We teach residents when you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras. It means that the most obvious answer is usually right. It keeps doctors from heading down the wrong path. It helps us stick to the truth. It helps us save lives. It's part of what makes me a good surgeon. When I hear hoofbeats, horses. I always think horses. Even when I shouldn't. Things are not always what they appear to be. They're often an indicator of something bigger going on, deep underneath. Symptoms. Red flags. Warning signs. Things we should pay attention to. Things we shouldn't ever ignore. Things that are bad. Things that could really hurt us. Things that it might be just too late to fix.

Don't Dream It's Over is the 16th episode of the eleventh season and the 236th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short SummaryEdit

A patient's condition sparks a conversation between Richard and Maggie about Alzheimer's disease. April and Jackson struggle to return to their normal lives. Arizona is faced with the reality that Callie is moving on. Meanwhile, Meredith reveals her biggest fears about Derek.

Full SummaryEdit

As Meredith's voiceover talks about thinking horses, not zebras, Meredith continues to ask the woman on the phone who she is. The woman eventually hangs up.

April asks Jackson if he has a minute. He tells her he was just coming to see her. He asks how her first day went. She tells him about Owen saving a girl's mother's life over the phone. She pulls him into a storage room and starts kissing him and taking off his clothes. He stops her and asks if she's sure. She insists that she is, but then he reminds her that she hasn't wanted to be intimate since their son died. She stops kissing him and leaves.

Owen and Amelia continue to make out in an on-call room when Owen gets paged away. He tells her they'll continue it later and leaves.

Meredith calls Derek's phone and gets voicemail again. She doesn't leave a message.

Callie enters the hospital with her date for the evening, Heather. Callie got paged 911 in the middle of their date. Heather says the fact that she's about to go safe a life is super hot. She suggests that they just jump to the end of the date and kisses Callie. While they're kissing, Arizona sees them through a window, which Callie notices after Heather has left. Arizona and Callie walk to the elevator together awkwardly. They've both been paged to the ER.

Meredith finds Alex asleep in an on-call room. She tells him about Derek. He tells her to pick one of the other empty beds. Maggie points out that the bed above them isn't empty because she's there. She asks Meredith about Derek and Meredith explains. Maggie understand when Meredith says that the woman sounded happy and tall and says she hates voices like that. She keeps going to voicemail now. Meredith asks if Derek's cheating. They both tell her he's not. Meredith then gets paged to the ER.

In the elevator, Arizona and Callie talk about the incoming trauma. Arizona then tells Callie she likes her dress and doesn't recognize it. Callie says it's new. They step off the elevator and Jo and Stephanie give them information about the case as Callie changes from her date clothes into scrubs. Tom Vinson and his wife, Blair were injured when a car ran into their house. Owen is shocked to see Callie changing in the ER, but tells her her patient's in trauma one while Arizona's is in trauma two. He sends Stephanie with Callie and Jo with Arizona. Jo is disappointed because she wanted to be on Tom, because Meredith is still on her streak and she's on his case. Callie thinks she should be excited to be working with her.

Meredith has put an intraosseus line into Tom's leg. They start to assess his injuries. Stephanie is still obsessing over the streak, but Meredith silences her. Tom codes and they start to resuscitate.

Arizona opens the curtain to trauma two, but Blair's not there. She sends Jo to find her patient.

Blair is in the hallway, talking to her mom on the phone, saying that the band was practicing, so they couldn't hear the car. April passes by and wonders why a patient is just wandering the halls. She tells Blair that she can't just be wandering the hall and asks if she knows who her doctor is. Arizona and Jo approach and take Blair back to the trauma bay. Blair is upset that her mom is obsessing over the music her husband plays instead of the fact that they were hit by a car. She asks if her husband is okay.

Tom has been resuscitated. They suspect internal bleeding. Just then, he regains consciousness and is in pain. They push pain meds, but he's worried about Blair and their baby. They prepare to take him to surgery.

Arizona is telling Jo what the plan is with Blair just as they wheel Tom by. Blair sees him and goes up to him to talk to him. She tells him the baby's fine and she's tough. He says he's not feeling so great. They say they love each other and he gets taken to surgery.

