Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki

There are medical miracles. Being worshippers of the altar of science, we don't like to believe miracles exist. But they do. Things happen. We can't explain them, we can't control them, but they do happen. Miracles do happen in medicine. They happen everyday, just not always when we need them to happen. At the end of a day like this, a day when so many prayers are answered and so many aren’t, we take our miracles where we find them. We reach across the gap and sometimes, against all odds, against all logic, we touch.

Some Kind of Miracle is the seventeenth episode of the third season and the 53rd overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[]

Meredith fights to stay alive, as Derek fights to hold himself together. Cristina is unable to handle the reality of the situation and leaves.

Full Summary[]

While the ER is still buzzing with activity, Richard is still performing CPR on Meredith. Bailey knows the hypothermia protected her organs, but she wonders how long they can go on. Richard has seen people survive after 4 hours. He refuses to lose Ellis Grey's daughter. Bailey takes over from him. Richard says they won't declare her dead until her body temperature has risen and she's still dead. He asks for a gastric lavage with warm fluids. Addison is observing from the corner. She gets paged to Jane Doe. Bailey reminds her that Derek and the others are waiting for news.

In the afterlife-like dimension, Meredith is sitting on the empty gurney in the empty trauma room. Denny and Dylan are discussing her state of mind. They get in an argument. Meredith thinks this is a brain-on-drugs thing, but she would think there would be other people she'd see first if it were. Her dog Doc suddenly appears and jumps onto the gurney. Dylan tells Meredith she's dead. Denny reminds him they were going to break it to her easy. He asks if she remembers drowning in Elliott Bay. She does. It sucked. She then continues to pet her dog. Dylan says this is going to take a while, but Denny counters that she's running out of time.

Addison leaves the room and tells Derek that her temperature is still at 86° with no heartbeat. He wants to go in to assess brain damage, but she says no. She walks off and tells the interns it's not looking good. She advises them to prepare themselves for the worst. Alex chooses to accompany Addison to Jane Doe. Izzie chooses to stay optimistic. Cristina refuses to do this. She leaves.

Meredith meets Elizabeth Fallon, her mother's scrub nurse, and Bonnie Crasnoff. Bonnie is surprised that Meredith remembers her. Dylan says Meredith called them here, but she doubts that. Denny asks about the water.

Mark and Olivia are having trouble restraining Ellis. Mark has Olivia administer lorazepam to calm her down. Ellis asks for Richard.

Addison is having trouble calming Jane down. She thinks Alex is her husband. Alex tells her they lost her ID and haven't found her family yet. He informs her that he found her on the dock. She doesn't remember the accident. She also doesn't remember her name, which freaks her out even more.

As they leave the room, Addison says the retrograde amnesia could be due to brain injury. It could also just be transient. Addison orders a chest X-ray because she's worried about lung injury. She also checks if Alex is okay. He assures her he's on this. Meredith just always made him think that screwed up people have a chance.

With Bailey still performing  CPR, Richard has tubed Meredith. Burke asks to hold CPR. The ultrasound still shows no heart function whatsoever. Bailey restarts CPR. Izzie comes in. Bailey tells her to go wait with George and Cristina. Izzie says Cristina left. Burke wonders where she went in the middle of her shift.

Cristina is wandering around a store. She loads random stuff into her cart.

Meredith wonders out into the empty ER with the deceased people following her. They urge her to listen to them. Suddenly, Bonnie starts bleeding from where her wound was. She starts shaking. Dylan and Denny put her down.

Bonnie is on a gurney. Meredith is attempting to save her. Elizabeth says this is what happens with Bonnie. They just have to ride it out. Meredith orders Dylan to get instruments from the OR. As he walks off, he fades away. Then Bonnie, the gurney, and Elizabeth also disappear. Denny asks Meredith if she's ready to talk now, or if she wants to waste more time.

Bailey is ready to give up, but Richard says Meredith is young and healthy. He's convinced her heart will start again once her tempreature has risen. 

Cristina is drinking at Joe's. All the stuff she bought is spread out on the bar. She offers Joe gingerbread moisturizer. She bought all this for 99 cents, including a tiny chair. That is America, man. Joe says it's Taiwan. Joe thinks she should be tending to ferryboat victims. She says she's coping, so he has to shut up and look at all the crap she bought.

