As surgeons, we are trained to look for disease. Sometimes the problem is easily detected, most of the time we need to go step by step. First, probing the surface looking for any sign of trouble. A mole or a lesion or an unwelcome lump. Most of the time, we can't tell what's wrong with somebody by just looking at them. After all, they can look perfectly fine on the outside, while their insides tells a whole other story. Not all wounds are superficial. Most wounds run deeper than you can imagine. You can't see them with the naked eye. And then there are the wounds that take us by surprise. The trick with any kind of wound or disease is to dig down and find the real source of the injury - and once you've found it, try like hell to heal that sucker.

Where the Boys Are is the seventh episode of the third season and the 43rd overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

Derek gets annoyed when all the boys go on a camping trip, instead of just Preston and himself. Back at the hospital, Addison and Callie bond over a patient while Mark continues to annoy everyone as Bailey punishes Cristina, but Cristina claims ignorance as to why. Izzie is peer counselled by an unlikely person and Meredith is a shocked when Sloan assigns her to a sex change.

Full SummaryEdit

Cristina is watching as Burke is packing camping stuff. He's going camping with Derek to get some fresh air. Cristina says she booked ORs, but Burke cancelled them. She asks why, but he doesn't really give her a reason.

Burke puts his stuff in the trunk of Derek's jeep. They're both excited. They get in the car and Burke says they have to make one more stop.

Richard exits the Archfield and happily tells the men that this is his first camping trip. Since he brought a suitcase, Derek figured. As Derek puts the suitcase with the rest of the baggage, he asks Burke if there are more surprises.

Richard, Derek, and Burke are waiting in Meredith's hallway as George comes down the stairs with Izzie fussing over him. Burke tells Derek he did invite George. George tells the men that Izzie baked them treats. As they go outside, Meredith wishes Derek fun with his space. He smiles.

The guys are now in Joe's bar. Joe and his boyfriend are tagging along, much to Derek's chagrin. George says Joe must have misunderstood when he asked him if he had an extra tent. Then Alex walks in prepared to tag along as well, and George swears that was not his doing.

With the group complete, the men are making their way to the camping space in the woods. Richard is last in line with his suitcase.

Mark enters a lounge where Callie and Addison are reading and eating breakfast. There's a lot of awkward tension in the air, and Callie and Addison look at each other.

Meredith tells Cristina and Izzie that Derek wanted space. Cristina thinks Prestons get their ass kicked by a squirrel, while Izzie just deems the trip a slumber party. Mark comes over and asks where Alex is, as he normally always follows him around. Meredith says he's camping. Mark asks how she'd like to follow him around all day. Meredith says that's Bailey's call, but Bailey comes over and says it's fine. Bailey then tells Izzie to go meet her peer counselor in the conference room. Lastly, she tells Cristina there are lots of exciting procedures up on the board. Cristina asks where she'd like her to start.

Cristina is with Eric, a boy who has ingested 21 Monopoly pieces. Eric swallowed the pieces so his older brother and his friends couldn't play as they forbid him from playing with them. Bailey asks what they'll do. Cristina replies they need to monitor the pieces and check the stool. Bailey wishes her fun with that and walks out. Cristina follows her and asks if this isn't more a nurses job. She thought she'd get to assist on a surgery, but Bailey says no surgery for her. Cristina asks why. Bailey then reveals she knows that Cristina erased her name from the board and she wants to know why. Cristina says she has no comment. Bailey then walks off.

Meredith tells Mark that this friendship has rules. He figured the dirty mistresses club would be less uptight. No. 1: no flirting. No. 2: no talking about Derek. And no. 3: no giving her the McSteamy face because she's immune to that anyway. Mark says he would have invited her to the woods to keep her warm if he were there. She says that breaks all three rules.

Izzie is unpleasantly surprised to find out that her counselor is Sydney Heron, who hugs her. She asks Izzie how she is. Izzie says she's fine, but Sydney says that's outside Izzie. She wants to know about inside Izzie.

Mark asks Meredith about the deal between her and Derek. She says he's taking some space. They enter the patient's room, where Donna and Vicky are unpacking. Donna says Vicky is still having some penis issues. Meredith can't quite follow. Vicky says Sloan is removing her husband's penis. Meredith asks where her husband is. Donna says it's her.

Meredith is reading Donna's chart. She's been going by Donna for 2 years and she's here for a sexual re-assignment surgery. Meredith struggles to use the right pronouns. Mark tells her she better get to learning the steps of a vaginoplasty if she wants in on the surgery. Donna tells her she's doing very well. Vicky admits she did worse when she first found out. Mark asks Donna if she's excited. Donna says that doesn't begin to cover it. Mark takes her hand and assures her she's going to do great.

