24 hours. 1,440 minutes. 86,400 seconds. That’s all it takes for a patient to go from sick to healthy, from hopeful to dire. One day can you bring back from the brink, change your entire life in one heartbeat, one single breath. It’s why doctors watch you like a hawk, hold you for observation. It’s why we behave as if your every move, every sound, every input and output, is life or death. Because it is. 24 hours. 1,440 minutes. 86,400 seconds. That’s all it takes to save your life. To change your life. One single day can pull us from the depths of despair. And one single day can fill us with more possibilities than we could imagine. ”
— April Kepner, Owen Hunt, and Meredith Grey
Guest Stars For This Episode.
.Kim Raver as Dr. Teddy Altman
.Saul Rubinek as Eli Rigler
.Scott Speedman as Dr. Nick Marsh
April is sleeping at the bar when the bartender wakes her up so he can leave.
Owen knocks on Teddy’s door until she answers. She’s surprised and happy to see him.
Nick Marsh comes out of surgery and hands the donor liver over to someone else to take ahead. He leans up against the wall to catch his breath. Meredith checks on him. He says he’s fine except he had a kidney transplant. She thinks he means the organ he just retrieved, but he actually meant his own. He insists he’s fine, but then collapses to the floor, so Meredith calls for a gurney.
April can’t find Eli Rigler in the system, but that’s because she has his last name wrong. He was there a week prior and got antibiotics for diverticulitis, the third time he’s had it. Dr. Bailey said antibiotics would be less invasive and he wanted to go on his synagogue’s youth trip. He’s learned that sending a junior rabbi means bad things. He also tells her he developed a rash. She looks at his chest to see his skin sloughing off. She asks a nurse to get ready to move him to the burn unit.
Teddy wants to know why Owen is there. She guesses, but then he says he and Amelia are done. Now there’s nothing standing in their way. Teddy leans in and kisses him.
Nick knows Meredith wants to know why he was operating so soon after his own surgery. She says it’s not her business, but she did wonder. He says he’s been fine since his surgery. He tells her about his own patient, who waited six years for a liver transplant. He didn’t want to hand her off to someone else. He asks Meredith if he screwed it up and if he’s going to lose his kidney.
April goes to check on Eli, who is getting treated by Jackson. She tells him he has a rare skin condition caused by the antibiotics. No one knows why it happens sometimes. They’re going to do their best to keep him comfortable and keep it from progressing. They ask if there’s someone they can call. He says his wife, but he doesn’t want to worry her. They tell him to worry her.
Outside the room, Bailey asks about him. April questions her treatment plan, but Jackson and Bailey both defend the decision. Bailey wants to take over, but April won’t let her. April says they all know he’s dying. He’ll be lucky to make it through the night and if he dies, that’s on Bailey.
Meredith does an ultrasound on Nick, but it shows nothing. She also learned that his patient’s transplant is going well. He wants to know when they’ll get his labs. He wants to bribe the lab techs to make it go faster. He lies and says he’s not in any pain, but when she calls him on it, he admits to a little. He just doesn’t want anything for the pain. She goes to leave, saying she’ll come back when his labs are in, but he doesn’t want to be left alone. She reminds him that he didn’t want to call his family, but he says that’s because Charlotte will fail calculus if she misses her mid-term and he can’t help her with that. He brags about being an amazing transplant surgeon despite being math-dumb because he’s in the presence of Meredith Grey, Harper Avery winner. She says she needs to go check on her patients, but it’s all routine surgeries. She asks him about Charlotte. She’s his niece. His sister had a baby and screwed that up, so he took Charlotte in. He asks about her kids. She tells him she has three and the occasional stowaway. He looks for her cape, but she says she has a lot of help. She tells him her kids had a dad. Then he asks her what she’d do if she wasn’t a doctor. She has no plan B. She never has. She’s wanted to be a doctor forever. She asks him about how he became a doctor. He tells her about his mother dying while waiting for a heart transplant, which inspired him to become a transplant surgeon. When he asks her where she keeps her Harper Avery, she tells him she has to go check on her other patients, but she’ll come back when his labs come in. He asks if she thinks he’ll lose his kidney and she says she doesn’t know.
Owen and Teddy cuddle in bed. She laughs because he’s in her bed in Germany. They kiss and she contemplates asking him why he’s there. They both agree they imagined this moment.
Teddy and Owen debate the details of a shared memory of when they met and first operated together. They both wanted to do it for the rest of their lives.
Owen and Teddy cuddle in a window and watch the snow. She says the snow is the one time she loves Germany. She reminds him when he made it snow in the desert for the guys. She says he’s the best at grand gestures. She then asks him why he’s there. She wants to know if it’s just a one-time thing and they go back to their separate lives. She’s established in Germany. She hates Germany, but she likes her life there. He suggests he could move to Germany and be with her. Teddy says he’d be leaving his mom and Megan behind. Then he says she could move back to Seattle. Or they could do half and half or Canada. They have options. He hasn’t figured it out. He just knows he wants to be with her. It’s not a grand gesture. It’s what he wants.
Teddy asks Owen to stay a few days and they can spend more time together. He says he’ll make some calls and he can stay. She says Owen’s her best friend and knows everything about her. She questions that he just got out of a marriage. He says that led him to her. Teddy asks him what he means by that and he has to admit that Amelia is the reason he’s in Germany. And that they were having sex when she pointed it out to him, just last night.
Nick tells Meredith about getting a kidney from his best friend and not wanting to have to admit that he screwed it up. His plan B used to be show salesman, because when you’re a shoe salesman, your work stays at work. He wants to hear her fantasy. She tells him she briefly thought she’d be working at the multiplex with Cristina, but that was hospital-mandated therapy. Nick then tells the story of his father taking him to the Boundary Waters. If he couldn’t be a doctor, he’d go sit in a canoe and wait until he felt what his father felt during those trips. Nick asks again to hear her fantasy. She says she once went to Sardinia with a friend. They paid a small amount to a woman to drink all her wine and crash at her house. She was 97 and the neighbors were all elderly as well. They grew all their own food. No one was rushed. They were happy. She wants to take her kids and her sisters. Just sit in a hammock with her kids with a stack of books she has no intention of reading. He asks if there’s room in the hammock for someone about her age. Unless she wants to lug a canoe with him. Before she can answer, his labs come in. The numbers are inconclusive. She goes through the options and then does another ultrasound, which shows a clot in his renal vein, which is cutting off blood to the kidney. She rushes him to the OR.
On their way down the hallway, Nick tells her about where the important information is in his house, for Charlotte. He tells her Charlotte has to go to college and stay away from drugs because they ruined his sister. Meredith tells him to tell Charlotte all this himself.
Eli wakes up and calls out for his wife. April tells him she’s on her way. She goes to turn up the heat, but he doesn’t want it hotter. She offers him pain medication, but he refuses. He’s in a lot of pain, but he says she just worries too much. He doesn’t want any more medicine until his wife get there. He sees Bailey hovering and says she can come in if she likes, but April says no. He figures out she doesn’t like Bailey. April denies it, but Eli says she’s a good doctor, despite what happened to him. He wants the story behind April. He knows she’s in pain. He wants to help take away her pain. She says it’s not his job, but he says it’s exactly his job and he wants to do it. He knows he’s going to die. She says she’s sorry, but he says she’s just doing her job and she should let him do his. April finally concedes and sits down to talk to him. She tells him about her doubts in her faith because of all the disappointments. He says there’s no guarantees. No one lives a life free of suffering or injustice. If people only believed in God when things are good, after the Holocaust, not a sing Jew would be a believer. He struggles to breathe, so April gives him oxygen. Then he tells her faith wouldn’t be real faith if they only believe when things are good. He tells her terrible things happen. Who is she to know why? No one gets to know why. She can either believe in God or believe it’s pointless. Whatever makes her happier. He asks if she’s happy and she starts crying. He sees that she’s in unimaginable pain. He knows that feeling. He says God’s not indifferent to their pain. The world is full of brokenness and it’s their job to put it back together again. He’s in pain and she asks him to let her take away some of his pain. He says she already did. He asks her to tell Dr. Bailey he forgives her. She tries to get him to hang on to see his wife. He then believes April is Elyse, so she goes along with it and comforts him while he dies.
Nick wakes up and Meredith tells him Plan B’s never going to happen because she saved his kidney. She saved his life.
Owen and Teddy fight. She says he’s just terrified of being alone. She packs up his things as he says she’s terrified of letting herself be loved. All he does is hurt her. He flew to Germany, but then she finds out it’s not about her. When she finally believes she has him, she finds out Amelia sent him. She doesn’t want to be his sloppy seconds or his fallback. He tells her he didn’t do the snow for the soldiers. It was for Teddy, whom he knew loved Christmas. She tells him they’re done and shows him out the door.
Bailey struggles to light a match in the chapel. April comes up behind her and lights the match. She lights a candle for Eli. April tells Bailey that Eli forgave her. Sometimes things just happen and they don’t get to know why.
Alex comes into the bar and sits next to Meredith. She tells him about saving Nick. He asks what the issue was. She says he lives in Minnesota. But the problem is he was her patient. She likes her life as it is now, but he made her feel something she hasn’t felt since Derek. But she’s his doctor. He asks her if it’s the worst thing in the world to know it’s out there if she wants it. She says it’s not the worst thing. The bell on the door rings and she turns around to look.
Trivia About The Episode
This episode’s title originated from the song One Day Like This, originally sung by Elbow.
This episode scored 7.15 million viewers.
Although it was not mentioned on screen, Krista Vernoff and Shonda Rhimes dedicated this episode to Suzanne Patmore Gibbs who died a few hours before the airing of the episode. She was an executive at ABC at the time of the show’s pilot and the first executive there who showed belief in Shonda.
The last shot in the episode is when Meredith turns around in the bar. That shot is from a previous episode when she turned around looking for Derek.
This episode does not contain any visual surgical scenes in the operating room.
The clothes Meredith is wearing is very similar to the ones she wore in What’s Inside .
Music Of The Episode
| Say My Name By Tove Styrke
Who I Am By Andrew Galucki
|Caldonia By Louis Jordan|
Quotes From The Episode
Meredith: I have three kids and a stowaway. What are you doing?
Dr. Marks: Looking for your cape.
Nick: I just got way too personal on the first date.
Meredith: Excuse me?
Meredith: Sorry, Nick. Plan B is is never gonna happen. Because I saved your kidney.
Nick: Pbht! You are Oh, my God. You are evil. An evil, twisted…
Nick: You saved my life.
Meredith: I did.
Nick: You saved my whole damn life.
Meredith: I really like the way my life is now, but he made me feel something I haven’t felt since Derek.