Bailey has come out into the hallway. She instructs Callie to take charge over her interns and put them to work anywhere she wants. Bailey reminds them there is work to be done. Callie wants to take them to the clinic. Izzie wants to stay. Callie says they are all freaked, but they need to stay out of the way. Izzie rolls her eyes and follows.

Alex is interviewing Jane Doe about diseases in her family, but she can't remember anything. She doesn't even know the sex of her baby. There's a ring line on her finger, but there's no ring. She doesn't know if she's married. She notices Alex is upset and asks if she's going to die. Alex says no and tells her a friend was in the accident, too. She's sorry to hear that. Alex says things are tough all over.

In the clinic, Sydney apologizes to the families for not having new information. However, they are facing a blood shortage, so anybody who is eligible to donate is welcome to do so. 

Izzie sends a container of blood to the lab for testing. She's looking for AB blood for Meredith. Callie says Meredith is strong, so she'll pull through. Izzie wasn't planning on giving up. Callie wonders if Izzie is being mean because of stress or if she's doing something specific to piss her off. They need to pull together. Izzie lashes out and says Callie is not part of Meredith's family. Callie has to stop acting like her marriage to George gives her history with them. Callie says enough. She won't be run off. George wants her here and they could be friends if Izzie accepted that. Izzie says that's for George to decide. Callie says she better think long and hard before asking him to choose, because she thinks Izzie can't lose another friend when people around her keep dropping like flies.

Meredith is now in the empty hospital lobby. One by one, the deceased appear again. Bonnie wonders why they are here if Meredith is just gonna keep saying she drowned. Bonnie says her saying that hurts. Meredith recalls Bonnie was brave when she came into the ER. Bonnie says she was in shock and doped up. In retrospect, what happened to her really sucked. She was young and engaged. Meredith is all happy and perky to be dead. Meredith denies that. She swam and fought hard, but the water was cold. Denny asks about the thing in the tub. She says it was nothing. Elizabeth thinks Meredith at least thought about dying, as Ellis Grey's daughter would do that. Meredith says this is not an Ellis thing. Denny wonders if it's a Derek thing. Bonnie wonders how Meredith can be a surgeon and have so little respect for life. She then starts bleeding again.

Derek sits down in the waiting room. A man asks him whom he's here for. His wife was run over on the ferry. He's having trouble to get people to talk to him. Derek understands. It's out of their hands. It's up to the doctors. The man asks his girlfriend's name. He says Meredith. The man will put her in his prayers.

Meredith is again trying to stop Bonnie from bleeding out. However, she disappears again. Dylan thinks they are wasting time. It doesn't matter how she got here. She's either in this thing or she's not. There is no in between. He thinks Denny, like Bonnie, is stuck. He's not. He had a good life. When that shell went off in his hands, he completed his task. He saved Meredith.

Richard asks for another epi, but Bailey says they've been doing that for 1.5 hours. Meredith's still asystolic and her temperature has fallen to 86 degrees, where it was 89 before. It's the after drop phenomenon. Richard stops the CPR.

Ellis wakes up and finds Derek sitting on the sofa in her room. She asks for water. He pours her some. He tells Ellis she broke Meredith. She called her ordinary and taught her time and time again that whatever she does is not good enough. Every good thing Meredith is happened despite of her. If Meredith dies, that is on her. Addison appears in the doorway and calls him off.

Addison takes Derek away from Ellis' room. She points out there is nothing Ellis can do to fix Meredith. Derek says it's his fault. He wasn't there for Meredith. She was pulling away and he did nothing. Addison asks if he's saying she went into the water on purpose. Derek says she knows how to swim. He breaks down. Addison says he doesn't get to fall apart when there's still a chance. She is paged.

Meredith enters the OR. From the gallery, Denny asks what she's looking for. She's looking for something to save Bonnie next time. Denny asks what happened in the water. She repeats she fought and swam, but he disagrees. Denny tells her she can't stay here. She yells she doesn't want to, but he knows she does. It's easier to stay here, but she can't. Izzie, George, Cristina, and Alex all lost people. Losing her will break them and none of them deserve it. He wonders if she knows how big a miracle it is that someone like Derek exists. He's still an optimist. He still believes in true love, magic, and soulmates. He's waiting for her, and if she doesn't come back from this, she'll change who he is. She closes her eyes as she takes it in. When she opens them, she finds herself all alone yet again.

Derek is doing his best to keep himself together when Ellis crashes. A team of nurses rushes into her room. He enters, too.

In the trauma room, Bailey suggests a cardio-pulmonary bypass. They can do it here. Richard decides to go for it. He asks to page Burke and a surgical team. He then resumes CPR.

At Joe's, Cristina is solving sudokos. Burke arrives and updates Cristina on Meredith's condition. She's a civilian. She knows the signs here. It's drinking time. He thinks she has a responsibility to Meredith, but she disagrees. She doesn't do this stuff and goes to great lengths. He recalls she was there for him when he needed her. She says only after she knew he was going to make it. She's not proud of that. She just can't do it. She can't go back and watch Meredith die. Burke receives the page. Burke tells her that this is about her person and if she sits here while Meredith dies, he can't see her come back from that. He asks her to come and say goodbye.

Meredith tells Denny she was swimming and fighting, but then, for a second, she wondered what the point was. She let go. She asks not to tell anybody. He agrees to that.

Denny has a sensation. He mentions Izzie. Sometimes, they are in exactly the same place at the same time. He can almost hear her voice. It's like he's touching her. He likes to believe she also knows he's there. That's all you get. Moments with the people you love. They move on and you want them to, but still, those moments are all you get. Meredith asks if this is really happening. Denny doesn't know. This is her afterlife, not his. He then disappears. Suddenly, Meredith is surrounded by water, reminding her of her drowning. She gets up from the floor.

Izzie passes George in the hallway. He's mad at her. He saw Callie's face. He wonders why Izzie picked this moment to throw down. She says she didn't. She can't lie about how she feels. George says she can. She should hold her tongue. If he's not making a mistake with Callie, she's a jerk, and if he is, he's going to need her. And she's taking that away with her behavior.

After applying the CO2 monitor, Derek asks Tyler to page Burke, but Tyler informs him he's doing a cardiopulmonary bypass in the trauma room. He confirms it's on Meredith.

In the trauma room, Meredith's temperature has risen to 96 degrees. They only have to get her heart beating. Burke orders meds.

Meredith finds the deceased in the ER. She wants to go back. Bonnie says there wasn't a lot of time. Meredith asks if she's out of time. Elizabeth says they don't know. Meredith panics. She had intimacy issues. That seems so stupid now. Just a whiff of Derek or Cristina isn't enough. She needs to go back now. She begs.

Derek is performing CPR on Ellis. She goes into V-fib. He grabs the paddles and defibrillates.

Meredith has received 6 doses of epi. The external pacer is not catching. Her temperature is 98. Richard concludes she's dead. They all let that sink in. Suddenly, there's a rhythm on the monitor. It looks like V-fib. They shock her at 300. She flatlines. Bailey tells Meredith not to give up after all the time and energy and resources they put in her. She turns the pacer up to max. Richard says it would have picked up the slightest activity if there was some. Bailey uses her stethoscope. Meredith's been on bypass for almost an hour. Cristina comes in.

Meredith is having trouble breathing. Bonnie says it'll pass. Meredith then sees her mother passing on the other side of a door.

Meredith and Denny appear at one end of a hallway. Ellis is standing at the other. Denny tells Meredith to go. Meredith starts walking up to Ellis.

Meredith is still flatlining. Cristina holds her feet. She asks the doctors to try again. They don't respond. She demands they try again. Bailey agrees to one more round of ACLS drugs.

Meredith and Ellis approach one another.

Derek shocks Ellis again.

Ellis and Meredith meet up in the middle of the hallway. Ellis tells her she shouldn't be here. Meredith reciprocates. Ellis hugs her tightly and tells her that she's anything but ordinary. They are both emotional as Ellis breaks up the hug. Ellis tells her to run now.

Cristina is closely watching Meredith's face.

Derek the checks the monitor for activity.

Meredith starts running in the direction Ellis came from. A gurney appears at that end of the hallway. She runs up to it.

A heartbeat appears on the monitor. Burke listens. They got a heartbeat. They are all relieved.

