Back in the OR, we learn that Bob is on the transplant list but no liver is available for him. However, he won't recover from surgery without a new one. The one that Burke mentioned earlier, which is arriving that afternoon, has already been promised to someone else, so their only hope is a family member. I expected the one coming in to be a huge deal in this storyline, which is logical to assume if the storyline centers on transplant patients and donors and only one particular organ, but it's never mentioned again. I have to wonder if it wouldn't have been easier to give the patient coming in a different Important Transplant Organ of the Day. But this is a small nitpick, considering that even with the sort of predictable storyline and my slight confusion, this episode is smart, compelling, funny, and makes you care about the participants more than pretty much any hour of Season 3 did. With that, let's get back to the "predictable" part. Surgeon Who Isn't A Regular Cast Member wants to let this guy go. "No use in tying up an OR if we're just postponing the inevitable." But Burke is flexing his Chief muscles and asks much work there is to do. When he's told six hours, he declares that's how long they have to find a new liver. SWIARCM shrugs and says, "You're the chief." Burke gives a quick nod, but the pride and the unspoken "YEAH, I am!" are radiating out of his every pore.
George and Olivia are still at work on their near-dead patient. In the quiet, while George rhythmically squeezes some sort of contraption he's got in the guy's chest, Olivia apologizes about Alex. She explains that it was before she and George hooked up, not during; while this is supposed to make George feel better, it just agitates him even more. She then explains that she didn't know she had the syph, even though, as a nurse, she should have. He freaks out at the itch-and-sore talk and decides to leave, just saying, "Things happen." She agrees and adds, "Things you wish you could change." She's sweet, and I feel for her right now in this horribly awkward moment. Plus, it can't make it any easier to have a guy with his chest cut open in front of you while you're trying to have this particular conversation. George gets a page from the chief and goes to leave. Olivia reminds him he needs to call time of death, so he pauses to do so and then bolts, after one frightening moment when he finally realizes she's also begging him to call time of death on them if need be.
Alex is transferring Scott, who is banging rhythmically and disturbingly on the bars of his bed, to a hospital room. He takes the few moments alone in the elevator to delightedly tell him about Mr. Hubble and the Judy dolls to try and distract him. Unfortunately they aren't enough to distract Scott from the thoughts of his rageaholic father potentially killing another motorist in addition to beating his mom, and he looks about to cry. Alex realizes he needs real conversation, and quietly starts to explain how you can hide from the screaming when you're little, but once you're older you feel like you should do something to protect her. He's clearly got his own battered mother perspective, and Scott finally stops his banging to listen. Alex says that when you can't stop it, you don't know if you should be angrier at your dad or yourself. "Usually it's yourself." Scott asks if his mom told them, but Alex says they saw it in her x-rays, and asks if he's beating Scott as well. (He's not.) Scott asks Alex how he copes. "Me? I think about the guy who eats doll heads. He's got problems." The shared calm of man-to-man understanding is sucked out of the elevator as soon as the doors open, since Izzie is waiting for them. Scott knows it's about his father.