Grey's Anatomy

Season 5 Episode 16

An Honest Mistake

Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Feb 19, 2009 on ABC
out of 10
User Rating
328 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Derek's confidence is shaken like never before as he faces off with Addison over what course is best for their dying pregnant patient. Cristina calls the abilities of a renowned surgeon into question after she botches a standard procedure. And Bailey, who has decided to pursue a fellowship in pediatrics, is appalled by the Chief's less-than-stellar letter of recommendation.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
  • Great heartwrenching episode.

    This was an episode as good as Grey's ever was in the early seasons. I loved the tensions between Addison and Derek over Jen, whether he should try anything and everything to save her or whether the baby should be brought out and take it's chances being so premature. The fight between Cristina and Dr Campbell was also really well handled, the new vs the old and so on. I loved the scene at the end where Owen told Cristina he wanted to still be with her in 40 years time. And of course the fisticuffs on the balcony! Whatever next?moreless
  • One of those episodes that recuperates the series when it was in a very difficult script-wise position. This episode closes with a "finale climax" the crossover experiment made by the producers of Private Practice and Grey's Anatomy.moreless

    This is one of those episodes that brings you back to the series, honestly, I wasn't sure about the way things were been handled for the last eight or nine episodes, but the crossover and the big finalle to it just blew my mind and makes me need the weekly grey's fix I felt when the series was in its best moments.

    I seriously believe this episode is bringing back the series to the quality we were acostumed and has a chance to catch again some of the audience it lost for the past two months.

    The best moments for me were two fights, the "scalpel fight", in wich Addisson and Derek order each other to put down the scalpel to save the life of their respective patients (being one inside the other, mother and baby premie), and the super fight in wich Derek (again) and Mark are involved (that will give us for sure a lot of juice to continue their hate-love relationship).

    I'm not sure, though, what is what we gained to take back to L.A., as I see now, Grey's Anatomy took more advantage of the crossover than Private Practice, which is entering in a non-climatic spiral that will need help very soon.

    Bottom line, I am glad they decided to do the crossover, we wanted to see Addisson in Seattle again and juice up the show.moreless
  • Dereck seems to be losing control while Izzie tries to find out what is wrong with her. An itense episode with funny bits thrown in.

    So Derek was intense to actually quite painful to watch him unravel but it was pretty well done. His feud with Addison in the OR was engrossing, though I was on the side of the latter I did feel sorry for Derek. That guy calling him a murderer seemed to be the nail in the coffin...will Meredith be able to pull him out of this 'depression'? Should be interesting!

    I loved Izzie in this episode, I really hope she isn't sick because her character really stands out. I found it scarily real when she started feeling for any lumps...but it was great the way she gave the interns patient x to help her work things out. Another thing that should get even better.

    I like Cristina and Hunt, this was an enjoyable storyline which brought the old Cristina back for me, I loved how she commented on the older surgeon during the 2nd attempt, so Cristina. Hunt seems like a deep character, hope he is explored more. Other than that the Mark/Derek fight was a little sudden but shocking. I like Lexi and Sloan together.

    Goodbye again Addison and hello to really interesting storylines!moreless
  • Emotional episode.

    Derick and Addison continue to work on a worman who is pregant and brain bleading and swelling. They were able to save the baby but the woman died. The actor that played here husband brought so much passion into his part. When he cried and called for his wife after she died, I imagined what it would be like and I started crying myself.

    Sloan tells Derick about he and little Grey. Derick punches him and a fight ensues.

    Cristina calls a verteran Dr. named Margaret Campbell on a mistake she makes in the operating room which causes more surgury to have to be done on a man.

    Izzie has a biopsy done on a place on her back and it apparantly comes back positive, by her reactions.

    This was a very good episode but kind of a tear jerker with the man's wife dying and so much emphasis being put on his emotions. Also, finding out Izzie may have cancer is pretty emotional for those of us who have grown to love her. and lastly Derick is in alot of pain after loosing his patient.moreless
  • Christina proudly practices insubordination, Derek has a massive hissy fit, Alex likes "guys," and Meredith becomes yet more unimportant as her winy supporting characters awkwardly throw themselves at the camera.

