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Shonda on "Damage Case"

Original Airdate: May 7, 2006

I gotta be honest.

I have no idea what to say in this here, our blog entry for tonight’s episode “Damage Case.”

No.  Freaking.  Idea.


Because I’m scared I might spill the beans.  About the finale.  The gi-normous two-night, three hour finale the writers and the cast and the crew have been working their butts off on.  I’m usually good with the secrets.  I didn’t tell you about Meredith and George.  I didn’t let it slip that Dylan was gonna explode.  I kept the food-eating contest to myself.

But I’m a tiny bit tired from making 27 episodes of television.  And my mind is all crazy because fourteen days from now, it has become clear that everyone around me thinks I’m going to take time off.  That I’m going to stop thinking about my friends at Seattle Grace.   That I won’t get in the car,  drive to the studio and obsess about Meredith and George and Izzie and Cristina and Derek and everybody.  That I’m going to…I don’t know…SLEEP.  Or see my actual three-dimensional friends who, while lovable,  get kinda cranky when I write dialogue and ask them to say it out loud.  I’m supposed to go on vacation?  Are you serious?

Anyway, my point is, I’m weak.  I’m a weak pathetic shell of my former self so my super-hero-secret-keeping powers are not working so good.  They are broken.  But I will do my best.  I will do my best to just chat calmly and quietly about “Damage Case” and pretend those other future episodes don’t exist.

This episode was originally borne of an idea one of our writers Mimi Schmir had about this amazing damage control surgery.  I think it was Krista Vernoff who suggested that what would be cool is if our interns are all working on patients from a single family.  Which is how I ended up writing “hillbilly” dialogue.  I love the big-haired Southern girl and her family.  I love the Mama who says “good girl” instead of “vagina” and I love Big Jim who screams “Melly!!  MELLY!!!” in a crazy Deliverance way.  But what I got the most joy from is humanizing them.  What starts out as a funny hillybilly picnic story where you kind of mock this family slowly turns into a story about loss, love and forgiveness.  Mama gives that wonderful speech about how a mother should be in on making decisions for her daughter.  Big Jim offers a moment of grace to the boy who killed his daughter.  And Noah breaks my heart every time when I think of him left with a baby but without the love of his life.  I love this family.  And I love even more how in the midst of all of their tragedy and pain,  we watch  our characters struggle through.

“Yeah, yeah,” you’re thinking, “get to that argument with Meredith and Derek!”

I’m getting there.  But first I have to make a detour.  A detour over to the Land of Callie Peeing.  You know I have to go there.  This may be one of my favorite moments of our show EVER.  It’s right up there with George gets the syph for me.  Maybe not for you.  But for me…Callie walking into that bathroom topless and peeing in front of Meredith and Izzie was SO GREAT.  Because it was SO HORRIBLE.  I love that Mer and Izzie respond with all the trauma of having viewed  a car crash.  And I love even more the very sweet moment at the end where Callie says that she did wash her hands but she did it in the kitchen because those girls were looking at her like…

You know who Callie was in high school, right?  You know she was the outsider, the loner rebel chick who didn’t have many friends and wore weird clothes and was just tortured by the cool kids.  Callie, as played with Sara Ramirez …dudes, Sara won a TONY AWARD for Spamalot – I saw her in the show and she ROCKED and then we met for breakfast and discovered that we were like best friends who’d never ever met and talked for hours and hours and hours and…okay, I digress.  My point is that Sara makes Callie so vulnerable in her kickass toughness.  And when I, in near terror, asked her take off her clothes and do a scene where she pees in front of Meredith and Izzie, she was all, “I’m on it” and threw herself into the scene.  I am frankly hoping that the ABC shopping site tells us where we can buy those panties she was wearing because those were the best panties EVER next to Izzie’s Season One Hello Kitty panties and I have to own some.  I think I would be less angry about going on vacation if I had some cool Callie panties.  I would never pee in front of other people but I would be happy.

Once again, I’m losing the point.  The point…the point…the point is Callie pees and Izzie tortures her a tiny bit about the hand washing and that made me overjoyed because that’s the kind of thing people do.

