Defeat isn't an option. Not for surgeons. We don't back away from the table 'til the last breath's long gone. Terminal's a challenge, life threatening's what gets us out of bed in the morning. We're not easily intimidated, we don't flinch, we don't back down, and we certainly don't surrender, not at work anyway. To do our jobs, we have to believe defeat is not an option, that no matter how sick our patients get, there's hope for them. But even when our hopes give way to reality, and we finally have to surrender to the truth, it just means we've lost today's battle, not tomorrow's war. Here's the thing about surrender: once you do it, actually give in, you forget why you were fighting in the first place.

Sweet Surrender is the twentieth episode of the fifth season and the 98th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[edit | edit source]

On her day off, Bailey cares for a dying child. Izzie gets sicker. Lexie doesn't stop eating from the stress of Derek and Mark not being friends, Meredith tries on dresses, George and Alex bicker, Owen takes an interest in George, Cristina avoids Owen and Callie's dad comes to visit.

Full Summary[edit | edit source]

In bed, Meredith's looking at her engagement ring.

Izzie is receiving a round of chemo while reading a bridal magazine. Alex is with her and looks at the other cancer patients.

Arizona and Callie run into each other in the stairwell. They share a kiss.

Cristina's elevator arrives on a floor, where Owen is standing at a nurses station. They look at each other, until she pushes a button and the doors close.

Meredith asks if Derek is bothered that she won't wear the ring. He's not, as she's not a ring bride. She says she's also not a poofy white dress or church ceremony bride. He jokes they'll get married naked in a field. She laughs. He suggests a scrubs wedding. They have to leave for work. Meredith told Izzie she could help out with the wedding to take her mind off things. Meredith will tell her no church. The theme will be simplicity.

They enter the kitchen, joking about a bouquet of clamps and scalpels, only to find Mark and Lexie eating breakfast. There's an awkward silence and Lexie rapidly starts eating her toast.

Owen tells Katharine Wyatt that he feels nothing. She asks not even survivor's guilt. Owen says it's not about his platoon. She says he's shoved his feelings aside for so long, but he has to claim them. He says this is about choking Cristina, and those feelings are not the same as the ones he has over his platoon. She asks how he can know if he can't name the feelings. He doesn't know how to respond.

Richard and Swender are waiting for Izzie to finish her call. She wants to have wedding dresses delivered, and uses her cancer and being bed-bound as an excuse to convince the store. The doctors are checking in. Izzie is feeling good, and she's making major progress on the wedding. She'll let them know when she hits a wall. Swender tells Richard she needs to save her energy, because the high dose IL-2 she received is designed to make the body attack itself. The walking around won't last. She's at risk of a heart attack. Two hours from now, Izzie will wish she were dead.

Mark asks Arizona if Callie's father has arrived yet. Arizona doesn't know, as she won't be meeting him, per Callie's idea. It's too soon. Callie and her father then get off an elevator. Callie quickly tells George to run for his life, but her father's already pinned him against a wall. He hurt his daughter by cheating. Callie says she slept with Mark before they were divorced, so she technically cheated, too. Carlos then throws Mark against the wall. Callie says he's just a friend. Callie says she's happy now, and dating someone. Carlos wants to meet the person she's dating. Callie says that person is also a doctor so they're busy, but they're smart and handsome and supportive. Callie asks him to please be okay. She then brings over Arizona and introduces her to her father. Arizona hopes Carlos draws the line at throwing women against the wall.

In the ambulance bay, a pedestrian who was hit by a car and the driver are brought in. Dan, the driver, says that Anthony jumped in front of his car, but Anthony claims Dan was driving like a madman. Owen takes Anthony inside as Mark and Derek take on Dan's case. Lexie stays behind and eats some candy before following them inside.

In the trauma room, Derek and Mark are in each other's way. Owen wants Lexie to call for a CT as there's free fluid in the upper left quadrant. Owen leaves to go check on Anthony, who seems to be okay. Owen tells George to do a full work-up and report to Alex, who's overseeing the ER today. Owen will be in the OR in case they need him.

Arizona tells Bailey about meeting Carlos. Bailey doesn't want to hear about it. It's her day off, but she's just here to watch Arizona do the fundoplication. Arizona saw she pulled a 90-hour week, so she should be sleeping. Arizona says peds can be tough, and it can be hard on a family. Bailey says not on hers, as her husband is very supportive. She then admits he doesn't know yet. They're interrupted by Matt Smithson, who informs them his daughter had a seizure and can't breathe. They go into Jessica's room and Arizona informs her she's got Tay-Sachs. As Bailey gets the oxygen mask ready, Arizona manages to calm Jessica down.

