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From Elizabeth Klaviter, writer of "Blues for Sister Someone"

Original Airdate: April 30, 2006

So, the first thing you should know is this… until I wrote this episode my biggest claim to fame was being the Director of Medical Research on Grey’s Anatomy.  Basically, Shonda (or one of the other writers) comes to me and says things like, “I want a guy who has been in a coma for fifteen years to wake up and discover his family has moved on.  Make that work.”  I respond by turning white (they’ve turned making the blood drain from my face into a game).  Then I say things like, “He’d be minimally conscious, not in a coma, let me see what I can do.”

I also spend a lot of time following Shonda around yelling, “There is NO turkey hunting in November.  Turkey hunting season is in the SPRING.”  If you’ve seen the Thanksgiving episode you know I’m somewhat effective – Holden wakes up after being minimally conscious for fifteen years, but George and the O’Malley men hunt turkeys in November.

So, in September I pitched a story to Shonda Rhimes and Jim Parriott about a musician who was willing to sacrifice his health (remove a pacemaker) to save his music (the pacemaker was throwing off his internal rhythm).  But, he isn’t just any musician.  He’s Burke’s icon and we get to see Burke lose his poise on this very unusual day at Seattle Grace.  They loved the story so much that they bought it and hired me to write a script (hurray!) -- all about what it is we are willing to sacrifice. 

Let’s start with Addison and Derek.  They get to have hot sex at the end of the episode. I realize those of you in the Mer/Der camp are cursing my name right now, but here’s the thing, I like Addison - I don’t know if I like Addison with Derek – but I like Addison.  Whatever you think of her, she put herself out there emotionally when she flew across the country to get Derek back and she’s taken a lot of hits and eaten a lot of crow since she walked into Seattle Grace.  This particular day has been complete crap for her.  A patient got her into big, big trouble.  Why would our Addison – world renowned surgeon – put herself in a position where a patient can get her into trouble?  Because, Rose is isolated from her husband and Addison saw a way to help them reconnect.  Since, Addy so desperately wants to reconnect with Derek, she tried to help Rose. 

I didn’t really understand just how lonesome Addison was until she gave that heartfelt, “Thank you” when Derek asked her if she wanted to have hot sex.  This gorgeous woman is profoundly lonely and it breaks my heart a little and I think she deserves a few moments of shower bliss with her dreamy hubbie.

(By the way, about the evil Alex torturing Addison thing - was it just me – or did any of you notice a little HEAT between Alex and Addison?)

There’s also Izzie, who seems to be sacrificing her reputation because of her feelings for Denny -- who up until this episode has been lying in the hospital bed.  Personally, I’ve been waiting for that man to get out of bed.  I mean, falling in love with a man in a hospital bed is fine and all, but it is a magical, magical thing when he actually gets to put his arms around Izzie so that she can say, “You’re tall” and women (like me!) who’ve been HOPING he’s tall can now KNOW he is tall!

Now, Meredith begins the episode knitting and ends the episode dating Finn.  (Oh, my goodness – a baby horse is born on their first date?  How crazy romantic is that?  That’s the genius of our creator Shonda Rhimes at work.)  Meredith realizes that she is perhaps sacrificing a shot at happiness (in the form of a relationship with an available, good, sexy man) for an idea – knitting and celibacy.  She discovers that perhaps she can still be celibate and date.  She’s determined that this relationship is going to develop differently than her others -- intimacy will grow slowly.  In the end, Derek discovers she’s dating the vet and it seems from his scowl that he doesn’t approve.

But, for me, this is Burke’s episode.  We get to see him in a way we haven’t before.  Vulnerable.  There was this awe-inspiring moment during the shooting when Isaiah Washington turned to Jeff Melman (our very talented director) and asked if he could sit on Eugene Foote’s bed.  Isaiah explained that Burke would NEVER sit on a patient’s bed.  But, this is a day unlike any other for him so it just seemed right.  I got tears in my eyes.  Because, that is what I intended when I wrote this script and that Isaiah UNDERSTOOD made this the most amazing moment any new writer can have.  It made my sacrifice of trying to juggle two jobs and all of the long hours beyond worth it.

But, the moment when Burke is most vulnerable is when he is in the on-call room with Cristina.  See, I’d always thought (and I think that perhaps Burke did too) that Cristina loves Burke because of his composure and brilliance as a surgeon.  We all know that Cristina looks down on George, who she is fond of, but doesn’t respect.  And in this moment Burke confesses to Cristina that he was George.  Things didn’t come naturally to him, he practiced.  In this moment he sacrifices his poise to let her deeper into his psyche and Cristina, being Cristina could react in a multitude of ways.  While writing the scene, I hoped that she would love him more – and I discovered that she did – and Shonda liked that discovery – but with Cristina you never know.  If we the writer’s don’t know, then Burke certainly doesn’t know and I came to realize just how deep his love for her is.  Because opening ourselves to the potential of colossal rejection is so very scary and it is the only way true intimacy is built.  This is the first time we see them in a truly vulnerable intimate moment and she rises to the occasion.

