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Bill Harper On "Beat Your Heart Out"...

Original Airdate: 2-5-09

Hi.  First of all, if Grey’s Anatomy just ended -- stop!  Go back, sit down, and watch Private Practice!  I know, you’re probably doing it anyway, but seriously -- it’s going to get SO GOOD and if you miss tonight’s Private, you’ll feel like you’ve missed out.  GO!  Come back here when it’s over! 

Hi.  So, Valentine’s Day is almost here.  Every year, my wife and I do the same thing -- or a version of the same thing.  She’s not a fan of Valentine’s Day, she doesn’t care for the hype.  “It’s needless pressure, it’s invented by the greeting card companies; a gift or gesture on any random day would be more meaningful...”  So every year we agree not to do anything.  Just ignore it.   Honestly, I love this about her.  My wife is smart and sensible and pragmatic and these are qualities I love and depend on, because I have none of them. And it certainly takes the pressure off.  But I’m just not wired that way.  I can’t not do something.  And it’s often just cheesy flowers or chocolates, sometimes it’s something more elaborate, but I end up doing something.  Even though I promise I won’t.  And this upsets her.  Because she did nothing.  Like we agreed!  And now she’s the one who got something and did nothing, even though nothing was what was the only appropriate thing to do.  In short:  every year for Valentine’s Day, I make my wife feel a little crappy.  Romance!

So I felt especially close to Derek as he spends the day trying to plan the perfect proposal.  (Can we just take a second here to say DEREK’S GOING TO PROPOSE. Who would have thought that a drunken tussle on Ellis’s living room rug would lead to this?  Not Meredith, I bet.)  And while Derek’s twisting himself inside out to keep this surprise for Meredith, trying to find exactly the right way to do it, all of his efforts are actually backfiring, sending the wrong signals and sending her into a panic.   

Romance and Panic Attacks.  As this episode began taking shape in the writer’s room, it became clear that these two main factors that would be at work.  Either people were experiencing one or the other, or one was leading directly to the other.    Romance and Panic Attacks.  Which go together, I thought at the time, like peanut butter and clams. 

Start with Cristina and Owen, who have maybe the most romantic day I’ve ever seen. Shonda was very interested in the hotness of the chasteness between these two. We had lots of discussions of the tortured sensuality of the Victorian Era, where a hand placed next to another’s hand could be so electric, so concentrated, that it was actually better than sex.  To go further, to consummate that kind of compressed excitement, would be to risk losing it. And I loved that in Seattle Grace, where people famously steal into on-call rooms between surgeries, these two were living a bodice-ripping romance novel under everyone’s noses.  Cristina doesn’t even have words for what this is. So they choose to long for each other for a while.  And it’s painful, but in that way that you sort of don’t want it to stop.  It’s clear they’re both loving it.

Meanwhile, Mark and Lexie, at the height of their own romance, start to crumble under all the secrecy.   Poor Lexie’s collapsing under the weight of trying to keep her relationship with Mark from Mer and Der, and then lying to Jen about her husband’s surgery, to keep Jen from going hyper-hypertensive.  She’s killing herself trying to protect everyone.  Even at lunch she almost outs herself as a penis-breaker.  I love Mark and Lexie, I have to say.  I admit, I was not so sure at first about this pair, but I think I had the same misgivings Mark did.  I like most what Lexie is forcing Mark to learn about himself.  And when he finally tries, in Derek and Meredith’s bedroom (he really tries!) to come clean to Derek, it’s not just to clear the air, or apologize or confess as much as to share with his best friend this great thing they’ve both found.   Cause it’s the real thing.   When he can’t -- it’s horrible timing -- his disappointment is so clear.   

And then Callie, who’s looking down the barrel of her failed relationships learns that even when he chooses to be OK by herself, it’s just lonely.   And at the moment she feels it hit rock bottom...  Enter  Arizona “actions-speak-louder-than-words-especially-in-the-ladies-room” Robbins.  I love characters who sneak up on us.  What I think I love most about Arizona is that she is genuinely, positively interested in people, in the most selfless way.  We knew this right away, when she made Alex squirm on the plane a few weeks back, with all the questions about his girlfriend.  So it seems perfectly natural that she would just stop in the loo to cheerlead a colleague.  Then....surprise!  Romance!  And she turns Callie’s whole set of expectations upside down.  Which I’m all for.  I want Callie to be happy.  I can’t wait to see where this goes. 