    Firstly, what is with Bailey's flashy new hair style? What's with the Alex/Meredith my-guy/your-guy stupidness? It is utterly out of character, and Alex had a role in the storyline solely because he banged Addison a few seasons back - but that doesn't mean he should randomly be her lapdog. I found it disturbed that Derek's patient was ALWAYS wearing make-up, whether or not she was in surgery. Her husbands remark of "save her, we can always make another baby," was strangely undeliberated, insensitive, unhesitant, and lacked any of the character development that would require such an opinion/commitment. Addison's trigger-happy "Dammit, I have to remove the baby!" was redundant, the childish yelling, and Derek's hissy-fit was all just very, very odd. Christina's rude, strange, know-it-all storyline was random, as was the old surgeon (her strange shrieking), and their demands that she retire (especially Owen's. Seriously, it was all just too random and forward of them).

    I'm sorry peoples, but this episode was weak. I personally thought it looked frighteningly like Private Practice.moreless
Ellen Pompeo

Ellen Pompeo

Dr. Meredith Grey

Sandra Oh

Sandra Oh

Dr. Cristina Yang

Katherine Heigl

Katherine Heigl

Dr. Isobel "Izzie" Stevens

Justin Chambers

Justin Chambers

Dr. Alex Karev

T.R. Knight

T.R. Knight

Dr. George O'Malley

Chandra Wilson

Chandra Wilson

Dr. Miranda Bailey

Faye Dunaway

Faye Dunaway

Dr. Margaret Campbell

Guest Star

Jennifer Westfeldt

Jennifer Westfeldt

Jen Harmon

Guest Star

Ben Shenkman

Ben Shenkman

Rob Harmon

Guest Star

Kate Walsh

Kate Walsh

Dr. Addison Forbes Montgomery

Recurring Role

Brandon Scott

Brandon Scott

Dr. Ryan Spalding

Recurring Role

Jessica Capshaw

Jessica Capshaw

Dr. Arizona Robbins

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Goof: During the fight with Derek Mark loses one shoe but later during the fight he wears both shoes again.

    • Goof: During the surgery scene where Derek is working on Jen and Addison is trying to persuade him to stop and let her deliver the baby, the position of Derek's spectacles on his nose keeps changing throughout the scene.

  • QUOTES (28)

    • Derek: Put down the scalpel, Addison!
      Addison: You put down the scalpel.
      Derek: Addison, put the scalpel down.
      Addison: You put the scalpel down! You have to let her go.
      Derek: Take your hand off the scalpel, Addison! You take your... take it off!
      Addison: Meredith, go get the chief.
      Derek: Do not go anywhere.
      Addison: Karev, go! (Alex leaves) Derek, don't do this.
      Derek: Do not touch my patient, Addison!

    • Addison: Letter of recommendation. Callie told me about the Chief's letter. I figured that it was the least I could do before I get on a plane back to L.A.
      Bailey: Addison Montgomery, thank you!
      Addison: Don't thank me. Just, you know, kick ass. Don't make me regret writing that you're the most promising young peds surgeons, that I've ever had the pleasure of working with.

    • Lexie: I'm so sorry.
      Mark: It was worth it.
      Lexie: No, i-it wasn't. M-Maybe a little. ... Thank you.

    • Bailey: I don't see anyone burnin' the place down.
      Izzie: That's how they do it, they do everything right, and then as soon as you look away and they screw it all up.
      Bailey: Hey, I'm sorry, earlier I was busy. I was busy with myself, so... I'm sorry.
      Izzie: Don't be. I called you an ass. ... And you were right, I think that I just needed to vent, I'm sick of this place.
      Bailey: Hell, I just watched Derek Shepherd beat up a man because he's so sick of it. That's just the way it works. The patients we lose, the mistakes we make, that's how we learn. That's always how it's been done. If you figure out a better way, you Izzie Stevens will be a better doctor than the rest of us.

    • Margaret Campbell: Tell me how you'd do a pulmonary embolectomy.
      Cristina: I'd insert a catheter into the femoral vein, then position the fluoroscope adjacent to the embelence.
      Margaret Campbell: What would you do if the power should suddenly go out? ... Or if you had to operate in a hospital that couldn't afford a fluoroscope.
      Cristina: I would pulmonary arteriotomy, directly visualize the clot and then use atraumatic forceps to exract it. That's how I would do a pulmonary embolectomy without a fluoroscope.
      Margaret Campbell: The fact that you felt the need to come and tell me that, tells me that you're a much better surgeon than I first thought. I've decided that today's surgery was my last. You look at me like you won't wake up that day, not that far from now, so much faster than you can imagine, and find that you are me. That you can't cut anymore. ... What will you have? I was a God. In this OR, holding that scalpel. I was God. And now? ... What will you have?

    • George (after he gave his letter of recommendation to Bailey): I know it's bad. It's just that-- that you're very complex. And word defining.
      Bailey (sees Richard walking by): Chief? (hands him the letter) That is a letter of recommendation!
      Richard (looking at it): O'Malley? You want me to take pointers from O'Malley?
      Bailey: You be hard pressed to find a better person to take pointers from. (Richard walks off, Bailey follows) Chief? Chief...
      Richard: Exactly! I am the Chief of Surgery and I don't have time to write letters to pump your ego. My head of neuro is being called a murderer. I have to fire my longest standing general surgeon because she won't retire! Interns are mixing up blood samples in your clinic. And you want me to spend time writing a recommendation so that you can leave me?
      Bailey: Leave you? Sir, I'm applying for a fellowship in pedatric surgery--
      Richard: Which is not what we had discussed! Do you know how much of my time you wasted? Do you know the amount of work it takes to groom someone? You were supposed to become the next me!
      Bailey: You wanted me to become the next you. Now, I'm not your son or daughter, you don't get to pin all your hopes and dreams on me, sir.

    • Rob: I don't understand. She just died?
      Derek: ... I'm sorry.
      Rob: Yeah, I know you said that. Um... I'm asking how she died.
      Meredith: ... We believe that your wife's high blood pressure is what caused the bypass to fail, that caused the bleeding and the swelling in the brain. Dr. Shepherd did everything that he could to save her, but there was too much damage to her brain. That's when Dr. Montgomery stepped in to deliever the baby.
      Rob (sobs, and looks at Derek): You said that it was a routine procedure, and that she would be fine. And then there was a complication. And you said you fixed that, but then, the baby got sick... (starts to cry) and that made Jen sick, but then, you said that you fixed that too. And now she's dead?
      Derek: ... I'm sorry.
      Rob (sobbing): Stop saying that you're sorry! You killed her! You're a murderer. A murderer.

    • Margaret Campbell: It's been years since I've had you in my OR, Chief. I seem to remember an incident with a clamp being dropped into an open body cavity.
      Richard: You're never gonna let me live that one down, huh?
      Margaret Campbell: A teacher never lets up on her students. Although, I've often wondered on how the upcoming classes learn anything with the way we teach these days. Attendings see more concerned with inspiring their students, using encouragment and validation, and so forth. Instead of instilling them with the fear and shame that actually causes one to remember anything in the first place.

    • George (holding his letter of recommendation): Come on. I just need you to tell me if it's worthy of Dr. Bailey.
      Izzie: Dr. Bailey is an ass. Say that. Say that she doesn't listen to the residents when they have important information about the interns.
      George: I think that you're missing the point of the exercise, which is to say nice and important things. (they walk into the dermatology wing) You still hang out here?
      Izzie: George, just say that she's dependable, say that she's selfless. Everything she was, until she wasn't. Just... you should probably go.
      George: Dependably selfless. Thank you.

    • (Cristina is still reading Ellis' diary)
      Meredith: How's my mother?
      Cristina: Bitter. Angry. Genius. You know what's so wrong? How much the Chief and your mother fought. The sex must've been great.
      Meredith: Okay, you saying that. That's wrong.
      Izzie: What's wrong? Our entire health care system? Because I agree.
      Cristina: Okay, here it is. (reads from the diary) 'March 3, 1979. Assisted, Margaret Campbell on a splenectomy. Impressive resume adequate technique.' See? Hack. Even then.
      Meredith: You're working with Margaret Campbell?
      Cristina: Yeah. Ye oldie timey thinks that she's still sane enough to keep doing surgeries. See, that's what I like about your mom. She wasn't all Alzheimer-y and still operating. Do me a favor and shoot me if I start making mistakes on patients and still think it's kosher to keep cutting.
      Alex: Sounds like Shepherd.
      Meredith: Alex.
      Alex: Please, my guy's right. Your guy knicked and aneurysm and now he's tryin' like hell to cover his ass.
      Meredith: Your guy needs to shut up.

