Well, it’s over. Another season of Grey’s Anatomy has come and gone. And even though it seemed like the longest goodbye ever in the history of television, Cristina Yang has left the building. For real. 

I will admit that I spent pretty much the whole episode in a state of agitation. Sure, all indications seemed to point to Cristina relocating to Zurich to takeover Burke’s heart clinic. But this is Grey’s Anatomy…a show where characters get blown to bits and become pink mist. Or get devoured by wolves after their plane crashes in the woods. Or literally get (as referenced in that very meta voice over) thrown under a bus. I decided long ago that I would not trust in Cristina’s non-deadly fate until the credits rolled. So did she survive? For the answer to that and myriad other questions, read on…

So This Is Goodbye Then?

Remember last week when Owen asked Cristina not to leave him until she was leaving him? Well, apparently they both took that to heart because it’s now two weeks later and my inference is that Crowen has been inseparable in the interim. As the episode opens, however, Cristina is listening to the weather, because she has to fly that day. Owen counters that she’s been saying that for weeks, but Cristina really means it this time. She needs to get off on the right foot in Zurich. She promises to say goodbye to Owen at the hospital later and heads off to the mall to buy a few things she needs for her trip. Meanwhile, MerDer are finalizing plans to move to Washington, D.C.; Alex is excited about the new car (or boat…he can’t decide) he will buy with his influx of cash due to private practice; and Bailey is ticked at Jackson because the Avery Foundation wants to cut her research funding.

Turn That Up…

In the ER pit, April Kepner informs her boss and mentor, Owen, that she is pregnant but that it won’t affect her work in anyway. Before Hunt can even finish offering his congratulations, a news bulletin comes over the TV. There’s been a ferry boat accident crazy gunman plane crash explosion at a local mall. Could it be terrorism? And could Cristina Yang be amongst the numerous dead and wounded? Owen tries not to panic as he begins to search for Cristina while simultaneously taking point on running the massive trauma now flooding the hospital. Oh! Turns out the explosion was not a terrorist attack but a gas main break. Related Aside: when Chief Hunt went all bad ass on the TV reporter who was reporting unsubstantiated information…HOT!

The Long Goodbye

So back to Cristina. She’s fine. Her going to the mall and being caught in the blast was a total red herring. Thank goodness. Knowing the hospital needs all the help it can get, however, Yang shows up to help tend the wounded and shares goodbyes with Richard, Bailey, and Derek (but not Callie…boo!). She also had a lovely scene with Alex (I’ve always loved these two together) in which she tells him that he is a very, very good surgeon, which is high praise from Cristina Yang. She questions why he would put all of that talent in a drawer just to make the (empty) big bucks. 

Meredith and Cristina share a number of goodbyes in the episode. Cristina keeps stalling, feeling that she still has work to do in Seattle. Meredith shoos her out, telling her that there is no magical end point.  Cristina just needs to make a clean break and start her new life in Zurich. Despite being put in a cab to the airport, Cristina reappears a bit later to “dance it out” with her “person”.

Three guesses as to who got cheated out of a proper goodbye with Cristina. Yep. Owen. He was in surgery when she had to leave. To her credit, Cristina did seek him out and gave him a poignant wave from the gallery of the OR. Then, she was gone, but not before imploring Meredith to take care of Owen and not let him get all dark and twisty, which is going to be a tall order. With Cristina gone, Owen is already gutted. 

But no worries. With both Cristina and Owen still breathing, I fully expect she will return one day to reclaim the love of her life, probably just as he’s finally found a way to move on without her. ‘Cuz that’s how things work on Grey’s Anatomy. 

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Side Dishes and Surprises

Here are some things you’ll need to know to be ready for season 11 (!) in the fall:

*Japril is fabulous. They’re in love and expecting their baby.

*Calzona is on the mend. They’ve hit upon the idea to try surrogacy to have a baby.

*MerDer is on the rocks. Encouraged by Cristina to not move just because it’s what Derek wants, Meredith basically tells McDreamy that she is not going. So there.

*Richard tells Bailey that he’s recommending her for Cristina’s board postion. She is ecstatic.

*Alex discovers that Cristina has arranged to give her board position to him. He is ecstatic.

*Shane quits his residency and goes for work with/for Cristina in Zurich.

*Richard takes a few minutes to chat with the new Head of Cardio (remember the candidate who rode in on her Big Wheel?). She’s come to Seattle and to Grey Sloan Memorial for a very specific reason. Her birth mother was Ellis Grey. Richard stares in stunned silence as he realizes that this woman is his daughter. Whoa. Did not see that one coming.

A New Life

At episode’s end, Cristina is setting up her new office in Zurich. There’s a photo of her with Meredith on the window sill. Also a photo of her wedding to Owen (so not over)! Shane calls her for a meeting. And, with that, Cristina Yang leaves Grey’s Anatomy…for now. 

Grey’s Anatomy returns this fall on ABC at a new time, 8pm. 

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(Image courtesy of ABC)

Janalen Samson

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV