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Grey's Anatomy Recap: Episode 13, "Stairway to Heaven"

Grey's Anatomy Rundown: Episode 13, "Stairway to Heaven"

On this week's Thursday night horror movie — OK, it was an episode of Grey's Anatomy, but with all the creepy music and quick camera angles and ghosts, didn't it feel a little like a horror movie? — a lot of our continuing plotlines come to their conclusions, with Meredith dealing with the serial killer and Izzie calling out Denny for sticking around. There's a little comic relief with Lexie and Mark, but most of the episode is pretty heavy. Ready to chat? Just


Finally. Finally, finally, finally, Izzie Stevens realizes that seeing her dead ex-fiancé — and kissing him, and having sex with him, and talking to him in public places even though nobody else can see him — is not OK. Finally, Izzie knows something's wrong with her. And it scares her, of course, to know that she's sick, but it doesn't seem as scary as the possibility that Denny's just going to be around forever, creepily saying "I'm here for you." Of course, it took Izzie a ridiculously long time to wise up and act like a scientist (or like the doctor she supposedly is) to even think that maybe it was an illness causing her to see and hear Denny all the time. Even in this episode, she suggests that maybe the crazy part of her was the part that thought Denny was dead in the first place. Regardless, it's finally happened: Seeing Izzie again may be Denny's heaven, but it would be Izzie's hell, and she's not done living yet. It's not like we actually see her tell anyone she's sick; I figure that'll be strung out a while longer. But at least there's some kind of explanation of what's been going on.

Meanwhile, the resolution to the serial killer story is actually a lot more complex than what I was predicting last week, when it seemed certain that Jackson would get the killer's organs. It does look for much of this episode like that's how things will end, with Meredith content to let William die and Bailey knowing that's wrong but letting her love for Jackson to get in the way. The twist that William was just playing Meredith so he'd have a friendly face at his execution seemed bizarre, but that aside, I liked the big moments here: Derek saying it's up to Bailey to decide whether he's a surgeon or an executioner; Jackson opening his eyes when it seemed all hope was lost.

The execution scene itself is hard to watch, but it does take care of another problem: the Meredith/Cristina fight. When Mere is at her lowest, there's only one person who can help, and Derek will never be able to fill in. When she's inconsolable, she needs Cristina, and I'm glad that Cristina could put their rift behind her and step in for comfort.


  • Lexie breaks Mark's, er, "bone." 'Scuse me, what? I guess it provides both our comic relief for the evening and our "Oh, Mark can be kind of a sensitive guy sometimes" moment, and it did crack me up when Lexie volunteers to stroke his hair and he looks at her with crazy eyes, but it mostly feels out of step with the rest of the episode.
  • Nice that Lexie and Sadie are still friends, even though it does require thinking about Sadie's "Twist and Shout move."
  • Owen admits to Cristina that he's got a lot of issues to work through, but she wants to date him anyway. They're one screwed-up couple, but I like that they know it.
  • George O'Malley had what, three lines?
  • Did the Denny narration catch anyone else off-guard? At first I wasn't sure if it was Denny or Alex.

Your thoughts? Glad that Izzie's had an epiphany about her illness, or dreading what comes next? Pleased with how the serial killer story wrapped up? Freaked out that what happened to Mark can apparently actually happen? Sound off below!

Photos copyright 2009 ABC, Inc.

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californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
I'm glad that the Izzie/Denny storyline is finally going somewhere...but methinks that Denny is not completely gone yet. She definitely has some brain issue, Michael Ausiello from said it would be like an aneurysm or something but he doesn't know the details yet (he said its not a tumor). I don't know what to think of Lexie & Mark. I want to like them but I just don't. I wish George was more involved with storylines (that didn't involve hooking up with more women). Chandra Wilson seems to have overracted the storyline with the kid who needed the organs, but thats just my opinion. I like the serial killer storyline, but I couldn't watch when he banged his head on purpose. Grosss. I also think that he wanted to redeem himself but he got scared in the end and couldn't go through with it. I liked the ending where Meredith and Cristina reunited, and I am interested to see how Cristina's relationship with Hunt continues to develop.
KellyRenee1979 KellyRenee1979 8 years
Glad that Izzy is finally figuring out she is sick. I immediately thought brain tumor, since she is doing the irrational things. It reminded me of the case with the 2 brothers & hiking accident where the 1 brother had married the waitress after only knowing her for a week... and then he was yelling horrible things at her. Brain tumors can make you do crazy things. As much as I appreciate Alex being okay with Izzy, he needed to be more supportive and help her figure this whole thing out. He outside of it and should've been able to spot it better than she could. I was so frustrated that we didn't get to hear what Meredith was saying to Christina in the car! I replayed it about 5 times and it looked like she said, "don't you ever..." and then maybe "leave me" or "let me...". I guess we will just have to wait until next week. Glad that Derek recognized that Mer needed Christina and isn't threatened by it. Where *is* George? I agree with the person who said they liked the whole camaraderie of the 5 in the first 2 seasons. They need to get back to the bar and have some drinks! I was hoping maybe we would be able to get to know the new interns better and they might give us some of those moments, but the new interns seem to be almost nameless, especially Yang's since she numbered them! Can't wait for the next episode to see what Mer said to Christina!!!
fakeplanettelex fakeplanettelex 8 years
@ nicname, i totally thought the same thing about the little boy - mini adrian brody (and that isn't a bad thing because when he grows up, he's going to be hot!) i actually liked these past 3 ep's - the serial killer brought a very intense element to the show but i thought it's been the best by far this season. hey shonda, you think that izzie FINALLY realizing she's sick after what, how many ep's now and the ghost sex has stopped.... this is brilliant? right. just please kill izzie off already. i really did like her and alex together but clearly you killed it. sloan and little grey, don't buy it either... and whoever said the grey sisters are annoying, i'm with you on that HOWEVER meredith actually did not annoy me in this ep. i don't watch private practice (didn't catch my interest in the first ep) so i don't really care for the next ep, but of course i'll still watch it... and so effin glad derek went to yang for help. and so effin glad that she wasn't stubborn to help meredith.
Missmichaelene Missmichaelene 8 years
I bet Izzie has a brain tumor!
electricxbaby electricxbaby 8 years
I'm glad Izzie finally got over the whole Denny thing, now she can concentrate on getting better. The episode left me wondering if they'd really kill her off in the future. It was such a Meredith thing to do and go to the execution. And I'm glad Cristina and Meredith are talking again! I agree with lynp, Derek is a really smart guy to get the best friend! I'm glad the little boy woke up in the end too.
lynp lynp 8 years
I thought this was a pretty good episode, finally! I figured out a couple weeks ago that Izzy was sick, but I'm not sure with what. Shondra Rimes said it's not a brain tumor, so we'll see. My favorite part was the end when Derek got Christina. I told my husband that its a smart man who know when he can't help and gets the best friend.
pss pss 8 years
NOO Denny don´t gooo!!!I love him, haha but yeah his storyline was reeeally weir.And I hope Izzie won´t die, please, firt cuz alex could be get absolutely crazy, now when he is in a real relaionship, and second cuz I like Izzie so much. And I still love the show.
CYL CYL 8 years
Please make Izzie die and go away..she annoys the crap out of a character. Love the broken bone and Sloan story made me laugh. I love them together and how he calls her little Grey. It really takes a strong character like Christina to take on Hunt...
graylen graylen 8 years
There was a lot going on in the show last night. I'm glad the killer won't be on anymore- he completely creeped me out- plus they really went out on disgusting close ups on him. I like that Meredith called his bluff. That was a strong moment for her, I thought. I'm not surprised that Bailey lost it as she apparently never goes home (or has a kid anymore). I think we were supposed to see that she had gotten to the point of exhaustion and emotion that she was just no longer thinking rationally. However, I agree with many posters that it was unrealistic that she would have been able to stay on the case without sleep or stay in the OR demanding a surgeon to do something unethical. I really like Lexie and Mark. I like that it took her to show him that it's okay to be taken care of. He doesn't always have to be "Mark Sloan." I also like that she stands up to him. He needs a strong woman ; )
cibele cibele 8 years
I miss George :(
nessa17 nessa17 8 years
This episode was great. I'm glad that the izzie/denny thing is over even though i really like denny. This episode was very emotional with most of the storylines. I also really enjoyed lexie/mark and their storyline, it provided some comic relief, and i think that they are cute together.
billyart101 billyart101 8 years
I'm still completely behind Grey's, and last night was a great episode. I hate that we know so much of what's going on behind the scenes with the show, but that seems the writers are granting Katharine's wish, giving her a lot juicy work, even though it might mean the slow, painful death of her character! Maybe TR made his anti-writer comment after/while filming/preparing for these episodes, for which I can understand his frustration. He's gone from being so central to the plot with the father-dying, the marriage, the love-triangle. Has his involvement in the show slipped concurrently with his coming out and being the reason Isaiah left? Great episode, but I hope they'll be careful that the bitterness behind the scenes doesn't affect the integrity of the show they put on.
