard what will happen to the hospital. He lets her know it was from her intern. Bailey is very upset with Heather and thinks how to make her regret leaking. Richard notices the journal Bailey is holding. She replies it has an article about artificial arteries, and she'll apply it on a patient. She asks Richard to scrub in on the surgery, as it might be their last chance. She confesses she always thought she'd become the Chief of Surgery some day, and he takes her hand.

In the scrub room, April tells Shane not to spread that kind of rumor, and she tells him to ask Owen. As Shane says that Owen will never confirm the news to an intern, Owen comes in to scrub for their surgery.

Meredith, Derek, Cristina, Arizona, and Callie are telling Julian how they see the future of the hospital. During their speech, they're interrupted several times by Julian and his assistants. He thought they were just looking for an outright buyer, and didn't expect that they wanted to run the hospital. He then compliments every doctor on the team, but he says he needs someone with more administrative leadership experience. He tells them to look for someone with that experience, and he says they'll talk again then. He leaves for another meeting.

Meredith proposes to get Richard, while Cristina wants to get Owen. Meredith says that Owen can't know about any of this, but Cristina says it doesn't make a difference. Meredith and Cristina leave to go to the hospital.

In surgery, a nurse picks up the phone and she tells Richard that Meredith wants to meet him. "What else can Meredith Grey possibly take from me today?" Bailey says angrily. Heather then confesses that Meredith gave them the fix for their patient as she cares for her patients. "Don't you tell me about caring! I'm the heart of this damn hospital!" Bailey says.

In surgery, Owen confesses that he told the patient the best version of what can happen to him after the surgery. He says they'll operate again in 6 months if it's necessary. "But we won't be here in six months!" Shane yells, and everyone in the OR stops doing what they were doing. April tells Owen that Shane heard a rumor of the hospital shutting down. Owen tells everyone that Pegasus will buy the hospital, but Shane thinks he's lying and says that Pegasus will liquidate the hospital. Owen says it's not true and asks who said it. "Cahill," Shane replies, and Owen is completely shocked. April sees this and she takes over so he can go. After Owen leaves, Shane accuses him of lying. April tells him that Owen didn't lie. "He didn't know," she says.

In surgery, Jo and Alex put Bobby's tumor in a bag and pull it out of his body. "Sick!" Jo says as Alex chuckles.

Stephanie is watching Jackson, who's on the phone with the Boston Chief of Plastic Surgery. Leah comes over to her to tell her that their surgery is on the OR board again. Leah and Stephanie realize that Stephanie is exactly the kind of girl that Jo told her not to be. She wants to go talk to Jackson, but Leah tries to stop her. "Every step you take, is a giant leap backward for womankind," Leah says, but Stephanie keeps on walking, saying that Leah was hung up on Karev for weeks, but Leah says Stephanie doesn't want to be like her and leaves.

Owen runs into Cristina, who asks about the deal with Pegasus. Owen is angry at her and the other doctors for walking out, and she reveals they're planning to buy the hospital.

Meredith is in supply closet with Richard, telling him that they've been looking for an outside investor. Richard wants to put in his money, but Meredith says they need his experience more. "How much do you need?" he asks. They both laugh as Meredith says they need $175 million, but they stop soon as it's not funny at all.

Cristina is telling Owen that they only walked out to stall the sale to Pegasus, and that they need him and Richard to get Julian to invest. Owen asks why they didn't tell him, and Cristina reminds him of the non-disclosure agreement that he signed. He understands, and he goes off to tell the board about their plan, so they won't take Pegasus's new offer.

Jackson and Stephanie are in surgery, and he says he's not going to Boston, but that it's about time to start thinking about anywhere else. He says it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if they ended up somewhere near each other.

Alex and Jo are telling Bobby how badly he messed up Phil. Tears well up in Jo's eyes, and she leaves the room. In an empty patient room, Alex finds Jo, who's crying. He says she'll be fine as there are other programs, but she says there aren't any like this one, with teachers like him. She tells him that it sucked that she barely saw him this week, and she says that she doesn't want to never see him again. She dries her tears.

