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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.

Join The Conversation
redchick152 redchick152 8 years
i loved seeing george kick butt...probably b/c he always gets overlooked. i really miss the george/izzie interaction...i think that is going to come up, especially the sicker she gets. its just weird w/o it...your best friend is dying but i'm not going to talk to her b/c i'm mad she didn't tell me?? whatev. mer looked ridiculous in all those wedding dresses!!! hopefully they find a good one. i noticed that lexie was growing on me too...funny stuff! and yay for her and mer being real sisters now. mcdreamy/mcsteamy=yummo...more please!
starlotus713 starlotus713 8 years
I personally hated the fact that they had Lexie eating all the time. Seriously? Yes, she's got that pregnant water retaining face, but it's not so bad that anyone would notice. I did like spotting the props they have her hold in front of her belly (like the x-rays in the scene where she's in the middle between Derek and Mark) but thought the need to rationalize a little bit of puffy face was a bit dumb. I hope they let it go with the "you can stop eating now" and it won't continue into any future episodes!
Allyace Allyace 8 years
It was so nice to see George some. I really hope TR isn't leaving. He was one of my favorites in the beginning and they keep giving him crap storylines. It would be more interesting for him to join the military for a while and then come back (kind of like they did with Zack on Bones).
mndmay mndmay 8 years
I'm not sure if they ever showed Lexie moving in (I think she lives in the attic, though??), but I think she moved out of the place with George after she yelled at him for being clueless to the fact that she was in love with him. I guess things worked out for her. . . McSteamy vs. George? No contest!
katies104 katies104 8 years
I love Meredith's hair in the dress trying-on scene at the end! Amazing!?! At first I was intrigued by Dr. Hunt, but he is getting annoying. Move on. Dr. Robbins just pisses me off. I don't like her; sometimes I just want to punch her in the face. Great episode, though. I've always loved Lexie and it feels refreshing that those 4 are all getting along.
Happsmjc Happsmjc 8 years
Yes I figured Mark didn't live with them, but when did Lexie move out of George's apartment and into Meredith's?? DId I miss something or am I forgetting something. I was just really confused as to why she was living there.
rossy rossy 8 years
To *marathonmorr*... - Not to offend you, but I don't understand the "I'm Hispanic and I don't know anybody who does that." - I have friends of different races & cultural backgrounds who tend to argue very LOUDLY in in their "mother-tongues" so nobody around them understands what it's about. - Hell, in my family my parents spoke exclusively in German so we kids didn't know what presents we'd get for Christmas/birthdays; where we were going on vacations... It gave us kids an incentive to learn German in order to know what was going on - Secretly of course so we'd have an advantage when we were young! - Perhaps it has more to do with some people not wanting to yell in public, whether it's arguing or raising one's voice in public to get someone's attention in order not to draw attention to yourself. - Finally, CONGRATS to Chyler Leigh & Ellen Pompeo on their upcoming joyous events!
fakeplanettelex fakeplanettelex 8 years
couple of thoughts: -ok, so lexie kinda grew on me. thought the stress eating was hilarious. -about damn time george had some lines and a good plot w/direction. -i liked seeing christina take care of izzie -izzie: i'm still 50/50 with her -mcdreamy/mcsteamy, whether they are frenemies or not, i love seeing them both on screen together b/c i like the dynamic between the two -i couldn't stop crying during bailey holding the little girl -and yes, it did feel like old grey's. i may restore my faith.
xopiperxo xopiperxo 8 years
i had no idea Chyler Leigh is pregnant! congrats to her and ellen!
pharm_chick pharm_chick 8 years
i just read that ellen pompeo is pregnant too!! thats great news for her!! i wonder if that will be written in somehow or not.
amloveaffair amloveaffair 8 years
I don't think Mark was living with Meredith. I agree about the dresses, they were all really ugly
Happsmjc Happsmjc 8 years
I also forgot Chyler was preg. in real life. Her eating was hilarious...and I laughed out loud in the end when Mere said "you can stop eating now". One questions?? WHY were Lexie and Mark living at Meredith's? I can't remember this happening? I thought she lived with George? I was confused. Also, all of those wedding dresses were hideous? Couldn't they have picked cute ones?!?
pharm_chick pharm_chick 8 years
such an awesome episode!! *i didnt know lexie was pregnant! i hope the season ends before she leaves for pregnancy leave, b/c i really like her character! * i LOVED the last dress meredith wore!! that whole bridal suite thing was so adorable *awww izzie!! i feel soo bad for her now, cancer is such a sad way to let someone go (if thats the reason to get izzie off the show) *i cried during the little girl's part.. she really was so adorable, and that was one of the best acting in the side stories *so happy mark and derek are friends again!! *yayyyy greys back!! :-D
marathonmom marathonmom 8 years
The part where Callie is ranting in Spanish bugged me. I'm Hispanic and I don't know anybody who does that.
CYL CYL 8 years
One of the best episodes this season...I totally cried over the little girl and Lexie has grown on me so much that character is adorable!
amloveaffair amloveaffair 8 years
Okay I have on important question. WHERE ARE OWEN'S EYEBROWS?!
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
they have already said they arent writing chyler's pregnancy into the show.
mlen mlen 8 years
my roommate and i were saying either they are going to make lexie pregnant on the show (hence hte eating= cravings) or she's stress eating. either way to cover up the fact that she's really pregnant in real life!
care0531 care0531 8 years
I cried when that little girl died- she was such a good little actress and way to close in age to my daughter (ever since I had kids I cry at a lot more). I like how George had a bigger role for once. I am also still not sure that Izzie will be staying on the show.
Tulipe Tulipe 8 years
Several things : - Izzie's hair. Seriously, it'd better be falling off real soon due to her chemo because I don't buy one second that someone would go out of brain surgery with a skull FULL of hair... - Owen Hunt is really really stupid if he doesn't realize that yes, choking your girlfriend while she sleeps MAY be related to your PTSD. - Callie's dad. What ? Huh ? Where does he come from and why ? - Lexie bursting out "You're both amazing doctors!" before leaving the room was amazing. And yes, she's clearly pregnant. - The father trying to get his dying daughter to Mexico in order to receive "experimental treatment" ? What, does he want her to die even sooner ? I mean, no offence to Mexico, but you're in an American hospital. Think ! :-) - Special assignment for Meredith : trying on dresses. What, like nobody pretends to work anymore at Seattle Grace ? Do you remember the episodes in which everything revolved around medicine (even ridiculous medicine) ? And finally, a McDreamy/McSteamy sandwich ? Yes please !
seryscarlett seryscarlett 8 years
This was also Meh for me. I think George had more lines this episode then he has the entire season cumulative. Bailey's ped is getting a little over-blown. It's turning into dying kid of the week show.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
"...and Bailey gets to be awesome." Well said, Buzz. Great recap of a great episode. At the end, my husband said, "That felt like the old Grey's." I think he's right. Bailey truly was wonderful last night; with a simple gesture or look, Chandra Wilson knows how to take full advantage of every scene she's in. Callie's dad's appearance seemed random, but when he was talking to the Chief about parenting and being overprotective of his daughter, I think he spoke for many parents who struggle to achieve the right balance with their adult children though I hated that money and trust funds became his main focus in the battle for control. Not a great substitute for love, support and genuine trust. How nice it was to see George actually doing something and doing it well. Not sure where Owen will end up after all of his therapy, but the journey will be interesting. As will Izzie's journey to recovery. To see her friends support her, especially Mer and Christina was very touching. Overall, an episode well worth the month long wait.
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