'Grey's Anatomy' Fan Columnist: Looking Ahead to a 'Game Changing' Finale
'Grey's Anatomy' Fan Columnist: Looking Ahead to a 'Game Changing' Finale
Take some deep breaths, Grey's Anatomy fans.  After what has felt like an extremely long three weeks, we're just one week away from the final five GA episodes of the season.  Word on the street is that momentum will build to a fever pitch before climaxing in a "game-changing" season finale.  Show creator Shonda Rhimes told Entertainment Weekly that what transpires in said finale will "reset, reboot, re-create, redefine every single character and their role on the show."  

This has me wondering, of course:  What does Shonda have in store for us this year?  We'll know soon enough but, in the meantime, let's take a trip down memory lane and remember the season finale episodes of prior seasons.

Season One:  The Arrival of Addison Montgomery Shepherd

Remember when Meredith and Derek were newly in-love and Derek seemed just too-good-to-be-true?  It turns out there was a reason for that.  In a whopper of a season finale, both Meredith and the viewing audience were shocked to discover that McDreamy was McMarried.  Cue our collective jaws dropping on the floor.

Interestingly, this episode wasn't originally intended to be the season finale.  Here's what Shonda Rhimes had to say in the show's writer's blog: " 'Bring the Pain' was originally conceived, written and shot to be the finale of Grey's Anatomy's first season. But then we aired after Desperate Housewives and, well ... everything changed. Ratings, timeslots, a really great audience following...it was mind blowing and humbling for all of us. The network made a decision -- our first season needed to end in conjunction with DH's season. And so suddenly, the arrival of Derek's wife became our perfect season-ending cliffhanger. And this episode became one of a series of big episodes to launch our second season."  

It's also fascinating to note that Addison, originally intended to be a short-term obstacle in the Meredith and Derek romance, went on to become an integral part of GA and then was "spun off" into her own show, Private Practice, after season three.

Season Two:  The Prom at Seattle Grace

After a season of tortured longing (made even longer since five episodes originally slated for season one super-sized season two), Meredith and Derek had a steamy tryst in an exam room during the prom.  Random aside:  If you've no idea what I'm talking about (Prom?  Isn't this a hospital show?), please move on for now and rent season two on DVD or catch the reruns on Lifetime).  In other news, Burke was shot by an unstable patient, putting both his life and his career in jeopardy.  Finally, Denny Duquette succumbed to complications from his heart transplant, leaving Izzie devastated.

Season Three:  The Wedding That Wasn't Meant to Be

Burke leaves Cristina at the altar on their wedding day.  Meredith declares her relationship with Derek to be over as well.  Meredith cuts a sobbing Cristina out of her wedding dress as the lyrics "all we can do is keep breathing" play in the background.

Season Four:  The House of Candles

Remember when I told you that my interest in the show was starting to wane at this point?  As a result, the details of this season finale are a bit fuzzy.  Sorry, I'm just being honest.   The writer's strike shortened the season by several episodes and what sticks out for me is Meredith's grand gesture of building Derek a House of Candles out on his property in the woods, a symbol that she wanted a future with him.

Season Five:  The Double-Flatline

Finally, last year's season finale left the fates of both Izzie and George up in the air.  Izzie was suffering from complications of her cancer treatment.  George turned out to be the "John Doe" who had been hit by a bus.  Viewers were left with the haunting image of Izzie and George on different sides of a set of elevator doors:  she in her pink prom dress (see reference to season two above) and he in his military uniform.  Izzie survived.  George didn't.

Wrapping Things Up

So what was your favorite GA season finale ever?  Offer your opinion in the poll and in the comments.  Then join me next week for speculation as to what the rest of the season will bring.

(Image courtesy of ABC)

-Janalen Riccinto Samson, BuddyTV Fan Columnist