Cahill and the board are in a conference room, going over Pegasus's offer. Owen comes barging in, saying they can't take the deal. Roberta Thompson says it's not what any of them wanted, but it's the only deal they have. He says it isn't, as there's another buyer.

Julian is introduced to Richard. As Julian needs to be on a plane in 20 minutes, Richard and Derek join him in the helicopter to the airport. Arizona, Cristina, Meredith and Callie drive to the airport. 

Owen tells the board that the doctors that quit and Richard will present their offer officially tomorrow. Cahill warns the board that they won't have any option left if they don't take Pegasus's offer. "All we need is one day. One day," Owen says.

Arizona, Callie, Meredith, and Cristina are watching Julian shaking Derek's and Richard's hand. He goes off to the plane, and Derek and Richard walk up to the other doctors. They try to see how Derek and Richard's faces look, but they can't tell. As they come closer, Derek shakes his head. 

Cristina and Owen meet in Joe's bar. Owen says he got the board to wait another day, while Cristina says that Julian decided not to invest with them. "So it's over?" Owen asks, and she says it is. 

Shane finds April outside the hospital on a bench. The patient is awake and has some questions. Shane wants to ask her something. "You want to know how something like this can happen? I don't know. I guess I have to believe that everything happens for a reason. It's all part of some plan, you're supposed to learn something. You lose a patient because you forget to check their airway, you don't make that mistake again. You fail your boards 'cause you're too busy sleeping with your best friend, maybe you stop doing that. The hospital you call home shuts down, just when you're finally starting to feel like you've got your life together," April says. "Actually, I was going to ask for a letter of recommendation," Shane says, but he says he can ask someone else. April thinks that's best.

Bailey is watching her patient, and Heather goes stand next to her. Bailey says she can go home, but Heather doesn't want to leave. Heather says that Bailey is indeed the heart of the hospital. "I was, Brooks. Was," Bailey says.

Callie and Arizona are making plans for their future, including buying or building a house, wherever they end up. "We have each other, and we have a beautiful baby, so we can go wherever we want," Arizona says. Callie realizes they'd have to sell Mark's place, and says they don't have to move yet. "No. Not yet," Arizona says.

Owen and Cristina are in Alex's kitchen. He comes in, and he blames her for the people at the hospital losing their jobs. She says they were trying to buy the hospital, and that they screwed up, for which she apologizes. Alex gets a bottle of scotch to drink out of the oven, and he says she's now going to talk to him.

Derek is writing a letter of recommendation for Shane, and he says he'll do it for every intern. Meredith, with Zola on her arm, sits down next to him. She says she'll write a letter of recommendation for Heather Brooks.

Richard and Catherine are in a hotel room, lying on the bed. Richard tells them about the plane crash doctors' plan, and Catherine asks what he's going to do now. "I hear Boston is nice," he says, and Catherine says that idea crossed her mind too, but she didn't want to be pushy. Richard says that he's not ready to retire yet, and that he didn't expect Seattle Grace to be gone before he was. "How much money did they need?" Catherine asks.

Jackson enters a hotel lobby, where he meets Callie and Arizona. Richard comes over, saying they're right on time. They enter the now closed restaurant of the hotel, where Catherine, Meredith, Derek, Cristina, and Owen are waiting for them. "Ladies and gentlemen, Dr. Webber's brought to my attention the fact that all of you have been looking for an investor to partner with you in purchasing Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital. It is my pleasure to tell you that the Harper Avery Foundation would like very much to take you up on that offer," Catherine says. The doctors are delighted. There's only one condition: the Foundation wants a representative of their choosing to sit on their board of directors. "My dears, we only have a couple of hours to make this bid. Do you want to do this thing or not?" she asks. As the doctors enthusiastically start talking, Jackson goes to Catherine and asks her if she woke him early to tell him that she's coming to Seattle to be his boss. "Oh, no, no sweetheart, you misunderstood. The Foundation is electing you as our representative. With the majority sharehold, that means that you are in charge," she says. "Wait... what?" he asks, as the other doctors are surprised too. "Now give your mama a kiss, Jackson. She just bought you a hospital," Catherine says, while the doctors look at them.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


Medical Notes[]

Bobby Brinn[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Tumor
  • Treatment:
    • Tumor resection

Bobby was in the hospital to have a tumor removed, a tumor he had named Phil, as he believed it was an evil man inside him making him sick.

Julie Chang[]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:

Alex asked Jo about Julie's lab.

Melissa Keyser[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Kidney failure
    • Sepsis
  • Treatment:
    • Artificial artery

Melissa was a patient of Meredith's whose case was taken by Miranda Bailey. She was on dialysis, but had exhausted all available veins, which caused sepsis. Through Meredith, Heather suggested an artificial artery surgery.

Mrs. Preston[]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Rhinoplasty

Mrs. Preston was in the hospital for a rhinoplasty, but her surgery was pushed. Jackson and Stephanie eventually operated at a later time.

Andrew Carmichael[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Adhesions
    • Blockages caused by scar tissue
  • Treatment:
    • Adhesion barriers

Andrew, 42, was in the hospital to have adhesions removed. As he was a high-risk patient, they were trying a new technique. They inserted adhesion barriers to keep the tissue separated while it healed.

Webber's Patient[]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
  • Surgery

Webber was seen operating on an unknown patient.


Song Performer Scene
"Never Gonna Let You" Esthero
  • Clips of Seattle during the beginning of the episode.
"Bones" MS MR
  • Derek and Richard board the helicopter with Julian Crest in an attempt to convince him to invest in the hospital.
  • Owen fights the board.
"Salty Sweet" MS MR
  • Heather tells the other interns what she heard.
"Mountains" Kris Orlowski & Andrew Joslyn
  • Cristina walks into the bar to meet Owen.
  • April and Shane talk on the bench in front of the hospital.
  • Heather and Bailey talk about the possible closure of the hospital.
"What I Wouldn't Do" Serena Ryder
  • Catherine Avery informs the doctors that the Harper Avery foundation will invest in the hospital.
  • Jackson hears he's elected to sit on the board.

Notes and Trivia[]

  • This episode's title originated from the song This is Why We Fight, originally sung by The Decemberists.
  • This episode scored 8.75 million viewers.
  • Intern Heather Brooks has a new hairdo. It is now shorter.
  • This is the last appearance of Constance Zimmer as Alana Cahill and Roma Maffia as Roberta Thompson.
  • Goof: Derek tells Mr. Crest that Dr. Webber was the Chief of Surgery for twelve years, though Dr. Bailey and others have said that Dr. Webber was actually Chief for eleven years. 


Episode Stills[]

Behind the Scenes[]


Leah: Dr. Bailey, you look nice. New suit?
Bailey: Old suit. Been in the back of my closet since my last job interview, somewhere around Y2K.
Leah: You're going on interviews?
Bailey: This place is a sinking ship.
Owen: This place is not sinking. We're having some trouble, but we're gonna fix this. Cahill's convinced Pegasus to come back to the table. She's having that meeting right now, and she's going to make this sale. Everything's gonna be fine.
Bailey: Whatever you say, Cap'n.
Owen: Bailey, please. They're reevaulating their offer based on all of these walkouts. We can't afford to lose another surgeon, most of all you.
Bailey: Me?
Owen: You're the heart of this hospital, the spirit. You set the tone that others can aspire to. This place can't function without you. Right, Brooks?
Heather: What? Yes. Right.
Bailey: Fine. You better be right. 'Cause if this boat goes under and I don't have a life jacket, I'm coming looking for you, fists swinging. And I'm short, so my punches land low.

Richard: Catherine, okay, this hospital is not shutting down. In uncertain times, men like Jackson and myself have to stand tall. We can't pack up and flee at the first sign of trouble. A man who does not bend to the winds of change is a man that you can be proud of.
Catherine: That's poetic.

Derek: I thought you were taking us to Julian Crest. Not his, uh, not his daycare center.
Stan: You don't just walk in and talk to a guy like Julian Crest. There are hoops to jump through. Those junior execs like us, they pass us up to his business development guys. We impress them, then we see the man himself.
Callie: Oh. Will they do this before or after their nap time?