The other detour I wanna make is over to Denny-ville.  I love Denny.  In a dangerous way.  Denny is very real to me.  He’s no character I made up.  He’s DENNY.  He’s human for me in a way that makes the actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan nervous when I get within fifty feet of him.  See, when Denny gets all depressed about being an invalid, I want to climb in bed with him just like Izzie does.  What’s shocking about Denny’s depression is that we are so not used to seeing him angry.  He’s so sweet.  But being an invalid wears down the spirit – that’s what our doctors tell us, that’s  what we all know from seeing it happen to people we know.  And I wanted us to see a little of that.  I wanted us to see that Denny is starting to despair of ever getting a heart.  That Denny is about to give up.  Which breaks my Denny-loving heart because he’s Denny and I just want to watch him play Scrabble and say things in that drawl  of his. 

Okay, last detour:  Alex saving the baby.  I love that we have a character who can do something wonderful but still be a selfish cranky ass about it.  Alex gets to be complex in ways most characters  don’t because even though he’s got a moral code, his moral code is totally twisted  and dark.  But he’s essentially good – deep down inside.

And now, finally, the Mer/Der of it all.  He’s so angry.  And that anger has been kinda building since all the way back when Meredith told him about George.  And it just gets SO much worse when he sees her at Finn’s and assumes she is sleeping with him.  The man is jealous.  McDreamy is jealous.  Beyond all reason or sanity or any rational thought.  He’s just jealous.  And that fight they have in the stairwell…oh, I was proud of Meredith for standing up for herself.  I was a proud, proud Mama.   But my little heart was also breaking.  Because he’s so angry.  And she’s so angry.  And then in the next episode…

Oh, yeah, right.  No talk about the next episode.  But it’s a big one.  That gets bigger.  And then it gets even bigger.  But I can’t talk about it.

I can talk about how cute and hot Finn is and how much I love it when he says “I never said I wasn’t scary and damaged too.”  Because he is like Meredith.  And that gives her a little bit of hope.  It may give you hope too.  Or it may give you a seizure because you want your Mer and your Der BACK TOGETHER and you want them back together NOW.

I could tell you so many things.  So many.  If I could.  Which I can.  But I won’t.

We’ll talk more later.  After you’ve seen the stuff you haven’t seen yet.  I’ll explain everything.  I promise.

Right now,  I have to go and figure out a way to survive the next six weeks without my friends from Seattle Grace in my life.  Maybe I’ll form a support group…



No mention of my Burke and Cristina-ness? Hurt! PAIN!!!

I'm sorry, but I'm so over MerDer (which I've begun to pronounce MURDER since it will MURDER ME!!!). His actions with Addison and Mer have made me want to see him suffer...and deep down...I want him and Mer together...THERE! I've admitted it. I've no shame.


I cried my eyes out in this episode. I'm so glad you put John Cho in this. I want to see a recurring Asian MALE! doctor. Please. With whipped cream and cherries on top. Thanks!


I just have to say that this episode was amazing. Granted I hate a date tonight and having him sit there and watch me talk to my TV set as if they were my friends was probably a little annoying to him-- it was soo worth it. I laughed, I cried. Damn this show is good. And it wouldn't be good if it wasn't the ABSOLUTE EXCELLENT writing. Yeah, yeah I love the men on the show but the writing is so top notch. I adored the peeing scene as well. The sad part is, I think a ton of us have actually been the caddy girls who laugh at the girl who didn't wash her hands. (Or maybe that's just my workplace).

I can't wait until next week for the season finale. Of course it will be TORTURE when you're on hiatus. Seriously.

DLR from NY


Meredith handled Derek's childish behavior so well, that it was almost unbelievable. I'm really surprised he didn't get a shot to the gonads, but I guess that is not Mer's style- although it would've been pretty cool! He definitely deserves it.

Not sure where you all are going with Burke and Christina, but I have faith.

Still not liking Callie's character with George, but at least George has someone. LOVE that George finally spoke to Mer in a non-sulking sort of way.

EXCELLENT show- can't wait for the final episodes. Wish you ALL a wonderful vacation- you've all earned it (writers, actors, etc.).


