Grey's Anatomy on ABC

2005, TV Show

Grey's Anatomy Episode: "Stand By Me"

Season 5, Episode 18
Episode Synopsis: While Mark attempts a face-transplant surgery, Meredith tries to get Derek to return to work after his fellow surgeons fail in their attempts. Meanwhile, Cristina finally gets a solo surgery, but she's more focused on the needs of her friends; and Izzie tries her best to keep her condition a secret.
Original Air Date: Mar 19, 2009
Guest Cast Brandon Scott: Intern Ryan Larry Sullivan: Dave Emily Kuroda: Kendall
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Season 5, Episode 18
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Length: 05:06:00
Aired: 3/19/2009
Also available on Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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Grey's Anatomy Episode Recap: "Elevator Love Letter" Season 5, Episode 18

In this episode of Grey's Anatomy, Derek works through the jitters as he returns to the OR for the first time since he lost his last patient, and Cristina continues to deal with Owen's post-traumatic stress disorder when it takes a seriously dark turn. Plus, Karev learns the importance of sticking by your loved ones while the other residents deal with Izzie's sickness in their own ways. So did Izzie come out of her first (of many) surgeries OK? Let's find out!

Hey guys, I'm Adam Bryant, srcubbing in for a travelling Erin this week. She will be back to her regular recapping duties for the next episode.

The episode opens with a Karev narration about how trauma messes everybody up, and truer words couldn't be spoken as far as this episode is concerned. Everyone at Seattle Grace is reeling in their own ways: Callie feels guilty for having felt angry toward Izzie after she stole George; George is furious that Izzie told Cristina instead of him; Derek is afraid Meredith won't stay with him if he is unsuccessful in the OR, and Karev is having trouble making his "contribution" to Izzie's harvested eggs.

That's right, the Chief comes to Alex to ask for a sperm specimen because harvested eggs perform better if fertilized. Although Alex agrees, he struggles with the decision, particularly because, as he says, "this isn't how Izzie and I were supposed to make a baby." It's nice to see Karev's emotional side peek its head out every now and then. But even so, Karev never told Izzie what he was doing, mainly because he didn't visit her throughout the day. Instead, he was tending to a very old patient who was on her last leg...and had been for three years. Although her family was initially pushy and impatient about flying out of Seattle (they had been coming across the country every time she almost died), they did help teach Karev a lesson: "Some people are better than no people." Karev put that lesson in motion when he allowed the interns to wait with the residents — who also had been avoiding Izzie all day — outside the OR, breaking the no loitering rule.

Elsewhere, Cristina and Meredith have a slight squabble over Dr. Hunt after his PTSD causes him to strangle Cristina while he's having a nightmare. Although Cristina maintains that she is fine and knows her own limits, Meredith continues to hound her for staying by his side. "He's wounded," Cristina says, trying to make Meredith see that walking away from Owen would be the same as walking away from someone who had a stroke. (For what it's worth, Owen is remorseful.) But when another flare-up happens at the hospital (Owen seems to be set off by rotating objects like helicopters and ceiling fans) Derek suggests Owen seek treatment for his curable disease. He's hearing none of it, until he and Cristina finally sleep together, only to have Cristina admit that she is afraid to fall asleep in his arms. While Owen goes in for a CT with Derek, Cristina cries on Meredith's shoulder. Poor Cristina, but very well played Sandra Oh.

Speaking of Derek, it was a tough day to be Dr. Shepherd. Not only did Owen bring up his most recent (botched) surgery, but Karev did also, out of fear for Izzie's safety. Plus, Derek presents Meredith with the ring (did he buy a new one or find the old one in the woods?), but she turns him down — twice! — because she wants Derek to operate as a surgeon, not as a favor to win back her love. Derek is noticeably shaky in the OR, but the watchful eye of Izzie's stern oncologist finally snaps him back into shape as Derek takes offense to having his every move questioned. Reassured, he finishes the surgery successfully, and Izzie lives to fight another day.

And so does Meredith and Derek's relationship. Actually, it lives to fight a lot more days, as Derek lines the elevator with CT scans and charts of all the cases he and Meredith have worked on together. He tells her that her "dark and twisty" self-characterization is not a flaw, but instead is a strength. He believes this because she has seen the worst, and knows it can be survived — an optimism she somehow gets through to others, including Derek. And based on that, McDreamy proposes — without getting on one knee or asking a question — and Meredith accepts. "I want to spend the rest of my life with you," they say to one another. Awww!

Derek's speech to Meredith leads back to Karev's words of wisdom: Trauma messes people up so that they can step up and become better. McSruffy steps up by shaving his beard and returns to being the king of neuro. Owen steps up by finally seeking treatment for his disease, but he can only hope he isn't too late to win Cristina back. And Karev steps up simply by standing beside the woman he loves, no matter how much it hurts him.

A few passing thoughts:
• Bailey and Izzie's interactions tonight were sweet. Bailey was the only resident who was frequently checking in on Izzie, who decided to knit instead of thinking about her surgeries. Bailey quizzes Izzie, refusing to let her skills get rusty. Bailey believes Izzie will beat her sickness, and for that, Izzie gives Bailey the scarf she knitted just before she goes under the knife.

• The Chief was mostly comic relief tonight, especially in dealing with Alex's fertilization of Izzie's eggs. But his quirky interaction with Meredith as he made sure she got on Derek's specially decorated elevator made me chuckle the most.

• Best line of the night goes to Cristina, who counters yet another of Meredith's attacks about Owen choking her. Meredith: "Hands around your neck." Cristina: "Ring thrown in your face." Nice.

What did you think of the episode? Did you get teary-eyed? Are you excited that Meredith and Derek are engaged? What do you make of Cristina and Owen's situation after this new development? Share your thoughts below!

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In this episode of Grey's Anatomy, Derek works through the jitters as he returns to the OR for the first time since he lost his last patient, and Cristina continues to deal with Owen's post-traumatic stress disorder when it takes a seriously dark turn. Plus, Karev learns the importance of sticking by your loved ones while the other residents deal with Izzie's sickness in their own ways. So did Izzie come out of her first (of many) surgeries OK? Let's find out! read more

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Premiered: March 27, 2005, on ABC
Rating: TV-14
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Premise: Doctors at a Seattle teaching hospital hone their bedside manners on and off the job in this medical drama.

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