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Stairway to Heaven


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Drama/Romance, USA, 2009, 60 min.

Synopsis The episode starts with Denny's voiceover telling us "I believe in heaven, I also believe in hell. I've never seen either, but I believe they exist." He said "without a heaven, without a hell, we all exist in limbo." William, the death-row guy, was slamming his head against the back of his bed repeatedly. Meredith heard this and heard his alarms going off, but did nothing. Sadie asked Meredith if she was going to do something as William was seizing, but Meredith told Sadie to "go find something else to do, now. That's an order."Denny again told Izzie he was there for her. "I can't go, I'm here for you," he repeated. She told him to stop saying that.Alex told Bailey that Jackson was officially at the top of the list for a liver transplant. Bailey assured Jackson's mother they were doing everything they could. Bailey got a page. It was Meredith calling Bailey into William's room. Bailey said they should page Derek, but William didn't want that. "The boy who needs organs, I presume, wants to live," William told Bailey, suggesting they let him die because he was ready to go.Bailey told Meredith to do what she could to keep her patient alive. "We're doctors, not executioners."Three interns listened in as Sloan and Lexie made some loud noises in an on-call room, but Sloan suddenly screamed a little too loudly, indicating serious pain. "It's bent! In the middle, I think I broke it!" Lexie told him.Cristina watched Dr. Hunt as he slept, then she walked out just before he could see her.Bailey put Alex and Izzie in care of Jackson. Denny was talking to Izzie, telling her she didn't "have time for this." Bailey worried Jackson was going to die and she didn't want to be around to see it. She wanted off the case. Arizona told Bailey she should get some rest, but Bailey refused.Derek got to the hospital and kissed Meredith, asking "how's our resident psychopath? Is he dead yet?" He told Meredith his mom liked her and "says you're good for me." Meredith said nothing about William.Lexie told Callie that Sloan was having an emergency, saying, "He may have broken a, umm, bone. I broke his bone." Ouch.Hunt apologized to Cristina and said, as a rule, when he showers with a woman he usually does it without his clothes, and he doesn't normally get in bed just to pass out. She told him it was OK and he didn't have to talk about it.William was in pain and Meredith said he could stop it anytime. She asked him if he wanted her to page Dr. Shepherd. "He's your boyfriend, isn't he?" William asked Meredith. She turned around, unable to look at him. He said he could only think about lemons, which was what his grandfather said he smelled in the three days before he died.Derek showed Cristina the ring his mother gave him, asking her advice about what she should do with the ring. He told her when he proposes, Meredith is going to need someone to freak out to, and suggested to Cristina that she and Meredith bury the hatchet. She told him to find someone else.Denny asked Izzie if she believed in heaven, "because I thought maybe this was heaven, getting to be here with you." He said now he wasn't sure, and thought it might be hell. She told him she chose Alex. She told him he was jealous and didn't want her to be happy. "I want you to be happy, Izzie," he told her. He said he would leave if he could. "I can't go because you won't listen to me. I am here for you." She asked him what that means. "You're a doctor, Izzie. Figure it out."Meredith looked at Cristina as if she was going to tell her something important. Cristina asked about the serial killer, and Meredith said, "I've got it covered." Cristina went straight to William's room. Cristina saw William and told Meredith to page Derek. Meredith made the case for not doing that. She told Cristina that William wanted to die and give his organs to Jackson. That's when William looked at Cristina and said, "Please help me. I don't want to die." Cristina hit an alarm and shouted, "Page Shepherd right now!"Izzie was conducting an ultrasound with Arizona and Alex when Denny was distracting her by continuing to talk to her. She whispered to Denny to shut up, then snapped at Arizona, "Just tell me, already!" She apologized, but Arizona told Izzie to take a little break.The interns were gossiping about what happened to Sloan, wondering who did it. Sadie asked Lexie is she knew who it was and asked if it was Callie. "It's nobody's business," she said. She also told Sadie that they weren't friends.Derek looked at William's X-rays and told Meredith she should have paged him a long time ago. She said she didn't want a debate and was respecting her patient's wishes. Derek told her William doesn't get wishes and said William had been manipulating her since he got there. Derek told Meredith she was going to scrub in on the surgery, "and you're going to watch while I try like hell to undo what you just did."Alex and Arizona tried to save Jackson, who was reaching a critical point. Bailey looked sad as Jackson's mom told him to fight. Then, in the hallway, she watched as William was wheeled to the operating room.Hunt looked at Sloan and confirmed, "Yup, that's a penile fracture." Hunt said they should operate, but Sloan didn't want Hunt to do it, calling him "a meatballer". Hunt said the surgery wasn't that complicated, and said he'd done them before. Callie and Hunt left, then Lexie walked in and Sloan asked her to leave.George, who'd been asked to find a donor for Jackson, handed the chief a chart. "My God," the chief said. "The guy's not a donor and they're about to unplug him," George said.Bailey braced herself before walking into William's operating