"Grey's Anatomy" Perfect Storm (TV Episode 2013) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • As Seattle is plunged into a major storm, Meredith goes into labour. When the hospital loses power, her doctor and all the others are forced to work in the dark. Cristina must perform surgery in almost complete darkness while Arizona, Alex, and Lauren must ward off terrified parents. Then, just outside the hospital, a school bus full of people crashes and flips over, forcing several doctors to rescue its passengers. Cristina finally confronts Owen on his desire to have kids.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • As a perfect storm rages over Seattle, we see Derek and Cristina running with concerned looks on their faces as Voiceover Meredith talks about the metaphorical "perfect storm" in medicine, when everything that can go wrong does. She says, "Funny, I never thought it would happen to me."

    Five hours earlier: Hunt explains to Ethan that he and his dad are being moved to a safer hospital. They're on the rooftop helipad and Ethan and his dad are heading out to the waiting helicopter. After he walks away, Cristina unleashes on Hunt for not telling her (again) that he wants kids. He claims this is about "that one kid" (Ethan) and that he really just wants to be with her. Cristina gets a page.

    Meredith is in labor. Cristina finds her going through contractions, but talks to Cristina about Hunt as a distraction while Derek goes to get ice chips.

    Shane is excited that Bailey gets a chance to operate on a man who was cleaning his gutters during hurricane-force winds, but Bailey can't bring herself to start.

    The hospital electricity is inconsistent and Hunt is worried. April is getting used to wearing her engagement ring and Callie suggests she pin it to her scrub top. Bailey tells Hunt about her patient who is already under and she says she is not available to operate. The patient's father is standing next to Hunt and asks about his son. Webber steps in to take over. Bailey tells Hunt she wants to help in any way she can, but he says it's hard when she won't touch a patient. Callie suggests Bailey check on surplus blood supply in the ORs. Bailey leaves and Callie tells Hunt to cut Bailey some slack.

    Arizona gets dressed after her rendezvous with Lauren and rushes off to help with babies. She shows up to assure some parents that everything is OK. The lights flicker again. Arizona tells Alex, Jo and Stephanie to make sure the parents are all kept informed and happy. Lauren shows up to help, to Arizona's chagrin.

    Derek and Cristina argue over whether Meredith does or doesn't want drugs. The doctor checks on the baby and feels its face. Meredith is going to need a C-section. The power goes out completely now and they all wait for it to come back.

    Webber is also now operating in the dark on Bailey's patient. Hunt comes in and says he's checking on why the generators haven't kicked in. Frank, the hospital maintenance guy, is with Hunt and Webber yells at him about something he was supposed to have fixed with the electrical system. Webber asks for another surgeon to come help, but that doctor isn't available. Webber tells Shane to go get Cristina. He does.

    Derek and Meredith want to know what the "big, ugly, scary risks" are for repositioning the baby. The doctor assures them a vaginal delivery is not an option. They're having a C-section in the dark.

    Alex tries to talk to Jo, but they're interrupted when Arizona comes up to ask Jo to "slowly and casually" check for backup batteries for the monitors in the baby unit. When there are none, Arizona goes  discreetly and calmly  to look for some.

    In surgery, Webber and Ben commiserate about how they both pushed Bailey too hard to come back. Cristina, meanwhile, is refusing to operate in the dark. She says she can't do it and Webber gives her a whole speech about how this man, James, was only on that roof cleaning gutters because he was trying to help out his dad, who is old and too stubborn to move into assisted living. She relents and goes to scrub in.

    Meredith and Derek talk over baby names as the doctor prepares the start the C-section. Shane and others are holding up flashlights to help provide light.

    The already chaotic ER gets cranked up a notch when a runaway bus flips over, crashes and catches on fire right outside the doors while everyone watches in shock.

    There's a gas leak somewhere but doctors and others rush to pull people from the wreckage.

    Meredith's pulls the baby out, but there's no crying. No one says anything and Meredith is worried. But soon enough there's crying and Derek holds the baby up to say he's perfect. The baby's breathing is low, though, and Derek goes with the baby to get some tests.

    Arizona and Alex look for batteries with no luck, and Arizona randomly confesses to having cheated on Callie with Lauren. Alex then tells her that he's in love with Jo, but he won't tell her because he's worried that he's "damaged good" and turns everyone's life to crap when he gets with them.