Paramedics bring in Martin Davis who has chest pains. He was in the car that ran into Tom and Blair's house. He is uncooperative and keeps talking about shoes. Maggie asks if he's drunk. Ben thinks he is and says he's been uncooperative since regaining consciousness after the crash. A police officer tells Richard they'll need a statement and tox screens, which he says they'll get for her after they treat him. Martin continues to resist and eventually lashes out and punches Maggie, sending her into a gurney and to the floor.

Ben and Bailey work on Maggie while Richard orders restraints for Martin. Maggie says she's fine, but Richard tells her to get a CT and page Amelia.

Sally Davis comes into the ER and finds her husband. She tells the doctors that he has Alzheimer's. She went to take a shower. She left him with a football game and forgot to hide the keys. They tell her that her husband needs surgery. The police officer comes to her and wants to ask her some questions.

At the bootie station, they're getting ready to operate on Tom and Richard tells them about Martin's condition. Maggie comes in with an ice pack on her face and says she's okay. She asks Meredith if Derek called. He hasn't, but Maggie says he will. Richard asks Maggie if she got scanned and she says she did. After he's gone, she stands up and has to brace herself before walking.

The doctors operate on Tom. Callie wonders why she's compelled to apologize to Arizona about the kiss with Heather. She asks if she's done something wrong. She wonders why Arizona made it weird. Time has past. She can date. Arizona can date. Callie wants her to date. Meredith points out that Arizona was seeing other people while they were still married. Then she apologizes and says Callie can do whatever she wants because Arizona did.

Richard says Sally looked like she felt responsible. Maggie says she is because she shouldn't be a caretaker if she can't handle it. She continues to talk, despite Ben's attempts to silence her. When she asks about it, Richard tells her that his wife died of Alzheimer's. She immediately apologizes. He says she didn't know about her or ... and he realizes she might not know about Ellis. Martin has clear fluid oozing from a tear, so Richard takes a sample of it.

Blair tries to tell Amelia that the laceration on her forehead is not a big deal, but Amelia says it is. It's very deep. Blair says she feels fine except her pregnancy symptoms. Amelia still wants a CT. Arizona asks about her husband being in a punk rock band. They met at a show. Arizona says she used to be into punk rock, a surprise to Amelia and Jo. She says she rocked the heavy eyeliner and had a few t-shirts. Bailey comes in and asks Amelia about Maggie, but before she can get an answer, Blair starts seizing and Bailey jumps in to help them. Jo wonders how it happened so quickly. Amelia says it was a brain bleed. Blair doesn't respond to anti-seizures.

April is talking to a man in the ER with a bottle trapped over his tongue. She tells him he likely won't lose his tongue, but questions why he did it. She then explains that the swelling will get worse, pulling the bottle into his mouth and cutting off his airway. He's scared when he hears that. Jackson sees the way April is talking to her patient and pulls her aside.

Once they're in a storage room, April pulls off her top, assuming that Jackson changed his mind. He didn't. He asks her what's wrong. She pulls her shirt back on and says she he keeps treating her like she's fragile. She tells him she'll see him at home and leaves to go remove the bottle from her patient's mouth.

Blair is still seizing. They can't intubate and the baby's in distress. It's been four minutes of seizure activity, so Arizona does rapid sequence intubation. Once Blair's out, the seizing stops, but she quickly codes. Arizona attempts resuscitation, but they quickly realize it's futile. Amelia calls time of death. Jo's surprised it happened that quickly. Arizona calls for a major procedures tray and tells Jo to start bagging her again. Amelia re-starts CPR. Jo's confused and Amelia tells her the baby's still viable as long as they keep her blood circulating. Arizona starts the c-section.

Meredith pulls up Derek on her phone again and Richard comes up to ask her about Tom. She says that if he makes it through the night, he may have a chance. Richard asks if Maggie knows about Ellis. Meredith doesn't know. Richard asks if one of them should tell her, so she can get tested if she wants. Meredith says she didn't want to know for a long time, but then she realized that not knowing didn't give her the power she thought it did. What was going to happen was going to happen either way. Ben comes up and tells Richard he needs to go see Martin right away.

