- "The Game. They say a person either has what it takes to play, or they don't. My mother was one of the greats. Me on the other hand... I'm kinda screwed. Like I said I'm screwed. I can't think of any one reason why I want to be a surgeon. But I can think of a thousand reasons why I should quit. They make it hard on purpose. There are lives in our hands. There comes a moment when it's more than just a game. And you either take that step forward or turn around and walk away. I could quit, but here's the thing... I love playing the field."- Meredith Grey
A woman named Meredith wakes up from her couch. She wraps a towel around her and begins to pick up her clothes. She throws a cushion on a man, who wakes up sleepily and passes her bra to her. Meredith is embarrassed but tells him to get dressed. They make small talk while he gets dressed. Apparently, she is going to be late on her first day of her new job. He compliments her on her house, but she says it isn't hers. It was her mother's and she is selling it. He tells her he is sorry and she quickly explains her mother is not dead. She then says they don't have to do the thing where they pretend to care. She goes to see him off but forgets his name. He quickly re-introduces himself as Derek and she tells him that she is Meredith. She then runs upstairs to shower.
A short while later, Meredith leaves her car and catches up with the other group of new interns at Seattle Grace Hospital. The Chief concludes his tour by saying that the next seven years will be the best and worst of their lives.
In the locker room, Meredith bonds with another intern, Cristina. They discover that they have the same attending, Bailey or "The Nazi". Overhearing the conversation, another introduces himself as George. He talks nervously and tells Meredith that they met last night. He describes what she was wearing by quickly stops when he realises they think he is gay. The three interns (along with another intern, an ex-model, Izzie) are called out to go to Bailey. Walking up to Bailey, they are shocked to see she is a woman (and not a Nazi either). Izzie suggests that the nickname may be professional jealousy. Cristina scoffs but nevertheless, Izzie introduces herself to Bailey, telling her that she is Isobel Stevens but that everyone calls her Izzie. Bailey ignores the introduction, shows them their equipment, gives them a short tour and tells them her rules. She then receives a page and she and the interns run onto the roof. On the roof, a chopper lands and gives details on the patient (Katie Bryce) who is having seizures. In the hospital, the interns and nurses inject Katie who finally stops moving. Another doctor, Burke, walks in and describes her as a wet fish on dry land. He then orders them to do all the basic tests. George is work ups, Cristina is to do labs, Meredith is assigned to Katie and to get her a CT. Izzie is ordered to perform rectal exams by a smiling Bailey.
Izzie performs the rectal examinations, Cristina gets the test results (still managing to hint to Bailey she would like a surgery), George tries to perform a simple procedure on a patient. Getting tiresome, Burke pushes him out of the way and does it himself. George then jokingly says that Burke himself probably messed up a lot at first too. Through gritted teeth, Burke smiles and tells George he's going to have fun with him, George gulps. Meanwhile Meredith is lost in the hospital with Katie continuously talking about the beauty pageant she's missing and how she was great at it other than when she fell over doing rhythmic gymnastics and occasionally stopping to tell Meredith that she is lost.
A group of interns are sitting in the canteen (after 7 hours of their first shift) when Izzie says that she is screwed because a resident already hates her but George sympathises by saying he already has attendings hating him. Cristina then interrupts to ask if anyone else knew that Meredith's mother is the famous surgeon Ellis Grey, who performed wonderful surgeries, wrote books and even won the Harper Avery Award. The conversation is quickly cut short by Meredith who tells everyone that Katie is unbearable. Burke then arrives at the table to say he gets to choose one intern to assist him in a surgery. He picks George to scrub in on an appendectomy and then walks away.
Bailey complains to Burke about his decision saying that George barely made it into the program. He insists that if he terrorises one that the rest will fall in place but Bailey continues to attempt to persuade him. Katie's parents walk into her room. After making sure Katie feels okay they question Meredith about if she may need surgery. Meredith quickly explains that she isn't the doctor. She goes to Bailey to find Burke but he is off the case so she directs Meredith to the new attending on the care, Dr. Shepherd. Meredith looks over at him just as he looks up, Meredith quickly walks away as Dr. Shepherd is her one-night stand, Derek.
Derek catches up with her and pulls her into a stairwell. Meredith quickly decides to pretend it never happened, Derek instead says that she just took advantage of him. She starts to disagree but he quickly asks her if she wants to take advantage of him the next Friday. Meredith smiles but says no that it is inappropriate and walks away.
