Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki
Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki

We all get at least one good wish in a year over the candles on our birthday. Some of us throw in more, on eyelashes, fountains, lucky stars. And every now and then, one of those wishes come true. So what then? Is it as good as we hoped? Do we bask in the warm glow of our happiness or do we just notice we’ve got a long list of other wishes waiting to be wished. We don’t wish for the easy stuff. We wish for big things. Things that are ambitious, out of reach. We wish because we need help and we’re scared and we know we may be asking too much. We still wish though, because sometimes they come true.

Wish You Were Here is the eleventh episode and mid-season premiere of the fifth season and the 89th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[]

Izzie celebrates her birthday. Both Callie and Mark try to avoid Sadie and Lexie. Bailey is introduced to Arizona Robbins a perky pediatric surgeon and Meredith and Cristina continue to fight while they treat a criminal.

Full Summary[]

Cristina is in the vent room by herself, enjoying the sensation of the warm air.

Meredith and Derek are woken up by the alarm clock. Meredith wants to stay in bed in Derek's arms to escape Cristina's mean face. They decide to go for a quickie.

At the hospital, Cristina and Meredith are walking in silence.

George wishes Izzie a happy birthday. She thanks him. Bailey comes over and gives her former interns their assignments. Cristina and Meredith are expected in the ambulance bay by the Chief. Izzie picks up on Cristina and Meredith's silent rage.

Richard tells Derek, Owen, Meredith, and Cristina that there's a stabbed and beaten prisoner on his way. There will be guards at all time, and he'll be cuffed to the bed. He doesn't want any accidents. He gets paged: the man is here. He wants to keep this silent, so they have to get him out of the ER as soon as possible as the guards will attract attention. Cristina reads PDR on the man's file and wonders what that is. Richard says it means it's a prisoner from death row. The paramedics unload the man from their rig, and he greets the doctors.

In a trauma room, the doctors are working on the prisoner. His legs are hurting, but he wasn't stabbed there. Derek is very cold towards the patient, but he doesn't mind. He says they're alike. People are alive when they meet them, but then it all changes.

Lexie greets Mark. He says his best friend made a request, and he slept with Lexie anyway. It was fantastic, but a one time thing. She says okay.

George's patient has a broken hip. She can't believe it. This is her sixth break in a year. She doesn't believe in a higher power, but she needs someone to yell at. So, she yells "come on!" to the heavens. George will call ortho as that may be more satisfying.

Bailey greets Jackson, a young patient. Bailey and Alex go to talk to Melinda, Jackson's mother, outside the room, while Dr. Kenley, the pediatric surgeon, examines Jackson. Melinda is worried, because Jackson looked yellow. Bailey explains to Alex that Jackson's had 12 bowel resections and Kenley calls her every time. Melinda works a lot for Jackson's health, so she wants Alex to treat Jackson well, whatever he wants. Alex will do that.

Jackson asks Kenley if he can have a lollipop this time. As they negotiate, Kenley falls to the floor. Alex instructs Jackson to hit the blue button. Bailey rushes into the room for the code blue as Alex is performing CPR on Kenley.

Bailey tells Richard that Jordan Kenley died. His wife is on his way and she'll probably want to speak to him. Richard seems distracted and walks off without replying.

Izzie tells Denny she has to tell Alex about Denny, because it's not fair for him. Izzie reminds Denny that she's happy when she's with Alex, and she also needs someone who's alive. Having them both makes her happy. Izzie says it's a huge deal for Alex to tell her he loves her, so she has to be honest.

Jackson asks Alex if he can sign something that Kenley wanted to do. Jackson wants a wish from the wish people and a doctor has to sign it. Alex refuses to. Jackson says he can help him decide on the wish if he signs it, but Alex says that is for kids with life-threatening diseases, so not for him. Besides, the rodeo smells like poo.

