Grey's Anatomy recap: Trial and Error

Callie endures an unexpected malpractice suit with the help of her father (guest star Hector Elizondo)
Ep. 09 | Aired Nov 14, 2013

Danny Feld/ABC

Callie made the judgement call to get in there and operate on Travis' infection, even though she and Jo had noticed a small heart murmur that morning. Yang was furious: She should have operated on his heart first, she yelled at Callie. He can live without a leg; he can't live without a heart. (Apparently Bailey heard them fighting from down the hallway, but I think this was just a way to get Bailey into the episode and have something else to mention during the trial, because they were not being that loud. Grey's' surgical trance-music soundtrack, for example, is usually much louder than this scuffle.)

But Callie argued that day -- and on the stand tonight -- that this was Travis Reed they were talking about. "I don't wanna be the doctor who turns an Olympic athlete into a doorstop," Travis' wife Whitney overhead Callie telling Yang in the hallway. Ouch. Ouch at the time, and ouch at the trial. (So many different timelines! Help!)

So why did Callie insist on working on Travis' leg first? Well, his vitals were okay, and his foot was turning gray. She started to explain to the jury how Travis' heart was throwing out emboli, or clots, or [OTHER SCARY UNFAMILIAR WORDS] -- wait. Stop. Regroup. Remembering her lawyer's valuable advice that juries only respond to terminology they recognize, she tried a different approach: "Do you ever cook?" she asked her suddenly rapt audience of people who -- why yes, yes, they're coming back, around, yes. Some of them have indeed heard of cooking.

If there's a grease fire in your kitchen and it spreads to your curtains, what do you do? Put out the grease fire or extinguish the curtains? "Which disaster do you tackle first?" Callie wondered aloud as the jury members thought fondly of the beautiful curtains in their own homes, which they certainly wouldn't want to see on fire. See, if Callie hadn't treated the emboli when she did, Travis would have lost his leg for sure. She was just picking which disaster to tackle first.

NEXT: Can you sue someone for negligent housekeeping?

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