Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. That, my friends, is the ominous sound of what I like to call The Cristina Yang Countdown. There are only six more episodes of Grey's Anatomy left this season (including this week's "I'm Winning") which means there are only six more episodes of Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang. Speaking as a Cristina fan from the very beginning (and a Crowen fan from their very beginning in 501/502, "Dream a Little Dream of Me") I am feeling both anxious and depressed at the thought of a GA without my favorite cardio goddess. In the meantime, however, it's nice to see the show giving some well-deserved screen time and focus to this singular character, even if it is the beginning of the end.
Answer the damn phone!
As the episode opens, Cristina and Meredith are once again in a bed together. Does this throwback to the glory days of the Twisted Sisters mean that the long-time BFFs are finally back on track for real? More on that later. In the meantime, it turns out that Meredith is at Cristina's because the Harper Avery Award Committee calls all of the nominees early in the morning (absurdly early if one lives in the Pacific Time Zone, as do our intrepid docs) on Nomination Day. When the call finally comes (Yang being at the end of an alphabetized list), Cristina is, indeed, nominated for the coveted Harper Avery Award. Meredith and Alex are there to share in the moment. Later the entire hospital, at Meredith's suggestion, toasts Cristina's achievement. But Yang refuses to talk about it, saying she has work to do and she hasn't actually won anything yet.
Still, national recognition has its privileges. Owen is able to pull some strings with the FDA by name-dropping "Cristina Yang" and gains access to a cutting-edge development (some sort of heart pump, I think) that hopefully will help Cristina's young patient, Link, whom we met last episode
. Cristina expertly performs the complicated procedure and, at least for now, Link is stable. Meanwhile, in an interesting twist, all is still not quite right in Meredith and Cristina Land. Derek recognizes that Meredith is still secretly "seething with jealously" over Cristina's achievements, so much so that she even arranged the aforementioned champagne toast as a cover. To her credit, Dr. Grey is at least trying to be happy for her friend and put on a gracious face. I suppose that's something.
Innovation, Imagination, Excellence
The hospital is all aflutter over Cristina's Harper Avery Award nomination, but Richard wisely points out that several doctors are working on groundbreaking research and surgeries. Meredith is about to perform the first HIV positive to HIV positive kidney transplant in the state. Derek and Callie are continuing their brain/robotics research. And Miranda is toiling away at genome sequencing. As the various projects ebb and flow over the course of the day, the residents end up playing a high-octane game of Swap Monkey as the kiddies angle to be a part of the coolest procedures and programs.
Revelations Worth Noting
1. Alex called "Dr. Butt Hole" (!) and expressed interest in joining his private practice.
2. Jackson can put a $25,000 charge on his credit card without breaking a sweat.
3. Cafeteria scenes are still awesome, even after all this time.
4. Petty, jealous Miranda is hard to watch, but mocha latte-loving and good manners-instilling Dr. Bailey rocks.
5. Callie and Arizona both realized (separately) that they wanted another baby.
6. Jackson and April are absolutely adorable. There. I said it.
Saving The Best For Last
Ever since I read back in August that Sandra Oh would be leaving Grey's Anatomy, I've had a secret wish list of things I hoped I'd see onscreen before she left. One of the items on that list was another vent scene for Cristina and Owen. That wish came true in this episode as Crowen revisited their special place for an intimate celebration of Cristina's nomination, complete with another champagne toast, one that clearly meant the world to Cristina.
I found it to be telling and lovely that it was with Owen and Owen alone that Cristina revealed her true feelings. As they discussed her chances (both think she will win, and Owen couldn't be more proud of her), they spoke intimately and lovingly in the way that only two people who know each other very well can do. They laughed as they enjoyed each other's company and Cristina even giggled with happiness in a parallel to the first time Owen took her to the vent.
That first time was one of the worst day's of Cristina's professional life. She had just lost the first solo surgery of her class, despite having earned it (long and complicated back story...watch "All By Myself", episode 510, if you're interested...it's divine) and Owen brought her to the vent to cheer her up. In contrast, this day was one of the best days of Cristina's professional life and, again, Owen was with her, this time to celebrate. The Crowen magic is still there, peeps... the chemistry palpable, the love tangible. In a word? Perfection.
So where are things headed in the final batch of episodes of season ten? Will Alex leave Grey Sloan Memorial? Will Calzona have another baby? Will April and Jackson work through the differences that are on the horizon? And will Cristina Yang win The Harper Avery Award? Stay tuned.
The next all-new episode of Grey's Anatomy, "Go It Alone", airs Thursday, April 17 on ABC.
(image courtesy of ABC)