Callie tells Mark she has a parathyroid tumor for him to remove. Lexie overhears that and asks if she can help. Callie accepts, but Mark says she won't get to touch anything. Callie tells Lexie to go call ultrasound to find out if their patient has arrived there. She knows Mark slept with Lexie. Mark tells her what happened and that is was fantastic. Sadie comes over and takes a bit of lint out of Callie's hair, then informs her ultrasound will have their results in half an hour. Callie stutters to her to tell Lexie and George. Mark agrees there was something between her and Sadie. These interns are out of control.

A surgeon named Arizona Robbins introduces herself to Bailey. She'll be taking over Kenley's patients. Arizona respects Kenley, but she's surprised he followed this course of treatment so long when it wasn't working. Bailey supported the call. They hadn't turned the corner yet, but... Arizona says they'll follow the treatment for today, but they should start thinking about other options. She rolls off on her wheelies to go see the other patients. She'll see Bailey in the OR.

In the trauma room, the doctors are still working on William Dunn, who's in pain. He wants more morphine, but Cristina says they're not here to support his drug addiction. He's been behind bars for 11 years, so he has no drug addiction. Meredith wants to wait for the films, but Derek and Cristina both think this is a waste of time. The films arrive and they conclude that whatever William was stabbed with is still in his spine. William asks if he's paralyzed, because then his lawyer might make a case for staying his execution. Derek refuses to let him be a gimp.

Patricia has taped a paper that reads "do not disturb" on an OR door. The Chief is in there and he wants to be alone. Bailey needs to see him.

Cristina ordered an MRI as a CT might not give them a good view of the spine. Derek wants to do everything by the book, so no lawyer can make a case out of them not giving him the best proper care. He's pro punishment. Meredith says good people can make mistakes, and they don't know what he did. They can't judge. Derek asks for a repeat crit. Meredith and Cristina leave in silence. Owen thought they were friends. Derek says they were, but now they're in for a very long day.

Alex picks up the lab results for his patient and meets with Izzie, who sees Denny again. She tells Alex she has something to tell him and it'll sound weird. She tells him she sees Denny a lot, here and at the house. He asks if she's okay, because it sounds whacked. Izzie asks if his grandmother never showed up. Only once, in a dream, to tell him not to play with his parts. Alex says whatever and tells Izzie to say hi to Denny.

William says everybody's been so attentive to him, but he's still in pain. William says Cristina's kind of a bitch. Meredith tells him they're fighting. William's pretty sure the thing in his spine is a modified toothbrush. Meredith asks how it ended up in his spine. He says he got in a fight with a friend.

Jackson asks Izzie if she can help him. He wants a wish, but he's having trouble deciding which wish. She takes a look and suggests the rodeo, but he says some guy told him it smells like poo. Alex comes in and asks Izzie what she's doing. Alex tells her Jackson is a scammer. Izzie walks out of the room and watches Alex prep Jackson for surgery. Denny tells her that she has to stop worrying. She told Alex, and that's all she can do.

Mark tells Margaret she has a parathyroid tumor. "Come on!" she says. George explains she does that. Sadie tells her the tumor causes her bones to lose calcium, which is why she's broken so many bones recently. Margaret will be back to normal once they take it out. Margaret's been living like an old lady because of a tumor. George says it's benign and easy to remove. There was a guy and he had to move to Denver, and she didn't move with him because Denver's icy and she'd break something every time she'd fall. So, the tumor cost her her guy. Lexie comes in and gives Mark the lab results. Mark is really attracted to Lexie, but Callie tells him to focus.

Arizona, Bailey, and Alex are operating. Arizona says there will only be 10 cm of bowel left when they're done, and the liver is cirrhotic. This kid should have been on the transplant list a year ago, as it's a miracle he's still alive.

Bailey barges into the OR where Richard is laying on the table. He says he's not seeing anyone today. Bailey tells him Kenley got replaced by an infant on rollerskates named Arizona. Her name reflects her poor judgment and she's changing Kenley's treatment protocol based on half an hour with the patient. They took out most of his bowel and she just wants to pray for a transplant. It's a serious case and they need someone who can handle it. Richard says Bailey never liked the other attendings in the beginning. Arizona was top of her class, and she was Chief Resident, and the best anyone's seen in a long time, like Bailey. She's the only one they got, so Bailey has to deal with it.

