In the aftermath of the episode-ending shooting from all of a day ago (this has been the longest 24 hours of my life!), Burke is down, out, and shot. Izzie has cut Magical Heart Patient Denny's LVAD line in anticipation of Burke's return, and had dragged George into her insanity. Denny, I don't so much care about anymore, but Burke? Burke's condition has me in serious conniptions. As I told AB, I gave up ER YEARS ago, because I can't take this sort of stress, yet here I am, smack dab in the throes of another medical drama.
At first, Bailey tries to keep Burke's condition secret from Christina. Cristina tends to the restaurant shooter, who ended up shooting himself, but sees what's going on with Burke and sort of seems to care a little bit. Once Burke is stable, it becomes clear that he might be paralyzed in one of his arms. McMeany knows what sort of operation Burke needs to potentially fix it, but doesn't trust himself to promise its effectiveness and is honest with Burke about this. In the interim, Burke requests ice chips, morphine, and Cristina to ease his pain. Guess which is the most effective? Because it's not the one he sleeps with. Burke asks Cristina what he should do regarding the surgery, but Cristina turns tail and runs away from him. She does the same damn thing when, during Burke's surgery, Webber requests she come in and keep Burke calm while they wake him up for some crucial tests. When Cristina bails and Burke and his intubated lungs flail, McMeany gets in Burke's face, telling him, "It's just you and me." Ssshhhh -- did you hear that? That's the sound of a thousand fanfics being launched. McMeany's calming works, Burke moves his fingers, and Cristina leaves the OR. Presumably to pack up her stuff in Burke's apartment to save him the trouble of kicking her ass to the curb.
Adele Webber is back on the scene and has her teenaged, prom-going niece with her. Turns out, niece tried to lose her virginity and finds instead that her ovarian cancer is back with a vengeance. Adele flips out (righteously so) on Webber for sending his niece's converging promlets home and reads him the riot act for EVERYTHING, including his affair with Ellis Grey.
Denny is in all sorts of trouble and so are every single one of the interns. They've all been dragged into the scene of Izzie's potential murder and are all now trying to help kill Denny only to bring him back. After lots of screaming, hand-pumping, and Bailey's scary looks, Denny finally goes in for transplant surgery. As Izzie looks on from observation, Denny's Magical Transplanted Heart That Belongs To Another Man Who Has Two Kids By The Way beats.
Burke is down, and Meredith gives the voice-over -- which, considering how anxious I already am, is TOO CALM BY HALF -- that we all need lots of shit to feel alive. The other interns get to chime in at this point with "family" (George: predictable), "love" (Cristina: ironic), "sex" (Izzie: not getting any from Magical Heart Patient Denny). McWeenie voice-overs his professional opinion that we only need one thing. "To actually be alive," Burke interjects. It's like the audio tape of one of those avant-garde plays where the stage is completely dark, all the actors are in black, and when they say their lines, their heads are the only thing illuminated. I can't stand those kinds of plays. There's a flatline and McWeenie looking down at something unknown. "We need a beating heart," Cristina gets to finish. Why did Bailey get shafted? Oh, and it goes on, but I can't deal. Basically, they're telling us that when our hearts are threatened, we either run away or stay and attack. Hence the episode title. Which is fantastically long, by the way. I'll bet they were worried people might confuse this episode with Enterprise's "Fight or Flight." That's totally it. All this time, Bailey is wrestling with the front of Burke's scrubs and yelling behind her. We can't hear anything because we're seeing and hearing it from Burke's perspective. His eyes are disturbingly open, but not because he's dead. But Marissa is! Marissa is dead: D-E-A-D DEAD!!
We cut to Magical Heart Patient Denny post-Izzie cutting the LVAD line. George breathes, "Izzie?" Alarms go crazy, Izzie stands stock-still, and George makes moves to bring Denny back. Izzie won't let him call a code and screams her MO. Denny needs to get worse so he can get his transplant. Izzie hand-pumps something -- I'm not a doctor, I don't know what it is. It's a Something. Don't email me, I like keeping hospitals and things a mystery. Like sausage making -- and screams that she will hurt George (not a lot because they are friends but enough so things will break) if he calls a code. They wrestle a little bit, and Izzie tells George he can stay and help her, or he can go.
Ambulances. Cristina is panting to be in on the action. She doesn't yet know that Burke is down. Webber tells her to run Trauma 2. Cristina drools and takes off. Webber receives Burke from Bailey. Burke's been shot in the right shoulder and has lost a lot of blood. Webber orders Burke brought to Trauma 1 and Cristina kept in the dark. Except that...don't you think with all her drive, ambition, passion, and power of repressed emotions that Cristina would be the most kick-ass surgeon in this situation?In Trauma 2, Cristina realizes she's got the restaurant shooter who blew off half his head in an attempt to weasel out of his issues. Cristina barks orders and dampens her panties when someone asks, "You running this?"