room and asking Derek to stop the surgery and let William kill himself. Derek told her to leave his O.R. She said it was a crime against life that William was set to die in five days, and would take his organs with him. "We took an oath, Miranda," Derek said. She said she knew, but "right now that oath makes no sense." She again asked him to stop and do nothing else for him. "If I stop this surgery, it's the same as me sticking this scalpel into his brain," he said. "Is that what you want?" She said yes.The chief went to the wife of the patient whose chart George handed to him. "Go away," she said, adding that she couldn't take anymore. He was healthy just days before, but his head went through a windshield in a car accident. "I don't want anyone cutting into him."Alex told Izzie she couldn't spend time "talking to a dead guy" in the hospital. They needed her to be a doctor. Jackson's heart rate started falling. Arizona said she hoped Bailey was having better luck than they were.In the O.R., Cristina noticed a lot of bleeding around William's brain. She asked Derek if she should put in a drain, and he told her it was Bailey's decision. Cristina asked Bailey and Bailey said, "No." Derek put his scalpel down and told Bailey, "It's up to you. Am I an executioner, or am I a surgeon. It's up to you. It's your call."Some tense moments ensued and Bailey tearfully said, "Pick up the scalpel."The chief went to the room of the car accident victim again to try to get his wife to allow the donation. He told her that her husband couldn't take his organs with him.The interns again were talking about Sloan's situation. "Shut up!" Lexie finally said. The interns became suspicious and asked Lexie if it was her. Suddenly, Sadie said, "It was me." She took the fall and gave Lexie a bit of a smile.Izzie confronted Denny and told him she could see and feel him, so maybe he was alive. He said he was sorry, but he wasn't alive. He said she was a doctor, a scientist, and should be able to figure it out. It got all dramatic and she kissed him and slapped him to prove he was real.Jackson's situation got worse and Bailey called on Izzie to pull his mother away so the doctor's could work on him. Derek, meanwhile, was pleased with their successful surgery on William. "What a waste," Meredith said. Derek said, "We saved a life. That's never a waste." Izzie talked to Jackson's mom, telling her medical miracles happen. Izzie told Jackson's mom that she was there for Jackson. Then Izzie remembered all those times Denny told her, "I'm here for you." Alex walked up and called Jackson's mother into the room. She went into the room and Bailey told her, "He's going, Belinda. Hold him and help him go." She was telling Jackson "you can go," just as the chief ran into the room and announced, "We have organs!"The surgery seemed to be going well when Jackson started coding. Izzie went outside and talked to Denny, figuring out what he meant by saying he was there for her. He said he thought coming back for her was his heaven, but realized it was her hell. "I'm sick, aren't I?" she said. She got angry with him for not telling her she was sick and giving her a chance to save her life. He said he could go because she knew, but if he left it would be for good. She told him to leave. He gave her one last, long kiss. Then, he was gone.William woke up and realized he was alive. He told Meredith, "I was playing you." He told her Derek was right, and that he wanted to destroy her career and be around to see the fallout. She told him he was scared. "Death is scary. I would've been scared, too." He told her it would be good to have a "friendly face in the crowd" when he was executed. She said nothing.Hunt went to Cristina and told her he planned to give her a whole night out. He asked for another chance. She told him he's got some "big problems." He agreed. "Will you go out with me anyway?" he asked. She said yes.Lexie went into Sloan's room again and he asked her to go away and called her "Little Grey." She said "it's not 'Little Grey,' it's Lexie." She said she wasn't leaving. She said he had a good friend guarding the door. Then she got into his bed and stroked his hair, "because that's what I like to have done when I'm in pain," she told him.Bailey and the chief waited for Jackson to come to after his surgery, which became more complicated because of the delay in getting the organs. She told the chief she "crossed a line" that day, and the chief admitted he did, too.William walked into his execution and looked at the roomful of witnesses and Meredith was there, looking at him, stoically. He was strapped to his chair for the injection and said, "Lemons." Then he looked over at Meredith again. She looked down."Heaven or hell," Denny's voiceover said. "No one knows for certain. But the one thing we can say for sure, with absolute certainty..." Jackson woke up and asked for water. His mother was overjoyed. "... is that there are moments that take us to another place."Meredith walked out of the prison and saw that Derek was waiting for her. She started crying, and told Derek, "I know you don't understand me. I don't understand me. I wanted to show compassion, and that's why I went. That's the reason. And it was horrible."Derek went to Cristina's apartment and told her, "She's in the car and she won't stop crying." Cristina asked if he proposed, and he said no and told her Meredith went to William's execution.Denny's voiceover said there were "moments of heaven on Earth."Cristina went to the car and Meredith said something we couldn't hear."And maybe for now," Denny said, "that's all we need to know."

Directed by Allison Liddi  

Starring Ellen Pompe, Sandra Oh, Katherine Heigl, Justin Chambers, T.R. Knight, more...

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