In the woods, Derek is watching the others struggle and sighs. Derek wants to go fishing with Preston, but Burke is fine with waiting until the others are done setting up their tents. Richard is enjoying his food from the picnic basket they put together for him at the hotel. Alex mocks him and his silverwear, but George points out he's going to be cold in his T-shirt and sneakers. Richard sees Joe's tent and asks if they have room for one more, since George will sleep in Burke's tent and the other tents are too small for two. Joe wanted to sleep with Walter, just the two of them. Richard completely misses that they are a couple until George subtly points it out. Richard says he's all for man love. Burke asks who's ready to go fishing. Richard happily tags along.

Meredith gleefully tells Cristina she gets to participate in an SRS surgery with Mark. Izzie comes over and shares that Sydney is her counselor. She's looking for a good medical reason not to shadow Sydney today.

Izzie is examining Eric's stool. She found a couple of houses and the dog, which makes nine pieces so far. She always uses the dog when she plays Monopoly.

Callie got paged to the room where Addison is giving Jamie Carr an ultrasound. She slipped in the shower and broke her wrist. Jamie has refused the pain meds out of concern for the baby. She prefers to suffer, just to be safe. She asks if the baby is okay because he stopped kicking. Addison says he could just be sleeping. Callie tells Jaime she'll need a cast. As Callie is explaining the procedure, Addison sees something on the ultrasound and leaves the room.

Vicky is filling out insurance forms for Donna's surgery. Meredith says she seems to be handling this very well. Vicky says she first left when Daniel told her. Their entire future with kids went out the window. Suddenly, her husband became another girl in her house who uses her eyeliner and waxes her legs. Meredith asks why she came back. Vicky honestly says she has no idea right now. She's going to miss the penis.

Callie finds Addison crying in a bathroom stall. Callie makes her come out. Addison says there's no reason this should affect her so much since she's used to it. This woman is 8 months pregnant. Yesterday she was as healthy as can be, and today her baby's dead.

The men, minus Walter, are fishing. Richard asks Joe how long they've been together. Joe says they've been together for 10 years, on and off. They are thinking about kids now. Richard says that's a big step. Joe asks if he has kids. Richard says no. He works a lot and Adele always said she didn't want to raise kids on her own. Joe says they have the same problem. He always has to work in the bar since someone has to run it. Joe says he's prepared to make a change if Walter wants him to, since he can't imagine his life without him.

Burke notices that George is good at fishing. George says his father taught him. Burke asks about his relationship with Callie. George says they're excellent, even though Callie doesn't know it. She wanted a certain level of commitment and he didn't feel like he was ready, but he is stepping up now. George says Burke must have known he was ready when he asked Cristina to move in. Burke confirms. His hand trembles as he works his line, which George notices. Burke brushes it off and moves down the stream.

Mark has bad news for Donna. She has breast cancer. The hormones since she's been taken gave her cancer. She needs to stop taking them, or the cancer will get worse. There's no point in doing the surgery now because without the hormones, she'll become a man again. Donna asks what happens if she keeps taking the hormones. It would feed the tumor. Mark tells her she needs to have this treated now. If she becomes a woman, she could die.

Addison and Callie are watching Jamie and Tedd. Addison thinks they deserve to have everything. Callie agrees. Addison wants to go in and tell them, but Callie stops her. She wants to give them a few more minutes of happiness.

Alex asks George if he's getting back together with Callie. George says yes, but Alex advises him not to. Since he doesn't give him a reason, George chooses to ignore the advice.

Derek tells Burke he wanted to come here alone. He only invited Burke to make it a guy trip. Burke thinks Derek doesn't have any guy friends. Derek objects and says he just needed some peace. He has a right to some space, but then Burke invited half the hospital. Burke says that is because he has guy friends.

Sydney finally finds Izzie, who tells her Cristina needed some help. Sydney says patient care comes first and sits down. She's going to wait until Izzie's done, and then they'll dialogue.

Meredith asks Mark what happens with Donna know. Mark says she goes back to being an unhappy man who gets stuck with a penis. He comments there are millions of them out there, though he could be a lot less unhappy. Meredith says he's a complete whore. Mark says maybe it's for the best that Derek needs some space. He says Derek holds it all together on the outside, but he's damaged goods. Mark thinks he may have damaged Derek forever. Vicky comes out of Donna's room and tells them Donna wants to go through with the surgery.

