"My Favorite Mistake"
Written by Chris Van Dusen; directed by Tamra Davis

Izzie tries to sneak out of the bedroom where she just spent the night with George (see “Scars and Souvenirs”) while Meredith voices over that though surgeons always have a plan, complications often arise. In the kitchen, Meredith and Cristina mention that she and George were very loud the night before, what with their drinking and singing. Izzie says they should have banged on the wall to tell them to shut up. Cristina says it’s like living in a youth hostel. Meredith is just happy that George and Izzie have finally made up. Alex enters and asks to use Meredith’s bathroom, since George is getting sick in his. This just reinforces Cristina’s theory that the house is a youth hostel. Izzie announces that George is only still there because he was too drunk to drive home the night before. Alex asks why Cristina is there, and Meredith explains that it’s because she’s hiding from Burke so she won’t ruin their engagement. Cristina says she has a plan - they won’t get married and will just go back to the way things were. (The name of her plan is “be kind, rewind.”) Izzie starts to head to work, but goes to see George when she hears him getting sick again. He can’t remember what happened the night before and asks where Izzie slept. At Seattle Grace, Colin tells Webber that he has a lot of ideas for the hospital, including a ten-year plan. Callie finds George in the locker room and tells him that for right now, they need to pretend that everything is perfect because her father is in town.

Izzie enters, acting strangely, and Callie guesses that George told her about their fight. Callie tells George that they’re supposed to meet her father for lunch in the cafeteria, but she might change the location to the ECB since George stinks. George thinks everything will go well since parents love him. Cristina brings Burke coffee, reminding him that that’s what they do. He points out that they haven’t brought each other coffee since they moved in together and started making coffee at home. He doesn’t want to go back to the way things used to be. As she leaves, Colin joins Burke, Derek, and Addison at the OR board and wishes them all luck. Webber arrives and tells the doctors that Colin has a ten-year plan that he’s going to present to the hospital board today. Mark shows Jane Doe computer images of what she can look like after having plastic surgery on her face. Alex explains to her how the process will work (it doesn’t sound very appealing). Addison assures her that the baby will be fine and she’ll be monitoring her the whole time. Mark gives Jane a few hours to pick which new face she wants. Bailey and the interns run into Webber, and Bailey tells him that Jane will be getting her new face today. Webber notes that Meredith didn’t take off much time after Ellis’ death and her own near-death experience (see “Some Kind of Miracle”), but Meredith assures him that she’s fine. Mark approaches and quizzes Meredith on the procedure he’ll be performing on Jane. She knows about it, so she’s assigned to help him out.

The other interns head on to Callie, who announces, “I need to talk to you.” Izzie thinks she means her personally, and that she’s going to confront her about George, but Callie wants to prepare the interns for the patient they’re about to see. Her name is Cathy and she has a skeletal disease that turns her muscle into bone - basically, she’s a human statue. Her daughter Nina is incredibly overprotective and warns them to be careful when examining Cathy because if they press too hard on her body, a bone could grow where it’s not supposed to. Nina has brought Cathy in because she was vomiting blood. Callie notices that there’s a dollhouse in the room; Cathy used to build them. Nina says the work keeps her active and prevents her disorder from flaring up. Outside, Izzie asks if she can work in the clinic today, obviously wanting to stay away from Callie. Bailey sends both her and Cristina there, explaining that there aren’t a lot of surgeries scheduled for the day because the board is interviewing all the candidates for the chief-of-surgery position. Bailey sends Alex to see if he can help Addison with Jane, and assigns George to work with Callie. Callie, however, doesn’t want him around Cathy because he still smells, despite having showered twice. She asks Bailey for a second intern, and of course, Bailey assigns Izzie. Only George is pleased with this decision. In the clinic, Cristina tends to a man named Doug who has type II diabetes and foot pain. He’s supposed to be inspecting his feet every day, but obviously missed the fact that he’s developed a bad sore on one of them.

Jane tells Meredith that she hasn’t chosen a new face yet; she was hoping that she would recognize herself in one of them, but she doesn’t. She’s worried that she’ll choose the wrong one, and then the father of her baby will show up looking for her and won’t be able to recognize her anymore. Alex agrees that that would be hard, but it’ll be harder for her not to choose one at all. Derek later finds Meredith at a computer and smells her hair, telling her he’s “breathing [her] in.” He’s a little ticked that Cristina bumped him out of his own bed to spend the night. “How bad is it today?” he asks. Meredith says it’s a 6 or 7 on a scale from 1 to 10. However, she thinks helping with Jane’s surgery will make things better. In fact, she gets to do a bone harvest all by herself, which she thinks would make Ellis very proud. George and Izzie take Cathy for a CT scan, where George vows to never drink again. Izzie can’t believe he doesn’t remember what happened the night before, since it was full of hours that she can’t stop thinking about. He tells her that whatever he said, he didn’t mean it because he was drunk. She replies that he meant all of it, and more than once. George suddenly spots something on a scan and tells Izzie to page Callie. Cristina runs into Colin, who tells her he’s planning to propose an expansion to the hospital board, so she may soon have many other places to hide from him. He’s upset that he came all the way to Seattle to see her and she won’t talk to him. Cristina points out that he came for a job, but he claims it was also to see her. She says it was a mistake. Colin asks if he’s invited to the wedding, noting that she’s not talking about it much. He encourages her to tell Burke if he’s rushing her.

Mark finds Addison in front of a mirror, practicing what she’s going to say to the board. He gives her some tips and tells her this will be just like any other interview, where they’ll ask her about her strengths and weaknesses. She claims not to have any weaknesses because she’s that good, then asks what Mark’s weaknesses are. He tells her he’s “an easy mark for redheads.” She adds that he’s a man-whore, and while he’s telling the board about how he’s supposedly reformed now, Colin will be giving them his ten-year plan. Mark asks if it’s a requirement for the candidates to have one of those. “It is now,” Addison says. Callie tells Cathy that she’s bleeding internally, but if they perform surgery, they could cause more damage than good. Burke has an idea for a much less invasive procedure, but it’s still risky. Cathy notes that most people with her condition don’t live to 45; she’s 41 and quickly losing the use of her body parts. She wonders what will happen if she chooses not to have the surgery. Callie tells her that she’ll bleed to death within a day or two. Cathy wants to consider this option, but Nina thinks that their treatment plan will continue to work. Mark finds Derek in a conference room and tells him that Burke is giving his presentation to the board via PowerPoint. He wonders if they’re allowed to give gifts to the board members. Derek asks why Mark asked Meredith to do Jane’s bone graft; he thinks Mark is trying to impress Webber and is setting Meredith up to fail. Mark tells Derek to let Meredith decide what she can or can’t do. Derek vows to hurt Mark if things go wrong for Meredith.

Addison sees Cathy’s dollhouse from outside her room and asks Izzie if she had one when she was a child. Izzie replies that she had sex last night “with the wrong person,” but it didn’t feel wrong at the time. Addison wonders why Izzie chose her to spill everything to, then tells her to stop right now. Izzie thinks this might be God’s plan, but Addison is skeptical. Cristina returns to the clinic, where Doug is on the phone doing business. She announces that they’re going to have to amputate his foot because the infection has spread to the bone, and if they don’t amputate, it will move to his blood. Doug refuses to have his foot amputated. Cristina tells him that if he’d come in a month earlier, they might have been able to do something else, but now he’s out of options. He begs to have that month back, promising to do everything Cristina tells him to do. Derek finds Meredith practicing for the bone harvest and asks her what she thinks about proposing a robotics lab for the hospital. He tells her she doesn’t have to do the harvest, and she thinks that means he doesn’t think she can do it. He notes that Mark doesn’t let his interns do much on their own, especially something as crucial as a harvest. Meredith knows that Mark is trying to show off because he’s in the running for chief; he wants to prove that he can teach. Derek thinks Mark is using Meredith, knowing that Webber will be watching carefully. If it goes well, Mark gets the praise, and if it doesn’t go well, he gets the save. Meredith thinks Derek is trying to one-up Mark, but Derek says he’s just trying to protect her. She tells him she doesn’t need protection and kicks him out.