Derek and Mark are watching Dan's scans. He's got a ZMC complex fracture, and a ruptured eardrum, so Mark asks Lexie to book an OR. Derek stops her and says he'll also need a nerve repair for his damaged facial nerve, which needs to take place before Mark's ossicular reconstruction since Mark will need to explore for bone fragments. Mark disagrees, and they put Lexie in the middle. She blurts out they're both amazing doctors and leaves, eating a candybar.

Anthony wants to go, but George says they have to wait for the police for a statement. George asks him to wait and goes over to Alex. He wants a psych consult, as Anthony claimed he was walking when he was hit, but his injuries aren't consistent with that, and he's acting agitated. Alex says that can happen when you get hit by a car. He tells George to discharge Anthony as they need the bed. George says it's on him if Anthony goes out there and hurts himself again. Alex then agrees to get the consult.

Richard congratulates Meredith with her engagement. Richard tells her to go to Izzie's room, which has been turned into a bridal boutique. She has to try on dresses.

Meredith's upset that Richard knows about the wedding and the dresses, but Derek says he didn't order the dresses. Izzie did. Meredith can't talk to her about it as the dresses are taking her mind off the cancer. Meredith lists what will happen if they let Izzie go all-out. Derek asks if she wants him to talk to Izzie.

Izzie's crying in her room, telling Derek she's glad they talked. Derek comes out of the room and tells Meredith they have to make room for ballroom dancing lessons, on top of everything else.

Callie is performing a closed reduction while telling her father that she wasn't looking for a relationship, but it just happened. She feels very comfortable and happy, and she hasn't willingly admitted that lately. Carlos says she was happy when she lived back home. Callie says she was 12 back then. Carlos says she'll fly home with him today, and he'll talk it out with the Chief. Callie finds everything's okay right here in Seattle, but he doesn't listen.

Outside Jessica's room, Arizona tells Bailey that Tay-Sachs is always fatal in children. Jessica's already one year older than expected. Matt leaves the room and tells the doctors about experimental stem cell therapy in Mexico. In a couple of weeks, they'll have enough money to go there. Arizona tells him she doesn't have that much time. They've done everything they can, but it looks like Jessica will die today. Matt says all they need is a little more time. He only needs to get Jessica to Mexico. Arizona tells him she won't make it and she's sorry, but the best thing he can do for her right now is be with here. Matt won't listen. He will find a way to get her to Mexico tonight. He says shame on her for giving up.

An alarm goes off for Izzie's room. Cristina rushes in and finds Izzie seemingly unconscious. She yells for a crash cart and checks Izzie's pulse. Contrary to what the monitor says, she finds one. Izzie then starts giggling. She laughs at Cristina's freaked out face. Izzie apologizes, but she really needed Cristina to get Meredith, who won't answer her page.

Owen, Derek, and Mark tell Dan about all his injuries, which include possible hearing loss on the left side. Dan blames Anthony for diving in front of his car. He was just going to the bank. 

Meredith's trying on a dress in Izzie's bathroom. She thinks it's bad. Meredith comes out and Izzie takes a picture. She tells Meredith to put on the tiara. Meredith reminds her she wants simple and small. This dress is for a big wedding. Izzie says she should celebrate the fact that she's found somebody. If not, it'll make Izzie sad, and the cancer already makes her sad enough. Meredith then puts on the tiara.

Callie is ranting in Spanish about her father. Arizona can only see that she's upset. Mark comes on as Arizona paged him, and tells her he's got this. Arizona leaves and Mark snaps Callie out of her rant. Callie tells Mark her father is going to take her home, and he's ending her job and relationship as they speak. She says her father's always done everything for her, including setting up a trust fund. Mark says supporting someone and respecting them isn't the same thing.

Bailey sees Jessica is up. She asks for her dad. Bailey says her son always feels better when he rocks in the chair with her. She takes Jessica out of the bed and sits down in the chair, with Jessica on her lap. She starts rocking with Jessica in her arms.

Alex enters Izzie's room to give her her cheeseburger. Izzie feels fine. Lexie comes in and takes some French fries. Meredith refuses to come out with the new dress as it's stupid. Izzie then seemingly chokes, causing Meredith to come out. Izzie then says she just pretended to get Meredith to come out. Cristina says this is not funny. Lexie is freaking out because she has to accompany Derek and Mark in a six-hour surgery. She needs Meredith to come talk to them. Izzie asks Alex to get her more fries as Lexie ate them all. Alex says it's nice that the IL-2 isn't affecting her at all. When everyone's gone, Izzie throws up.