Owen gives Cristina a coffee as he figured she needed a friend. She says co-workers are competitors, not friends, but she'll take the coffee. Derek comes over with William's MRI: he has brain contusions, on top of everything else. Meredith comes over and says William is still in pain. She wants to give him more morphine as it's inhumane not to with the object still stuck in his spine. Derek says killing people is inhumane, denying painkillers is just a judgment call. Meredith asks him what's wrong with him. He watches people die all the time, and he fights like a dog to make sure he doesn't have to deliver that news to families, but he loses all the time. William just throws his life away and then dares to tell him they're two sides of the same coin. He doesn't need morphine.

Mark tells Callie that Lexie is exquisite, and not just the sex. They talked for hours. He knows she's thinking about Sadie too. She says they need to find something else to think about. They kiss, but it's not working. Callie says they're like addicts, so they need a 12-step program. They'll be each other's sponsors. The only step is to not get naked with an intern.

George, Cristina, and Alex are having lunch. George thinks Alex should do something for Izzie's birthday. He says he has it under control. Izzie sits down with them and Alex quietly asks her if Denny's there. He's not. Alex will share his girl but not his sandwich as it cost 4 bucks. Meredith comes over and George gives her his seat. Alex talks about the mass murderer. Izzie wonders what he did. They discuss crimes of passion. Meredith thinks every crime is one. Cristina leaves and Sadie joins them. Meredith doesn't want to hear what she thinks about Cristina.

Cristina follows Owen and says she's leaning towards killing someone. Owen walks off, saying he's working.

William's cuffed to the bed. He's feeling better and thanks Meredith for whatever they gave her. Cristina flat-out asks him what he did to get on death row. He doesn't mind. He says he slit a woman's throat after thinking and dreaming about it for a while. On a Monday, he just had to do it. It wasn't terrifying or sad, it was just fun. So, he did two more on Tuesday, and on Wednesday. He got caught before he could do three on Thursday. He then asks for jell-o.

Derek finds Richard in the OR, as Bailey told him to ignore the sign. Derek didn't know Kenley, but he figures it must be hard to lose a colleague. Richard says he was horrible with his colleagues, so he won't miss Kenley for a minute. Derek asks if this is about his mortality. Richard laughs. He's worried about his hospital dying. No one wants to come here. He can't keep a cardio surgeon. No wonder they're number 12. He failed at the one thing he's been doing for his whole life, so he's gonna stay on this table until he finds a way to walk the halls without cringing. Derek says he has to stitch a serial killer back together, so he doesn't have a rousing "get back on the horse" lecture in him.

Callie and Mark are scrubbing in for Margaret's surgery. Their hot interns are in the OR already. They agree to no secret glances, and to have the interns take the tumor to pathology right away.

In another scrub room, Owen and Derek are in the scrub room. They see Meredith and Cristina are still not talking to each other, so they're happy to have each other in there.

Izzie says her seeing Denny is not like a dream. She actually hangs out with him during the day. He thinks she's saying it because she's freaked out over his "I love you". Izzie says they do stuff together, sex stuff. Alex says there's nothing wrong with a good fantasy. Izzie can't believe he doesn't care. Alex says he's been competing with the tool for a long time, but being dead gives him the handicap now. He asks if Denny is here now to see him kiss her. Denny is angry. Alex takes off Izzie's pants, and Izzie tells Denny to go. Izzie moans and Denny's gone.

Derek removes the sharp toothbrush from the OR. He learns Meredith gave him extra morphine and asks if him murdering people doesn't bother her. Derek says she and Cristina shouldn't be on this case. Meredith says William can't jump off the table and kill, as Derek's the one with the knife. Owen says they're going to do a nephrectomy and asks if they've ever mobilized the renal hilum. Meredith would love to try. Cristina has practiced hundreds of times on cadavers. Meredith says some are naturals, others have to practice. Owen brings up the Seahawks game to relieve tension.