Richard tells the others that Walter and Joe went for a hike. Richard wonders why they haven't caught anything. Derek says fish tend to stay clear of places where there's lots of noise.

George brings up that he thinks something's wrong with Burke. He then says Alex is applying bait, which is unnecessary for fly fishing. As he goes to help Alex, Alex blurts out that Callie slept with Sloan. George says he better take that back.

As Derek continues to whine about the others tagging along, Alex and George start hitting each other. Richard yells at them to break it up.

Back at the camping place, Richard tells Alex and George he does not condone fighting. But since they seem determined to beat each other, they are going to do it by his rules so they don't do irreparable damage to their hands. It's going to be an open hand combat, which the guys call a slap fight. Derek thinks Alex is going to kill George, but Burke is not convinced. George is a scrapper. Alex and George get ready to fight. Derek again states he should have come alone. George and Alex start fighting.

Mark and Meredith are talking to Donna, who threatens to go back to New York and find a surgeon who will operate on her. Donna says she's not a man. She'll fight the cancer as a woman. Vicky yells at Daniel to wake up. Donna says it's Donna. Vicky won't stand by and watch her kill herself. She grabs her stuff and leaves. Donna tells Mark she needs Vicky to love her as who she is.

Callie is working on Jaime's wrist. As soon as she's done, Addison steps in with the bad news. Jaime needs her to say it. Addison delivers the news and Jaime breaks down in Tedd's arms.

Izzie and Cristina are examining the stool with Sydney watching them. Cristina can't handle Sydney staring at her one more second so she orders Izzie to go. Izzie leaves with Sydney following her. Eric then enters the bathroom and says his and his brother's problems are nothing compared to Cristina and Izzie. Cristina says his move wasn't exactly genius. Eric says his mother will now allow him to play, so he thinks it was pretty smart. He questions how smart Cristina is for her to be digging through his poop.

Alex and George are going at each other. As soon as they start wrestling, Richard breaks them up for a moment. The slap fight continues. Burke tells Derek they are fighting because Alex told George that Callie is sleeping with Sloan. Walter tells Joe they are never going camping with straight guys again. The fighting guys then bump into him. He falls onto some rocks with his head. The doctors rush over.

Cristina finds Meredith studying for Mark's surgery. Cristina asks if she likes McSteamy. Meredith says not like that, but he might be trying to protect her in his own by advising her to let Derek and all of his baggage behind her. Cristina asks why Meredith didn't tell anyone when her mother was first diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Meredith says her mother asked her to and she thinks it was right to keep the secret. Cristina asks even if it means she has to dig through crap for years to come because of the secret. Meredith asks what secret she's keeping and who asked her to, but Cristina gets paged away.

She enters Eric's room. She palpates Eric's abdomen. It's rigid and there's blood in the vomit, indicating a perforation. She asks nurse Tyler to page Bailey.

The doctors find that the cut on Walter's head can be stitched up with superficial sutures. Burke has sterilized a fishing hook and clipped off the barb so it's as good as a needle. It's going to hurt. Richard offers to let Alex stitch, but Joe wants the best doctor for his guy. George then decides to test his suspicions and says that Burke is the best. Burke says he is. He starts stitching with George watching his movements closely. He finishes without any trembling and looks at George.

Bailey is scrubbing in and Cristina says she'd like to scrub in since Eric is her patient. Bailey asks why she erased her name from the board. Cristina decides to play dumb, but Bailey says she just chose her own fate in this second. She enters the OR.

Izzie is watching Bailey operate from an empty gallery. Sydney comes in. She knows Izzie's been avoiding her, but they can watch and talk at the same time. Sydney asks her to talk about Denny since it helps to talk about what happened. Izzie doesn't want to share with here. She says she'd rather sift through feces than talk to Sydney. Sydney understands, but Izzie asks if she ever cut an LVAD wire and had the man she fell in love with die. Sydney says no. Izzie says she can't understand then and leaves.

Meredith and Mark are operating. Mark agreed to do the surgery. People don't come to him to fix them on the outside, what he does fixes them on the inside. He doesn't hide from that and he doesn't need space. 

Richard is staring at Alex, who says he didn't start this. George just rubbed him the wrong way by talking about what he's wearing. Richard says he's supposed to be enjoying being outdoor. Alex says he grew up in a bar. His dad was either playing music or drinking. They never went to the park. Alex says this was his chance to get out with the guys. Richard understands he wanted to be a different person. They see Joe and Walter and agree they are a happy couple. Richard confesses he misses his wife.

