The BEST episodes of Grey's Anatomy season 5

Every episode of Grey's Anatomy season 5, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Grey's Anatomy season 5!

A drama centered on the personal and professional lives of five surgical interns and their supervisors.

Last Updated: 7/5/2024Network: ABC (US)Status: Continuing
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Now or Never
star
8.07
1549 votes

#1 - Now or Never

Season 5 - Episode 24 - Aired 5/14/2009

In the second part of the two hour season finale, George delivers stunning news to Bailey, sending shockwaves throughout the hospital, and Izzie's friends anxiously await her recovery from surgery. Meanwhile Bailey is surprisingly displeased after being accepted into the pediatric fellowship program, and the victim of a near-fatal traffic accident brings the talents of Seattle Grace's doctors together. This is the second hour of a 2-hour season finale.

Directors: Rob Corn
Writer: Debora Cahn
Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
What a Difference a Day Makes
star
7.70
2009 votes

#2 - What a Difference a Day Makes

Season 5 - Episode 22 - Aired 5/7/2009

As Meredith, Derek and all of their friends prepare for the big wedding, a group of college students, injured in a car crash as they were heading to their graduation ceremony, is admitted to the ER. Meanwhile, Izzie fears the worst when she begins experiencing familiar symptoms.

Directors: Rob Corn
Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
Stand by Me
star
7.69
1656 votes

#3 - Stand by Me

Season 5 - Episode 18 - Aired 3/19/2009

After his fellow surgeons try and fail to bring Derek back to work, Meredith must summon the strength to convince him. Meanwhile the hospital is abuzz as Mark attempts a rare face transplant surgery. Cristina, at last awarded her first solo surgery, is more focused on the needs of her friends, and Izzie does her best to keep her medical condition a secret.

Directors: Jessica Yu
Writer: Zoanne Clack
Watch Now:Apple TV
Stairway to Heaven
star
7.64
1690 votes

#4 - Stairway to Heaven

Season 5 - Episode 13 - Aired 1/22/2009

Bailey grows desperate as a patient's condition becomes more and more dire. Everyone in the hospital is stepping up to try to find the boy a new organ donor, including Meredith, who considers a death row patient's wish to die before execution. Meanwhile, an injury leaves Mark in a compromising position in the OR and Cristina awkwardly avoids Owen.

Writer: Mark Wilding
Watch Now:Apple TV
Dream a Little Dream of Me (1)
star
7.60
1704 votes

#5 - Dream a Little Dream of Me (1)

Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired 9/25/2008

As Meredith and Derek begin to find that their "happily ever after" is anything but easy, Cristina develops a crush on a military doctor who brings in a trauma patient. Meanwhile, the Chief and his staff cope with the news that Seattle Grace is no longer considered a top-tier teaching hospital.

Directors: Rob Corn
Watch Now:Apple TV
Elevator Love Letter
star
7.60
1709 votes

#6 - Elevator Love Letter

Season 5 - Episode 19 - Aired 3/26/2009

All eyes are on Derek as he is set to perform his first surgery after his breakdown; attention is also set on Izzie, whose medical condition requires her to undergo a difficult surgery; and Owen has another PTSD episode that injures Cristina and traumatizes both of them, throwing the future of their relationship into question.

Directors: Edward Ornelas
Writer: Stacy McKee
Watch Now:Apple TV
Here's to Future Days
star
7.59
1987 votes

#7 - Here's to Future Days

Season 5 - Episode 23 - Aired 5/14/2009

In the first part of the two hour season finale, Izzie spends time with a fellow cancer patient and contemplates whether or not to undergo a risky surgery, as Mark is ready to take his relationship with Lexie to the next level and a patient makes Owen reassess his place at Seattle Grace.

Directors: Bill D'Elia
Watch Now:Apple TV
Sympathy for the Devil
star
7.51
1741 votes

#8 - Sympathy for the Devil

Season 5 - Episode 12 - Aired 1/15/2009

Derek's mother, Carolyn, makes a surprise visit to Seattle and meets Meredith for the first time, as Mark tries to conceal his relationship with Lexie from her as well; meanwhile, death row inmate William wishes to donate his organs to Bailey and Arizona's patient, as Owen and Cristina try to go on their first date.

Directors: Jeannot Szwarc
Writer: Jenna Bans
Watch Now:Apple TV
I Will Follow You into the Dark
star
7.51
1752 votes

#9 - I Will Follow You into the Dark

Season 5 - Episode 17 - Aired 3/12/2009

Derek decides to quit after learning that more of his patients have died than survived; Izzie's interns make an unsettling discovery about "Patient X."

Directors: Rob Corn
Writer: Jenna Bans
Watch Now:Apple TV
Life During Wartime
star
7.49
1644 votes

#10 - Life During Wartime

Season 5 - Episode 6 - Aired 10/30/2008

The chief gives Bailey new power and responsibility. He also gives her a very difficult surgical assignment: remove a girl's inoperable tumor. Meanwhile, new trauma chief Owen (Kevin McKidd) challenges the attendings' methods and the residents' skills.

Directors: James Frawley
Writer: Mark Wilding
Watch Now:Apple TV
No Good at Saying Sorry (One More Chance)
star
7.48
1830 votes

#11 - No Good at Saying Sorry (One More Chance)

Season 5 - Episode 21 - Aired 4/30/2009

As preparations continue for Meredith and Derek's wedding, Izzie receives a surprise hospital visit from her handful-of-a-mother, Robbie. Meanwhile, a newly sober Thatcher visits his daughters, Meredith and Lexie, in order to make amends, and the Chief and Meredith bitterly fight over a controversial medical case.

Directors: Tom Verica
Watch Now:Apple TV
There's No 'I' in Team
star
7.47
1647 votes

#12 - There's No 'I' in Team

Season 5 - Episode 5 - Aired 10/23/2008

Bailey heads up a "domino procedure" in which each surgery hinges on the one preceding it. Meanwhile, Derek gets sole credit for the brain-tumor study he did with Meredith; Lexie tries to get George to notice her romantically; and Sloan counsels a desperate Callie in the ways of love.

Directors: Randy Zisk
Writer: Jenna Bans
Watch Now:Apple TV
All by Myself
star
7.46
1721 votes

#13 - All by Myself

Season 5 - Episode 10 - Aired 12/4/2008

Cristina is awarded the first solo surgery among the residents, but she is forced to give it up and choose her replacement; Lexie is impressed when Mark performs a cutting-edge procedure; Callie doesn't know if Sadie is friendly or flirtatious.

Directors: Arlene Sanford
Writer: Peter Nowalk
Watch Now:Apple TV
Dream a Little Dream of Me (2)
star
7.43
1061 votes

#14 - Dream a Little Dream of Me (2)

Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired 9/25/2008

Alex is offended when Izzie talks about how great a man Alex is to Meredith. Derek is stabbed with the scalpel in the palm of his hand by Rose, while the Chief is stunned over Mercy West's increase in the number of patients, a deadly ice storm ravages Seattle.

Directors: Rob Corn
Watch Now:Apple TV
Beat Your Heart Out
star
7.42
1692 votes

#15 - Beat Your Heart Out

Season 5 - Episode 14 - Aired 2/5/2009

Now that Derek has the engagement ring, he searches for the perfect way to propose to Meredith, as Lexie demands that Mark go public with their relationship, and Bailey, encouraged by her work on recent cases and by Dr. Dixon, considers a new direction for her medical career.

Watch Now:Apple TV
In the Midnight Hour
star
7.42
1590 votes

#16 - In the Midnight Hour

Season 5 - Episode 9 - Aired 11/20/2008

Meredith, Cristina and Bailey come to Lexie and Sadie's rescue when a routine surgery goes horribly wrong, as Owen and Derek treat a man seriously injured while sleepwalking and Mark comforts the sleepwalker's distraught daughter.

Directors: Tom Verica
Watch Now:Apple TV
Sweet Surrender
star
7.37
1770 votes

#17 - Sweet Surrender

Season 5 - Episode 20 - Aired 4/23/2009

As she endures aggressive treatment for her cancer, Izzie throws herself into planning Derek and Meredith's wedding.

Directors: Tony Phelan
Watch Now:Apple TV
Here Comes the Flood
star
7.37
1653 votes

#18 - Here Comes the Flood

Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/9/2008

When the plumbing springs a leak, chaos breaks out at Seattle Grace as the Chief tries to put in place new teaching methods. Meanwhile, George takes his residency exam; and Derek attempts to get Meredith's roommates to move out, much to their surprise.

Directors: Michael Pressman
Watch Now:Apple TV
Before and After
star
7.37
1642 votes

#19 - Before and After

Season 5 - Episode 15 - Aired 2/12/2009

Addison, Naomi and Sam rush the ailing Archer to Seattle Grace and reunite with old friends Derek and Mark to help save his life; meanwhile, Izzie employs her fellow doctors in a medical game designed to help teach the interns, and Owen runs into a significant someone from his past

Directors: Daniel Attias
Watch Now:Apple TV
Brave New World
star
7.35
1657 votes

#20 - Brave New World

Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/16/2008

Meredith is sent into a state of panic when Derek finds her mother's diary in the house. Meanwhile, Callie stresses while preparing for her first date with Erica. Later, Cristina stumbles across a part of the hospital no one has ever seen before.

Directors: Eric Stoltz
Writer: Debora Cahn
Watch Now:Apple TV
Rise Up
star
7.34
1530 votes

#21 - Rise Up

Season 5 - Episode 7 - Aired 11/6/2008

When the Chief makes an announcement that a solo surgery is up as an award, the residents are sent into a frenzy all trying to get an edge over one another. Meanwhile, Derek asks Bailey for advice after Cristina continues to interfere in his relationship with Meredith. Elsewhere, Erica uncovers a shocking connection between a resident and a patient.

Directors: Joanna Kerns
Watch Now:Apple TV
An Honest Mistake
star
7.34
1578 votes

#22 - An Honest Mistake

Season 5 - Episode 16 - Aired 2/19/2009

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 renown 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 recommendation letter.

Directors: Randy Zisk
Writer: Peter Nowalk
Watch Now:Apple TV
These Ties That Bind
star
7.31
1542 votes

#23 - These Ties That Bind

Season 5 - Episode 8 - Aired 11/13/2008

One of Meredith's oldest friends, Sadie, becomes an intern at Seattle Grace, but Mer's friends are less-than-welcoming to her.

Directors: Eric Stoltz
Writer: Stacy McKee
Watch Now:Apple TV
Wish You Were Here
star
7.31
1736 votes

#24 - Wish You Were Here

Season 5 - Episode 11 - Aired 1/8/2009

Bailey teams with Seattle Grace's new pediatric surgeon, Dr. Arizona Robbins, to save the life of a young patient near and dear to her heart, as the admittance of a death row inmate at the hospital stirs anger in Derek and further erodes Meredith and Cristina's friendship; meanwhile, Callie and Sloan work as a team to fight their respective attractions to Sadie and Lexie, and Izzie tells Alex that she's seeing Denny.

Directors: Rob Corn
Writer: Debora Cahn
Watch Now:Apple TV