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"It's the End of the World" is the 16th episode of the second season of the ABC series, Grey's Anatomy. The episode was written by series creator Shonda Rhimes and directed by co-executive producer Peter Horton. This episode is the first of a two-part story, concluding its plot on the following episode, "As We Know It". It originally aired on February 5, 2006, serving as the lead-out program for the Super Bowl XL. On its original broadcast, "It's the End of the World" was watched by 38.1 million viewers.[1] It is the highest rated and most watched episode of the series.

"It's the End of the World"
Grey's Anatomy episode
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 16
Directed byPeter Horton
Written byShonda Rhimes
Production code211
Original air dateFebruary 5, 2006 (2006-02-05) (ABC)
Running time43 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Break on Through"
Next →
"As We Know It"
Grey's Anatomy (season 2)
List of Grey's Anatomy episodes

The episode, along with its second part, secured writer Shonda Rhimes a 58th Primetime Emmy Awards nomination in the Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series category.[2]



The episode begins with a dream of Izzie, Cristina, Meredith and George in the shower together. It's George's dream. Meredith refuses to go to work. She has this feeling that she will die. George and Izzie cannot get her out of bed, they have to call in Cristina. Once at the hospital, the premonition seems to have some validity. A trauma victim is brought in by the paramedics; one of them, Hannah (played by guest star Christina Ricci), has her hand inside the victim's chest cavity to stop the bleeding. As Alex soon discovers, though, Hannah's hand is not the only thing inside of this patient; after firing a homemade bazooka, he's also got a piece of unexploded ammunition inside of him. This places the hospital on Code Black, which essentially shuts down the surgical wing—save for the one operation that has already begun: Derek and Cristina operating on the brain of a man who happens to be Bailey's husband.

Bailey's husband got into a car accident trying to get to the hospital on time because Bailey was going into labor. Though the bomb squad, led by Dylan Young (played by guest star Kyle Chandler), wants to clear out the ORs of all unnecessary personnel, Derek, Cristina, and Meredith all insist on staying. After a chat with George about being "doers versus watchers" (they feel Cristina and Meredith are the "doers"), Izzie decides to ignite things with Alex—in the supply closet. Richard is trying his best to keep the hospital in some sort of order amidst the chaos, but he's having a tough time. In fact, things degrade quite quickly, most notably when an anesthesiologist leaves Hannah alone with the patient and the bomb while all the other doctors are strategizing with Dylan. Meredith finds Hannah having a nervous breakdown, about to pull her hand out and potentially put them all in danger (not to mention kill the patient, whose bleeding she is suppressing). Hannah does pull her hand out and flee the scene—but not before Meredith can take her place as the girl with her hand in the explosive patient.

Title referenceEdit

The episode's title refers to the song "It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" by R.E.M., whose lead singer, Michael Stipe, collaborated with Coldplay frontman Chris Martin for a cover of the Joseph Arthur song "In The Sun", which closes the episode.[3]



Wetpaint named it in December 2011 one of the 5 best episodes of Grey's Anatomy along with the second part "As We Know It".[4]


  1. ^ Super Bowl Tops 90 Million Viewers
  2. ^ "'24,' 'Grey's Anatomy' top Emmy noms". Quad City Times. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  3. ^ Moss, Corey (1 February 2006). "Chris Martin, Justin Timberlake Help Michael Stipe Raise Katrina Funds". Retrieved 1 December 2009.
  4. ^ Clarendon, Dan (December 12, 2011). "The 5 Best Episodes of Grey's Anatomy". Wetpaint. Retrieved July 16, 2012.

External linksEdit