Richard: A week ago, I came across Torres, Yang, Robbins, Shepherd and Grey all having some kind of powwow. When I asked them what they were up to, they slammed the door in my face like I was Diane Keaton at the end of 'The Godfather.' Hour later, they resigned. That sound at all suspicious to you?
Jackson: Sir, something tells me you used to watch a lot of 'Unsolved Mysteries.'
Richard: I solved three of 'em.

Heather: They are stripping us for parts like a busted ass truck.
Leah: What, and we're just supposed to believe that 'cause you got a kicky little haircut?
Heather: And also because it's true.

Stephanie: Jackson might be going to Boston. I mean, I don't know. Maybe I--
Jo: Stop right there. I know this is really bad, but don't be that girl.
Stephanie: What girl?
Jo: That girl who follows her boyfriend across country like a puppy dog.
Stephanie: I am not that girl.

Bailey: I thought I'd be Chief of Surgery someday.

Leah: Jo was right. You're that girl.
Stephanie: I know. We're all about to lose our jobs, and all I can think about is the fact that I'm gonna have to stop sleeping with him. I'm so gross.
Leah: Come on. The sex can't be that good.
Stephanie: Look at him. I'm gonna go talk to him.
Leah: Every step you take is a giant leap backward for womankind. (Stephanie walks toward Jackson) There goes the right to vote. Roe v. Wade.
Stephanie: Cut it out. Besides, you're just as bad. You were hung up on Karev for weeks.
Leah: Yeah, but you don't wanna be like me. You hate me.
Stephanie: Thanks. And I don't hate you.
Leah: Yeah, you do.

Alex: Hey. (notices Jo's crying) You okay? You faking? Joke's on you. There aren't gonna be that many more surgeries for you to con out of me. You're gonna be fine. There are other programs.
Jo: Not like this one. Not with a teacher like you... who shows me cool tumor-in-a-bag surgeries and thinks it's fun to talk to little kids about guts and stuff. You know, I, uh, I barely saw you this week, and it sucked. I'll find another job. Whatever. I, uh, but I don't want to never see you again.

Owen: I got them to wait. The board is gonna wait for one more day. You can make your pitch. I did it.
Cristina: We didn't. Crest met with Richard, liked him, liked all of us, then he said no. Said he just wasn't feeling it.
Owen: So it's over.
Cristina: It's over.

Shane: Can I ask you something?
April: You want to know how something like this can happen? I don't know. I guess I have to believe that everything happens for a reason. It's all part of some... plan, and you're supposed to learn something. You lose a patient because you forget to check their airway, you don't make that mistake again. You fail your boards 'cause you're too busy sleeping with your best friend, maybe you stop doing that. The hospital you call home shuts down just when you're finally starting to feel like you've got your life together...
Shane: Actually, I was going to ask for a letter of recommendation.
April: Oh.
Shane: But I could probably ask someone else.
April: That might be best.

Bailey: Go on home, Brooks. I'll take it from here.
Heather: If it's all the same, Dr. Bailey, I'd prefer to stay.
Bailey: Suit yourself. (Heather smiles) What's wrong with your face?
Heather: You're right. You are the heart of the hospital.
Bailey: I was, Brooks. Was.

Catherine: Ladies and gentlemen, Dr. Webber's brought to my attention the fact that all of you have been looking for an investor to partner with you in purchasing Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital. It is my pleasure to tell you that the Harper Avery Foundation would like very much to take you up on that offer. We have only one condition. Only one. Since the foundation will be putting up the majority of the funds, we would like a representative of our choosing to sit on your board of directors. (they all murmur in agreement) My dears, we only have a couple of hours to make this bid. Do you want to do this thing or not?
(They all agree)
Jackson: Wait, you woke up me at the crack of dawn to tell me you're coming to Seattle to be my boss? That doesn't---
Catherine: Oh, no, no, sweetheart. You misunderstood. The foundation is electing you as our representative. We're the majority shareholder. That means you are in charge.
Jackson: Wait. What?
Catherine: Now give your mama a kiss, Jackson. She just bought you a hospital.

See Also[]

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