    • Mark: Oh! There he is. The legand himself. How are 'ya legand?
      Derek (chuckles): Are you drunk? Should I be worried about 'ya?
      Mark: And he's got his sense of humor back. How's your patient?
      Derek: She's good. Stable. And today is the first day in a long time that I remember what it feels like to be good at my job.
      Mark: You? Come on. You're like the Dahli Llama or surgery. People from all over the world come here to let you cut into them. And you know what else? You look good doin' it. I like the facial hair, by the way, keep it that length. No more, no less.
      Derek (laughs): Okay, alright. Stop.
      Mark: Derek, there's something that we need to discuss.
      Derek: Go ahead and have sex with Addison.
      Mark: Addison?
      Derek: Go for it.
      Mark: What? I don't wanna have sex with Addison.
      Derek: Really? Well, what did you wanna discuss?
      Mark: ... Nothing.

    • Cristina: Oh, done tending to her highness?
      Owen: You know, you're tough on people. It's good to hold such high standards, but this is medicine. No one's perfect.
      Cristina: She's stubborn and out of touch.
      Owen: So her 40 years of experience means nothing?
      Cristina: Well, no, not if you don't use them correctly. If she wants to be old and keep operating, fine. Just keep up with the medicine.
      Owen: Cristina, this is one case. You can't judge from this one case.
      Cristina: That patient deserves to know who is doctor is, no matter who's feelings it happens to hurt.

    • (Bailey just got her letter of recommendation for the Chief. Callie walks up)
      Callie: Newborn. (scoffs) I'm not a newborn. I'm-I'm a senior resident, I'm a great surgeon! I'm a divorcee for God's sake. I'm... I'm a... looking for you to agree with me here, Bailey. ... Bailey?
      Bailey: The Chief, he wrote me a form letter of recommendation.
      Callie: What? That's insane. He's the Chief and you're Bailey. (Bailey hands her the letter, and she reads it) 'Pleasent in the OR, and enjoyed by the nurses. She has completed a servicable amount of research, a fine addition to any program.'
      Bailey: Fine. He used the word 'fine'. A blank page would be more... I pulled off a twelve person domino surgery, I took out and put back six of a dying girl's organs. I am Dr. Bailey. I am better than fine! (walks off)
      Callie: Well, at least he didn't call you a baby.

    • Callie: Hey.
      Arizona: Calliope. I haven't seen you around.
      Callie: Yeah, well, I've been avoiding you. (laughs) Yeah, I know, it's so weird. You share a kiss with a woman that you've never seen before, honestly, this is a new adventure, one that I am so ready to take, for the second time. (sighs) Anyway, do you... wanna go on a date with me?
      Arizona: Wait, uh, Erica and you, she was your first?
      Callie: Yeah.
      Arizona: Oh. Okay, so then I guess, my answer is no. I'm sorry.
      Callie: Wait, wait. What? Uh... um... You kissed me out of nowhere, in a bathroom...
      Arizona: Okay, see, this is what I try to avoid. You're all exploring and experimenting, and yay! This is a really exciting time for you, but I work in peds, I spend my entire day around newborns, so I try not to in my personal life. Thanks for asking, though. I'm super flattered. Super! (walks away)

    • Derek: That is the first moment of hope that they've had in a week.
      Addison: Preeclampsia is serious. They needed to know. You are too close to this patient.
      Derek: Stop fighting me on this. We had a victory in there, let's stay focused on that.
      Addison: We give the family all of the information. That's our job, Derek. (Derek walks away)
      Alex (to Meredith): Looks like my guy won that round.
      Addison: Meredith... Um, Karev, can you go get Jen's blood test results? (Alex walks off) Give me one reason why I shouldn't go to the Chief.
      Meredith: Why? The surgery was a success.
      Addison: He made a mistake in her first surgery and caused a serious of complications, he feels responsible. So tell me why I should worry less, tell me why I shouldn't go to the Chief.
      Meredith: During the clinical trial he lost a serious of patients and it effected him for the better, I think. I mean, he cares more, if that's possible. You just have to trust him.
      Addison: Okay.