George is in the operating room and up in the gallery the other interns start making bets against him but Meredith quickly defends him. George starts the procedure and it runs perfectly until the very end where he accidentally pulls the purse strings too hard and breaks them. She starts to bleed but he can't think what to do. After a few seconds, Burke pushes him away and finishes up the procedure. In the gallery the interns nickname George, 007 (license to kill).
After the procedure, George worries about being nicknames 007. He is being consoled when Meredith is paged and leaves as she got a 911 for Katie. George says he should have gone into geriatrics but Cristina says geriatrics is for losers who never have sex and live with their mothers. George then quietly mutters to Izzie that he really needs to get a new place. Meredith runs through the hospital to see that Katie is fine and that she faked a seizure and wants Meredith to call someone. Annoyed, Meredith leaves.
Nurse Tyler asks a staring Izzie what she needs and she replies by saying that Mr. Jones has chunky veins and he needs antibiotics. She should start a central line but doesn't know how. Tyler smiles and tells her since the sleeping Bailey is the on call resident then Izzie has to wake her up. Timidly, Izzie walks over, Bailey asks if the patient is dying and when Izzie says no, she goes back to sleep. After a few seconds, she gets up grumpily and starts the central line. She then tells Izzie that the next time she is woken up the patient better be so close to death that he has a tag on his toe.
Another intern, Alex, is staring at a patients chart and he tell the nurse they have pneumonia and to start to antibiotics. The nurse asks if he's sure and he sarcastically asks if she went through four years of medical school. He walks over to Meredith and says he has Jeremy as his resident but Meredith just says that the patient may not have pneumonia, it may be splinting. Alex then calls her a nurse, Meredith gets insulted but has to answer her page, another 911 from Katie. Alex wonders to another intern if she's single and George says they're friends. Alex quickly cuts across and tells George to just stop talking.
Meredith runs into Katie's room where she is shocked to see Katie having severe multiple seizures. The drugs administrated didn't do anything so she tells a nurse to page Bailey and Derek. When the drugs still have no effect, she charges the paddles. On the fourth try, Katie's heartbeat and blood flow are normal. Derek then arrives and tells Meredith to leave. Bailey then walks by and lectures Meredith but Meredith ignores her and continues to walk briskly out the hospital doors. Worriedly, Cristina follows and is shocked to see Meredith throw up against a tree. Meredith walks back into the hospital and tells Cristina not to tell anyone.
Back in the hospital (hour 24), Derek explains to Katie's parents that it may not be a seizure disorder. Her parents tell Derek they want somebody else on the case because he isn't working hard enough.
In another area of the hospital, Burke explains to a patient the procedure. He will put him on bypass, fix his heart and then he's done. Gloria (Tony's wife) asks if she has to worry but Burke assures her that he is very good at what he does although it is surgery and does involve risks. He walks off but Gloria is still worries so George then consoles her and promises her that it will be okay and Tony will sail through the surgery.
While waiting impatiently for Derek, Cristina sutures a banana. She then calls George 007 when he laughs, but she quickly apologises saying she gets mean when she's tired. Derek then walks in and explains that Katie is having seizures with no visible cause; she is a ticking clock. The intern who finds out the cause will get to scrub in on the advanced surgery. All the interns take copies of the chart.
Alex walks up and asks the nurse if she paged him, she says yes and that the patient in 4B still isn't responding to antibiotics and they should have worked by now, he ignores it, saying she is old and asks the nurse not to page him again. Meredith walks away and Cristina runs up to her asking if she wants to work together so they can each get a 50% chance of getting in on the surgery. Meredith accepts her proposal but says she doesn't want the surgery because she doesn't want to spend anymore time with Derek than possible.
In the hospital library, they try to figure out what is wrong, all the while Cristina asks why she won't spend time with Derek. Meredith eventually admits that they had sex. They move back to the discussion about Katie when Meredith realises something. She tells Cristina to get up and they go off to find Derek. They confront Derek telling him, although they have no proof, she may have an aneurism. As she fell but the fall was so minor her doctor didn't mention it. Derek goes to check it out and is shocked to discover that they were right. Katie was one in a million and is bleeding into her brain. He says Katie could have gone through her entire life without it being a problem and he congratulates the girls. He then picks Meredith to join him in the O.R. As soon as he leaves, Cristina glares at Meredith and storms away.
Meanwhile, Burke is operating on Tony Savitch and after a while, he leaves and goes out to George. George is shocked that Burke was so fast but Burke says the heart had too much damage and Tony died. George is shocked and upset. He tells Burke he had promised Gloria that Tony would be okay. Burke is outraged saying that the only person who can keep a promise like that is God, he also tells George that he can be the one to tell Gloria.