Jessica has fallen asleep. Bailey puts her back on her bed but holds her close to her chest. Matt and Arizona come in. The Mexican doctor has agreed to treat Jessica if they can get here there. Bailey tells him Jessica' been asking for her. Matt tells her they're going to Mexico. Jessica asks if they can go tomorrow, as she's tired now. Bailey suggests Matt trades places with her, but Matt leaves to get the plane fare. Arizona can get someone to relieve Bailey, but Bailey decides to stay.

Meredith finds Derek and Mark in the scrub room and tells them they need to apologize to each other, especially for Lexie, who can't stop stress-eating. Lexie won't scrub in unless they apologize. She says it should be a joyful time and Mark should be Derek's best man, but Derek says Richard will be. Meredith doesn't like that and asks Lexie to leave. When she's alone with Derek, she tells him the Chief basically destroyed her childhood with his affair with Ellis, while Mark has been his best friend for 20 years. She'll let go of her grudge when Derek lets go of his.

Owen sees Alex leaving Izzie's room and wonders why he's not in the ER with the potentially suicidal patient. The driver may not survive. Owen is really mad and says that Anthony should pay if he really threw himself in front of the car, so Alex better not let him walk out of the ER. Alex runs back to the ER.

Down in the ER, the psych consult has arrived. George finds that Anthony is gone. Alex arrives and asks George where Anthony is. They go outside to look for him. Alex blames George, which causes George to angrily say he doesn't get what Owen and certainly Izzie see in him. Alex says he's tried to find respect for George, but it's George fault the patient is gone, so he's done trying to respect him. They hear glass breaking and look up, just in time to see Anthony jump through a window. He lands on top of a car.

George and Alex are taking Anthony up to the OR after a trauma work-up. Alex is speechless when Owen asks him what happened, so George tells him. Anthony's rib was protruding into his ascending aorta, so he used a clamp. Anthony now has some faint heart activity. As they get on the elevator, Owen tells George he gets to scrub in, while Alex is done.

In the OR, Mark proves he's not irresponsible or unthrustworthy in the OR. Derek says he never said Mark was like that. Mark wonders why he put up the Berlin Wall around Lexie, then. Derek says Meredith asked him to, and you do what people who care about you ask you to do. That's why Mark should've stayed away from Lexie, and Addison. Mark says it's always Addison again. Derek decides not to apologize for decking Mark, but instead replay it in his head and enjoy it. There's a bleeding from the pterygoid plexus. They ask for 4-0 vicryl. Mark says he's done. If he hadn't fallen for Lexie, Derek would've found some other way not to respect him, as he always has. Derek will always see him as the charity case the Shepherds had to take in. Derek is surprised to see Mark has already taken care of the bleeder.

Izzie asks nurse Tyler if he knows where Meredith is, but he doesn't. When he's gone, a dress falls off its hanger. She gets up to put it back, but falls to the floor. Her monitor starts beeping and a nurse rushes in.

In the OR, Owen tells George he's good. He thinks 10 steps ahead and he remains calm in hairy situations. Owen tells him his specialty is trauma.

Richard doesn't understand why Carlos wants to take Callie home. Carlos knows Richard's invested in her education, so he's willing to write out a cheque for whatever amount as a donation to the hospital. In exchange, he wants Richard to transfer Callie to St. Mary's in Miami. Richard says Callie is a grown woman. He asks if she knows Carlos is here. Carlos figures Richard has no children, because otherwise, he'd know that being a grown woman means nothing. Callie is his child. The love and need to protect them from everything, even themselves, never goes away. Your children think you don't love them when you don't understand the decisions you make, but it's the opposite. You never surrender when your child's on the line.

Matt doesn't know what to do next. All the organizations he called have a waitlist for emergency funds. Bailey is still with Jessica. She tells Matt it's time to stop now. Matt doesn't want to stop. Bailey says Jessica is terminal. In a few minutes, her heart is going to stop. The last person who will have been able to touch her should be him. He doesn't want to miss this. Jessica needs her daddy for this part. Jessica wakes up and asks her father if they're going to Mexico. He lies down with her and holds her, and then says yes. The sky is blue there, and the sand white. The water is so clear you can see the bottom of the ocean. No more doctors there, just the two of them. Jessica's heart stops. Matt tells her to relax. They'll be in Mexico soon. Bailey shuts the monitor off as Matt continues to talk to his daughter.

