'Grey's Anatomy' Season 8 Finale Recap: Who Died in the Plane Crash?
'Grey's Anatomy' Season 8 Finale Recap: Who Died in the Plane Crash?
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
There are two kinds of Grey's Anatomy season finales. There was that one good episode where everything was happy and shiny (season 4 when Derek and Meredith got together in the House Made of Candles). And then there are all the others where creator Shonda Rhimes dumps so much tragedy onto her characters that it makes Job consider himself lucky.

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This is the latter. A plane crash puts Cristina, Meredith, Derek, Mark, Lexie and Arizona into a tragic, Lost-like scenario where not all of them survive. Meanwhile, everyone else is busy dealing with their own personal and professional drama at Seattle Grace, but no one seems to notice that those doctors on the plane never got back.

Grey's Anatomy Gets Lost

The finale begins with an obvious homage top Lost. Meredith is staring up at the sky, flashing back to the pilot when the interns first came to Seattle Grace.

She's brought back to reality by Cristina and Mark. All three of them are pretty healthy, considering they were just in a freaking plane crash. Sure, Meredith has a metal shard in her leg and Cristina's shoulder is popped out of place, but it could be worse.

Like Arizona, who can see her bone. Or the pilot, who is paralyzed. Or Derek, who is all alone and trapped under shrapnel.

Or Lexie...

RIP Lexie Grey

The doctors find Lexie trapped and Cristina takes one look at her and knows that this is the end. Mark Sloan refuses to accept it and demands Cristina help her. Then we get an impossibly sad moment when Sloan admits he loves Lexie and she has to stay alive so they can get married and have kids and be happy because they were meant to be.

And that's the last thing Lexie hears, because she dies within the first 15 minutes of the episode. Sloan sobs while holding her hand and when Meredith shows up, she wails over the tragic loss of her sister. I was not expecting that to happen so quickly, but wow. I'm sure gonna miss Chyler Leigh.

Finding Derek

With Lexie dead, Sloan falls into a useless, catatonic state and Cristina's PTSD makes her hilarious insightful. She complains about how everything bad always happens to them, the bombs, the gunmen, the bus accidents, and she wants out of Seattle Grace Mercy Death. It's about damn time someone realized this hospital is a magnet for tragedy.

While walking and trying to keep it together, Meredith and Cristina find Derek, who crushed his own hand to wiggle free from his shrapnel trap. He passes out and Meredith and Cristina have to fix him up, praying that he passes out so he won't feel the pain. Derek gets sewed up and things are looking good for a moment, but that means it's time for another tragic anvil to fall.

Sloan in Trouble

It turns out Sloan isn't catatonic, he's passed out because of severe internal injuries. Meredith, Cristina and Derek have to perform a surgery on him, and in a brilliant scene we get to watch the docs in the woods trying their best to do the same operation Teddy and Owen are performing with relative ease back in the hospital.

Sloan gets better, but that night he starts to drift off, telling Arizona that Lexie is waiting for him, so he's going to let himself die. Luckily Arizona gets to give a big speech about how he needs to stay alive for his daughter and Callie and her, which works. If I'm ever feeling bad, I hope I have an Arizona to give me a pep talk.

Lost in the Woods

A helicopter comes by the wreckage, but the flare gun doesn't work. And it turns out the transponder was probably damaged in the crash, so basically no one knows where they are and they could be stuck for days. So the pilot, Arizona, Sloan, Derek, Meredith and Cristina bundle up for a long, cold night in the woods without fire because the last match is gone. And that's how it all ends. I told you this was one of those depressing, tragic episodes.

Back at Seattle Grace

It's kind of hard to care about Webber's residency dinner or the other non-life and death matters at Seattle Grace, but here it goes.

-Webber is throwing a big dinner for all the residents before they go away, but no one wants to go. April is still bummed about not having a job, Jackson is angry that Webber boned his mom and Alex is upset that Arizona is being so mean to him just because he got an amazing job offer at Johns Hopkins.

-Callie then gives them a wonderfully ironic speech about how their problems aren't really that big. She tells them about how her husband cheated on her and then died (April didn't even know she was married to a man, which is so funny it hurts). So Callie says to cheer up because everything changes on a dime. Sometimes things are looking bad, then they can suddenly become good. And vice versa. The fact that she has no idea her wife is horribly injured in a plane crash at that moment makes it even worse.

-Teddy has turned down a prestigious military job offer because she needs to stay to help her friend Owen deal with his recent marital woes. But he doesn't like that, so he fires her so she is forced to take that job.

-Bailey gives Ben one of her big speeches about how they're a couple now and have to make decisions like him possibly being a surgical intern together. But they're still getting married.

So basically, at the end of the day, here's where everyone stands. Lexie is dead and the rest of the plane crash victims are stuck in the woods. April is jobless, Jackson is going to Tulane, Alex is going to Hopkins and Teddy is leaving for a new military job.

I can't wait to see how the show is going to wrap all of this up next season, because right now I feel like Meredith and Cristina, lost in the woods, surrounding by plane debris and death. Thanks, Grey's Anatomy, for another wonderfully tragic ending. You have to admire a show that's not afraid to be this damn depressing.

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(Image courtesy of ABC)

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