Bailey extubates Meredith. Addison enters the room. Meredith is breathing on her own again. Addison says she's been down a long time and wonders about brain function. Bailey says she hasn't paged Derek yet to give Meredith some more time to recover. Bailey leaves the room, followed by Addison. Cristina is the only one to stay behind. Meredith starts vocalizing. Cristina is relieved to hear her make noise, but she can't understand her. She asks Meredith to try again.

Cristina still can't understand Meredith. She tells Meredith her brain works. All she needs to do is form a word. "Ouch," Meredith says. Cristina is so relieved. She greets Meredith and tells Meredith she's getting married to Burke. That shouldn't be on Meredith's thoughts now, but she needed to say it just in case Meredith slips in the hall later. Meredith was the one person she wanted to tell. She thanks Meredith for not dying.

The other interns join Bailey outside the room. They watch Meredith and Cristina talk.

Derek is standing in the doorway of Meredith's room. She wakes up. He smiles at her and greets her. He goes to kiss her. He wants to deliver the bad news, but she already knows her mother is dead. He confirms. She says it's okay, or so she thinks.

Addison is watching the couple from outside the room. Mark joins her. He heard Meredith is okay. Addison says Derek never felt that way about her. Mark says he did. Addison admits she sometimes thinks it's a waste to throw away all that history. He admits he's flawed. But it wasn't a game with her. She tells him 60 days. If he can go 60 days without sex with any woman, she might believe him. If he does, she'll give them a real try, as a real couple. But if he's not having sex, neither is she. She wonders who she would possibly be having sex with.

Alex checks up on Jane Doe. She's hurting all over. She asks about his friend. He happily shares that she pulled through. She's happy to hear that. Unfortunately, nobody has come to claim her. Alex says they have come to know a few things about her. Her heart is healthy, her bood type is B+, and her cholesterol levels are excellent. She's not diabetic. It looks like she doesn't smoke, nor did she drink alcohol on the ferry. She's about 32 years old. And her baby is a girl. She admits to feeling like she's married. He says he now knows more about her than about some of his close friends. She calls that pathetic.

Bailey checks in with Sydney in the clinic. Sydney tells her everybody's talking about what Bailey did with Meredith. It's Chief Resident talk. She's sure Bailey is going to give her a run for her money. She leaves. Bailey quietly says she is.

Izzie approaches George in the locker room. She let him down and she gets that he doesn't trust her right now, but she it's her. It's them. He gets up and walks off ignoring her.

Richard is with Ellis. He says she's been gone for a long time. He knows she thinks she died when the Alzheimer's started. He knows this is a relief to her. But it doesn't feel like a relief to him. He missed the sound of her voice and talking to her. He misses her. He leans in and confesses he dyed his hair for the ladies.

Meredith and Derek are cuddling in bed.

Izzie's on her way home. She suddenly stops. Denny is standing right next to her. He calls her name. She feels his presence, but then continues on her way. He realizes she's moving on and walks off in the opposite direction.


Main Cast[]

Special Guest Star[]

Guest Stars[]



Medical Notes[]

Meredith Grey[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Hypothermia
    • Asystole
  • Treatment:
    • Attempted resuscitation
    • Gastric lavage
    • Cardio-pulmonary bypass

Meredith's temp was up to 86°. They continued to warm her and attempt resuscitation. There was no movement in her heart. They then did cardio-pulmonary bypass. Once her temp was up, they tried again to restart her heart. When they were unsuccessful, they prepared to give up, but then they saw ventricular fibrillation on the monitor, so they shocked her, but she went back to asystole. Bailey turned her pacer up to max and continued to look for signs of life. When they gave up, Cristina came in and asked them to try one more time. They did and Meredith was successfully resuscitated. They were concerned about her brain function with as long as she'd been down, but she woke up and said, "Ouch."

Jane Doe[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Pregnancy
    • Facial injuries
    • Memory loss
  • Treatment:

The pregnant Jane Doe had no memory of anything before the accident. Addison was worried about her lungs, so she ordered some tests.

Ellis Grey[]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Lorazepam
    • Attempted resuscitation

Ellis was freaking out, so Mark ordered lorazepam to calm her down. Later, she became unstable and despite Derek's best efforts, she was unable to be resuscitated.

Man's Wife[]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Doctors:
  • Treatment:

Derek talked to a man in the waiting room whose wife was hit by a car on the ferry in the accident.


Song Performer Scene
"The Lake" Aqualung
  • The doctors are still working on Meredith.
  • Addison gets paged out and Bailey warns her that the interns and Derek are waiting outside.
  • Meredith stares at Denny and Dylan.
"Sleep Don't Weep" Damien Rice
  • Meredith goes into Vfib, so they shock her, but she goes back to systole.
  • Bailey listens for any sign of heart activity.
  • Cristina comes in.
"Swans" Unkle Bob
  • Richard eulogizes Ellis by her bedside.
  • Derek lies behind Meredith in bed.
  • Izzie walks in the hallway and stops suddenly.
  • Denny is standing in the same spot. They stay there for a moment and then keep walking.

Notes and Trivia[]

  • This episode's title originated from the song Some Kind of Miracle, originally sung by Kelly Clarkson.
  • This episode scored 27.39 million viewers, making it the most watched episode in the show's history.
  • Goof: In this episode, Meredith states that Elizabeth Fallon died of liver cancer, but in No Man's Land, Elizabeth had a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
  • Goof: As a doctor, Derek should have known that being a good swimmer wouldn't be enough for Meredith to get out of such cold water. Combined with the exhaustion of attending to the injured, the clenching of her body would have made it nearly impossible for Meredith to keep herself afloat--let alone swim back to the dock.


Episode Stills[]


Meredith: I was swimming. I was fighting. And then I thought, just for a second, I thought, 'What's the point?' And then I let go. I stopped fighting. Don't tell anybody.
Denny: Okay.
Meredith: What?
Denny: Izzie.
Meredith: You can see her?
Denny: No. Sometimes we'd be at the same place at exactly the same time and I can almost hear her voice. It's like I'm touching her. I like to believe she knows I'm there. That's all you get. That's it. Moments with the people you love. And they'll move on and you'll want them to move on. But still, Meredith, that's all you get. Moments.
Meredith: Is this really happening?
Denny: I don't know. This is your afterlife, not mine.

Denny: What happened in that water?
Meredith: I swam, I fought.
Denny: No, you didn't, and you can't stay here, Meredith.
Meredith: I don't want to!
Denny: Yeah, you do. It's easier, but you can't. Because George's Dad died, because Izzie lost me, and Cristina, when she was nine she was in a car accident with her Father and he bled out right in front of her while they waited for an ambulance to arrive, and Alex...
Meredith: Stop!
Denny: They are barely breathing, this will break them, and none of them deserves that. And this, this is the big one, so you pay attention. Do you know what kind of miracle it is that Derek is who he is? Do you know how rare it is that someone like him even exists? He's still an optimist. He still believes in true love and magic and soul mates. He's waiting for you, and if you don't come back from will change who he is.
Meredith: Oh, God...

Ellis: You shouldn't be here.
Meredith: Neither should you.
Ellis: Just keep going, don't be a damn... [hugs her] You are... You are anything but ordinary. Now run. Run!

Cristina: Did you just say something? Did you just speak? Oh, Meredith.... okay, Mer I can't understand you. Just try .... try again, try again for me, okay?
Meredith: mumbles something unrecognizable
Cristina: What? I can't... come on, please... please don't be....
Cristina: (with pressure) Your brain works, okay? So all you need to do is form a word. Please.
Meredith: (pause) Ouch.
Cristina: (crying and laughing) Oh... hi! I'm getting married to Burke! Not that that should be anywhere on your list of thoughts right now, but just in case you slip in the hall later... you are the one person I wanted to tell.

Addison: You know, sometimes I think what a waste it is to throw away all this history.
Mark: I'm a flawed and I'm a ... a wreck, but you ... it wasn't a game.
Addison: 60 days. Go 60 days with no sex, no other women. You go 60 days cold turkey and maybe ... I'll believe you.
Mark: So I only have sex with you?
Addison: No, no sex with anyone. Grow up, Mark. Find another way to scratch the itch.
Mark: Say I do, you'll give us another try? A real try, the couple thing, no sneaking around, no booty calls?
Addison: If you make it, yes.
Mark: Okay, we're on. Oh, and Addison, if I'm  not having sex, neither are you.
Addison: Who would I possibly be having sex with?

Bonnie: I know crappy things have happened to you but how can you be a surgeon and have so little respect for life?

See Also[]

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

The Grey Matter blog post on this episode can be found here.