    Bailey and Leah look for meds, but the electronic locks can't be opened without power.

    Meredith's doctor has to go take care of another patient and one of the interns is going to have to close Meredith up. Shane goes to scrub up.

    Cristina is worried she could kill the patient because the shadows keep getting in the way. Webber tells her to "listen" for it and orders everyone to turn their lights off on be quiet. Cristina does this and gets her finger on the leak in the patient's heart.

    Arizona tells the interns to switch one baby's ventilation to manual when the battery goes out. Jo does this with ease. Two more monitors are now showing low batteries. Lauren assures Arizona that the interns and surgeons can ventilate the patients manually all night, if they have to. They just have to keep all the parents calm. A moment later, an alarmed parents calls out to Arizona, asking if the flashing red light means the monitor has a low battery.

    Bailey comes back to the ER and sees the messy scene. Instead of jumping in, she goes back to "figure out the meds." Callie sees this and looks a little disappointed.

    Jackson is trying to get a woman out of the bus and she's asking about her 3-year-old daughter. Hunt says everyone is inside. Jackson and Hunt try to get the woman out of the bus.

    Shane is trying to close Meredith up and Heather notices a lot of blood. Meredith sees blood coming through her IV and realizes that she could have been bleeding internally after her fall on the stairs. She tells Shane to open her up again and find the source of the bleed. He's nervous, but she's going to have to walk him through it. She orders him not to let her bleed out on the table. Shane cuts.

    Hunt and Jackson pry the woman from where she was pinned in the bus, but she can't walk out on her own because her leg hurts too much. Jackson breaks the roof's escape window.

    Arizona is managing the chaos in the baby unit and parents are outraged. They're all yelling at Arizona, with one in particular telling her there clearly aren't enough doctors to manually ventilate all the babies in the room. Derek, who is there with his new baby, tells them all to shut up. He says that while they're right that there aren't enough doctors in the room, there are enough people. Jo jumps in and explains that it's easy. She shows some parents how to do it, and they seem to get it. Arizona looks impressed. Alex looks on with eyes that show he's in love.

    Shane finds the spleen is the source of Meredith's bleeding. She talks him through mobilizing it, assessing the bleeding, and stopping the hemorrhage. She tells him this is his OR and he needs to do this confidently. She can't walk him through it completely because she's going to lose consciousness. She tells him, too, that if she arrests for more than nine minutes he cannot revive her. She asks him to confirm he understands. He says nothing. Finally, he says, "Yes, Dr. Grey." She then tells him to tell Derek she knows "the baby's name is" She can't finish before she loses consciousness.

    After surgery, Cristina tells Webber he made her a better doctor. She thanks him. She goes to check on Meredith. Ben comes over and tells Webber that he sees what Bailey means when she says that he can "pull greatness right out of people."

    Bailey is still struggling to get the meds cabinet open. Heather comes in and asks Bailey to come with Meredith. Bailey freezes for a moment, then grabs an IV stand and flails at the med cabinet until it opens. Heather and Leah are stunned.

    "Don't just stand there, get the meds," Bailey tells them, before turning to Heather and saying, "Let's go."

    Hunt wheels the woman from the bus into the hospital, but Jackson sees a tiny shoe and decides to look for the little girl. He looks in another part of the bus and sees the girl sitting there, frozen. She looks at him, but won't come to him, and it's unclear whether Jackson can fit into the space where she's sitting.

    Bailey is scrubbing in while Shane tells her he can't control the bleeding. She asks for a second set of latex gloves before stepping in.

    Jackson keeps trying to coax the little girl out of the bus, but she won't come. Hunt, Callie and April look on as the bus explodes.

    Derek is with the baby when Cristina comes to get him. The look on her face says it all. Now we're back to where the episode started and Cristina and Derek are running down the dark hallway.

    April screams for Jackson and, finally, he emerges from the rain and smoke with the little girl in his arms. He walks by April to hand the girl to her mother, who cries and thanks Jackson as she hugs her child. April cries and Matthew puts an arm around her shoulder.

    Webber looks around in the basement for Frank, the hospital maintenance man who went to check on the electrical system. He finds Frank slumped on the ground next to the circuit box and starts trying to revive him.

