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

Glioma, fibroma, blastoma. Whatever the tumor, people assume you approach it the same way. You find its hiding place in the body, then you open the patient up, and you cut it the hell out. But you're not just fighting the one tumor. You're actually in war with over a billion cells. So, how do you beat the odds when it's one against a billion? You stand strong, keep pushing yourself past all rational limits and never let yourself give up. But the truth of the matter is, despite how hard you try and fight to stay in control, when it's all said and done, sometimes you're just outnumbered.

Two Against One is the eighth episode of the tenth season and the 204th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[]

The issues between Meredith and Cristina hit a boiling point when one of them ultimately betrays the other at the hospital. Derek tells Jackson that he needs to let go and allow the second year doctors to work on his patients and April and Matthew make a bold decision about their relationship. Meanwhile, Bailey has difficulties with Ben’s return.

Full Summary[]

Ben wakes in the middle of the night to find Bailey in Tuck’s room, searching for the source of a smell he can’t smell, a rotting smell. She’s convinced that Tuck left food in there somewhere before going to his dad’s. Ben wants her to get back to bed because it’s a big day, but she thinks him going back to his old job should be easy.

Alex goes to see a teenage patient who is playing video games. He can’t sleep because there’s a crying baby next door and the juvenile decorations in his room disturb him. Alex takes the controller and starts playing the game.

Stephanie wakes Meredith and Meredith asks what's going on. Stephanie says she asked her to wake her when it started to take shape. They both walk over to the 3-D printer.

Richard is telling old surgical stories when Stephanie comes in, excited to tell them about the 3-D printer. Richard tells them about the two-challenge rule. If someone challenges you, you can continue. But if a second person challenges you, you have to stop. Stephanie tells them they’re 30 minutes away from being ready to present what they’ve printed. Shane asks if Richard wants to go with them when they leave because he’s supposed to be up and walking, but Richard declines, telling him to come back later so Richard can finish his story. The patient next door, CJ, remarks that everyone knows the ending to the story because he’s told it so many times.

April and Matthew got the results of their compatibility test. They got a 90%. Reverend Drew leaves to get their exercises for the week. While he’s gone, Matthew says there’s one thing they need to discuss. There’s an area where they’re compatible, but not equal. April says she wasn’t sure that that bothered him, but he insisted that it does. She suggests that they fix it, now before they’re married. She says they’ll get a joint checking account at the same time he suggests that they have sex. They look at each other in shock because they weren’t thinking about the same thing.

Shane goes through Cristina’s patients for her, giving her updates. She tests him with a fake patient, but he passes the test, so she gives him coffee because he was up all night monitoring her patients. He asks if she’s going to the presentation, but she says she wants to check on Nathan Glazier in the PICU.

Bailey is explaining the surgery she’s about to do to her patient. They’re taking a portion of his colon to place into his throat. He’s a food critic, so his husband points out that the next time he writes a bad review for a restaurant, they can say he’s talking out of his ass, but Duncan fights back, saying that he can say that their food tastes like crap. Bailey is still upset with him over negatively reviewing a restaurant she had loved for years before. Outside the room, Bailey orders Jo to give him another enema. Jo asks if she can wait until after Meredith’s presentation, which Bailey says is okay as she rubs hand sanitizer into her hands.

Arizona is explaining to Emma that an opening came up for maternal-fetal surgeon and Arizona thought of her first and pitched her to the board. She will be meeting with Callie Torres for an interview.

Owen is walking with Callie, saying that Emma’s resumé really speaks for itself and the interview is a formality. Callie is more interested in getting to know Emma as the woman Owen is dating than as a doctor.

Emma asks Arizona for more information about Callie. Arizona tells her that Callie’s great, though as her ex, she’s not that great.

Callie says she’s sure Emma’s not an ax murderer, but if there’s something there, she’ll give Owen a heads up.

The two pairs meet up in the hallway and Callie takes Emma into a conference room.

Leah tells Jackson that Mrs. Maddox is there to have her drain removed. She says she can do it after the presentation, but he says he’ll do it himself.

The residents discuss what they could have possibly printed, as Stephanie refuses to tell them.

Meredith asks Derek how the drop off at day care went and he says it was tear-free before asking what she printed. She, too, is not sharing and says he’ll have to wait like everyone else.

Owen gives a little speech about innovation and turns it over to Meredith, who talks about the 3D printed. Derek notices that the tech’s eye is twitching. Meredith finishes her speech and holds up the item they’ve just printed. People are disappointed to see that it’s just a fork, but Meredith defends that they just got it.