Mark encounters Bailey and asks her what she would change about the hospital if she could. She’s sure he’s going to use this in his interview and asks why he should do his homework for him. She tells him that she has patients in need right now; she doesn’t have a ten-year plan for people like Doug who need current plans. This gives Mark an idea. The interns (minus George) have lunch together and Izzie asks Meredith about post-drinking blackouts. Meredith thinks Izzie is worried about her and assures her she’s fine. She admits that she did black out a few times when she was drinking before, and Alex adds that “the stuff you don’t remember is usually the stuff you don’t wanna remember.” Cristina asks for advice on what she can do for Doug other than amputate his foot. Alex is no help; he thinks it’s cool that she gets to do an amputation. Cristina wishes that Doug could “have a do-over” just because he was neglectful and made a few bad decisions. Meredith sees through the subtext, knowing she’s talking about her relationship with Burke. Izzie encourages Cristina to fix things because they had a good thing going, and that’s rare. Cristina vows to get everything back to the way it used to be. Izzie changes the subject to Jane, saying that she thinks it’s cool to be able to pick a new face, to disappear and start all over. Later, Alex goes to see Jane, who’s freaking out over having to make her decision. He makes up backstories for her three options, naming them Maggie (soccer mom), Elizabeth (angry but well meaning), and Ava (basically the perfect woman).

At the ECB, Georgie and Callie have lunch with Mr. Torres, who thinks George talks too much. He chastises Callie for making such a rash decision by getting married to someone her family didn’t even know she was dating. He wonders if she’s pregnant and demands to an answer from George. Callie defends him, saying that George isn’t like any of the other guys she’s ever dated. “Clean as a whistle, and a mathlete,” George speaks up. Mr. Torres notes that he doesn’t have any money, and seems to think that money is the only reason George married Callie. He assures Mr. Torres that that’s not the case, and he didn’t even know Callie had money until they were already married. Mr. Torres announces that he’s going to buy Callie a house, since she’s a married woman now. While cleaning up his spilled drink, George suddenly flashes back to the previous night, then announces that he’s not going to let the Torreses pay for his and Callie’s things. Back at the hospital, George finds Izzie, who quickly realizes that he’s remembered what happened the night before. He pulls her into a linen closet and punches a wall. It looks like they’re going to kiss again, but he leaves before anything can happen. Izzie stops by Cathy’s room and admires the dollhouse, which Nina is doing most of the work on. Izzie starts to draw blood from Cathy and accidentally knocks some things off of a table. Nina wants a nurse instead, since Izzie is too clumsy to be touching her mother. After she leaves, Cathy tells Izzie that Nina isn’t a person anymore. She knows she’s going to die soon, and she wants to talk, but Nina won’t let her.

Webber finds Derek in a conference room, hoping he’s not coming up with a ten-year plan like Colin did. Derek says that they don’t matter anyway, because in the end, things just happen anyway. Webber knows he’s talking about Meredith almost drowning. Derek notes that Meredith can swim, but she gave up. Sometimes when he closes his eyes, “it’s like she’s back in the water,” and he’ll wake up in the middle of the night just to listen to her breathing. People can ask him his plans for the hospital, but he has no idea where he’ll be in ten years. Mr. Torres shows up at the hospital and tells George that though George wants to take care of Callie, he wants to take care of her as well. As Callie joins them, Mr. Torres says that her mother wants to plan a wedding party. As he leaves, Callie congratulates George for standing up to her father, since no one ever does that. She then says she wants to take back the majority of what happened last night. So does George, of course. As Jane is about to be taken to surgery, she tells Alex that she’s chosen to become Ava. As they scrub up, Mark tells Meredith that Webber will be watching while she performs the bone harvest. She quickly realizes that Derek was right and Mark is just using her to win points with Webber. “It’s despicable and I’m not gonna play,” she says. Mark replies that this morning Webber was looking at her like she was a beaten puppy, but if she does the harvest, he’ll start looking at her like a surgeon again. She can think of Mark as despicable and pass up this chance if she wants; it’s her choice.

Cristina takes Doug for his amputation, telling him that it doesn’t mean his life is over. She runs into Burke, who’s about to meet with the board, and reminds him that he was Webber’s original pick to be chief. He notes that that was a long time ago and a lot has happened since then. “But you’re still that guy,” Cristina says. Burke says he’s not - he wants to be better than that because he wants to move forward instead of backward. Webber and Derek watch from the gallery as Meredith begins Jane’s (now Ava) bone harvest. Burke, Callie, and Izzie perform Cathy’s surgery, which doesn’t go well. Burke decides that he needs to open her up, but that will kill her. However, she’ll die if they don’t open her up. As Nina works on the dollhouse in her mother’s room, Cristina begins Doug’s amputation, Meredith continues the harvest, and Cathy flatlines. Doug’s surgery is successful, and though Cristina is praised for her work, she’s sad that she had to do it at all. Derek smiles at Meredith as she’s successful as well. Still working on the dollhouse, Nina drops a piece and it breaks. Later, Derek, Addison, and Burke look on as Mark has a great meeting with the board members. Bailey approaches, noting that she’s surprised they’re not using glasses to try to listen at the door. Mark emerges, leading the board members off to see the clinic, and the other doctors ask Webber what happened. He tells them that instead of coming up with a ten-year plan, Mark presented a “right now” plan. The board loved it, as did Webber. Bailey, of course, knows where that idea came from.

Callie and Izzie go to see Nina, who wishes that she’d brought Cathy in sooner. Izzie tells her that Cathy said she wasn’t ready to leave Nina, but she was ready to leave her body. She was afraid that Nina had taken on so many responsibilities that she herself had frozen up; she needs to learn that it’s okay for her to make mistakes: “Messing up is what makes a person. It’s how you learn, where you find joy in the things you don’t plan for. The things you never see coming.” Later, in the locker room, Izzie tells George that what happened between them won’t happen again; they need to figure out what to do next and how to tell Callie. However, George doesn’t want to tell Callie because he knows how much the truth would hurt her. He doesn’t want to clear his conscious at her expense, or pay her back with this news after all the ways she’s supported him. He has to live with what he did, and he wants Izzie to promise to help him keep the secret. As Meredith voices over that we don’t take the unexpected into account when we plan, Cristina tells Doug that his next move is to make sure he doesn’t lose his other foot. Addison congratulates Alex for not complaining about watching Ava’s fetal monitor all day. After she leaves, Ava asks Alex for details on his relationship with Addison. At their apartment, Cristina tells Burke that she’ll agree to a very small wedding. He’s happy with that compromise. At home, Meredith tells Derek he was right, then says that what happened is exactly what Ellis would have wanted. Derek admits that he was distracted during his interview, so she helps him feel better about it while voicing over that “sometimes what we want is exactly what we need.” Izzie cries in her room as Callie tells George he still smells, and Meredith voices over that sometimes we need a new plan.


MEMORABLE QUOTES: Mark: “Once you’ve healed, no one will ever know you had the surgery. I’m that good.”
Addison: “He is! It’s annoying.”

“What am I? The go-to person for adultery?” - Addison

Addison: “God wants you to be an adulterer?”
Izzie: “God got a virgin pregnant by magic. God is not playing by the rules.”

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