Cristina tells Izzie her pressure is good. Izzie knows she's not good. She's sick. Cristina says this is how she's supposed to feel after the IL-2. Izzie wanted to have fun with the planning today. She thought she could be the same person she was when she woke up this morning, but she's not. She's another patient trapped inside a dying, cancer-y body.

Arizona watches Callie argue with her father. When Carlos leaves, Arizona goes to check on Callie and asks what happened. Callie says he gave her an ultimatum. She has to come home, or he'd cut her off. Callie decided to cut him off, as he can't accept who she is. Callie is not okay. She starts crying and Arizona hugs her.

Owen's back with Katharine. He says he jumped in front of Cristina's car. He knew he was no good for her, and he wrecked her. That is unforgivable. He feels shameful. Katharine says that's a start. He named his feeling. You have to know what it is before you can start to navigate to somewhere better.

Derek and Mark tells Dan's wife he has a long recovery ahead, but he will be fine. She thanks them. Derek tells her that Mark saved his life, as not many surgeons could've handled the bleed. Mark says that was the first time Derek complimented him. Derek says it was just a fact. Mark wonders why he can't just give compliments. Derek says it's not a compliment when you're asking for it.

Bailey finds Arizona and asks her if she needs anything before she goes. Arizona asks if she wants to sit down a while, but Bailey doesn't. She's been lying and holding a child all day. If she wanted to spend the day holding a child, she would have held her own. She's done. Arizona asks if she's going to tell her husband. Bailey wonders what to tell him. Arizona says peds is more than just cutting. What she did today was heroic and Bailey knows it. That sounds good to Bailey.

Meredith comes out of the bathroom, wearing another dress. Izzie takes off her oxygen mask and tells her she makes a beautiful bride. Meredith smiles and spins around. Richard passes by the room and watches her smile. He smiles himself and continues on his way.

Alex sits down with George at the bar. Alex admits he kicked ass today. Alex is not like that. He's good, but he's not good under pressure, like George. Alex says Izzie is really sick and he's not good under pressure. George gives Alex his drink and asks the bartender for another one.

Lexie regrets not having seen Meredith in her dress, as it may have been her only chance. If Mark and Derek don't make up, she won't be at the wedding. Meredith corrects her. Lexie is her sister, so she's in the wedding. Lexie is speechless upon finding out she's going to be a bridesmaid. Meredith laughs and says she'll have plenty to say when she'll see what Izzie picked out for her to wear. Derek and Mark come into the kitchen, talking about catching a game. Once they're gone, Meredith tells Lexie she can stop eating now.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Main Cast[edit | edit source]

Guest Stars[edit | edit source]

Co-Starring[edit | edit source]

Medical Notes[edit | edit source]

Izzie Stevens[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Stage IV metastatic melanoma
  • Treatment:
    • Chemotherapy
    • High-dose IL-2

Izzie was still in the hospital being treated for her cancer. She was going through chemotherapy. Dr. Swender warned that when it hit, Izzie would be wishing she was dead, which eventually happened.

Owen Hunt[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • PTSD
  • Treatment:
    • Talk therapy

Owen did talk therapy with Dr. Wyatt.

Anthony Meloy[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Arm injury
    • Broken rib
    • Aortic rupture
  • Treatment:
    • Psych consult
    • Chest tubes
    • Surgery

Anthony, 32, was brought into the ER after being hit by a car. He had in injury to his left arm and road rash on his face and torso. George treated his arm, but suspected that he jumped in front of the car, so he wanted to call a psych consult. When the psych consult arrived, Anthony was gone. He threw himself through a window out into the parking lot, where he landed on a car. They brought him back into the ER and rushed him into surgery to fix his injuries.

Dan Gates[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Zygomaticomaxillary complex fracture
    • Ruptured ear drum
    • Injured facial nerve
  • Treatment:
    • Nerve repair
    • Ossicular reconstruction

Dan was brought into the ER after hitting Anthony Meloy with his car. He had abdominal pain and blood coming out of his left ear. He had free fluid in his abdomen, so he was taken for a CT, which revealed a ZMC fracture of the temporal bone and a ruptured ear drum as well as an injured facial nerve. He had bleeding around his spleen, which they just watched, but they operated to fix his facial nerve and the ear drum and bone fracture.

Arizona's Patient[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
  • Treatment:
    • Fundoplication

Bailey came in on her day off to watch Arizona do a fundoplication.

Jessica Smithson[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Tay-Sachs
    • Seizure
  • Treatment:
    • Supplemental oxygen

Jessica, 6, who had Tay-Sachs, had a seizure. She was having trouble breathing, so Arizona treated that. Her father, who was trying to get her more treatment, was advised that she had reached the end of the line. He held her while she died.