And amidst all this romance, all these panic attacks:  Jen, whose concern for her husband is actually endangering her and her baby’s lives.   Owen’s past catching up with him, just at the wrong moment.  And Dr. Dixon, who suffers a perfect storm of social anxiety:  too much touching, talking and unexpected information at once, causing her to lose control of herself.  But knowing what she needs to cope.  (The treatment she demands from Bailey and Cristina was inspired by the amazing work of Temple Grandin, whose work with livestock led her to amazing insights on how to ease anxiety in people with Autism and Asperger’s.  If you ever feel like being inspired by astonishing humanity and creativity, just Google her name).    Finally, Izzie, spending all day trying to make sense of Denny’s parting message, and clearly expecting the worst.  Only to be left at the end of the day with a clean bill of health.  And Alex.   

It was Izzie’s sense of dread that made me realize something about Romance and Panic.  They seemed at first like an odd combination, until I realized they are remarkably similar experiences.   They share a lot of the same symptoms: rapid hearbeat, breathlessness, sleeplessness, obsessive thoughts, etc.   But more to the point, I think they have the same root cause:  Expectation.  Romance puts us in a state of anticipation that is as good as (sometimes better than) the actual fulfillment.  Look at Owen and Cristina.  And anxiety, panic -- Dixon’s, Bailey’s, Izzie’s -- comes from anticipating the worst outcome -- one that might not ever even occur.  They’re the same kind of scary.  Sort of like falling:  when we dream we’re falling, we call it a nightmare.   But we also call it “falling” in love.  Because we have absolutely no control over the outcome.   

Happy Valentine’s Day, by the way.



Oh my god I loved every second especially owen and cristina but also Callie and Arizona. And I loved the love journal and the victorian romance between Owen and Cristina. Keep up the good work


I watched PP. I'll read your blog in the morning or i will be up till 4.
In the meantime:

12:14 am
viewing #2 (i'm almost done at 1:04am ET)

I really liked this episode, and I thought that was all I would have to say. But there are a few more things.

Bailey as a Pede's Surgeon - I like it. I also like that the Chief got the date right - July - to make her an attending. Now I want to know - does she have to do a fellowship in Pede's surgery? I love that Dr Bailey has a storyline!

Also, Arizona - I like her. I thought I would like Hahn at first, but she just got very shrill and annoying. But I like Arizona. I really don't need to see lots of sex scenes of her and Callie, though. Not any more than I need to see anyone else's sex scenes,

which brings me to

Cristina and her Chaste Victorian Romance Novel.
Loved the glances, the gazes, and the reading of Diary number 9.
I thought Mer never told anyone (I guess Derek knew) and I was right.
Good stuff here.

The hugging - Dr Dixon *and* Dr Hunt.
I find it odd that someone with autism tendencies could stand to be hugged, but great that it was Bailey and esp Cristina that had to do it. And I loved that Cristina turned it on to Hunt. It was awesome. And very caring.
I do worry that the woman he saw is his Addie. I hope she is perhaps the wife of someone he could not save.

Lexie and Meredith - I love seeing them together. Mark was better... still think he needs to deal with his self destruct. It doesn't go away just cause you love Lexie (see Alex). Lexie saying she couldn't lie to her sister. Good stuff.

I also liked the interns/residents lunch. Not just due to the oblique sexual references, but cause I love seeing everyone together - or at least our original 5 and Lexie - and I always have. It's important they be together, even if it's just to gripe, as Shonda once said.

Lots of Meredith - love seeing Meredith.

George's brief scene was great, what there was of it.

Izzie using the interns practice to diagnose herself. Obviously she thinks she is fine when she is not. But it was good for the interns to be taught. I see some newbies and miss some of the interns we had before. I like that Megan got a line. I don't like the new male intern who was with Alex.

Almost a bed of flowers. And then Addie. I do hope that this time Derek *will* get to propose and not drag this out. Though I hope they move to the new house and everyone at Mer's frat house gets to continue to live there.

And I will always love the Derek and Meredith theme.

And finally, no Denny.