Burke tells George he has high standards, they are too high. People make mistakes. When George sees a flaw, he attacks. George says he stood up for himself. Burke tells him to remember that people are human. George asks him if he'd be okay if Cristina did something like that. Burke says he and Cristina are a team. He asks if George wants to be a part of a team or play alone for the rest of his life. George walks off without answering.

Addison is delivering Jamie's baby. Tedd has to encourage her for the final push. She delivers the baby. Jamie starts crying. Addison wraps the baby in a blanket and hands him over to his parents. They both break down. Callie comforts Addison.

Derek is fishing by himself. Richard and Burke join him. He's caught a lot of fish. Derek says evening is the perfect time to catch trout. Burke and Richard silently encourage each other to start talking. Burke then brings up Mark. Derek says he's like cancer. He infects everything. Mark was his friend, but he's clearly a terrible judge of character. Derek thought if he got away by himself, he'd get some answers and a fresh start. Richard says fresh starts don't exist. Wherever you go, there you are. There's a reason that's a cliché. Richard says he's living in a hotel and his wife won't speak to him. He has no wisdom for Derek, and neither does Burke. Derek says they are all idiots, then. They agree. Richard asks who wants to go home.

The men leave the camping place.

Sydney finds Izzie in the intern locker room. She says she'll find Izzie a new peer counselor. She says she lost a kid in her first year. It was her fault and she had a breakdown. They gave her time off and when she came back, she put a smile on her face and everybody thought she was fine. It comes in waves. There's a lull and then another wave hits you. She wasn't trying to pry, but she wanted Izzie to know it's okay not to be fine sometimes. Izzie says she misses Denny all the time. It's not in waves, it's constant. She really wants to be here, but she doesn't know if she can be a surgeon again. Talking about that scares her too much. 

Meredith finds Vicky sitting by Donna's side. Vicky says she was on her way to the airpot. She talks about the first time she left. She had a lot of dates with guys who were planning to stay guys. But after a great date, you want to go and tell your best friend about it. Her best friend is Daniel, or Donna. Donna is her best friend. She knows and loves her. She's her husband. It sounds crazy. Her family thinks she's crazy, but you don't just abandon someone because there's baggage. Meredith understands. At the end of the day, it's Donna, even when she hurts her. Meredith understands Donna is the person Vicky wants to talk to.

Addison and Callie are sitting down in the hallway. They say they both used to sleep with Sloan. Addison says it was all self-loathing and misery. Callie understands that. Addison suggests they get a drink. Callie agrees, but she gets paged. They agree to get a drink some other time.

Bailey tells Eric's mother that he'll make a full recovery. Cristina is watching her. Burke then appears by her side. She tells him she's glad he's back. He is, too.

George was paged to the hospital by Callie. He doesn't like to be paged when he's off. Callie says it's about his father. A nurse opens a curtain and George sees his father lying in a bed.

Mark and Meredith are at Joe's. Mark says this could be more than drinks, but Meredith says she can't start something with him. Mark advises her to start over. He then gets paged. He tells her she got saved by the bell. He finishes his beer and asks her to order him another one. She goes up to the bar, where Derek comes over and introduces himself as Derek Shepherd. This is where they first met. She was just a girl, and he was just a guy. When they started, she didn't know anything about him. He wants her to know him. He wants to start over from the beginning. So, he's Derek Shepherd. Meredith says he walked away and now it's too late. There's too much water under the thing. Derek says please. Mark returns from the bathroom and witnesses Meredith telling Derek that she is Meredith Grey. They shake hands. As a disappointed Mark leaves, Derek and Meredith lean in and share a kiss.


  • Meredith Grey
  • Cristina Yang
  • Izzie Stevens
  • Alex Karev
  • George O'Malley
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Addison Montgomery
  • Callie Torres
  • Mark Sloan
  • Preston Burke
  • Derek Shepherd
  • Harold O'Malley
  • Sydney Heron
  • Vicky Gibson
  • Donna Gibson
  • Jamie Carr
  • Ted Carr
  • Joe
  • Walter
  • Nurse Tyler Christian
  • Eric Sanborn
  • Holly Sanborn

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit


Medical NotesEdit

Eric SanbornEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Swallowed items
    • Perforation
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

Eric had swallowed several game pieces. Cristina sifted through his poop to inventory them and track the progress of him passing the items. He passed several easily, but then he started vomiting blood, meaning he had perforated his digestive tract, so he was taken into surgery.

