The Writer's Perspective on "Give Peace a Chance"

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Pete Nowalk, the head writer on "Give Peace a Chance," shared some thoughts on last night's terrific episode of Grey's Anatomy on the show's official writers' blog.

Below are some excerpts from Pete's column, with a link at the bottom to the full entry ...


Do surgeons really wear diapers? Well, depends who you ask.

Either way, it wasn’t that big of a leap for us to go diaper. Our doctors are hard core by nature. Combine that with the threat they're feeling from the Mercy West residents and you can understand while they'll do anything to win.

As Lexie tells Jackson, if she needs to pee in a diaper to help Derek get through his impossible surgery, she'll pee in a diaper. Which of course just drove Cristina crazy jealous.

Cristina was a shoe-in to win that pen-in-a-cup contest...but then she choked. Happens to the best of us. That left Owen having to cope with the fact that his girlfriend was fiending to put on a diaper. Admittedly, it's not the sexiest thing to picture.

But I think it speaks to Owen's overall good nature that he found a way to be okay with it, even gifting Cristina her very own marathon surgery to cheer her up.

And then, when Derek thwarted that plan, he went as far as to sexily teach Cristina the right way to work the microscope. You gotta admit, the dude's a pretty awesome boyfriend.

Speaking of awesome boyfriend...  I'm sorry, I mean awesome husband...

Derek Shepherd.

This episode felt different. As you've probably noticed, we’re trying to experiment more this season. And that’s probably uncomfortable for some of you. It was for me.

Banding Together

Derek gets some encouragement from his doctor, Lexie Grey.

In retrospect I’m really glad we told this story this way. As Derek says in the voiceover, what drew him to surgery was the quiet. The deep, intense, long-ass focus it requires.

And this episode really reflects that. It’s quieter than a typical episode. More single-minded. Derek is our sole focus. And really, what an amazing character to spend an episode with.

Watch Patrick Dempsey on your screen and you can’t help but be struck by how much he says without saying anything. The guy can pretty much give you an entire soliloquy with one look.

That’s a rare talent, and we really wanted to use that to our advantage.

It also seemed like the perfect time to do our Derek-focused episode since we had little time to shoot with Ellen Pompeo (8 1/2 months pregnant at the time we shot this one).

Typically, if Derek's doing a once-in-a-lifetime surgery, Meredith would be at his side. But since we couldn't physically do that, we had her be there for him in a different way.

There's still no sign of Izzie. She's still god knows where and not telling Alex squat. Which is just harsh. Sure, the guy tried to pretend that he didn’t care whether she’d show up for her IL-2 treatment, but we all know that's just his way of coping.

Who doesn’t show up for their life-saving IL-2 treatment?

Last but not least, I'd like to applaud Chandra Wilson. She acts, she sings, and now she directs... and sometimes all at the same time. I have a feeling Chandra’s the kind of person that’s good at everything she does. You know the type from high school.

Follow the link for the entirety of Pete's blog ...

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


I know I’m a little late here. Just in my defense, I was travelling to US and brought the season 5 dvd! ;) I saw the episode but didn’t have time. Now I needed to come back with a few words… First a question. What about the press around worldwide neurosurgeon saves worldwide neurologist (Addison’s brother Archer)? And this operation, like Bailey said, it’s THE achievement of a surgeon’s carrier. Something is really wrong with Richard. Like Derek asked: “what happened to him?� Second, Isaac. Congratulations Mr. Faran Tahir. It’s not easy to play an optimistic and inspiring patient under so bad circumstances. And he nailed it. We believed him. We cared about him. We got inspired for him. And so did our Dr. McDreamy! Can we love him even more? All-Derek-all-the-time-episode was the best ever. Please, please, please keep this coming any time! :) And Meredith! How many times I have to say we love her? The talking about the surgery was so MerDer! They love this! Since the first surgery together on Katie Bryce! They share this passion with the same care and concerns to their patients. They know each other. She knows him. He needs her. And Meredith was there for him, even bed bounded! Great scene! Just perfect! Back to the case, Derek was loving and caring as usual. She knew who Isaac was before surgery. And he was “badass� only just because he cared too much about his patient. He didn’t do for prizes or fame. And that’s why all doctors were inspired to help him hide the surgery from Richard. And everybody was at his side even under the risk of punishment. He made everybody act as a team. A leader. Not and egocentric doctor. Lexie was amazing! “You need someone to talk to, that’s my prescription.� And all the doctors came in to talk to him and to be guarding his door! Lexie was intimidated before by Jackson but she fought back. She’s grown a lot. And Cristina who’s at her side. Arizona is a “good man on the storm�!!! I like her much every day!!! Derek was scared! The “take off my mask� was amazing! How I love him for that!
“A or B� was the perfect closing for the “bomb-like� episode! A wrong cut and everything explodes!
That was a perfect episode in every aspect. Well written, directed (Bailey ROCKS!) and acted!!!! Finally “Because WE saved the cord�??? Derek saved it! He did it!!! And he says WE! OMG!!!!!!!!!! Just remember Burke and Alex at the pig/cow valve replacement. Alex found the solution, Burke was scared, but he got all the credit. Owen is just the opposite of Burke. In many ways like Derek. Owen teaching Cristina was wonderful! The diaper was fun! (My choice was proudly B. for real!) The “You are fired� scene. Derek came to reconciliation. He could be barging about his amazing success. But he wasn’t. He only wanted peace. Let’s stop fighting. And these scenes are one of the many that show how talented Patrick Dempsey is. His eyes. Just his eyes. Calm and humble before. They were immediately disappointed as Richard said he was fired. Meaning all. No words needed. And they changed to the Isaac’s ones, the calm and strong ones at the end when he used Isaac’s same words of wisdom. Ultimate. Pete said perfectly “The guy can pretty much give you an entire soliloquy with just one look.� Derek sleeping at Meredith’s shoulder in the end… OMG! Couldn’t have been more perfect! The best ever! No need to be scared. We can watch Derek all day! Even doing nothing! Mostly if this mean he cares and doesn’t want to paralyzed his patient. Remarkable. Inspiring! All-Derek-all-the-time-episode was one of the best episodes ever! Please make more of this!!! Congrats Pete! Congrats Chandra! Congrats Patrick!


Great eppy loved the support that everyone gave Derrick. Great balance of all the Dr's. Expectly found the scenes with Callie and AZ sweet and charming. You can see they are growing to really care about each other. The scene that showed the post-it on the wall brought tears to my eyes. Also thought that Derrick and Little Grey was very cute. I think he sees her as a little sister. The diapers on her and Yang cracked my ass up. LOL!!! It was a wonderful episode except for the chief he pissed me off. His job is in jeopardy and he is really acting up. AZ put him in his place Yayyyy for AZ:) Oh loved the part too when Callie and AZ was holding hands. I think Callie is more confident and comfortable with AZ then she was with Hahn. But at some point will they ever kiss again?


This was a great episode. Great acting by Patrick Dempsey, he was awesome. Great writing, which I have been very critical of lately. Chandra did a great job directing. Love PD doing the voiceover. It gave insight into what he is thinking and he makes his decisions. The MerDer scenes were great. All the other doctors supporting Derek was great. Arizona scenes were great. The Isaac scenes were great. Just really a good episode.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.