    • Margaret Campbell: Dr. Yang, explain to my patient what you feel what I should've done differently in order to avoid this complication. Now don't be shy, Dr. Yang.
      Cristina: Okay, patient's status post minimumly invasive procedures have to have decreased post-surgical discomfort and recovery times.
      Margaret Campbell: In human, please Dr. Yang.
      Cristina: This surgery should've been done laparscopically.
      Margaret Campbell: Dr. Hunt... perhaps you could explain to Dr. Yang. why I chose to do the surgery this way.
      Owen: Although some doctors prefer to use new technology, there are others that think it's actually more risky since we can't see of move around during the surgery, it's half a dozen either way.
      Margaret Campbell: Bravo, Dr. Hunt. Do you understand John?
      John: Yes. I have no doubt you'll do the right thing by me, Dr. Campbell.
      Margaret Campbell: Wonderful. Now, Dr. Yang, please take our patient to CT. Maybe you'll learn something in the process while I confer with Dr. Hunt about uh, our course of treatment.

    • Bailey: I'm on a deadline, Stevens.
      Izzie: Sadie Harris mislabeled a patient's blood sample and now the clinic is probably gonna get sued.
      Bailey: Well, it's a good thing Sadie Harris no longer works here, then.
      Izzie: No, it's not. It's not a good thing, because it isn't just her. The interns all of them, they are capable of the same mistake. They are dangerous and they are bad.
      Bailey: Stevens...
      Izzie: Don't tell me I'm overly emotional and it isn't personal, because it is personal. I have worked so hard to teach them and- and it is personal.
      Bailey: Stevens, you don't think that I thought the same thing about you people every day for the first year that you worked here? And you know what the Chief told me when I did? Get out.

    • Graziella: Dr. Stevens? Do you think that we will get to scrub in on a surgery today?
      Izzie: You losers really think that you're capable of holding someone's life in your hands when you could barely finish the intern bowl? Come on.

    • Addison: Hey, her blood pressure is up a little higher than it was yesterday.
      Derek: We can't wait.
      Addison: Well, I know I just--
      Derek: You want me to be aware. I understand. You're a good doctor, let's just be good toghether. (they walk off)
      Alex: You're and my guy work well together.
      Meredith: Well, my guy works well with everyone.

    • George: I need more time.
      Bailey: No.
      George: Don't get me wrong, I am honored that you asked me over all the other residents, but yeah, it's not easy telling distilling a doctor of your stature down to 500 words of less.
      Bailey: I chose you, O'Malley because you were the only one that I could trust to do this without screwin' it up, so don't!

    • Alex: Is he still beating himself up? Addison thinks that he's still beathing himself up.
      Meredith: Alex.
      Alex: The head of neuro hasn't left his patient's bedside for three days.
      Meredith: He's fine. And I thought that Addison was leaving.
      Alex: She put her brother on a plane last night. Admit it, her hanging around your guy it bugs.
      Meredith: It doesn't bug. You bug.
      Derek (walks up): Karev, page Addison, tell her that I need her to stay. (walks back into Jen's room)
      Meredith: Okay, it bugs a little.

    • Meredith (closing voiceover): Patients see us as Gods. Or, they see us as monsters. But the fact is, we're just people. We screw up. We lose our way. Even the best of us have our off days. Still we move forward. We don't rest on our laurels or celebrate the lives we saved in the past. Because there's always some other patient that needs our help. So we force ourselves to keep trying, to keep learning, in the hope that maybe, some day, we'll come just a little bit closer to the gods our patients need us to be.

    • Owen: Today you were teaching someone who needed to learn but you were also a bully to someone who needed compassion. You were both.
      Cristina: Well, I wasn't a bully. And ... I was right.
      Owen (laughs): Yeah, you're a lot like her. Stubborn, opinionated, smart. ... Forty years from now, I'm going to have to pry that scalpel out of your hand too.
      Cristina: From my cold, dead hands.
      Owen: You're missing the point. I want to be around forty years from now.

    • Callie: I have experience to give.
      Arizona: Calliope.
      Callie: Life experience. Like the fact that I was married. Did you know that? Or that I was in the Peace Corps. Botswana. That's what convinced me to go to med school. And most recently, I've experienced the joy of cooking. Yeah, I make an excellent chicken bacada in addition to many other delicious meals that you'd be very lucky to experience yourself. And the fact that you can't open your eyes to see that, makes you, (whispers) inexperienced.

    • Callie: So, did you scope her out yet?
      Mark: Who?
      Callie: Arizona.
      Mark: Oh, right. No, I haven't had a chance to swing by peds and ask the nurse to point out the attending who kissed my friend in a dirty bar bathroom.
      Callie: Well, at least you're still good for coffee. (goes to grab a cup, as Mark slides both cups away from her)
      Mark: Oh, that's not for you.
      Addison (walks up): Oh coffee, why thank you, Mark.
      Mark: Well, that's not for you either. (he sees Lexie walking by and walks up to her, Addison and Callie watch from the nurse's station) Morning, Dr. Grey.
      Lexie: Yeah, you can keep your secret coffee. Until you tell Derek, our relationship is going to consist of you hiding in the attic and me smuggling snacks past Mer's bedroom. Do you know what that makes you?
      Mark: Your boyfriend?
      Lexie: Anne Frank. I am dating Anne Frank. And I'm tired of it. I-I want to go downstairs with you. I want to tell the Germans to kiss my ass.
      Mark: I'm gonna tell him, soon. And when I do, you're gonna be my date to the wedding.
      Lexie: Derek proposed?
      Mark: Ah, not yet, but when he does.

    • Arizona: This is application is the start of a new life. How we feelin' positive? Confident?
      Bailey: I am good. Great. Uh, you take care of your own feelings.
      Arizona: Peds surgery is super competitive.
      Bailey: I know that's why I come armed with letters of recommendation that will put the competition to shame. Look, Shepherd says that I'm talented and resourceful, Sloan finds it an honor to work with me everyday.
      Arizona: What about the Chief? What'd the Chief think?
      Bailey: I'm still workin' on that.
      Arizona: Bailey, the Chief's recommendation is the only one that matters. Everyone on the selection commitee works--
      Bailey: I know! Jus-- You calm down. I got it under control.
      Arizona: Good, because speaking on the behalf of me, we couldn't be more excited to have you. Yay!

    • Owen: Alright. What?
      Callie: Campbell was Seattle Grace's first female surgeon. As pioneer's as it gets, mostly she just sits in her office and spreads prestige around, but ... she still does routine surgery now and then.
      Cristina: Botches routine surgery. I'll page the Chief.
      Owen: No, page Campbell. It's her patient.
      Cristina: And let her maim the guy again? How about we page someone who actually knows how to operate instead of some dinosaur who refuses to retire her scalpel and go join her friends in Boca.
      Margaret Campbell (from behind them): The dinosaur is here. No need to page me.

    • Meredith (opening voiceover): There's this thing that happens, when people find out you're a doctor. They stop seeing you as a person, and begin to see you as something bigger than you are. They have to see us that way, as gods. Otherwise, we're just like everyone else; unsure, flawed, normal. So we act strong, remain stoic. We hide the fact that we're all too human.

  • NOTES (4)

    • International Episode Titles:
      Slovakia: Ľudské zlyhanie (Human Failure)
      Czech Republic: Chybovati je lidské (To Err Is Human)

    • Original International Air Dates:
      Italy: May 18, 2009 on Fox Life
      Latin America: May 18, 2009 on Sony Entertainment Television (aka Canal Sony)
      Australia: May 28, 2009 on Channel 7
      Germany: July 15, 2009 on ProSieben
      Norway: December 1, 2009 on TV2
      Slovakia: January 25, 2010 on STV1
      Czech Republic: June 3, 2010 on Prima

    • Music Featured In This Episode:
      1. Turn the Page by Matt Hires
      2. Error Error by Dash & Will
      3. Twice by Little Dragon
      4. Like A Ghost by Calahan
      5. The Planets Bend Between Us by Snow Patrol

    • This episode the conclusion to ABC's crossover event with Private Practice.