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Ep309 From a Whisper to a Scream

11/23/06 Season 3 TV-14

Cristina’s secret is going to come out one way or another after the ER is overrun with traumas and George calls for someone other than Dr. Burke to operate on his dad.

Okay, we were a bit freaked out by the opening montage. Cristina does the voiceover as scenes of her and Burke making love are intercut with shots of Cristina running down the hall, her surgical gown covered in blood.

Things get even more intense once a dozen trauma victims flood the ER after an elderly driver plowed into the crowd at the fish market. A woman drenched in blood collapses in Addison’s arms. She’s ten weeks pregnant and has a large shard of glass lodged in her heart. She needs surgery. Stat!

Cristina’s world is spinning out of control as she helplessly watches Burke work on trauma victims without her. She’s also worried that George is gonna spill their secret to the Chief. Burke tries to calm her by saying he hasn’t had a hand tremor in a week. Cristina still wants them to get their stories straight once she hears the Chief wants to speak with Burke.

Turns out Richard plans to retire. He’s recommending Burke take over as Chief of Surgery. For a guy who just got the best news of his career, we think Burke looks as though his dog just died. The guilt of his cover-up is getting to be too much.

George doesn’t want Burke to operate on his dad, so he arranges for Seattle Presbyterian’s own Dr. Erica Hahn to serve as a consult on the case. Izzie innocently tells George’s folks that there’s no one better than Preston Burke when it comes to heart procedures. So, Mr. and Mrs. O’Malley overrule their baby boy’s idea to have Dr. Hahn operate. They want Burke. George goes what we’ll call restrained-ballistic on poor Izzie.

George is also ticked at Callie. He tells her that he knows she slept with Sloan. Erroneously thinking Meredith’s the one who spilled the McSteamy beans, Callie slams Meredith into a locker. We know. It sounds violent. But it’s actually kinda funny. Callie leaves to tell George she did so only after they broke up. George just doesn’t want to deal with her at the moment. We feel bad for Callie, but also totally get George’s pain.

The elderly driver who caused the fish market accident is in bad shape. His scan reveals a subdural hematoma and an advanced case of spinal stenosis. He couldn’t feel his feet, which means there’s no way he should have been driving. Bailey helps the man’s distraught wife, telling her she needs to make a statement to the police.

Derek asks Burke to scrub in with him to work on the elderly man. Burke looks like he’s about to tell Derek the truth when Alex bursts into the room. They need Burke’s help on the pregnant woman. Dr. Hahn ends up helping Derek with his patient.

After removing the glass shard, Burke is called away to help Derek and Hahn. He instructs Cristina to stay with their patient, but she’s worried he’ll need her. When Cristina follows him out into the hallway, Meredith realizes that Burke can't operate without her. The look on Meredith’s face, even half-covered by a surgical mask, is one of spiraling disbelief.

Cristina reluctantly goes back to the pregnant woman. Meredith spends the rest of the elderly man’s surgery watching Burke operate, not Derek. Burke returns to his original patient but there's a complication and his hand seems to be cramping up. When Cristina starts to question him, he orders her out. After the surgery, he goes to tell Richard that they need to talk. The Chief agrees. Burke turns to see that Cristina is already there.

This isn’t the warmest or fuzziest episode of Grey’s we ever seen. Some of our favorite docs are really put through the ringer. It’s not always easy to watch. But it’s even harder to look away.

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