Grey's Anatomy recap: 'Beautiful Doom'
The lesson of this Meredith- and Cristina-focused hour? You gotta have your friends, especially your "person"
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…
Last night’s episode, however, wasn’t all about the death of Cristina’s old-man friend. There was a little bit about her sex friend, Parker, too, but not too much. (Cristina’s interaction with Parker, however, did produce another great line for her, when she told the cuddly guy, in bed: “I’m not a spoon. I’m a knife, and I’m going to stab you in the eyeball.” That’s genius on so many levels.) Mostly, though, Parker just wanted Dr. Feeny to quit the hospital, and Cristina wasn’t going to stand for that.
But the crux of this episode — and the reason for this recap’s title of The Ballad of Meredith and Cristina — was the interplay between these two characters, whose lives were paralleling each other from across the country. Both were dealing with dangerous surgeries/patients, while also dealing with important people in their lives: Cristina had the near-the-end-of-his-life Feeny, while Meredith had the near-the-beginning-of-her-life and sick Zola, who was passed around Seattle Grace like a hot potato and was never in the arms of her mother.
Meredith’s lesson during the episode is a little bit harder to distill than Cristina’s: Was it that she learned that she could have saved Lexie if she’d had all the right tools? If she’d been in a hospital, like with the similarly injured patient she saved last night? Or was her lesson more about the perils of parenting? And how to prepare a multi-cultural meal of fish sticks? (Seriously, how are fish sticks Brazilian? Are they?)
Ultimately, the lesson for both Cristina and Meredith was this: You gotta have your friends, especially your “person.” And that’s such a powerful, powerful message. These two are each other’s “person.” I’m so happy they’re back together.
During this whole experiment with Cristina off in Minnesota, I kept asking the question: When will she be back at Seattle Grace Mercy West? Because, we just knew it was going to happen at some point. Judging by the previews for next week’s episode, Cristina is indeed back at Seattle Grace, and in full, full force. She seems pretty nasty, though — which makes me wonder if she actually learned anything from her old-man friend Dr. Feeny. Didn’t he tell her to “breathe”? From the preview, it looked like she was dinging the interns left and right — naming them after the Seven Dwarves — which is something you’d expect from Old Cristina. But maybe Old Cristina just exists now with old-man-improved New Cristina. They can coexist maybe? I suppose we’ll see.
Hopefully we’ll see Cristina and Meredith having some 30-second dance parties in coming episodes. (I loved it when post-surgery Meredith started a dance party and told her interns: “Dance, or you’re fired.” They smartly complied.) Who was shocked to see Cristina and Meredith didn’t enjoy a 30-second dance party when they first saw each other again on Meredith’s doorstep? I was primed and ready for that! But I guess the moment — a good one, with Cristina liquored up on tequila — was a good one regardless, just seeing these good, old friends cross paths once again, as they should.
But what’d you think of the episode, Grey’s Watchers? Are you happy that Cristina is done with her odyssey to Minnesota? Are you ready for updates on what the rest of Seattle Grace is up to after this Cristina- and Meredith-focused episode? Where’s Adele? And, answer me, please! Are fish sticks a Brazilian delicacy? Sound off in the comments below, please.
Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky