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Grey's Anatomy: An Honest Mistake

Derek's confidence is dashed as he squares off with Addison over a patient. Cristina begins to doubt the abilities of a surgeon after she messes up on a routine procedure. Meanwhile, Bailey, pursuing a fellowship in pediatrics, is appalled by the Chief's recommendation letter.

Episode Info

Episode number: 5x16
Production Number: 516
Airdate: Thursday February 19th, 2009

Director: Randall Zisk
Writer: Peter Nowalk

Alternate Airdates:

FI (Nelonen) Apr 15, 2009
UK (sky LIVING) May 07, 2009
NL (Net 5) May 18, 2009

  • Currently 8.6/10
8.6/10 (30 Votes cast)


Special Guest Stars
Kate Walsh
As Dr. Addison Montgomery (Neonatal Surgeon Visiting from Private Practice)

Guest Stars
Ben Shenkman
As Rob Harmon (Husband of Patient Jen Harmon)
Jennifer Westfeldt
As Jen Harmon (Patient: Pregnant with Seizures and Anneurism)
Jessica Capshaw
As Dr. Arizona Robbins (Pediatric Surgeon)
Kathleen Early
As Dr. Daisy Pepman (Dermatologist)
Faye Dunaway
As Dr. Margaret Campbell (General Surgeon, First Female Surgeon at Hospital)
Louis Giambalvo
As John Terzian (Patient: Complication From Surgery by Dr. Campbell)

Co-Guest Stars
Brandon Scott (2)
As Intern Ryan
Gloria Garayua
As Intern Graciella
Joy Osmanski
As Intern Lucy
Mark Saul
As Intern Steve
Molly Kidder
As Intern Megan
Susan Merson
As Lorraine (Patient: Was Misdiagnosed in Clinic With Cancer)
Winston Story
As Intern Leo
Main Cast
Ellen Pompeo
As Dr. Meredith Grey
Justin Chambers
As Dr. Alex Karev
Patrick Dempsey
As Dr. Derek Shepherd
Chandra Wilson
As Dr. Miranda Bailey
James Pickens, Jr.
As Dr. Richard Webber
Sara Ramirez
As Dr. Calliope "Callie" Torres
Kevin McKidd
As Dr. Owen Hunt
Chyler Leigh
As Dr. Lexie Grey
Eric Dane
As Dr. Mark Sloan
T.R. Knight
As Dr. George O'Malley
Sandra Oh
As Dr. Cristina Yang
Katherine Heigl
As Dr. Isobel "Izzie" Stevens
Episode Notes
Ratings: 15.39 Million Viewers

Timeline: This is the final episode of the Grey's Anatomy-Private Practice Crossover.

ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
CalahanLike a GhostLexie Smiles at Mark, Callie Talks to Arizona
Dash & WillError, ErrorDerek Exits, Lunch Scene, Cristina Reading Journal
Little DragonTwiceOwen Exits, Derek Operating on Pregnant Patient
Matt HiresTurn the PageOpening Scenes, Seattle, Derek Looking Over Scans
Snow PatrolThe Planets Bend Between UsOwen Joins Cristina and They Talk, Closing Scenes

Episode Quotes
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.

Lexie: I'm so sorry.
Mark: It was worth it.
Lexie: No, it wasn't. 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.

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! Derek, don't do this.
Derek: Do not touch my patient, Addison!

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.

Episode Goofs
Factual Error:

When Addison and Derek are in the OR together she tells Karev to "Page Dr. Freedman". Dr. Freedman is the pediatrician on staff at Ocean Side Wellness group on 'Private Practice'. She was supposed to say "Page Dr. Robbins".


Derek's glasses change positions on his face during the scene in which Addison tries to convince Derek to let her deliver Jen's baby before he operates.


Mark loses one of his shoes during the fight with Derek, but later in the scene he is shown wearing both shoes once again.

Cultural References
Episode Title: An Honest Mistake

"An Honest Mistake" is the title of a song by The Bravery.

Episode References
Private Practice: This episode concluded a cross-over with spin-off series Private Practice, the first episode being "Before and After."

Other Episode Crew

CreatorShonda Rhimes
Executive ProducerBetsy Beers  |  Mark Gordon (4)  |  Allan Heinberg  |  Mark Wilding  |  Rob Corn  |  Shonda Rhimes  |  Krista Vernoff
ProducerTammy Ann Casper  |  Jeff Rafner  |  Linda Klein  |  Zoanne Clack  |  Stacy McKee
Series DirectorKevin McKidd
WriterPeter Nowalk
Missing Information
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Warning: Grey's Anatomy season 5 episode 16 guide may contain spoilers
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