Richard is holding the printed fork and telling Meredith that her mother would be proud. He asks if he’s told her the story of how he picked his first research project. She says he has many times and asks if he’s getting his exercise in, because his room is looking like he never plans to leave it. She wants him to talk with her to the elevator, but he declines. CJ walks by with April and says that his stories are all old and he needs new stories to tell. She wants him to come walk with her so he can hear some new stories. He says for her to go. He’ll catch up. And he tells her to close her gown because he can see her underwear to which she quips that she’s not wearing any.

Derek and Jackson corner Harvey, the tech, outside the presentation and talk to him about him having surgery to fix his facial spasm. He is reluctant and tries to eat his donut because he hasn’t eaten all day. Derek throws the donut away and tells him that if he doesn’t eat, they can operate today.

Cristina enters the elevator with Alex and Meredith. Alex asks if she’s heard that Meredith revolutionized the world of cutlery. Meredith comments that the liver model is printing now. They stand awkwardly in the elevator until Cristina gets off on her stop. Alex asks what’s going on, but Meredith tells him to stay out of it.

Owen and Ben are talking as Owen writes on the surgical board. Ben thanks Owen for letting him come back to work. Bailey walks up and says that there’s an error. Her esophagectomy is supposed to be in OR 2, but it’s been moved to OR 3 because of a trauma. Owen leaves and Ben notices Bailey playing with her fingers and asks her what’s wrong with OR 3.

The Glaziers are watching baby Nathan when Cristina and Shane enter to talk to them. They ask why he’s not getting any better. She tells them it’s because the synthetic conduit was being rejected by his body. They’re trying to stop the rejection, but she says they may have to replace it if that doesn’t work.

Callie is interviewing Emma. She asks her about a job she left after only a year. Emma admits that there were personal elements in play. She was going through a divorce and them both working there made things difficult. Emma continues to discuss her career, but Callie interrupts to ask if it was hard to give up her job for her ex. Emma struggles to answer.

Will’s mother has been trying to wake him for his surgery. He’s upset because a clown came in at dawn and offered him a balloon animal. His mother asks if they’re removing all the tumors at once. Meredith says it’s an all or nothing. Tumor eight is the hardest one, but they say they’ll try.

Bailey is confused to see Ben in the OR. He switched with Dr. Knox. While Ben and Jo chat about the pizza stone she got them for their wedding, Bailey obsessively checks the surgical tray. Then she accuses Jo of dropping her hands below the surgical field and forces Jo to go scrub again. Bailey begins operating.

Derek and Jackson are taking to Harvey about his surgery. Harvey is nervous about it, but Derek tells Harvey that he’s the face of innovation. Richard seconds Derek that the surgery will work. Harvey thinks he’s just a guy in a bath robe, but he informs Harvey that he helped train Derek and Jackson.

Leah tells Jackson that she knows he said he’d remove the drain, but she’s worried about a seroma developing. He tells her not to worry, that he’ll get to it. Richard beckons Leah to hear the rest of the surgery.

April is talking to Arizona about Matthew and how it’s hard that they haven’t had sex. She asks for advice on how to resist. She asks about how Arizona avoided the temptation to take the flirtation with Leah further. Arizona admits that she did take it further and they had sex. April gets frustrated with Arizona and leaves.

Meredith and Alex are operating. They’ve removed the first tumor. Alex talks about how they didn’t discover the cancer until it was stage four because Will ignored his symptoms, typical teenager. Meredith says that it’s good that he’s a teenager because that’ll help him fight this.

Leah, Stephanie, and Shane are watching the 3D printer. Shane is shocked at how long it takes to print. Shane is reading an article about biodegradable polymers.

Callie asks Emma about her typical Saturdays. She says she’s okay with working weekends, but Callie wants to know what Emma likes to do in her spare time. She asks if Emma wants kids. Emma says Callie can’t legally ask that in a job interview, but she answers anyway. She’d like girls because she grew up with sisters. Owen pops in to ask how it’s going. Emma says it’s going great and Callie mouths that she loves Emma.

Shane tells Cristina about the technique, but it’s only being used in Japan. He wants to use the 3D printer to make a conduit infused with his own cells. He’s already running more tests, but she says it’s too experimental. He asks if she’ll consider it if he starts the ball rolling with the FDA and she agrees to look at the research.

April finds Matthew and says she wants their wedding night and their first time to be amazing. She says she wants them to commit to one another before they have sex. Matthew says he loves her and will love her for the rest of his life and he thinks God knows that. April says Reverend Drew says they should support one another, so if it’s important to him, which he says it is. They both say okay.

Bailey is talking to Jo about the surgery, talking her through it and telling her to be careful before taking over. Bailey makes a mistake and there’s spillage. She freezes for a moment while Ben and Jo try to snap her out of it. After a few moments, she begins operating again to fix the tear. Ben coaches Bailey when she panics and she calms down.

Cristina comes in to asks Stephanie questions about the 3D printer, asking what would happen if they paused the printing and printed something else. Stephanie informs her that they’d have to start over and it would set back Meredith’s research.

Derek and Jackson are operating. Derek asks Jackson if he wants to do the decompression. Leah comes in and says there’s a laceration and asks if he wants her to do the stitches. Once again, he tells her no and says he’ll do it, despite her assurance that she can handle it. Once Leah is gone, Derek calls Jackson a dumbass and an idiot while instructing him on the surgery, saying it’s something Mark used to do when he thought he was better than someone else. Derek says he had to talk Mark into teaching Jackson and now it’s Jackson’s turn to start teaching, but Jackson is reluctant to do so.

Alex and Meredith are on tumor number eight. Meredith wants to skip it, despite their plan.

Nathan is in full-blown rejection. Shane has contacted the FDA and they’ve agreed. She just needs to sign the paper. Cristina says they aren’t going to do it because it’s Meredith’s printer and she’s using it.

CJ is talking Richard through a recipe as she walks back and forth outside his door. She suddenly stops talking as Richard hears a clattering. He gets up out of bed and walks out to the hallway, where he sees CJ collapsed on the floor. He calls for help. April comes running. He sends her for a crash cart and begins performing CPR on CJ.

Arizona and Emma are talking about Emma’s interview. Arizona tells her that Callie loves her. Emma says that Callie is very thorough, but nice. Then she asks how long they’ve been divorced. Arizona plays with her necklace as she admits that they doesn’t think they are, that they’re more just separated. Emma notices Arizona’s ring and notes that they’re seeing other people. Arizona says they are. Emma apologizes, saying that’s way too personal, but she just got out of a job interview that was more intimate than most rectal exams. She says they don’t do things like that at Sattle Pres. Arizona says she should come work there because they do way too personal on a daily basis.

Meredith is looking at the last tumor. She thinks she can remove it, but Alex is doubtful that she can do it without removing too much of the kid’s liver. Meredith says if the leave it, the cancer will continue to spread, so what’s the point? Stephanie comes in to show Meredith the progress the printer is making. Meredith has her scrub in and wants to be as aggressive as they can.

Bailey has finished the reconstruction and they check for leaks. After a negative test, Bailey wants to try a bubble test to make sure there’s no leaks. Still no leaks. Bailey spaces out for a second again, convinced that she saw a bubble and that there’s a leak. Ben says might as well patch it to be safe.

Harvey is looking at his face in the mirror, waiting for his face to twitch. It’s been twitching for 20 years. Leah comes in and asks which patient he wants to look at first. He says he’ll take them both. Derek glares at him and he says he’ll take Mrs. Maddox and Leah can take the laceration. Derek continues to glare and he agrees to let Leah do both.

April has Richard back in bed. He’s exhausted, but good exhausted. He says it’s time he starts working to get out of the bed, to work on being himself again.

Nathan’s heart is failing. Shane tells Cristina that it’s the hospital’s printer and she taught him to take what he needs for his patients. He says Meredith’s research is still early on, that it’ll be months before she prints anything that’ll go in an actual human being. What they’re doing could save a life.

Alex wants Meredith to stop. There won’t be enough liver left to support his recovery. Stephanie tells them about the two-challenge rule. Meredith wants Stephanie to back her up, but Stephanie sides with Alex and the two of them force Meredith to stop. Meredith leaves, upset, and has Alex close.

Owen tells Emma that everybody liked her. She says she can’t work at GSM. They’re great people, but they’re HIS people. If they break up, they’ll all take his side, which is what happened with her ex-husband. She says she can’t risk that happening again.

Alex is talking to Will and his mom about what the failed surgery means. Will knows it means more time in Peds. Alex says they can make the room look less childish so his stay is more comfortable.

Alex talks to Meredith about the surgery and she still believes she could have done it. Cristina comes up and wants to talk to Meredith about using the printer, but Meredith brushes her off. Cristina reminds her that it’s the hospital’s printer, but Meredith says it’s for her research. Cristina tells her about what she wants to do with the printer. Meredith tells her to write a proposal for the board. When Cristina leaves, Alex says that what happened in surgery happened because Cristina called Meredith a lousy doctor, so she was trying to prove herself. Alex calls Meredith a lousy doctor and walks off.