Good ep. Loved it a lot.
Thank you!!

and remember -- OFFICES for the Department heads, like Derek and Dixon and Mark


This season has been great. I like the characters facing their inner fears, demons and internal angst. So much more creative then tired cheating and triangles. I have immensely enjoyed Lexie this episode. She's smart,sweet,funny and strong. I loved that Lexie was strong and independent with Mark in regards to staying a secret fling or being really together. I also loved Mark and Lexie smiling at each other and their hands touching in the elevator. They are really smitten with each other. I like how happy Mark was just to see her in the on call room. It was great to see Mark help Derek set up his proposal and how Mark tries to tell Derek about him and Lexie. I don't think Mark realized when he was talking to Derek that he is in love with Lexie. I can't wait to the moment they realize they are in love with each other.


all I have to say is... Wow. You guys are amazing!!! Greys and private practice were so good! It makes me so excited to watch next weeks ep. You've set it up perfectly!
Thanks for getting rid of denny, but I want to know what's wrong with izzy! I'm going to be very angry if she dies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My one last plea is : don't kill izzy. Other than that, I love you guys! Keep doing what you do! You're amazing!

Loving Cristina and Owen, they are the best part of the show this season hands down.

Thrilled beyond belief that Denny was no where to be found. Please keep it that way.

Can't wait for next week. I'm so excited to see Addison at SGH working with Derek and Alex again. Hoping for a Addison/Mark scene, looking forward to seeing Derek around his old friends.

Now for the not so good (sorry!) - I do not like Mark and Lexie. I like each but I hate them together, in a "I feel the need to fast forward or close my eyes" way. I want Mark and Callie together.

Where is George?!?!?!?!?!?!


Ugh, do you realize that absolutely none of your writer's blogs ever mention George anymore. You know George O'Malley, this great funny sweet adorable man most of us completely adore and worship, the one that got a grand total of 5 seconds this episode.

My sister and her husband, who are great George fans, refused to watch this episode after learning in advance about George's 5 seconds of airtime.

Continue that way and all of us George fans will leave, and then maybe you will realize that a lot more of us want to see george than the totally chemistry-less boring Mark and Lexie mess. Nobody cares about poor little Lexie, she is annoying.


Okay, I promised myself I wouldn't start with the negative, sooo here it goes...
First off, Cristina and Owen are to die for. It was so cheesy and over the top,but I loved it.
Second, Dixon and the hugging was hysterical, got some of the Grey's back that I was missing.
Third, love Cristina and Meredith back together, all of their scenes were ahhmazing
Fourth, I want all your crappy babies, best line of the night.
Lastly, the entire show was like the Grey's I used to love... EXCEPT

Mark and LExie need to die, like yesterday. It is so forced and awkward and just plain wrong. They go from peen breaking (which was a ridiculous storyline btw) to being in love?!?!? WTF!!! are all of the writers on crack, do you share the happy drugs with each other? You shell out a great episode only to ruin it by having these two be forced into a weird non-relationship relationship. Ugh, there just aren't enough words to describe the disgust I feel whenever these two are on my screen together. Please, for the love of G*d put Mark and Callie together. You have been saying for the last two years that Callie deserves some happiness and yet you crap on her every chance you get. Mallie has mad chemistry and you are ruining it for a perverted couple that makes no sense.
I liked the episode tonight, but the crossover next week might be it for me and that's only because I get to see Callie and Addie back together again. after that I don't think I can sit through Slexi-puke. Please, just listen to the fans for once and end them now.

Oh wow. Are you serious? Are you really still trying to sell Mark and Lexie to me? Unless this storyline stops being a total cliche (not cute, by the way) and the actors magically gain some chemistry, I will NEVER be on board.

Meanwhile, without any buildup WHATSOEVER, you have Arizona "interested/in love" with Callie? Huh. Would have been nice to see some previous interaction, but apparently people who barely know each other are soulmates.

I'm not sure how the writers are able to write a great, slowly building story between Cristina and Owen, but then do the complete opposite with Mark and Lexie and Callie and whichever blonde of the week is her one true love.


I have to say I enjoyed this episode so much. It was nice to have a reprieve from the serial killer arc (as good as it was).

This episode was hilarious...from the clinic, the sexual positions to hugging it out!