This episode was just so heartbreaking and wonderful --I cried my eyes out. I even like Alex just a little bit this episode. And almost like Meredith a little bit too now. Shonda, your show is so amazing and I can't wait until next week's two episodes....and then what a long, sad summer it will be.


i want to get excited that i'm the first one to write on the wall, but i know its a trick...

anyway, GREAT EPISODE SHONDA!! however, i hated hated hated seeing mer and der "ending" it. i love them with my whole entire heart and cant bear the thought of them being without one another.

love alex and seeing him evolve... i think theres a nice guy in there somewhere.

please keep denny... i love him and america loves him. i know you guys want to be realistic and all but PLEASE give him a new heart and make him live until hes 93 years old.

again, thank you so much for making sunday nights the best night in television. we all thank you.


OMG Im going to have a heart attack this whole week until Sunday and I probly will not sleep at all on Sunday! The preview?! You hear Addison's voiceover "Are you sleeping with my husband?" This episode was awesome. I loved that Meredith took a stand and didn't allow McDreamy to make her feel bad. Because she shouldn't! And the part where George says I'll see ya at home to Mer. I was so happy! I bawled my eyes out when the dad put his hand on Marshall's shoulder.... I do not know how I am going to manage without GA for a whole summer.... it's going to be a looonnnggg summer!


Shonda, I love the way you make the characters seem so very real and are able to have the viewers relate to the pain, sadness, and heartache of these interns. I'm on the fence regarding whether Mer/Der should be together, however I feel that Finn can help her heal and continue to fix that broken heart of hers. Also, it was great at the end when George starting talking to Meredith again. Just shows with time, wounds can heal. Thanks for a great show. Can't wait to see how you end the season.


You know what I wish? I wish Addison wasn't treated as this thing that's between Derek and Meredith. I'm so over that. If Meredith and Derek are going to get back together, then do it -- put them back together. If they're not, then move on. This back and forth is old and tired and exhausting. I so much just want for it to be over. I mean, I'm all for Addie and Derek working it out, but at this point, I'm realizing how much he doesn't deserve her at all.

Oh, and Frances Fisher might be one of the best people ever. Her speech made me tear up, and I never do that with TV. Awesome.


Thank You very much for these blogs, i love reading them after every epiosde.


*beating head on the desk* God, I wish you would have given us just one tiny little bitty detail because it's entirely too far from now for me to wait. I know, I'm impatient. I loved... well, pretty much everything about the episode. I love Callie. I was her in high school. I wish I were her now. I cried for that family and for that intern who killed them. That family... is my family. I'm from a big group of hillbilly Texan crazy people. And the Mer/Der scene KILLED ME. God, this was such a good episode.


Okay, I haven't even read your comments yet because I am so pissed off I just had to comment right away! Who the f*@$! does Derek think he is? I mean seriously! What a first class jerk. I don't care how bad it hurt him that Meredity was sleeping with the vet. Nothing, absolutely nothing justifies that type of behavior. Jerk! Jerk! Jerk!

Okay, now I'll read your post.


This show is so incredibly awesome!!! Every week you think it can't get better and it does! I've even got my husband hooked on it :) I am all about Mer/Der, but he really made me mad tonight and I started to really open up to the idea of her and Finn...that's what's so great about Grey's Anatomy - you get involved with it like they are real people, and feel emotions about it like they are people you know.



Very good blog too :D


best episode this season. so heartbreaking, so real.

callie peeing
big jim forgiving
george getting back to normal and showing some growth.

thanks for making my night.

Antonella De Rose

I have actually seen Sara Ramirez in Spamalot, but I am still unimpressed with her general performance in the show....there's something missing...I can't put my finger on it, but I do sympathize with the "outsider" aspect...who didn't feel that way in high school please raise your hand!? She's got the potential to do great things on the show...just not with George...What you have here is two "outsiders" who find each other and get together...boring! Take George and have him fall for a hot patient and have the patient reciprocate, why do all the doctors have to fall for each other? I am not counting Izzie's obsession with tall dark and handsome!


Shonda, you are the Goddess of Seattle Grace, let's face it - tonight's episode was heart-breaking and beautiful and more heart-breaking - the intern who hit the pregnant woman crying after his apology had me sitting with tears streaming right there with him so sad for them all....my point here? Remember one thing while you're getting that vacation time in (Vegas??? Oh why not?!) - what you and your writers and actors give us as a fan base is escape - and hope - and something to hold on to by way of people whose characters are so well-developed that though yes, they are characters in a television show, we as a fan base genuinely care for them - how can we not?! Denny is a fabulous example - those of us who not-so-secretly crave the man do so because of the magic of your team's writing and Jeffrey Dean Morgan's magical bringing-to-life of that gorgeous inside and out man - then there's the MerDer of it all - I have to admit, I'm over those two - and when Meredith stood up to him, hurting though they both were, I cheered her. When she kissed Finn I cheered her again, maybe we'll get the Meredith back that we had at the start of the series??? Wounded, but healing? There's a real beauty in these characters, in the storylines, and don't think for a minute that all of that frantic and detailed, difficult work that you all put in isn't acknowledged and appreciated - on the contrary, it's revered. Like I said, what you've done is that you've given us magic. And for that I thank you all.


I loved Alex this Eppy and how you showed that even if he is an ass he is a kind person ever all the guff. Who ever thought of putting Addy and Alex together thank you I love there banter an how she cfan put him in his place.

I wanted to slap Izzie for always being hard on Callie who I love but the fact that she wonderful Denny helps make up that fact.

I wish we would have ha more about Yang and Burke they are the loves on my show and I hate to see them fight even if it is what they do best:).

As for mer and Der I will keep silent being everything I will say will not be nice but I know I was not not the only one agreeing with Mcdreamy going off on her.

The Mar Mar

I'd like to join that support group also!


I loved Alex this Eppy and how you showed that even if he is an ass he is a kind person ever all the guff. Who ever thought of putting Addy and Alex together thank you I love there banter an how she cfan put him in his place.

I wanted to slap Izzie for always being hard on Callie who I love but the fact that she wonderful Denny helps make up that fact.

I wish we would have ha more about Yang and Burke they are the loves on my show and I hate to see them fight even if it is what they do best:).

As for mer and Der I will keep silent being everything I will say will not be nice but I know I was not not the only one agreeing with Mcdreamy going off on her.


Great episode! I can't believe you are torturing us like that with your taunts of things to come!! Fess up already! It's gonna be a long week...

Lacie from Arizona

Wow! This episode made me speechless.

Derek/Meredith: I can't believe how he was behaving. You'd think Meredith was the one who cheated on him. I can udnerstand that he was hurt at seeing Meredith with yet another guy and the way it looked, but they are not together. I think he was more pissed at himself for feeling the way he did and he took it out on Meredith. I am so proud of Meredith for sticking up for heself. I loved her speech. It broke my heart though.

Izzie/Denny: I started out not really liking this storyline, but it has really grown on me. Denny is a sweet guy and they really like each other. I think it is really going to devestate Izzie if he dies.

George/Callie: Still not liking these 2 together. I could not believe that Callie just waltzed into the bathroom half naked like she owned the place. If I was them I would have been upset too. The whole not sticking up for me thing was a little weird, but I think that George would have stuck up for her if he really cared, but I think she is still just a rebound girl for him.

George/Meredith: I liked their scenes together. The looks they gave each other were great. When Big Jim and the intern were having their moment and George looked at Meredith and she had tears in her eyes and was looking at him. I started bawling. It was like if this guy can forgive a man who killed his daughter why can't you forgive me? After the Mere/Dere fight all I could think was that George needed to give Meredith a big hug!

Addison: I really do like her character. She has spunk and confidence. She is not afraid of anyone. I just don't like her with Derek. I think that they have both grown past each ther, but are afraid to leave each other.

I have to say that even with the whining that I do to myself when something doesn't go my way, you guys do a GREAT job on this show. I haven't been this into a show in years. Please keep up the good work. I am anxiously anticipating the finale, even though I will go through serious withdrawals over the summer.


There was so much emotion in this episode that I felt overwhelmed. I loved every moment of it!


Shonda, you have another member for your support group.

Great job with the ep. Meredith's little speech was fantastic; made me cry a little.

Can't wait for next Sunday AND Monday!


Wow, what an amazing eppisode. Between Callie peeing, and the amazing acting of Big Jim, really, I just want it to be sunday again already.
Not to mention I absolutly loved Meredith sticking up for herself and giving it to McDreamy. Don't get me wrong, I am all for their reunion, but hearing her finally say those things was so great!
I am totally going to need that support group over the summer when we are stranded without these amazing stories.
Great job!

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