Donna GibsonEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Breast cancer
  • Treatment:
    • Hormone therapy
    • Vaginoplasty

Donna, 34, was in the hospital to have vaginoplasty as part of her sex re-assignment. She was also taking hormones as part of the process. Before her surgery, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and was advised to stop taking the hormones, as those were feeding her cancer. Despite this, she went forward with the surgery and said she'd fight the cancer, but as a woman.

Jamie CarrEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Pregnancy
    • Fetal demise
    • Broken wrist
  • Treatment:
    • Casting
    • Vaginal delivery

Jamie slipped and fell in her shower while pregnant, breaking her wrist. An ultrasound also revealed fetal demise. Callie re-aligned the bones in her wrist and casted it. Jamie labored and delivered her baby and held him.


  • Diagnosis:
    • Head laceration
  • Treatment:
    • Stitches

Walter hit his head against a rock and cut it open. The doctors sterilized a fishing hook and cut the barb off so they could do stitches in the woods.

Harold O'MalleyEdit

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:

Harold was brought to the ER.


Song Performer Scene
"Think I'm in Love" Beck
  • Burke packs to go camping with Derek.
  • Cristina is surprised that he's going.
  • Derek is excited about them camping together, but Burke surprises Derek by saying they need to get Richard.
"Tell Me What To Do" Jim Noir
  • The men walk out into the wilderness.
  • Addison and Callie are in a room when Mark comes in. They all exchange glances.
"Make Right With You" Luke Temple
  • The campers are all fishing. Richard talks to Joe about Walter.
  • George talks to Burke and notices his hand.
"Greedy" Inara George
  • Donna learns that her sexual reassignment hormones could kill her by making the cancer grow.
  • Addison and Callie talk about the Carrs while watching them through the glass.
  • Callie tells Addison to give them a few more minutes to be happy before she tells them.
"Something in the Water" The Jealous Girlfriends
  • Richard lays out the rules for George and Alex's fight, a slap fight.
  • Burke and Derek talk over to the side as they start their fight.
"It's Time" Big Sandy & His Fly Rite Boys
  • Cristina talks to Eric.
  • Alex and George continue their fight as the others watch.
  • The fight ends abruptly when Alex pushes George into Walter, who falls and hits his head.
"There is So Much More" Brett Dennen
  • Mark operates on Donna and explains himself to Meredith.
  • Richard talks to Alex about Alex's childhood.
  • Burke talks to George.
  • Jamie labors and delivers a stillborn baby.
  • Addison wraps him up and hands him to Jamie.
"12:59 Lullaby" Bedouin Soundclash
  • Burke and Richard try to talk to Derek about Mark while he's fishing.
  • The men go back home.
"A Cold Wind Will Blow Through Your Door" Bill Ricchini
  • Meredith talks to Vicky about Donna.
  • Addison and Callie talk in the hallway until Callie gets paged away.
  • Bailey tells Eric's parents he'll make a full recovery.
  • Cristina sees that Burke is back.
  • Callie tells George that his dad is in the ER.
  • Mark and Meredith talk at the bar.
  • Derek comes in and introduces himself, starting fresh. After resisting, Meredith plays along and then they kiss.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Grey's Anatomy Season Promo 03 Episode 07

Grey's Anatomy Season Promo 03 Episode 07

  • This episode's title originated from the song Where the Boys Are, originally sung by Connie Francis.
  • This episode scored 20.65 million viewers.


Episode StillsEdit


Meredith: Derek's camping. Taking time. Getting space.
Cristina: Prestons do not go into the woods. A guy named Preston is gonna get his ass kicked by a squirrel.
Izzie: It's basically a slumber party, they do it outside, we do it inside. It's really the only difference.
Mark: You seen what's his face?
Izzie: Alex Karev.
Mark: Poor bastard gets a thrill out of tagging along after me.
Meredith: He's camping.
Mark: How'd you like to get a thrill out of tagging along after me?
Meredith: Dr. Bailey makes the assignments.
Bailey: Dr. Bailey says it's fine.

Meredith: Okay, before you start, there are rules to this friendship thing or whatever.
Mark: The Dirty Mistresses Club has rules? Gosh, I thought a bunch of dirty mistresses would be a little less uptight about these uh, rules.
Meredith: Number one, no flirting. Second, no talking about Derek and C, no giving me the face.
Mark: The face?
Meredith: The McSteamy face. Doesn't work on me. I'm immune.
Mark: You know, if I'd gone off to the woods, I would've invited you to keep me warm.
Meredith: Breaking rules 1, 2 and 3.

See AlsoEdit

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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