I love love love Mark/Lexie. They are great together. You said you had some misgivings about them in the beginning, but I for one saw a spark since the season premiere and I've been enjoying the journey. I love Lexie standing up for herself and for their relationship...yes RELATIONSHIP :) I hope that Mark is not an idiot and is able to be happy with Lexie...take some of his own advice from the season premiere and not be an idiot!

Cristina and Owen were amazing! Loved the music behind their scenes, it was great! And all the funny flirting :D

Mer/Der was great as well.

Can I be honest with you, straight forward. The Mark and Lexie thing still does not work with me. If you're going to have Mark be in love, at least have in character and I guess I must be blind because I see people raving about their amazing chemistry, but I never see it. In fact I saw more in the bickering with Callie. It even made me like them together and this is coming from a die-hard Callica fan so that's like a sin.

Onto Callie, that whole kiss in the bathroom was very strange. I was hoping for at least a scene where Arizona at least sees Callie in a hallway before the kiss, but foolish me right? Hopefully this whoel thing is better than your last attempt.

I'm kind of hoping for a not lame proposal, the candle thing or whatever kind of was. But I guess that's just the kind of girl I am?

I wish we could get more of the Fab Five minus Mini-Grey (doesn't she have intern friends) and Sadie (but at least I know she's going).

Oh yeah and Cris/Owen make your show.


Brilliant episode. I can't say more. Looking forward to the cross over next week!

Am wanting to see more from George and Izzie. Loving the new romances between everyone. It's a great season so far. Can't wait to get the DVD to watch again!


I am soooooo in LOVE with Mark and Lexie. They are just fabulous together.

Love Arizona and I like that she noticed Callie and made her feel better. I want to see them become more.

The crossover looks good. I cant wait to see where all of them go.

Great episode.


Very good episode tonight. The moment with Owen sleeping on Cristina was one of the best Grey's moments of the series. Cristina and Owen have revived my love for the show. I am dying to see more!

I am not loving Mark and Lexie. I am not even liking Mark and Lexie. I'm having trouble even tolerating Mark and Lexie. Mark loved Addison and now its the first time he loved anyone? Nope, Addison.

How can Derek have no clue? He was married and has four sisters. Patrick Dempsey looked awesome tonight. MerDer just bore me.


Both Grey's and Private Practice were really good tonight. The promo has me really excited for the big crossover next week. Its going to be such a long week waiting for next Thursday!


I LOOOOOOVE Callie and Arizona. I am excited to see where this goes.

Love Mark and Lexie, they are perfect together. They could be the next MerDer.

Hate Hate Hate Hate Mark and Callie together romantically. Please dont ever go there.

Loving It!

Cristina and Owen!!! The hand brushing, the looks, the neck, the breakdown, the sleeping - OMG I need to see more of them. I have loved the way their relationship is developing. So different then any of the other cliche romances on the show. I cannot wait for more! Thank you for writing this pairing. I was about to leave Grey's behind until Owen came along. Next week looks fantastic too. And as a bonus Addison is back, yay!

Barbie R.


McSteamy Girl

I want Mark back. I can't stand Mark with Lexie. The show already has one man that is a lapdog, Derek. Please, do not turn Mark into Derek II. Keep him far away from any Grey woman.


Great, Great episode..... No denny! Yay!

More of George please, then it would be perfect.

Funny and Funny!

Love MerDer. Hope they get engaged.

Love owina. I like Arizona.

Thank you this episode feels like the goo old days of greys. Keep it up!


Thank you so much for an amazing episode. It was funny, touching and naturally sad which is everything I love about Greys. Lexie and Sloan are so cute together and I am glad she wants their relationship out in the open. She wants to tell her sister who is already guessing about it. Cris and Owen were so adorable and touching in their scenes. The hugging scene was so funny and they picked the right people to do it together. Mer and Der cute as always. Der wanting to get it just right and making her crazy at the same time. He wants her crappy babies the best line ever. So did Sadie get the blood mixed up or they just did not do the right tests yet on Izzy. I guess time will tell. At least George knows Izzy is worried by all the tests. Callie and Arizonia make an interesting couple. I like Arizonia because she always so happy and supportive to everyone. Great cross over episode I cannot wait until next week to see what happens next.


Dear Bill

Overall, this was a pretty good episode. First off, NO DENNY. YAY! That is always a good thing.