So,  I’d like to end by thanking Shonda and Jim for taking a risk on this new writer.  And thank all of the writers for their support and incredible help with the writing of this episode, particularly Mark Wilding who shepherded me during the writing process.

Comments

Great episode! I am a hardcore Mer/Der fan, but now, I can find myself enjoying her relationship with Fin. It's really nice to see her happy. I still think Derek is hung up on Mer because she's moving on while he's just pretending to. Your writing was excellent--I loved the Burke scenes too; this side of him was unexpected and I liked the surprise of seeing it. He seems cold sometimes, but's it's moments like these when he sat listening to his idol's music on the on-call room floor that really let his warmth and compassion really shine through. Again, great job. This was definately worth the month-long break!

Lauraaaa

GREAT JOB Elizabeth! I loved this episode and, considering how long we've all had to wait for this one, I must say it definitely did not disappoint. Tell Shonda I hope you get to write more episodes!

I would like to point out that you also did an excellent with this blog entry! You gave us readers exactly what we wanted, you covered most of the characters featured in tonight's episode and you explained why the characters did what they did.

I hope the other writers follow your example when posting. I do appreciate them taking the time to post about the episode, but it gets disappointing when the writers fail to tell us enough about the episode and instead choose to focus on some silly detail that they think is really cool but we don't care about...we care about the characters!

snarfmason

You did a fabulous job! Thank god Mer gave up her knitting!

DC

I'm ready to throw Alex in the trash can. His behavior has been completely reprehensible. And I totally hated it that when She-Shepherd tried to do a good thing she got sued for her trouble (and thank you very much, Alex!) I'm afraid in her position I would have told on the ungrateful, wretched woman who took advantage of her goodness. (I like that this episode showed she really has a heart.)

I thought it was awesome that Meredith got to have a date that didn't automatically end up in bed. Maybe she will start respecting herself.

And I really liked the divorce lawyer! Of course, I liked it when the same actress played on Boston Legal - maybe I just connect with this actress. At any rate, I thought that was a cool story.

How cool was it when George and Dr. Bones sauntered into the house like they owned the place? I really liked that he had it out with Izzy, too.

Speaking of Izzy... man, I hope you guys don't decide to kill Denny off. Seriously. The show wouldn't be the same without him.

:)

Sherri

Thank you for such a quick post. It was a good episode with a lot going on. The pained expression on Derek's face at the end when he saw Meredith and I'm sure assumed she had slept with the vet, that was great, and I can see how much he still cares about her. Can't wait to see how the season unfolds!!

Shonna

Elizabeth - I hope I'm the first to say to you: Well written! Laughter and heartbreak in one episode is one of the reasons this show means so much to me - and I'm sure to so many others.
I'm not caring much about Mer/Der these days - I just don't want Denny to die - Mer/Der will be what they'll be - but Denny.....well....he's tall, isn't he? ;) Very well done.
Thank you for tonight's episode ~

DLR from NY

LOVED this episode!! Thank you. I won't even go into having to wait a MONTH for a new episode...

Can't wait for next week to see how hard Mer nails Der in the gonads for calling her a whore. Yikes!

2 hour finale- woo-hoo!

Giv

Your fondes for Satan aside, can i tell you i love love love your writting? That episode was brillant, powerful, and emotional. i hated the Addek scenes, but i'm a MerDer. They were well written however. Thanks so much for this wonderful episode!

Sara

Wow! Grey's is back. Thank you thank you thank you thank you for this amazing episode. Have to say, I'm glad Derek doesn't approve of Meredith with the vet. I think he was hurt, and he needs to feel a little hurt. I am still holding my breath for Derek/Meredith. Even people that don't belong together (Derek/Addison) can have hot sex. Way to go writers. Thanks again!!!

Congrats Elizabeth on a fantastic episode.

Carrie from SLC

Congrats on the episode. You did a fabulous job writing it. If you had not said you were a new writer, I honestly don't think anyone would have ever known. Your show was worth the three week wait. Job well done.

Ciara

AWESOME EPISODE!!
And congratulations on becoming a new writer! I think it's awesome that you got a shot to write this episode, cause it was really well written and beautiful (and did I mention heartbreaking?) I'm team Meredith, but I like Addy a lot, so it sucked seeing her get in trouble like this. But the best thing of all was seeing Meredith smiling and happy again!! Thank you for making that happen!!
You rock! (and so does McVet)

Sam

Yay early post! :)

Nichole

Elizabeth, great job! It was a wonderful way to show how all the characters are vulnerable in one way or another and how they approach that vulnerability.

I disagree with one thing though. I don't believe Derek's scowl was because he realized Meredith is dating. It looked to me that he thought Meredith slept with someone without dating, again.

Again, great job! I truly enjoyed the episode (as with all the episodes).

Rob

GREAT episode. Finn is certainly hot and I love seeing George and Dr. Torez together. Though I really want somebody to stab Alex with something very, very sharp. I love Addison (though I liked McDreamy and Meredith) and she's really too nice of a person (minus the sleeping with McSteamy thing) to be given crap from Alex--when she's following the patient's wishes.

Again, great episode. I don't know what I'll do without this show during the summer break!!!

"I'm rambling..."

Catie

Yes, I noticed the HEAT. Against my will! *shudder*

Great episode!

Christina

Now I must say, I love Grey's Anatomy. I love it so much that it trumped an hour of studying for my two exams tomorrow. I can also say I do not hate Addison, but I do hate her and Derek together. I didn't think Mer and the vet would work, but I liked it, I did. For once, I would like to see Addison back with Mark, Mer with the hot vet, and Derek alone and left to think about how he can be so cruel to women. And I must say up until this point I loved Derek, but the face he gave Meridith and the previews for next week where it appears he calls her a whore, well I started to dislike him just a little.
Izzie and George are super cute together and I am so glad he decided to move back in.
Alex gave Addison a taste of her medicine and it was nice for once to see things blow up in her face.
Thanks for Grey's. I still love it, but make Derek suffer just a little.

Kismet

It was an awesome episode! Congratulations to you, you did a great job. I am scared for Izzy and sad for Mer/Der (though I know I should be happy). I can't decide yet how I feel about George. And Christina and Burke? Brilliant!

~K!

lost

OMG. How great was this episode. Finally a new one, but that is besides the point.

During the scene with the violin music, right before Burke's idol died, I was holding my breath and on the edge of my seat. Grey's at it's best.

And George comes home, & as stated above Denny is tall, and Derek saw Mer right out of the shower (he doesn't know that door one included celibacy).

My oh my and the previews - der calls mer a wh**e. Yikes. Now if only this did not mean that the end of the season was so near.

Good job to all.

First of all, I enjoyed everything about this episode, but I mostly enjoyed the Addie/Derek (since I have such a soft spot for them). So, while the majority of the fandom may be smiting your very existence right now, let me just say that there are those of us out there who are willing to turn the day you were born into a national holiday. Honestly. Thank you.

Dm6580

She did NOT move out here to be with Derek. She moved out her for an assignment. Or have I got this all wrong??? If so, I feel so dumb. If so, this means the whole season has been build upon my speculation of why Addison moved out to Seattle. This officially STINKS. I SOOO Wanted Derek And MEREDITH together.

CF

I was so happy to see a new episode after what felt like forever, and whenever I read the writer's take I always feel bad being negative, but there were SO many things that bothered me in this one! Meredith has been so much more likeable since she stopped whining about everything, but she still can't ever meet a guy without sleeping with him within hours, and it's just... ugh. The sex stuff there felt entirely forced, with it's only purpose being so that Derek could then run to the vet in a reasonable timeframe and still see them together. In other news, I used to like Alex's character for being tough but truthful, however he just came off as spiteful, hateful, and completely uncaring tonight. My impression wasn't that he told the husband for ethical reasons, it was that he never really cared what the wife's reasons might be, even if they did make sense, and he wanted to hurt Addison. Those are some really admirable qualities, both as a doctor and a person. I've always supported the GA characters being "flawed", but to be emotionally invested in them, there has to be some growth, somewhere. Instead, Meredith is still sleeping around, Derek is still making moony eyes at her, Izzie is still unable to keep any distance from her patients, and Alex is more of a jerk then ever. It says a lot when the most likeable character on the show is the former adulterer- Addison may be the only one who has ever learned a lesson, or thought about anyone besides herself!

Mel

I would say a lot, because I LOVED this episode, but basically...I love that you love Addison. I love Addison...and the fact that one of the writers on the show obviously loves Addison a whole ton....makes me love you. For serious.

Robin

I, for one, am delighted to see how well Finn and Meredith are getting along. We can be in love and have wonderful loves and they can end. And then we can fall in love again. Meredith and Derek were great, but it doesn't mean she can't be equally as great or greater with Finn. I can't wait to see how their storyline progresses.

Paul

I suppose women have the right to be just as shallow as men have. Maybe it's Denny's heart rather than his heighth that makes him special to Izzie.

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