In his office, Eli is telling Green that assisted suicide is illegal in California, but Green informs him that that's not what he's after -- his wife wants him declared incompetent to make his own medical decisions. You see, he's dying of cancer, and he's already been through two rounds of chemo, both of which were temporarily successful. His wife wants him to have chemo again, but he's refusing, because, as he puts it, "God told me to be at peace." Eli is of course both intrigued and scared by this declaration, and Green goes on that he prayed, and the answer came to him in not a voice, but a feeling. Eli continues to struggle with his emotions as he asks what would happen without the chemo, and Green of course tells him that he would head off to that Great Clue Board In The Sky. He adds that God wants him to put himself in His hands, and I didn't watch The West Wing so this is the first I've really seen of Richard Schiff, but his quiet happiness in having made this decision is just killing me here. He asks if Eli will help him stop his wife, and Eli gives a mirthless smile.
At St. Vincent's, Nate can't believe that Eli wants to sign a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order right before his high-risk surgery -- he's young and in good health otherwise, so he might come out with a horrible prognosis and be totally fine six weeks later. Couldn't the DNR be amended to give him a reasonable time to recover, then? Anyway, Eli wants Nate to be his healthcare proxy, meaning that he'll have to make the decision whether to keep Eli alive should he end up in a coma. I'm not sure I get this -- Eli first tells Matt that he wants his living will to be absolutely devoid of emotion, and then he puts the responsibility for the decision in his own brother's hands? But this is all so Nate can point out that when it comes to life-and-death decisions, he's kind of had the yips lately. Eli, however, doesn't care: "What matters most is that I believe that you'll do the right thing. And since we're family, your decision won't automatically be accompanied by a lawsuit." Some of that may have been unstated, but you know both of them were thinking it.
Suddenly, we flash to Nate, wearing a suit and looking nervous. A nurse appears behind him and tells him that the surgeon wants to see him. "It's about your brother." Nate visibly gulps, and we're left to chew on that into the title card.
After some stock footage that carefully contains the Bay Bridge, not the Golden Gate, Maggie comes in to see Eli, telling him with a smile that she heard about his case, and she's got some free time, so she can second chair. He quickly susses out the fact that she doesn't even know what the case is about, which, given that she seems about as likely to help a guy who wants to die as Cameron on House would be, doesn't really show off his prognosticative abilities to their fullest. Maggie thinks, however, that she owes him, for saving Scott and everything else, and she's actually being pretty tolerable here, but I still feel that I must point out that you might want to repay him in a currency that's worth more than your suspect legal skills. Eli tells Maggie she's afraid he's going to die, which Maggie denies. "In fact, I would really, really prefer it if you didn't." Aw. She goes on to point out that the operation is really dangerous, and maybe she is a little scared. "Aren't you?" He tells her that living or dying are both just fine, but "it's the something in-between that scares me." He then lightens the mood by saying that dying isn't on his agenda, and tells Maggie that she can second chair, as long as there's no sniffling. Maggie smiles excitedly, and this is the first scene of hers in a long while that's been more pleasant than chewing tinfoil. Progress!