The next morning, the house is a post-party war zone. I can almost smell the stale beer and like it always does the morning after, it makes me a little bit nauseated. George brings some coffee into the living room and an arm reaches up -- it's Meredith, who has spent the night on the floor. Her meeting about that whole pesky heart thing is in an hour. Izzie gets home and breathes, "Holy mother of destruction." Meredith greets her, "You missed doctorpalooza. I should probably never speak to you again." Izzie starts to apologize, but Meredith is already over it, asking, "What would I be doing, anyway?" George answers, "Preparing for your career-altering meeting?" He laughs and still sounds drunk. Seriously, she should maybe think about at least getting in a shower before fighting for her job, I would think. Instead, she stays on the couch and moans that the heart wall should have never torn. Izzie picks up an open beer off the table and takes a swig -- I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth at the thought. Post-party beer? Let me count the ways (that drinking it is one of the grossest things you could ever do): 1) Whose beer is it? 2) It's warm. 3) Whose beer is it? 4) While almost any time is good for beer, I make an exception from approximately 6 to 8 AM. 5) Seriously, there were hundreds of people there. You're a doctor. Gross. She's not thinking about all that, though, and instead listens to Meredith recount the patient's weight loss. Almost as an aside, she remarks, "100 pounds in a year. How's her muscle mass?" At that moment, a light goes on for Meredith. George asks the question we've all been wondering, if she knows whose beer that was. "I hoped it was yours," she says. He groans and leans over the couch as if to vomit. I'm with you, George.
At the hospital shortly thereafter, Cristina, George, and Izzie wait on the artsy elevated walkway, predicting the outcome of her meeting. Cristina naturally assumes she'll get kicked out and nothing will happen to Burke. George finally stands up at a moment when he should and says, "Please be nice to her."
Inside, a still scratchy-voiced Meredith tells the gathered crowd that she's done the research and also knows what she did wrong. And while you can tell she's clearly ready to accept blame, she brings up Mrs. Patterson's weight loss. She still weighs 200 pounds, so no one thought about her rate of weight loss, but what her body has been through technically makes her anorexic. Burke picks up at this point to explain that because of this, she was losing muscle as well as fat and that would include heart muscle. Richard has the same little light over his head that Meredith had earlier and realizes they could be right. The hospital lawyer, however, is less interested in their miraculous reasoning and is still focused on what actually happened the day before. Her problem is Meredith not bringing up the punctured glove when it actually happened. Meredith begins to speak, "And if I could change that..." but she's cut off with a simple, "And you can't." She's worried about the liability the hospital is now open to and insists that Meredith is too late. Burke speaks up in her defense, "But she reported it, she spoke up!" He pauses, and then launches into the story of a lung surgery he performed years earlier where he had a nagging feeling that he didn't check the body cavity, but he didn't say anything. Richard slowly looks at him as he finishes that the towel he turned out to have left in that patient was taken out the day before. "Why didn't I report it at an appropriate time? Maybe because I was afraid that I would be called into a meeting where some hospital lawyer's fear of liability would end my career. Even great doctors make mistakes, and when we do, we have got to be able to speak up without fear of retribution. Or everyone suffers. Dr. Grey spoke up." No one says a word, though I suspect the lawyer is now thinking about quitting when she realizes the second lawsuit that might be brewing.