Izzie and Cristina are sitting down in private and Izzie tries to convince Cristina that maybe it wasn't Meredith's fault but Cristina stops her. Meredith appears and tries to apologise but Cristina says that Meredith can't come to her for absolution and that at least she didn't get into medical school because of her famous mother of gets good surgeries because she slept with her boss. Meredith then storms off.
George is in the waiting area and tries to tell Gloria that Tony died. He tries to apologise but she just asks him to leave and collapses into a chair.
Derek is shaving Katie's head but Meredith says she doesn't want to scrub in but Derek insists that she does, that his decision wasn't because they had sex but because Meredith was Katie's doctor and on her first day at work she helped save her life.
Meredith and George are sitting on a window ledge outside wishing they had chosen different careers. George then says that his parents tell everyone that he is a surgeon as if it's a big accomplishment. Meredith then says that when she told her mother that she wanted to go to medical school, she tried to talk her out of it because she didn't think Meredith had what it took so George shouldn't feel so bad.
The Chief asks Alex a few questions and when Alex doesn't reply, he asks the room if anybody knew the common causes of post-op fever. When nobody answers, Meredith does. The Chief asks her what she thinks is wrong with the patient and Meredith correctly assumes, that patient 4B is a prime candidate for a pulmonary embolism. The Chief asks her how she would diagnose and she does so correctly, again. The Chief then tells Alex to do what Meredith said and then he is off the case. Walking away, the Chief tells Meredith that she would know her anywhere and that she looks exactly like her mother.
Meredith walks to the O.R where Katie is being prepped. She observes admiringly and when Derek tells her to take a look, she does so and stares amazed. She then realises it is more than a game and they make it hard on purpose. They have lives in their hands.
Outside the O.R when the surgery is finished, Cristina compliments her and after a few minutes, the girls make up. Almost as soon as Cristina walks away, Derek appears and Meredith tells him the surgery was amazing and such a high, much more than she expected. The two share a moment and Derek leaves saying that he will see her around.
Meredith later leaves the hospital with Cristina, Izzie and George and even later, she goes up the steps of a house through the rain. She tells a woman that she won't be selling her house anymore and that she will get some roommates and that her fellow interns are great. The woman asks Meredith if she is her doctor but Meredith says no, but she is a doctor. The woman asks Meredith her name and Meredith reminds her. The woman then proceeds to tell Meredith that she thinks she was a doctor and Meredith smiles and tells her she was. The woman is Ellis Grey and she has Alzheimer's.
- Miranda Bailey: Don't bother sucking up. I already hate you and that's not gonna change.
- "Portions for Foxes"- Rilo Kiley
- "Super Cool"- Bang Sugar Bang
- "They"- Jem
- "Dance"- The O.A.O.Ts
- "Ready to Rise"- Vaughan Penn
- "Life Is Short"- Butterful Boucher
- "Into the Fire"- Thirteen Senses
This episode's title originated from the song "A Hard Day's Night", originally sung by The Beatles.
- Out of all 20 surgical interns, only six were women.
- The interns have 48 hour shifts.
- Interns work every second day.
- Katie's room number was 3604.
- Tony Savitch had four children.
- Justin Chambers (Alex Karev) was not originally in the pilot.
- Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey
- Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang
- Katherine Heigl as Izzie Stevens
- Justin Chambers as Alex Karev
- T.R. Knight as George O'Malley
- Chandra Wilson as Miranda Bailey
- James Pickens, Jr. as Richard Webber
- Isaiah Washington as Preston Burke
- Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd
- Billy Wood as Senior Resident
- Joshua Bywater as Intern #1
- Kathleen M. Darcy as Anaesthesiologist
- Noelle McCutchen as Nurse #2
- Grinnell Morris as Intern #4
- Sean Palmer as Intern #4
- Brad Pennington as Radiologist
- Sendhil Ramamurthy as Intern #2
- Lynne Marie Stewart as Pre-op Nurse
- Moe Irvin as Nurse Tyler Christian
- Richard Gilbert-Hill as Small Town Doctor
Patients and RelativesEdit
- Randall Arney as Mr. Bryce
- Laura Carson as Gloria Savitch
- Gregory Erff as Mr. Jones
- Joel Schmidt as Gloria's Brother
- Skyler Shaye as Katie Bryce
- Robbie Troy as Mrs. Bryce
- David Vegh as Tony Savitch
- Martin Ighani as Rectal Exam Patient (uncredited)
- Kate Burton as Ellis Grey