Richard enters Martin's room and Sally asks what he did, because Martin's back. He's remembering things. He's completely lucid. She has him recite the poem he recited when he proposed to her. Sally believes Richard cured Martin and thanks him. Maggie questions what they did and Richard says he doesn't know.

Amelia and Jo continue CPR as Arizona delivers the baby. Alex arrives just before Arizona gets the baby out. She hands him over to Alex after Bailey cuts the cord. Alex works to get him breathing and gives him a 1-minute APGAR of 8. Jo starts crying and Bailey dismisses her. Alex puts the baby in an incubator to be taken to the nursery and Bailey tells Arizona it was a nice save.

Martin is talking to his wife about everything that happened while he was out. Amelia's been brought in to examine him. She says she has an idea, but wants to run tests to confirm. Martin asks about the car accident he was in, but Richard says they should talk after they have all the answers. He needs an MRI.

Callie enters the nursery and asks Alex how the baby's doing. She wants to have good news before the dad wakes up. Arizona comes up behind her and also asks about the baby. Alex says he's stable. Callie tells Arizona she heard about Blair and asks if she's okay. She says it was bad. Callie goes to leave, but Arizona stops her. She asks how long Callie's been seeing that woman. Callie says it was their first date and it was cut short. Arizona says she went right for dessert. Callie says they shouldn't do that. Arizona says she shouldn't be saying anything, but she feels like she has to. Callie says she doesn't. She's seeing people and she's going to be kissing them. She says she's moving on and Arizona should, too, and it's not her business who Callie is kissing. Arizona says fine. Kiss everyone.

Owen tells Stephanie to keep examining Tom regularly. He says if he makes it through the night, Callie can go back in and fix his pelvis. Stephanie questions, "If?" He tells her there's no guarantee that he will make it through the night. She asks him whose patient Tom is officially, because she is concerned about Meredith's streak. Meredith comes up and tells her to stop. If he dies, his son has no parents. If he lives, his life looks nothing like it did before. It's not something to brag about or celebrate. Stephanie leaves and Owen asks about her streak. She says it's been 89 patients. He says it has something to do with her.

Amelia points out swollen ventricles on the MRI. He has normal-pressure hydrocephalus. The accident relieved some of the build-up. She can place a shunt to drain the fluid to his abdomen.

Amelia explains the procedure to Martin and Sally. They're excited. Ben comes in and says the police are wondering if now's a good time. Martin wonders what happened that they need police.

Alex is examining Baby Vinson when Jo comes up. She says she needed some air. She says that baby has only been alive for two hours and he's already lost his mom. His dad is barely hanging on. He doesn't even have a name. Alex says he's calling the baby Dan. Jo asks how they're supposed to deal with this. He says it sucks, but it's the job. She leaves. He goes to follow her, but Bailey says to let her go. She asks if he remembers being an intern, when all the death was new. It's why they care so much about the streak. Death is scary. They want to believe somebody out there can defy it.

Callie finds an open gurney and goes to lie down, but is scared when Meredith says hi. She asks why Meredith's lurking. Meredith says she can't sleep. Callie tells Meredith not to stare at her while she sleeps. Meredith asks her if she knew before Arizona told her that she had cheated. Or with George. Callie asks what happened.

The police leave Martin's room. He's devastated that he killed a pregnant mother. They tell him the baby made it and the husband's stable. Amelia says they need to get him up to surgery in order to place the shunt in time. He says he doesn't want it. Amelia reminds him of the consequences, but he knows. He doesn't want to remember that he's a murderer. His wife begs him not to do it. He tells her to put him in a home and leave.

April is leaving the hospital when she meets up with Jackson. She tells him she's heading home. She tells him to stop treating him like she's fragile. He asks why she wouldn't be fragile and why he wouldn't treat her careful. It's been two months and he still struggles to pull his crap together. He imagines it's much worse for her. He says he's not going to apologize for worrying about her. She says she just wants to be herself, to feel like herself again. Jackson says she doesn't seem like herself. She says she is. She doesn't need space. He says he wants to have sex with his wife. She says she is his wife and she's right here. They start kissing up against their car. Jackson takes her inside and they start having sex.

Callie and Alex propose possibilities to Meredith for what happened with Derek's phone. Maggie comes up and Meredith asks about Martin. Maggie tries to explain. Meredith asks if Richard talked to her. He didn't. Maggie joins them in giving options about Derek. Alex then says that Derek's still into her and they're solid. Callie then says she's seen it all. She says she and Derek are proof love exists. She says she's Team Merder. Meredith says there's a woman in Georgetown and says her friends are rooting for her, too. She's not a zebra. She's just a horse. Meredith gets paged and says the streak is over.

Tom is coding. Meredith has Stephanie take the paddles, much to her surprise.

They keep coding on Tom. They are eventually able to bring him back. Meredith tells Stephanie to keep checking him every 20 minutes and leaves her to keep him alive.

Callie is waiting for the elevator when Arizona comes up. Arizona says there's one more thing about Heather. Callie is shocked that Arizona found out her name. Arizona says she knows her name because she used to date her. Callie says that'll happen sometimes. Arizona then says that Heather is Steak Knives. Callie questions, "The Steak Knives?" Arizona says she is. She wanted them to get matching tattoos for their four week anniversary and attacked Arizona with a steak knife when she wouldn't. Callie is shocked. Heather seemed so nice. Arizona says she wasn't jealous. She was just worried. Callie thanks her for telling her. They get on the elevator together.

Bailey and Ben meet up in the locker room. Bailey tells Ben she'll catch up and goes to Jo. Jo apologizes, but Bailey tells her not to apologize for caring about her patients. She says it'll make her an excellent doctor. She invites Jo to scrub in on a whipple. Alex comes in and asks if she's ready. Jo says it was a crappy day. Alex says that they beat the universe two-to-one, so it's a good day. They kiss and then leave together.

Amelia finds Owen in an on-call room. She says it's later. They start kissing again until they get paged. They leave the on-call room.

Martin is reciting the poem again with Sally sitting next to him. He starts to forget words.

Maggie comes up next to Richard, who is watching Martin and Sally. She says it can't be easy and apologizes for his wife. He tells her that Ellis also had Alzheimer's. Maggie is shocked. Maggie suddenly stumbles and Richard catches her and apologizes. Maggie says she never got the CT earlier and she's a little dizzy. She thinks she has a concussion. Richard is upset that she lied. She then says she had a full genetic history done when she was 12. She knew about the Alzheimer's. That's why she does crossword puzzles all the time. She's glad that the Alzheimer's didn't come from Richard. They hug.

April and Jackson cuddle in their car.

Meredith is working at home when someone tries to open the door. Meredith goes to the door and Derek is there. He says he took the first flight. He left his keys. He says she called his phone and a woman answered. She repeats that back to him.


  • Meredith Grey
  • Alex Karev
  • Miranda Bailey
  • Richard Webber
  • Callie Torres
  • Owen Hunt
  • Arizona Robbins
  • April Kepner
  • Jackson Avery
  • Amelia Shepherd
  • Jo Wilson
  • Stephanie Edwards
  • Maggie Pierce
  • Derek Shepherd
  • Ben Warren
  • Martin Davis
  • Sally Davis
  • Blair Vinson
  • Heather
  • Tom Vinson
  • Police Officer #1
  • Frat Kid
  • Paramedic Kevin Clarke

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit


Medical NotesEdit

Tom VinsonEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Abdominal contusions
    • Fractured femur
    • Unstable pelvis
    • Internal bleeding
  • Treatment:
    • Binder
    • Intraosseous line
    • Pelvic packing
    • Femur reduction

Tom, 30, came into the ER after he and his wife were hit by a car that ran into their house. He had abdominal contusions, a right upper leg deformity, and a binder had been placed for an unstable pelvis. Paramedics hadn't been able to put in a line, so they put in an intraosseous line in the ER. They assessed his pelvic fracture, but he coded and had to be resuscitated. They suspected internal bleeding, so they rushed him to the OR. In the OR, Meredith and Owen worked on the pelvis while Callie reduced his femur fracture. After surgery, he was stable in ICU. He coded, but they were able to resuscitate him. Owen said that if he made it through the night, Callie could go back in and fix his pelvis. Meredith left Stephanie to watch him overnight.

Blair VinsonEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Pregnancy
    • Scalp laceration
    • Seizure
    • Extradural hematoma
  • Treatment:
    • Rapid sequence intubation
    • C-section delivery

Blair, who was 35 weeks pregnant, came into the ER after being hit by a car that ran into her house. They put her on a fetal monitor and Amelia checked out her scalp laceration. She was talking to the doctors and then she had a seizure. She continuously seized until they sedated her. Once she was sedated, she coded. Amelia suspected extradural hematoma. Despite their best efforts, she died in the trauma room. However, they successfully delivered her baby via c-section.

Martin DavisEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Rib fractures
    • Internal bleeding
    • Normal-pressure hydrocephalus
  • Treatment:
    • Exploratory laparotomy

Martin, 65, was brought into the ER after crashing his car into a house. His wife believed he had Alzheimer's, but when he was lucid after having his initial surgery to treat his rib fractures and internal bleeding, Amelia did some scans and found out that he had normal-pressure hydrocephalus. Amelia said she could place a shunt which would keep him lucid, but after he found out that he had killed a pregnant woman in the car accident, he declined surgery.

Maggie PierceEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Facial laceration
    • Concussion
  • Treatment:
    • Stitches

Maggie was punched in the face by a patient and hit her head. She had her face patched up and lied and said she got a CT. But she later admitted that she hadn't and that she believed she had a concussion.

Frat GuyEdit

  • Diagnosis:
    • Foreign body surrounding tongue
  • Treatment:
    • Extraction

A frat guy came into the ER with his tongue stuck in a bottle. His tongue was swollen and swelling more, pulling the bottle into his mouth, which April said would eventually cut off his airway. She planned to get the bottle out of his mouth to save his life.

Baby VinsonEdit

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:

Baby Vinson was delivered via emergency c-section after his mother died. After some initial trouble, he started breathing and was stable in the nursery. He had a 1-minute APGAR of 8.

Bailey's PatientEdit

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Whipple

Bailey invited Jo to scrub in on a Whipple with her.


Song Performer Scene
"Ex's and Oh's" Elle King
  • April and Jackson make out in a storage closet.
  • He says she hasn't wanted sex since their baby died.
  • April leaves.
  • Owen and Amelia make out in an on-call room when he gets paged away.
  • Meredith tries to call Derek again and gets his voicemail.
  • Callie comes into the hospital with her date, Heather.
  • She and Heather kiss.
  • Arizona sees Callie and Heather kissing.
  • Callie and Arizona walk to the ER together.
"Find a Place" Iko
  • April tells Jackson she wants to be herself again and assures him she's okay. They start making out in their car.
  • Callie, Alex, and Meredith talk about possible options for why Derek didn't pick up his own phone.
  • Maggie joins them and names a few possibilities of her own.
  • Meredith tells them that Derek's done this before, with her when he left Addison.
  • Alex says Derek's still into her.
"One" Ed Sheeran
  • Callie and Arizona enter the elevator together.
  • Bailey finds Ben in the locker room.
  • Bailey talks to Jo about her crying over Blair.
  • She asked Jo to scrub in on her Whipple
  • Alex finds Jo, who said she had a crappy day.
  • Alex says they beat the universe two to one.
  • Amelia finds Owen in an on-call room. They start kissing again.
  • Amelia gets paged away.
  • Martin is reciting the poem again.
  • Richard tells Maggie that Ellis had Alzheimer's.
  • Maggie stumbles as she walks and admits that she never got the CT and might have a concussion.
  • She tells Richard that she knew she had a predisposition to Alzheimer's.
  • Meredith is writing on a tablet when someone tries to open the front door.
  • She opens the door to reveal Derek.
  • Derek said he got on the first flight and forgot his keys.
  • He then says that she called his phone and a woman answered. She repeats what he said.

Notes and TriviaEdit

Grey's Anatomy 11x16 Promo "Don’t Dream It’s Over" (HD)

Grey's Anatomy 11x16 Promo "Don’t Dream It’s Over" (HD)

  • This episode's title originated from the song Don't Dream It's Over, originally sung by Crowded House.
  • This episode scored 7.73 million viewers.
  • Curiously, the sides for this episode say filming was scheduled from January 22 to February 4, 2015 and from January 26 to February 8, 2015. The last set of dates only applies to three specific characters for this episode.
  • This episode marks the 200th voice over to be solely narrated by Meredith Grey.
  • The line about the hoof beats, horses, and zebras mentioned in the voice over originated from the episode No Man's Land, the fourth episode of the entire series.
  • This episode marks the return of the tunnels, which haven't been seen for quite a long time.
  • Callie mentions MerDer, a name often used for Meredith and Derek as a couple. While this name has been used in the real world since the early seasons, this is the first time the name has been said on the show.
  • First appearance of Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd since Where Do We Go From Here.
  • This episode picks up shortly after the last one left off.
  • The poem Martin recites is the last strophe of Percy Bysshe Shelley's The Indian Serenade, also known as I Arise From Dreams.


Episode StillsEdit


Callie: Arizona, I'm seeing people. I will kiss them. I didn't plan on that happening and I certainly didn't plan on you seeing that. But I don't need to feel bad or apologize. I'm moving on and you should, too. And it's kind of not your business who I see or kiss. Okay?
Arizona: You're right. Godspeed. Go, kiss everyone.

Meredith: He left Addison when the marriage got hard, moved to Seattle, met me in a bar. What if he's doing the same thing now?
Callie: (to Alex) Say something.
Alex: Look, I've watched you two suck face for years. You've disgusted me for a long, long time. He's into you. And if a guy's still into you, it still means he wants to do you. And if he still wants to do you, you're solid.
Maggie: I don't know you as well as everyone else here, but I really need to tell you to stop talking now.
Alex: Didn't want to say anything in the first place.

Callie: Mer, I lived down the hall from you guys. I've heard the sex noises. I've seen the drama and the tears. And there's no way that Derek's... Look, you and Derek are living proof that love exists, that it works, that there is hope. You guys are a freaking romance novel. And I, for one, am rooting for you two. Team MerDer!
Alex: I'm not saying that.

Meredith: I called Derek.
Alex: I'm laying here. I'm sleeping.
Meredith: A woman answered his phone.
Alex: There are two empty beds. Pick one.
Maggie: One empty bed. I'm up here. A woman answered his phone?
Alex: Whose phone?
Meredith: Derek's phone.
Maggie: What kind of woman?
Alex: Doesn't matter.
Meredith: It matters.
Maggie: It matters.
Meredith: She was perky, and she sounded happy and tall, with a lot of great hair.
Alex: Hold. You saw her? How did you see her?
Meredith: I didn't. I heard her voice, her perky, happy, tall voice.
Maggie: I hate voices like that.
Alex: You can tell by the voice?
Maggie: What did Derek say?
Meredith: I didn't talk to him. Now I keep going to voice-mail. My short, twisty, mad voice keeps going to voice-mail.

April: I thought you went home.
Jackson: No, I was waiting for you.
April: I can make it home on my own. I've done it lots of times.
Jackson: Stop it, please.
April: Well, stop treating me like some fragile, little...
Jackson: Why wouldn't you be fragile? And why wouldn't I worry about that? It's been almost two months. Every day, I wake up and remember and have to fight just to pull my crap together. So if it's that hard for me, I got to figure it's way harder for you. So you know what? I will watch you. I will worry about you. I'm not gonna apologize for that. It's kind of what I'm here for.
April: I just... I just want to be myself again. I just... I just want to feel like me.
Jackson: I know. I was just saying, you don't seem like you.
April: I am! I am! This is me.
Jackson: Trying to give you space...
April: I don't need space! I am telling you, I don't...
Jackson: Of course I want to have sex with my wife...
April: I am your wife! I'm right here! I am your wife.
(They start making out and have sex in their car.)

Miranda: Come on, don't you remember what it was like to be a resident and have all of this death around you be new, terrifying? Why do you think they care so much about this stupid streak? Death is scary. They just want to believe that there's somebody out there who can defy it.

Derek: You called me and a woman answered my phone.
Meredith: I called you and a woman answered your phone.

See AlsoEdit

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.

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