Grey's Anatomy: Season 1, Episode 3

Winning a Battle, Losing the War (10 Apr. 2005)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama, Romance
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 548 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 1 critic

Izzie and Cristina are assigned a close-to-brain-dead John Doe who may be a viable candidate for organ donation, and helpful to George's patient, who needs a new liver. Meanwhile, Meredith and Alex butt heads over a patient of their own.



(created by),
0Check in

Watch Now

From $1.99 on Amazon Instant Video


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 10000 titles
created 27 Feb 2011
a list of 6602 titles
created 01 Jan 2012
a list of 22 titles
created 07 Apr 2013
a list of 1562 titles
created 21 Mar 2014
a list of 706 titles
created 10 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: Winning a Battle, Losing the War (10 Apr 2005)

Winning a Battle, Losing the War (10 Apr 2005) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Grey's Anatomy.
« Previous Episode | 3 of 245 Episodes | Next Episode »





Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lloyd Mackie
Shelley Davidson


A bike race injures several people, one of whom is left brain dead. Cristina and Izzie want to use his organs for organ donation, but they find the organ harvesting process an emotional one. Meanwhile, George deals with an over-flirtatious patient and Meredith has to deal with Izzie and George moving in, Alex showing off, and keeping Derek at arm's length. Written by Alex

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance






Release Date:

10 April 2005 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Every episode of the show is named after a famous song. "Winning a Battle, Losing the War" is a song by Kings of Convenience. See more »


When Cristina and Meredith are talking to Dr. Burke while he is in the men's restroom, the door swings into the bathroom yet has no handle on the inside of the door to allow for those inside the bathroom to exit. That is the only door for the restroom, so Dr. Burke is trapped when they shut the door. See more »


Lloyd Mackie: Richard... you're a good friend. The best.
Dr. Richard Webber: Shut up and count backwards already, Mack.
See more »


Hear You Breathing (Vocal)
Performed by Stuart Reid
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

George comes into his own
27 February 2008 | by (Italy) – See all my reviews

It is hardly a coincidence that the funniest character on Grey's Anatomy shares his first name with the funniest character on Seinfeld: George. Okay, so George O' Malley is nowhere near as selfish, chubby or balding as George Costanza, but he is every bit as insecure, as shown in all its glory in this episode.

What started like a normal day becomes a mess rather quickly: an annual bike race is causing several people to wind up at the hospital (the poor idiots think it isn't fun to ride on the sidewalks), including one man who is declared officially brain-dead in a short amount of time. At this point, Izzie and Cristina think it would be a good idea to remove his organs for donation, an idea that would certainly please Lloyd Mackie (Keith David), a cancer-struck friend of Dr. Webber who's been waiting for a new liver for eight months and kills time by flirting with the intern in charge of looking after him: George. In the meantime, Meredith keeps resisting Derek's offers to go out on a real date.

For the first time, what happens on the operating table has an effect on the young doctors and their ethics system - Izzie, in particular, starts to resemble a proper character instead of a mere caricature of juvenile idealism (then again, she used to be a model, so maybe it was deliberate), an element that will be explored further in later episodes. What really makes Winning a Battle, Losing the War memorable, though, is the interactions between George and Mackie: T.R. Knight seems to channel Jason Alexander most of the time, especially when he insists he isn't gay (a bit ironic, given the actor came out during the production of Season Three), while Keith, best known as a voice-over artist, exudes tons of charm with his relaxing, paced words, brilliantly subverting the "dirty old man" cliché.

Overall, pretty good: entertaining, occasionally moving, and clear proof of the show's fine eye for guest stars.


1 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Should I stop watching? MissLunaStarr
confused haidenrojano
I know I'm totally in the minority, but... wolfette-821-652688
April and Jackson iewuliuks
Did you know it was George? lindseyyarborough-858-146222
Katherine Heigl to Return? ruairiphillips
Discuss Winning a Battle, Losing the War (2005) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: