It was undoubtedly by exactly perfect design, but Cristina uttered the most poignant line of Grey’s Anatomy’s ninth season so far in the last few seconds of last night’s episode — a line that sums up everything that’s happened so far: “Everyone’s dead,” she said to Meredith without much fanfare, as the two best friends — separated by half a country for five episodes — embraced for the first time this fall.
The line was so simple and so fitting because, well, it’s true: Everyone has, indeed, died. Lexie. Sloan. And after last night’s rather wrenching episode, titled “Beautiful Doom,” Dr. Feeny — the old-man friend of Cristina’s whose real name was Dr. Thomas — also dropped dead, God bless his crusty, old soul. (Although the character death maybe isn’t allllll bad for the actor who played him, William Daniels, since he may be getting his old gig back as Feeny on the recently announced Boy Meets World sequel spin-off that Disney has in the works.) All I have to say about all this continued theme of death is: We get it, Grey’s Anatomy powers! You’ve got the power to kill people! No one is safe! Life is fragile! We should be scared! And all that jazz! But geez, it’s be nice if you stopped killing people. Death is exhausting, and there are really not many more tears to shed at Seattle Grace.
And maybe all the death has been a way to thin out the ranks on the over-populated show some. But Dr. Feeny was a new addition this season, so killing him, clearly — as evidenced by the voiceover from him as his dead body was wheeled through the hospital’s hallway — wasn’t to make room for other characters to have space to breath. It was to teach Cristina Yang to be a better person, which sorely needed to happen. (And will probably need to happen yet again…and again.)
Truly, we can all take something away from the words he offered to Cristina Yang: “Breathe, Dr. Yang,” the voiceover from him near the end of the episode said, giving advice to the typically high-struck and unfriendly Cristina. “Don’t be crass. You’re skulking. Women of your generation are graceless. It’s an affront to nature. Mediocre surgeons will see you and feel themselves wilting in your shadow. Do not shrink to console them. Do not look for friends here. You won’t find them. None of these people have the capacity to understand you. They never will. If you’re lucky, one day, when you’re old and shriveled like me, you’ll find a young doctor with little regard for anything but their craft, and you’ll train them like I trained you. Until then, read a good book. You have greatness in you, Yang. Don’t disappoint.”
His death, however sad, was not unexpected. First off, he was really old. And actually, not long before Dr. Feeny dropped dead in the OR with Cristina, I had already thought he was dead once during the episode. Remember that scene when Cristina happened upon Feeny sun-bathing on a bench outside the hospital? I could have sworn he was dead then — he looked it. But thankfully, Grey’s decided to pull his plug much more dramatically, with him literally keeling over mid-surgery. Cristina’s sex friend Dr. Parker tried CPR on the immediately stiff man, while Yang had to finish her surgery. Also thankfully, considering everything, Yang was successful in her surgery. If it hadn’t gone well, it might have sent me over the edge to have Feeny and the patient die minutes from each other.
NEXT: Meredith learns some lessons, too…