Second, Meredith and Derek are wonderful. I can't say enough how much I am enjoying their relationship this season. They don't need over the top drama or break ups. They are absolutely one of the best things about the show. I can't get enough of them. I do hope we get a great proposal at some point. But, OMG what was Derek thinking. That heart shaped rose petal scene. Oy vey. And the Teddy Bear. I know Derek is nervous, but has he taken total leave of his senses?? Still, I LOVED every second they were on screen. Keep it up.

Third, I agree with others that Mark and Lexie don't work. In theory they could, but on screen, they don't have chemistry or believability. Lexie seems too girlish and nervous. I feel like you guys want to shove them down our throats as being "in love." NOT BUYING IT. I"m not one of these obsessive Mark and Callie shippers. I would actually like to see Mark with a new woman, not Lexie. I'm not going to poke my eyes out, but I fundamentally think their pairing is a joke.

Fourth, I enjoy a happy chief. He has been so sour all season, but I really enjoyed him tonight.

Fifth, I appreciate that Izzie was kept to a minimum. I don't mind her character, but I"m bored with her illness storyline already. Really hoping you can wrap that up soon.

Finally, just want to say again how much I enjoyed happy, healthy Meredith and Derek. They make this show work. Don't screw it up.

A fan

More, More, More

More Cristina & Owen please!!!
More Cristina & Owen please!!!
More Cristina & Owen please!!!
More Cristina & Owen please!!!
More Cristina & Owen please!!!
More Cristina & Owen please!!!


Oh man-this episode was AMAZING!!! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. You writers are phenomenal, and you've got some amazing actors bringing your stuff to light!

I wasn't huge on the Hunt/Yang thing at first, but I'm so totally sold now.
Same with Mark and Lexie-didn't really like it, but now I'm all for them.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for giving us some more insight into what's going on with Callie. I really was sad to see Hahn go, but Callie has always been my fav, so it's nice to see some more development of her character. I'm liking Arizona, so I hope this goes well for them!

Yay for Bailey!!

So excited to see a non-freaking about relationships Meredith-can't wait for the proposal!

Not buying the Izzie thing. My money is on switched test results and that she actually is the one with the cancer.

I've heard Sadie is leaving...how's that going to happen?

One last thing......I still miss George.


Colleen Donovan-Batson, CNM

Some interesting story lines are developing, and I like the way you're doing it. The early scene of Christina and Owen walking, in slow mo with music, was so touching, so sexy, just perfect the way you shot him looking at her neck, and the softest touch of her hand. Hot! Loved it, good work Shonda, Bill and the rest. PS; don't let us midwives down now, we're counting on good representation on your show. Boy, there are stories I could tell you...


Have to second the comment above about how you are all doing such a great job with the slow build up of Owen and Cristina, and how you're missing the boat by throwing Callie and Arizona together with no build up whatsoever. That kiss was stupid. At first when they were in the bathroom I thought it could be good, but the kiss ruined it. TOO SOON! Arizona should have said what she had to say, implied her interest, and then walked out. That would have been much better. Some of us are already finding the whole Callie-is-suddenly-lesbian thing hard to take ... make us care about the relationship she's building, and maybe it will come across better. Seriously. I want to root for this; don't jump into the deep end and ruin it. (Although I kind of wanted to slap Callie for her brooding; oh, poor baby, she's alone for a little while, and OMG - celibate! For what, a couple of weeks now? A month? The world is ending! Seriously. She chose it, and then whines about her own choice. Bleh.)

Please don't drag out The Proposal. Period.

George was more conspicuously absent by his 1 minute presence than if he simply hadn't been in the episode.

I was a little confused by Dr. Dixon, who can't stand to be touched, needing to be held. However, I really liked Cristina being involved, and then using the technique with Owen. Can't imagine what his history is with that woman that he had such a breakdown, but I'm interested to see.

I'm loving Bailey's story, and the fact that she has one!

I'm reserving my opinion on Mark & Lexie. With careful handling, it could be interesting. Or, it could be really bad (like the breaking-his-penis story).

Also hope you don't drag out Izzie's diagnosis for too long. The dead-Denny bit was bad, and if it goes even longer without her knowing anything, it will be even more pointless. Romance should have a slow build. Mysterious ghost-visitors forewarning of illness while having ghost sex - not so much.

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