Izzie is naked and tells Denny she can't choose between him and Alex. She asks if he's gonna make her. He says he can't do anything that would make her unhappy. Izzie tells him she loves him, but he says she tells that to all the guys. She says today is her birthday. He knows that. She asks if he's gonna get her a present. He thinks he just did.

Arizona is shaking her head while going over Jackson's post-op LFTS. She gives Bailey the chart and says this kid should be on the transplant list today, for both intestine and a liver. Bailey wants to get another opinion. Arizona writes down the number for Norman McCale, head of peds at Johns Hopkins, who'll tell her Jackson needs a transplant about 2 minutes into the conversation. Then, Bailey can put Jackson on the list. Bailey says there's no need to snap, but Arizona disagrees. She's been second-guessing Arizona ever since she's arrived, and Arizona gets that, but she is not the problem. The patient is. Bailey has to focus on Jackson instead of Arizona, because Jackson won't make it if they keep wasting time.

Meredith and Cristina scrub out after the surgery. Cristina quickly leaves.

Owen joins her as she waits for the elevator. He asks if she wants to get a drink. She asks if they're on again now as the mood suits him, cause she's the sad girl without friends who tripped his savior complex into action. Usually, she can deal with the hot-and-cold thing, but not today. She wants him to leave her alone.

Meredith is charting as Sadie comes in to look at William. She asks what he did, but Meredith says it doesn't matter. Sadie asks if she wants to get a drink, but Meredith's not in the mood. Sadie says they had a fight like hers and Cristina once, in Amsterdam. Their friendship wasn't the same afterwards. That's okay for Sadie, but Cristina mates for life. If Meredith doesn't make it right, Cristina will never talk to her again. Meredith says she apologized to Cristina. Sadie asks if she meant it, like she could see Cristina had a point. Sadie misses Meredith as her friend.

Bailey's talking to Jackson about the transplant, and as it turns out, Arizona is the best there is. She's gonna take good care of him. Bailey has to hold back her tears and asks Melinda to go sign some of the consent forms outside. Alex stays behind, and Jackson pulls out his wish list. Alex signs it. Jackson asks for stars and x's to help him decide.

Callie tells Margaret everything's looking good. She'll heal fast, so she can go home soon. She says she's going to Denver.

The interns are having drinks at Joe's. Over at the bar, Mark and Callie agree they did good today. They just have to keep strong and stare at Joe. Joe doesn't like the staring. Mark says you only live once, and you can't waste it. He apologizes to Callie and says he's going to Denver. He walks up to Lexie and they leave together. Sadie then glances at Callie, who orders another drink as she tries to control herself.

Bailey enters Richard's OR and tells him Arizona is all right, although she's not sure the patient's going to make it. Richard gets up and takes the sign off the door. He takes the chart and they sit down while Bailey talks him through the case.

Derek comes home and sits down with Meredith. He explains why he had such disdain for William. He tells her about the day his father died. His father had been held up at gunpoint by robbers and was shot because he refused to give up the watch his wife bought for him. That's how his father died. They're supposed to treat everybody the same, but they're not all the same. Meredith's sorry to hear that. Seems like it was a bad day all around. He wishes he could make things better between her and Cristina. Derek doesn't know what Cristina would do in this situation. Meredith says she'd turn the music up pretty loud and they'd dance it out. He puts on music and starts dancing, awkwardly. He wants her to get up as he can't do it by himself. She gets up and joins him. They kiss and dance.

Up in her bedroom, Alex presents Izzie with a self-made birthday cake. It's not that good but the frosting is great. Denny tells Izzie it's a nice gesture. Alex lights the candle and tells Izzie to make a wish. Izzie looks at Denny, then asks what if she doesn't have anything to wish for. She has everything she could ever want. He tells her to wish nothing changes, then. Izzie blows out the candle.


