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Grey's Anatomy Episode Recap: "I Saw What I Saw"
Oct 22, 2009 07:00 PM ET by Adam Bryant
In this episode of Grey's Anatomy, board member Larry Jennings (Mitch Pileggi) and the Chief start an investigation when a burn victim (guest star Erinn Hayes) dies unexpectedly in the ER. As the men suss out which resident is responsible, each doctor tells a different piece of the story. By the episode's end, the mystery is solved and yet another surgeon scrubs out of Seattle Grace for good. So who was to blame? Let's find out.
Meredith's voice-over calmly explains that the best doctors are the ones that can always change their perspectives, adjust their point of view to see new possibilities. Thus begins a frenetic, high-energy episode that is sometimes gripping, but mostly just confusing. Because there's no way to adequately capture the drama as it was presented in this fractured, Rashomon-inspired narrative structure, I'm going to lay out the bare bones of the story line, and then touch on some of the memorable moments outside the Cathy Becker death.
A hotel fire results in multiple traumas, which turns the Seattle Grace ER into an absolute zoo. One burn victim shrieks in agony, a firefighter who couldn't rescue him (Coach's Dauber!) rambles unintelligibly and another patient has an ax in his chest. So, Cathy Becker's leg and chest burns seem like a cake walk. But because of her lower-priority injuries, she gets passed along from one doctor to the next.
Yang takes the chart, but Reed and April do the initial exam (though April is sidetracked by the guy with the ax). When Becker complains of pain, Yang orders morphine. Shortly thereafter, Becker's lung collapses, and Lexie and Dr. Avery get a chest tube in to resolve the issue. Then, Becker's airway closes off, but neither Dr. Denman nor Dr. Adamson can intubate her because there's too much swelling. In comes Dr. Karev who slits open her throat and starts her on a ventilator. Before you know it, she's crashing, all of her organs are shutting down and there's blood in her oxygen tube. She dies, and Dr. Shepherd walks into a room full of seven doctors unwilling to take responsibility for the patient's death.
Through a series of interviews with the residents involved, the Chief slowly puts the puzzle together, especially when Dr. Adamson plays tattle-tale. Dr. Kepner never looked in Becker's throat, and therefore, the soot from the fire cause the swelling. Had she noticed, Kepner would have intubated immediately, but she didn't and now the patient with the most minimal injuries at the beginning of the night is the one who's dead. Although the Chief knows Kepner is a good doctor, he shows her the door.
And now, some other thoughts: