A plane crash leaves few survivors, giving the docs plenty of time to forge new relationships and destroy old ones.

By Jennifer Armstrong
Updated May 20, 2011 at 04:39 AM EDT
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Credit: Randy Holmes/ABC

At last we come to the end of this strange season of highs (the documentary episode, the Arizona/Callie wedding) and lows (yeah, the singing). So much change, so much coupling and decoupling, so much baby talk.

So let’s get to it. Mer and Der were working baby plans into their under-construction new house, and the adoption lady was showing up, it seemed, everywhere. As if she could tell if the house would be a good environment for the kid based on the fact that there would, in fact, be a concrete foundation and a basic frame. In any case, the couple was also moving forward with their Alzheimer’s trials at work, with Meredith insisting that he treat her “like a doctor” and not “like a wife” when they were in their professional capacity. When will these people ever learn that the only way to take the personal out of their hospital lives is to stop screwing and marrying each other? That would make it a lot easier when, say, Owen has to tell Derek that his wife messed with the trial protocol. Just as an example. This, needless to say, did not go over well with Derek. Meredith pleaded with the Chief, “Kick me off the study. There’s nothing wrong with the study.” But she refused to say what she messed with or why. The Chief said she’d probably be losing her job then; Meredith told Alex, who’d blabbed about the switch to Owen, to get his stuff out of her house. Cristina, too, was none too pleased with Alex; Alex seemed genuinely sorry, as he’d only meant to knock Meredith out of the running for chief resident, not get her fired.

Henry, too, was having too many feelings — namely, he was sad that Teddy would soon be leaving with Andrew for Germany. She protested that she was not his real wife, so he couldn’t get upset. “You’re my real best friend,” he countered. “What does that get me?” Aww, poor Scott Foley.

But we had no more time for Scott Foley’s big, weepy eyes because we got word that a 757 had gone down in the sound, and soon about 200 injured passengers would be arriving, with Seattle Grace as the headquarters for handling the traumatized families. Suddenly, Teddy wasn’t leaving quite so fast; they’d need surgeons as well as world-class trauma counselors, of which Andrew is the awesomest ever.

Oh, and guess what! Cristina found out she was six weeks pregnant in the midst of all this. As they waited for the patients to show up from the crash, she broke the news to Owen, who, naturally, was kind-of into the idea of having a baby. “I’m not a beautiful vessel for all that’s good about the future,” she snapped. Then: “Are you getting all lifey on me?” He said he wanted kids — as he’s hinted before: “I want them, and maybe you can, too.” He was so earnest when he gave his speech: “Cristina Yang, I imagined such a huge life for us.” It’s too bad he didn’t go ahead and ask her instead of just imagining, but he looked so sweet and pleading I almost wanted to have his baby. We should also pause to note here that if Cristina does get an abortion — something we won’t know for sure until next season — that’s a pretty historically rare happening in network television (though it’s a subject being addressed more and more).

Meredith was dealing with her massive life meltdown as well, still insisting to Derek and the Chief that “if you don’t know what I did, the trial stays blind.” Alex, however, had told them: It was Adele whom Meredith slipped the drugs instead of the placebo. A-ha. Now everything was clear to everyone. The Chief backed off and told Meredith he’d have to suspend her just to maintain some sense of protocol, but he’d obviously forgiven her. Derek, not so much.

It was also becoming clear that no patients would be arriving from the crash — if it was taking that long, no one could have survived.

And did we mention that April was named chief resident? Remember that thing everyone’s been competing for for months? Yep, our little former Everwoodian got it, as anticlimactically posted on the bulletin board amid preparations to receive the families of the dead passengers to break the bad news to them. Alex expressed his displeasure with the choice to Owen: “It was supposed to be me or Grey. You think anyone’s going to listen to Kempner? It’s going to be complete chaos.” Owen had an answer: “You think everyone’s going to listen to you? You just sold out the one universally liked individual at this hospital. Everyone’s going to hate you. … I was planning to give it to you. But now …” Can we just take a moment to appreciate that Meredith is apparently now “universally liked”? Sign of massive character growth, overstatement, or somewhere in between? And will Alex ever pull himself completely out of the jerk hole in which he always digs himself?

NEXT: The doctors break the bad news …

Now it was time for the doctors to call out the names of the families, take them to private rooms, and tell them their loved ones were dead, as if the day hadn’t already been stressful enough for our poor Seattle Gracers. Teddy escaped the emotional onslaught for a bit by bringing Henry pudding, but he didn’t want her there. “I’m a man who’s in love with you who waltzed you into the arms of a damn knight on a horse,” he said, asking her to leave him the heck alone already. Andrew paged Teddy — just to see her face, he told her: “Something like this happens, you just want to be with someone that you love.” Then, of course, Teddy got it — she had brought Andrew pudding when she just wanted to be with someone. She went straight up to his room and kissed him, declaring, “You’re my husband, and I think I’m falling in love with you.” Auf weidersehen to Andrew, I suppose, though we didn’t get to see that.

Finally, one survivor was uncovered in the wreckage and rushed to the hospital. She was a little girl by herself, an “unaccompanied minor” with head injuries and bruises. When one of the women who lost a son in the crash heard this, she insisted on staying at the hospital until the girl’s parents got there, and all of the other families within earshot joined her and her husband. When the tearful mom of the girl arrived, the woman told her, “We all thought she should have someone pulling for her.” Then she told her the comforting lie that her own son was still alive and also in surgery. Tearjerking in four simple plot steps.

The value of having loved ones carried throughout the rest of the episode as well. Derek couldn’t bring himself to forgive Meredith: “I don’t know how to raise a child with someone who doesn’t understand that there’s a right and wrong in the world.” Meredith got a text from the omnipresent adoption lady right after he said that, so we knew they’d be getting the baby. We just knew. And we were right! There was that gorgeous child on screen again, and all was right with the world. The NICU nurse was bustling around packing up lots of baby gear for the shellshocked Meredith and asking about things like car seats. “I don’t have a car seat,” she said. “I’m not even sure I have a husband.”

Mark symbolically “gave” Lexie away to Jackson, which Lexie rightly called “paternalistic and weird,” but it was probably also something that had to happen. “I don’t want to love you,” she told him. “I want to be happy. And Jackson makes me happy.” (Smart girl.) “I’m letting you go, Lexie,” he said. “That means you gotta walk away.” And she did! And Eli wanted to go home with Miranda, and she let him! And Hot Blond Doctor asked Alex to tell her not to go to Africa, and he told her … “Go to hell.” Okay, so that one didn’t work out so well. Maybe because she has to go be on the new Charlie’s Angels show next fall. Good for her.

Meredith, Miss Universally Liked, was actually doing well with bringing the baby home, even though she was alone, which was definitely a sign of character growth. (The Mer of seasons one and two would never have handled this okay.) “I am very glad you’re here,” she told Baby Zola, and she sounded like she meant it. We ended the season, though, with the one couple whom I think is truly meant to be on this show — not Meredith and Derek, but Meredith and Cristina. Cristina told Owen she’d made an appointment to terminate her pregnancy. “This isn’t pizza versus Thai,” she explained, batting away his pleas for “compromise.” “You don’t give a little on a baby.” He kicked her out, “because you denied me part of the decision, because you denied me a marriage.” (Am I the only one siding with Cristina, if there’s a side to be taken, on this one? You really don’t compromise on a baby, and if he felt so strongly he should have asked her about kids before proposing.) This sent Cristina knocking on Meredith’s door.

Meredith broke her baby news first: “She’s upstairs sleeping in some dead baby’s crib.” Then Cristina: “Wow. Well, I’m getting an abortion and Owen just kicked me out of my house.” These two belong together.

What did you think, Grey’s watchers? How did this finale measure up for you in the history of Grey’s finales? How’d it measure up to the rest of this season? Will Mer-Der-Zola make it? How about Teddy and Henry? Will Cristina keep the baby? Will April cut it as chief resident? So many things to ponder over the summer!

Follow me on Twitter: @jenmarmstrong

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Grey's Anatomy

Meredith. Alex. Bailey. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes' hospital melodrama.

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