The Grey’s Anatomy finale surprised us, if only because it was actually fantastic. It wasn’t true edge-of-your-seat drama. Come on, let’s be honest. We were all 99 per cent certain that Meredith would survive. But it was still tense enough. There were some fantastic moments – Meredith talking Ross through her own splenic dissection, for one – and some beautiful moments from the characters surrounding her less than easy delivery.
Our biggest disappointment was that they called the kid Bailey. Like, it’s a great name in a ‘James Stewart running down the streets shouting Merry Christmas’ kind of way, but poor Ross is going to be so upset. We know we weren’t the only ones thinking that’s what she meant when she said she knew what she was going to call him. Ross Shepherd has a nice ring to it, too. Bailey Shepherd? It sounds like a drink.
Honestly, though, it was the peripheral stories that most gripped us. Yes we know we were supposed to care about Meredith Grey, but when she’s the central character there’s no need. The characters around her, on the other hand, are relatively dispensable. Which is why our hearts were in our throats for Jackson. His near death scene was predictable, yes – from the moment he started clambering all over that bus crash we knew something was coming – but still got us right where our emotions live. Kepner’s reactions, first to his death and then to his majestic and remarkable reappearance, were perfect and more than enough to make us sure that there’s no way she’d go through with the wedding to Matthew. This is where the first cliffhanger came in, though. As Kepner told Jackson she wants to be with him, and asked him to give her a reason to leave Matthew, the action cuts away. We’re going to have to tune in in the Fall for his response.
The other storyline we loved was, of course, Alex and Wilson. As the episode started, each was determined to not talk about their feelings for the other. Alex even told Arizona (who had admitted her cheating to him) that he couldn’t tell Wilson he loves her because he screws women up. But as he watched Wilson throughout the episode you could almost see him falling more and more in love with her until, in one of the final scenes, he told her. And it was adorable and perfect. What’s most notable about this arc, however, isn’t that Alex finally stepped up to the plate, or that he’s a nicer guy around her, but that she didn’t want to be with him because she was afraid of screwing things up. They really are the perfect match.
The episode was by no means filled with positive endings, though. Two happy couples, one couple stuck in the middle somewhere, and two breakups (or breakup and potential breakup at least). First up, Cristina and Owen. After seeing the joy that Derek feels over the birth of his son, Cristina finally decided that she couldn’t deprive Owen of feeling that some day. She broke up with him so that he could go and get the life (and child) he so desperately wants. It will be interesting to see how next season turns out, because these two have never done well broken up. Will we be seeing a reconciliation or not?
And then we have Arizona and Torres. This was perhaps the weakest storyline of the episode. It was handled well, and Arizona’s guilt and discomfort were palpable. Where it fell down was in the discovery. As Torres confronted Arizona, it suddenly became all about the leg again. That felt like an unrealistic reason for cheating. There have been no indications over the last few weeks that Arizona was still harboring resentment and, even if she was, that was a crappy excuse. You cheated because you cheated, not because your wife cut your leg off. It felt forced. But, nonetheless, therein lies our second cliffhanger – will Arizona and Torres return in the Fall as a couple or as newly divorced parents?
Finally we turn to the shock ending (literally), and the disaster that had to befall the hospital staff (there’s always one). As soon as we saw Maintenance Frank lying in the basement, we knew this was coming, but we could still scarcely believe it when it happened. All the people we thought were going to die as this episode progressed, and the only one who does is the one we thought never would… Richard Webber. If he is dead, of course. It looks fairly certain that he is, and all that is left is for someone to find the body (which likely won’t happen until the final moments of the first episode back), but Grey’s has pulled this kind of thing before and it’s possible that he’s merely unconscious. Possible, if unlikely. If he is dead, then he died to save the hospital. A noble death that could not have been any more fitting for the one character who lived and breathed Seattle Grace. He will be missed. – K
Quoteworthy: “There’s an end to every storm. Once all the trees have been uprooted, once all the houses have been ripped apart, the wind will hush, the clouds will part, the rain will stop, the sky will clear in an instant and, only then, in those quiet moments after the storm, do we learn who was strong enough to survive it.” – Meredith