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Grey's Anatomy Recap: Season 5, Episode 20, "Sweet Surrender"

Grey's Anatomy Rundown: Episode 20, "Sweet Surrender"

A whole lot happens on this week's return of Grey's Anatomy. Izzie starts chemo and wants to take her mind off her illness by planning an elaborate wedding for Meredith and Derek. Owen follows up on his promise to get help for his PTSD. Callie's dad comes to visit and isn't too impressed with some of the choices his daughter is making. A bunch of relationships (Mark and Derek's, Izzie and Cristina's, George and Alex's) start to evolve and Bailey gets to be awesome. To chat about it all, just


This episode of Grey's is largely about respect. Izzie doesn't respect her illness; Alex doesn't respect George; Bailey doesn't respect the seriousness of pediatrics. And by the end of the episode, that's all changed.

For the first half of this episode, Izzie's doing everything she can to prove to her friends that she's still the same person she was precancer. I mean, she's overdoing it, clearly, because fake-choking and fake-coding are pretty extreme. But it's actually kind of cute to see her working the "I have cancer; now you must bend to my will" angle. But then chemo takes hold, and suddenly she gets it: she's sick. It's interesting that Cristina is the one who's there for that epiphany — suddenly, the person who liked Izzie least is the one mopping her brow.

How funny is it to see Meredith in some of those poofy wedding dresses? Of course Mere just wants a simple wedding, but she knows the right thing to do for now is to let Izzie get her way. And that's not the only big thing she does in this episode: she also finally accepts Lexie as family. (Now, accepting the Chief as best man, on the other hand? That's a place she's just not willing to go, so it's a good thing Mark and Derek's bromance is back on.)

It's a little jarring to have Callie's dad show up out of nowhere, but his arrival helps us see how far she's come. Loved her response to her dad throwing George against the wall and yelling that he committed adultery ("Who hasn't?") and the way she bravely announced she was dating Arizona. (And thank goodness. I couldn't have taken a whole episode of Callie hiding behind messed-up pronouns — "they're pretty busy because they're a doctor here.") Her dad clearly thinks she's lost it and wants to take her home, to the tune of paying the Chief to transfer Callie to Miami. And she won't have it: he threatens to cut her off from her trust fund if she doesn't obey, so she cuts him off first.

So much more to talk about:

  • Bailey's pediatrics decision is clearly weighing on her, both because she has to tell her husband what she's doing and because she spends the day doing one of the hardest things anyone could do: holding a dying child. Initially, in her chat with Arizona, she dismisses this; it wasn't medical, she says, and if she wanted to hold a kid she could have spent time with her own son. But Arizona points out something she's been saying from the start: this is a specialty about more than cutting.
  • George (in an actual storyline!) manages to prove himself as a doctor in this episode. For all his faults, he's good at working under pressure — I mean, he's heart-in-an-elevator guy — and with Owen's help he realizes maybe trauma is his place. It's a tough thing for Alex to see: he doesn't respect George as a person or a doctor, but he has to admit George has a skill he doesn't and may never have.
  • Chyler Leigh looks so pregnant! I love how they justified it by making Lexie eat all the time.
  • Owen in therapy is going to be interesting. I'm not sure he believes at all in what he's doing, and yet he has so much repressed that he's got to get it out somehow.
  • I love Callie ranting in Spanish and Mark telling her he doesn't have time to try to decipher her problems in a language he doesn't understand.

Happy to see Grey's back? Where do you stand now on Izzie living vs. Izzie dying?

Photos copyright 2009 ABC, Inc.

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