    Callie checks Jackson out for any injuries when April comes in and hits him, shouting at him, "You could've died!" Callie tells April to take a walk, and April leaves, crying. She runs by Matthew, who seems to get it.

    Derek and Cristina stand and talk sullenly about the baby, but Derek is worried about Meredith.

    "Hey, Meredith Grey has survived a bomb, a drowning, a gunman, and a plane crash, and she's still here," Crsitina tells him. "She's going to die when she's, like, 90. Old and warm in her bed. She's not going to die today. Today, she's going to be fine."

    "I hope so," Derek says.

    "She has to be," Cristina says. "She's our person."

    Bailey comes out and tells Derek and Cristina that Meredith had a massive bleed in her spleen.

    "I removed it, but" Bailey can't finish before she breaks down crying. Inside the OR, Shane tells Derek and Cristina that Meredith is fine. Bailey fixed her and Heather notes that Shane assisted. Bailey thought it'd be better for Meredith to recover in the OR. Bailey comes back in and apologizes for crying and Derek gives her a big hug.

    Webber gets Frank sent up for treatment. Frank tells Webber he was right about what had gone wrong. Webber apologizes for having yelled at him and sends him on his way. Frank tells Webber he fixed the problem, he just has to flip the transfer switch. Webber goes looking for it.

    Meanwhile, Alex is still looking at Jo from afar and Arizona tells him that Jo did great and must have a great teacher. Lauren comes over to Arizona and asks if they're going to talk. Arizona says she made a mistake but doesn't want to talk about it right now. Lauren says she's not going to leave things like this. She tells her that if she changes her mind She can't finish because Callie walks up and interrupts them. The lights come back on and everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Then, Callie notices Arizona's ring is pinned to Lauren's scrub top. Lauren stammers through an explanation of how a baby vomited on her and Arizona "was nice enough to let me borrow some scrubs." Callie is stone faced, not buying it, and glares at Arizona when she looks over her shoulder at Callie.

    Alex finds Jo staring out the window and they talk about the tree that came through the window. He tells her he has to tell her something, but she stops him. She says they "work as friends" so well, she doesn't want to mess it up. He tells her he's going to say the words, right now. He finally says, "I love you."

    She smiles and they kiss. A lot.

    April finds Jackson in his ER bed. She steps inside and closes the curtains behind her. She tells him she wants him. She starts to cry, saying she hasn't been fair to him and she's hurt him, but when the bus exploded and she thought he was gone. She can't finish.

    "You're getting married," he reminds her.

    "Unless you give me a reason not to," she says.

    Cristina finds Hunt and asks him if he knows how much she loves him. She tells him how much joy she felt in the OR when she felt that heart. She tells him she's "made for the OR," and that's where she feels "pure joy, content." She asks him if he feels that with just her.

    "What kind of a question is that?" he asks.

    She goes on and asks him to listen to his heart. She presses him more and asks him if he really believes that she'll "be enough."

    She tears up and he does, too.

    "I wish it were different," she says, then adding, "It already happened." She walks out with tears in her eyes.

    Callie, meanwhile, is yelling at Arizona, saying she thought they "were passed the hard stuff, I thought we were finally good." She cries while asking Arizona how she could do this. They have a massive shouting match that goes back to the plane crash. Callie refers to "everything we've survived  the bankruptcy, Mark, the plane."

    Arizona snaps back that Callie wasn't on the plane. "You weren't there and you keep acting like you were, but you weren't there!"

    "I lost Mark, and you almost died," Callie replies, but Arizona shouts back, "You weren't on the freakin' plane! You want it? The street creed, the badge on honor, the warrior wounds? Then, great, stick out your leg and I will grab a bow saw and let's even the freakin' score!"

    Arizona cries again that Callie decided to cut off her leg. Callie says it was to save Arizona's life, but Arizona says, "You didn't lose anything!"

    "Apparently I lost you," Callie says.

    Meredith asks Derek what he thinks about Bailey, as a name for the baby. He loves it. Cristina sees them through the window, smiles, and then walks away.

    Ben finds Bailey and tells her he couldn't be more impressed. She's in a hurry, though. She says she needs to talk to Webber because he tried to help her and she called him a drunk. She says she owes him "everything."

    "Now, do you know where he is?" she asks Ben.

    Next, we see the circuit box sparking and the camera slowly pans across Webber's motionless body, his jacket burned and smoldering.

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