Main Cast[]

Special Guest Star[]

Guest Stars[]


Medical Notes[]

William Dunn[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Stab wounds
    • Beating injuries
    • Scalp laceration
    • Foreign body in spine
    • Brain contusions
  • Treatment:
    • Surgical extraction
    • Nephrectomy

William came into the ER after being stabbed in the back in prison. He said his legs hurt and his scalp was lacerated. An x-ray revealed that whatever was used to stab him was still lodged in his spine. An MRI revealed brain contusions. They did a nephrectomy along with repairing the damage to his spine.


  • Diagnosis:
    • Broken hip
    • Parathyroid tumor
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery
    • Tumor resection

Margaret came into the ER with a broken hip. She'd had six fractures in the past year, so they ran more tests to find a cause. They found a parathyroid tumor which was essentially leeching the calcium out of her bones, making them vulnerable to fracturing. They operated to remove the tumor.

Jackson Prescott[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Cirrhosis
    • Dead bowel
  • Treatment:
    • Stricturoplasty

Jackson was in the hospital for surgery. He'd had 12 bowel resections. When Arizona Robbins took over his case, she decided to change the course of treatment after one last try at Dr. Kenley's plan. After surgery, she decided to put Jackson on the transplant list for small bowel and liver.

Jordan Kenley[]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Coronary thrombosis
  • Treatment:

Jordan, while treating a patient, had a massive coronary and died.


Song Performer Scene
"Am I Still the One" Daniel Powter with Linda Perry
  • Cristina is in the vent room by herself.
  • Meredith and Derek are woken up and proceed to do a quicky to start the day.
"You Don't Know Me" Ben Folds featuring Regina Spektor
  • Callie and Mark invent a no-sex-with-interns 12-step program.
  • George reminds Alex it's Izzie's birthday.
  • The residents discuss William Dunn over lunch.
  • Owen blows off Cristina.
"Ah, Ah, Ah" The Coral Sea
  • Arizona snaps at Bailey for second guessing her.
  • Cristina leaves the room when Meredith enters.
  • Owen asks if Cristina wants to get a drink. She tells him to leave her alone.
"The Day Before the Day" Dido
  • Sadie tells Meredith to make a sincere apology to Cristina.
  • Bailey tells Jackson and Melinda that Jackson needs organ transplants and that Arizona is great.
  • Alex helps Jackson with his Wish List.
"Lights Out" Santogold
  • Margaret tells George, Mark and Callie she's going to Denver.
  • Callie and Mark try to avoid looking at the interns, but Mark breaks and leaves with Lexie.
"Home" Tandy
  • Derek dances it out with Meredith to cheer her up.
  • Alex gives Izzie a cake he baked her. She blows the candle out and wishes for nothing to change.

Notes and Trivia[]


Grey's Anatomy 5x11 Wish Promo

  • This episode's title originated from the song Wish You Were Here, originally sung by Pink Floyd.
  • This episode scored 13.71 million viewers.
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Jessica Capshaw as Arizona Robbins. Her first day of filming was October 29, 2008.


Episode Stills[]


Mark: I'm telling you, these interns are out of control.
Callie: Stalkers.
Mark: Sexed-up stalkers.

Meredith: (to Cristina) Hmm.... Well, to some of us surgery comes naturally, others have to practice.

Meredith: All crimes are crimes of passion. There's always a reason. People don't do stuff like that because they forget it's illegal.

Owen: Seems like you're short of a friend today, so I thought I'd fill in.
Cristina: Whatever. Colleagues aren't friends, they're competitors.

Richard: I'm worried about my hospital dying. I made some calls to replace Kinley. No one wants to come here. I can't keep a cardiac surgeon on staff. Burke quit. Hahn quit. Dixon's autistic. My OR roof collapsed, the whole place flooded. The interns are literally chopping each other into little pieces. No wonder we're number 12. Twelve!

Owen: You okay? Want to get a drink or something?
Cristina: Oh. Oh, now we're on again 'cause the mood suits you? Because I'm the sad little girl with no friends and I tripped your savior complex into action? Usually I can deal with the hot and cold thing, but not today. Just leave me the hell alone.

Mark: We did good work today.
Callie: If we stay strong...
Mark: Don't get drunk...
Callie: Keep staring at Joe, we'll be fine.

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.