Richard is looking in on CJ and she spots Callie. He starts to tell her the story about what happened with CJ as they walk.

April comes over to Matthew’s place. She tells him she loves him. She says she lost herself last year and she had to get back to herself. She says she loves and respects him too much to see him stumble the way she did. She says their first time will be amazing and if they have sex tonight, the only thing that’ll change is that he will have broken a promise and she doesn’t want to do that to him, so they’re waiting. They begin kissing until April pulls back and they hug.

Arizona is in a bathrobe. Leah pokes her head out of the shower and asks if Arizona is coming in. She says in a minute. Then she takes off her necklace and puts it into a box before stepping into the shower.

Bailey is sitting on Tuck’s bed again. Ben comes in and sits beside her. He says he changed their plan and it’ll take time to figure out their new plan, but he’s glad he’s home. He’s worried about her behavior. She shows him the apple slices she found in Tuck’s soccer bag. They’ve been rotting for weeks. She insists that everything is fine.

Meredith meets Derek in the elevator. He asks about her surgery and she asks if he believes she could have gotten number eight. He says she wouldn’t have said she could if she couldn’t. He also tells her that he changed the face of the face of 3D printing. She says she’ll miss the twitch. He takes the fork from her and tells her it’s the future. He also tells her to go watch her model and he’ll go put the kids to bed.

Meredith finds the lab already unlocked. She sees her ruined model sitting on the table while Cristina and Shane print something else.

Bailey is still sitting on Tuck’s bed, counting her fingers over and over again.


Main Cast[]

Guest Stars[]


Medical Notes[]


  • Diagnosis:
    • Hemifacial spasm
  • Treatment:
    • Nerve Decompression

While watching Meredith's presentation, Derek noticed that Harvey had an eye twitch. He and Jackson cornered Harvey afterward to convince him to have surgery to fix it. After surgery, he stared at himself, unable to believe that it wouldn't twitch, as it had been twitching for twenty years.


  • Diagnosis:
    • Fainting
  • Treatment:
    • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
    • Epinephrine
    • Amiodarone

C.J. was in the room next to Richard Webber and was shown several times walking around the floor. Richard got out of bed to investigate when she stopped responding while telling him a story. He went out into the hallways to see her collapsed on the floor. He called for help and April came running, but he sent her to get a crash cart and began to perform CPR himself.

Duncan Mischer[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Esophageal tumor
  • Treatment:
    • Esophagectomy

Duncan Mischer, a food critic, had an esophageal tumor which required them to replace his esophagus with a portion of his large intestine. Bailey obsessed over the cleanliness of the OR during his surgery, forcing Jo to rescrub when she believed her hands had dropped below the sterile field. When Bailey accidentally cut the bowel in surgery, she panicked for a moment before jumping to action. After finishing the reconstruction, they did a methylene blue test to check for leaks. There were no leaks, but Bailey insisted on a bubble test to be sure. The bubble test also showed no leaks, but Bailey insisted that she saw a bubble and began to patch it.

Will Swanson[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Stage Four Sarcoma
  • Treatment:
    • Tumor resection

Will had fifteen tumors in his abdomen. Because his cancer was such an aggressive sarcoma, they had to go in and attempt to remove all of the tumors at once. Seven tumors were removed without incident. However, when they got to the eighth one, the hardest one, Meredith decided she wanted to skip it and go back later, going against their surgical plan. After all the other tumors had been resected, Meredith went to attempt to remove number eight, despite Alex's doubts. Alex became more concerned when she risked removing so much liver that he wouldn't have enough to support his recovery. Stephanie then brought up the two-challenge rule. She and Alex formally challenged Meredith's approach, forcing her to stop. Because they were unable to remove all the tumors, Will had to stay in the hospital longer, so Alex removed the peds decorations to make Will's stay more comfortable.

Nathan Glazier[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
    • Conduit rejection
    • Heart Failure
  • Treatment:
    • Medication
    • Pericardiocentesis

After the surgery to insert a synthetic graft, Nathan began to show signs that he was rejecting it. They began treating it with medication with the hope that it would help. Shane did some research and found out that in Japan, they're printing conduits and seeding them with the babies' own cells. Shane and Cristina filed a compassionate release so that they could use the technology for Nathan. However, while Shane was doing that, Nathan went into full-on rejection, so Cristina decided against the printed conduit. Once he went into heart failure, Shane talked her into changing her mind.