dmbabe dmbabe 8 years
I agree with lilkimbo that the serial killer wasn't actually "playing" Meredith, but was just saying that to make her feel better about obeying a murder's wishes. Also, I don't think this is the end of Izzy at all, Denny told her outright that he was there to give her the option between living and dying. And lastly - George is one of the best characters on the show and I am so mad that they are apparently writing him off. His character had such compassion and was a great counterpart to Izzy and could help salvage her crazy storyline. I still love the show, but I really miss the group dynamic that the original 5 interns had together - like in the first two seasons when they were totally there for one another and involved in each other's lives. Naturally, they all have to grow independently, but that comradarie they had is what made the show special and I think an important component that has been missing lately.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Sorry to write something so long!
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
I agree with some others, the serial killer wasn't playing Meredith, he just said he was because he was scared to die and didn't want Meredith to know it. As for the Izzie/Denny thing, it seems to me that Denny was saying he was "there for her" in the sense that he was going to take her to Heaven, but then he gave her the choice between living and dying. I think she has something that's similar to an aneurysm that's causing the hallucinations and she can chose to live (by telling someone about the issue and receiving the proper care) or die (by hiding the problem). I don't really like L'il Grey and Sloane together. Something about that couple bugs me. I do, however, really like Cristina with Hunt. I think there's a lot they can do with that pairing. I also really like the new doctor (played by Jessica Capshaw). I hope she becomes a more integral part of the show. Even though I don't like Mark and Lexie together, I liked their storyline; it brought some comic relief to the episode. I don't see the point of having Lexie and Sadie have a budding friendship, though, since Sadie is leaving the show soon. As far as the lack of realism, I agree 100% with everything said about the number of people who would lose their jobs. I also thought it was a little ridiculous that Meredith just walked out of the prison and it was on a normal street. Maximum security prisons aren't really in that type of setting. Oh well, though, despite the inaccuracies and dramatic liberties taken, it was a good episode.
katiedid0985 katiedid0985 8 years
I'm also really happy the Izzie/Denny storyline is going somewhere (sort of) other than her just having ghost sex. Seriously, she's a doctor and she couldn't figure out something was wrong when she's been seeing her dead fiance? I think I'd pick up on that pretty quick even without medical training! I also thought it was annoying that Denny just kept saying "I'm here for you", after a couple of times I got it, but Izzie obviously didn't for a while, couldn't he have said something like ::"I've come for you" so as not to drag it out over an entire episode? Ugh. I also thought the serial killer thing was way overdramatized and the writers are making Bailey kind of a wimp instead of the awesome tough doctor she used to be. It's sad. I was afraid when Derek was waiting for Meredith after the execution he would propose to her then to make her happy or something (yeah, I don't really trust the writers not to do stupid things like that anymore). But I'm glad Christina and Mer are talking again. And I'm glad she's giving McArmy another chance because I LOVE Kevin McKidd (I think that's his name). But Little Grey and Sloane, I just can't buy it. The Grey sisters just really bug me in general.
I couldnt agree any more that this Denny/Izzie thing is WEIRD!!! But i love Denny Doucet and i liked seeing him again on TV! As far as George goes, I feel bad for him and noticed immediately that he barely had ANY LINES! But his character was over done, especially when he dated Izzie....I think they shouldve made his character gay, and that he has a hard time connecting with women as actor.... As far as the end of this show, HOLY CRAP! It was like the old Greys! I was in tears!! and I agree people can watch it when they are sad, but I wasnt last night and i was hysterical watching the execution! I think it was very well done, and happy Mer and Cristina are over it!!! and it was jsut adorable with Derek! I dont think Izzie is going to die, but this is going to be a very big struggle and I have faith in the writers!!
Elsa2 Elsa2 8 years
Buzz, he wasn't playing with Meredith : he told her that but Mer saw right through him and knew he was only afraid of dying. That's when he asked her if she would come to his execution... I love the slow building of Christina and Owen's story. I also loved the end with Mer and Christina finally reuniting... I'd love to be able to read lips so I could know what they said in the car ! On the other hand, I still can't stand Izzie and I absolutely can't buy Lexie and Mark together.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Does anyone else find it amusing that Shonda was getting all cranky about calling it "ghost sex" and insisting he wasn't a ghost/it would all be resolved brilliantly...and it turns out he's basically the grim reaper? Wow, brilliant.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
I seriously wish the Izzy thing was over. It's been getting on my nerves for weeks now. If it wasn't for the rest of the show, I would quit watching. I can't wait to see Cristina and Hunt move on into coupledom. I really think their story will be good. I cried at the end. The Cristina/Derek/Meredith/execution story just moved me. So did Miranda breaking down. But I am glad the sick kid/prisoner story is over. Three shows of that was just getting a little lengthy.
clarabelle98 clarabelle98 8 years
This whole Denny/Izzie thing reminds me of Ally McBeal when Billy had the brain tumor. He saw people and things that weren't there too. It took him a long time to realize he was sick (And HE wasn't a doctor). In the end, he died. I think this is the end, sadly, of Izzie Stevens. :(
laceykk23 laceykk23 8 years
and denny isnt gone, at least according to ausiello, he'll be around until at least march. maybe he'll go away for a couple weeks and then reappear when izzy figures out what is wrong with her...
laceykk23 laceykk23 8 years
i didnt hear what meredith said either, so i bet it was intentional.
littlebmac littlebmac 8 years
I think TR Knight is leaving the show soon. Looking forward to seeing Addison again in a couple of weeks!
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