Callie's Patient[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Fractured leg
  • Treatment:
    • Closed reduction

Callie was seen working on a patient, manipulating the bones in his lower leg.

Music[edit | edit source]

Song Performer Scene
"Vagabonds and Clowns" Mostar Diving Club
  • Meredith inspects her engagement ring.
  • Izzie receives her IL-2 with Alex by her side.
  • Callie and Arizona share a kiss in the stairwell.
  • Cristina and Owen share a look.
  • Meredith tells Derek she wants a simple wedding.
  • Mark and Lexie are kissing in the kitchen.
"Sweetheart" Jont Whittington
  • Carlos talks to Richard about never surrendering as a parent.
  • Bailey convinces Matt to hold his daughter. He talks about Mexico while she dies.
"Summer Came When We Were Falling Out" Shady Bard
  • Owen cries in the therapist office and finally realizes he feels shameful. She says it's progress.
  • Derek and Mark tell their patient's wife that her husband is going to be fine. Derek compliments Mark.
  • Bailey meets with Arizona.
"Break Me Out" The Rescues
  • Meredith has found her wedding dress.
  • Richard watches her from the hallway.
  • George and Alex talk at the bar.
  • Meredith tells Lexie she's going to be in the wedding.
  • Derek and Mark have made up, so Lexie can finally stop eating.

Notes and Trivia[edit | edit source]


Grey's Anatomy 5x20 Promo

  • This episode's title originated from the song Sweet Surrender, originally sung by John Denver.
  • This episode scored 13.55 million viewers.
  • Lexie eating a lot in this episode was a joke because her portrayer, Chyler Leigh, was pregnant at the time.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Episode Stills[edit | edit source]

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Owen: I don't feel anything
Dr. Wyatt: Nothing? No anger? Happiness? Unhappiness? Guilt? Survivor's guilt? You know it's very common with veterans.
Owen: It's not about my platoon.
Dr. Wyatt: You have shoved your feelings aside for so long. I'm asking you to claim them. And Owen... this is about your platoon.
Owen: It's about the fact that I tried to choke my girlfriend to death. What? Are you saying the way I feel about my platoon and the way I feel about what happened with Cristina are the same? They're not the same.
Dr. Wyatt: Well, how will you know if you can't name those feelings?
Owen: It's not what it's... It's... I don't know.

Owen: I jumped, in front of her car. And she was just driving to the bank.
Dr. Wyatt: Are you talking about Cristina?
Owen: I jumped in front of her. I knew, I knew I wasn't together. I knew no good for her, or for anyone. And I wrecked her. And that is unforgivable. I don't forgive myself for that. I can't forgive myself for that. And I feel shameful about that. That is what I feel today. Shame.
Dr. Wyatt: Good. That's a start.
Owen: How is that a start?
Dr. Wyatt: You named it. The feeling. You have to know what it is, before you can start to navigate to somewhere better.

Callie: I'm dating someone now, and I'm happy, okay?
Carlos: So you're dating again? Well, that's good. That's healthy. I'd like to meet this new gentleman suitor.
Callie: Yeah. Yeah, no. They're pretty busy, 'cause they're a doctor here. But, um... You would love them. You'll love them, because they're smart and funny and both handsome and beautiful and very supportive. Daddy, please be okay with this. Dad... This is Arizona Robbins. This is who I'm dating now.
Arizona: And I really hope you draw the line at throwing women against walls.

Derek: When are you gonna let go of the grudge you have against the Chief?
Meredith: Derek, the man had an affair with my mother, broke up my parents' marriage and basically destroyed my childhood. Meanwhile, you've been best friends with Mark for 20 years. And you're willing to throw all that away over nothing. So don't talk to me about holding grudges. I'll get over mine when you get over yours.

Carlos: She's my child. It's like blood running through your veins. You don't outgrow it, it never goes away, the love, the need to protect them from everything, even from themselves. They grow up, they move out, they change, become people you don't even recognize, make decisions... I mean... And they think you don't love them because you don't understand, but it's the opposite. See, it's the opposite. You fight for them, always. You never surrender. When your child is on the line, you never surrender.

Lexie: I'm just sad 'cause I didn't get a chance to see you in the actual dress.
Meredith: You will.
Lexie: How? I mean, if Derek and Mark don't make up, how...
Meredith: You're my sister, Lexie. You're in the wedding.
Lexie: Oh, my god. I'm gonna be a bridesmaid? Oh, my god. I don't know what to say.
Meredith: Well, you should wait and see what Izzie's picked out for you to wear and then you'll have plenty to say.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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

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

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