Richard Webber[]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Light Exercise

Richard was supposed to start walking around the floor to get light exercise as part of his recovery after being electrocuted. However, he kept putting off getting up. When a fellow patient collapsed, he finally left his bed to help her and admitted that he had been delaying it and vowed to start.

Mrs. Ott[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Aortic Ulcer
  • Treatment:

Mrs. Maddox[]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Drain Removal

Jackson originally planned to do the drain removal himself. Leah later approached him with concern about Mrs. Maddox developing a seroma, but Jackson again insisted that he would do the drain removal himself. However, after a speech from Derek Shepherd during surgery, he allowed Leah to do the drain removal.


Song Performer Scene
"Block Banger" N.E.P.H.E.W.
  • Alex and Meredith operate on Will Swanson.
  • They remove the first tumor and move on to the next.
"Bravado" Lorde
  • Alex makes sure the kid will be comfortable in the peds ward after telling him he'll have to stay for a little while.
  • Alex and Meredith argue after Cristina asks to use the 3D printer.
  • Richard tells Callie about how he saved C.J.
"Right Here" Rudimental (feat. Foxes)
  • Matthew and April decide not to have sex before the wedding and rely on each other for support until then.
  • Before getting in the shower with Leah, Arizona takes off her necklace and carefully puts it in a little box.
  • Ben is glad to be home to support her, because something is clearly wrong. Bailey found rotting apple slices in Tuck's room. She assures him everything is fine.
  • Derek believes that Meredith could have gotten tumor 8, and he tells her he fixed the 3-D printer guy's twitch.
  • As Meredith goes to check on the printer, she finds that Shane and Cristina are using it for their conduit.
  • Bailey is alone in the room and counting her fingers again.

Notes and Trivia[]

  • This episode's title originated from the song Two Against One, originally sung by Danger Mouse.
  • This episode scored 8.68 million viewers.
  • James Pickens, Jr. makes his 200th appearance as Richard Webber on Grey's Anatomy.
  • The character of Reverend Drew was named after Sarah Drew's father, who is a pastor. Sarah's father actually appears as April's father four episodes later.
  • This episode does not have official promotional photos.
  • This episode introduces the "2-Challenge Rule".
  • There are a lot of deleted scenes from this episode on the season 10 DVD.
  • It's the first episode not to feature baby Bailey since his birth.
  • It's also the first season 10 episode in which Zola doesn't appear.
  • Before the first broadcast of the episode, Kevin McKidd had teased that a character from the past/present would return. Many fans speculated that maybe Izzie or Addison were to come back, though it's now clear that Kevin was talking about Ben's return to the hospital.
  • Callie interviews Emma Marling for an opening in maternal-fetal medicine. It's possible that Nicole Herman was hired to fill this opening.


Will: What about you? Shouldn't you be resting before you and Dr. Grey operate on me tomorrow?
Alex: Video games are good for surgical practice. Gimme that, I'll show you how to beat Saberwolf.

Miranda: Get another enema.
Jo: But he already had one?
Miranda: Which is why I said another.

Richard: Oh, if your mother could see you now.
Meredith: She'd take issue with my hair.

Alex: Did you hear Mer just revolutionized the world of cutlery?

Alex: Typical teenager. Ignored his symptoms, didn't want to ask for help from anyone and now he's got an abdomen completely covered in tumors.
Meredith: You're right. He is a typical teenager, which means he can beat this. He's strong, able to fight and, what's better...
Alex: What?
Meredith: He's in my OR. In the OR of someone standing on the forefront of medicine.
Alex: You should print a spoon next, that way we'll be able to remove tumor no. 2.

Shane: When will the model be done?
Stephanie: 10, maybe 12 hours.
Shane: That long?
Stephanie: It's life saving technology, Shane. If you want it faster, page God.

Derek: Murphy's not bad, you know.
Jackson: Oh. I know. It's just that I'm better.

Emma: I'm sorry, that was too personal. I just got out a job interview that was more intimate than most rectal exams. I'm just not used to it. We don't do things like this at Seattle Pres.
Arizona: Well, then come work here because we do way too personal on a daily basis.

Alex: Print one damn fork and now you think you're Moses or something.

Stephanie: Dr. Grey, I think you're amazing and you made a beautiful fork and I'm so grateful to have been a part of that. But right now I do think you're pushing it and I have to second Dr. Karev's challenge.

See Also[]

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