This is it, kids. The finale of Grey’s Anatomy season 5. This should be good. Box(ex) of Kleenex ready? Let’s go.
The first of the two-part finale opens, as usual, with aerial shots of Seattle. Meredith’s (Ellen Pompeo) doing the voiceover, and she’s saying something about things not ending the way you planned them, in obvious reference to what happened with her non-wedding day. We see Mer and Derek (Patrick Shepherd) cuddling on the floor on the morning after. She remembers the one-night stand (Derek) that led to this moment. And to top it all off, Derek figured out a way to get Izzie’s tumor. Everything’s hanky-dory.
Izzie (Katherine Heigl) with a scarf is walking with Alex (Justin Chambers), because she doesn’t want to spend their honeymoon in bed. She tells Alex she wants her to meet all her patient friends, as opposed to her doctor friends. She comes into the room and announces, “I’m a bride!” and shows off the wedding ring. She introduces him to the cancer patients, and one of them makes him twirl around so they can see the butt. She calls it, “quality bootie” and congratulates a beaming Izzie.
Owen (Kevin McKidd) tells Cristina (Sandra Oh) that he had a good session with his shrink, and she asks him about his mom, who apparently doesn’t know that Hunt’s back in the US. He asks George (TR Knight), who enters the picture, to follow him. They meet a patient, Charlie, who obviously has heard of Hunt. Callie (Sara Ramirez) says she doesn’t find anything functionally wrong with the leg, other than the fact that he can’t walk or run. Callie says there’s nothing she can do. Charlie has a suggestion: cut it off and replace it with a prosthetic leg so he can get back to Iraq.
Callie is aghast at the suggestion, and Owen is trying to defend his request, mentioning that there’s been cases in the army. Callie says if the leg is healthy, she is not cutting it.
Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) asks Bailey if she’s busy, and she gets all defensive. All those dying kids must be getting through to her, somehow. Arizona wants her to scrub in, until the Chief (James Pickens Jr.) comes in and borrows Bailey. The Chief asks her some questions about Santa and opens the door to what appears to be some nice surgical equipment. Bailey is like a kid on Christmas day, all smiley and jumpy. She calls the Chief Santa.
Mark tells Lexie (Chyler Leigh) her plans of getting a condo together. The plan falls flat because she ignores him. Derek pipes in and tells Mark that it’s too early.
Derek briefs everyone that he plans to surgically remove Izzie’s hippocampus, which, as Dr. Swender points out, can damage her memory, etc. Derek, of course, gets all defensive and admits that it is possible that she’ll lose her memory. Suddenly, Izzie imagines herself with hair, on her bikini, on the beach, with Denny (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). They talk about the number of kids she’ll have with Alex, and Denny tells Izzie that he’s her tumor so it’s like talking to herself.
Izzie continues to mull over the choice she has to make. Alex doesn’t want to make the decision, neither do Yang and Izzie.
Back to Charlie, George asks him why he is so determined to go back to Iraq and is even willing to lose his leg. Charlie calls his Iraq family his “real family” as opposed to the family he grew up with.
Dr. Swender shows Yang the brain scans of a cancer patient who successfully overcame cancer with therapy, and says Izzie should be patient.
Meanwhile, Bailey is having a go at her new toy, and she’s obviously very, very happy. She’s like a kid, making light saber noises and such. This is obviously a ploy by the Chief to get Bailey to stay in general surgery, and it’s working wonderfully.
Meredith points out to Yang that Izzie may not have enough time to whether through the therapy. Suddenly, Derek comes in and notices something weird, but quickly heads out, with Meredith following her.
Meredith preps up Izzie for surgery and shows a series of images in flashcards. A dog. An airplane. And Izzie gets annoyingly specific. Derek starts putting the right hemisphere of her brain to sleep and she needs to remember the images – dog, plane, house. Izzie continues to mouth the sequence then stops. When asked, she couldn’t say it. She can’t identify it. She tries to say the word dog, and is unable to. She can’t say Meredith’s name. Oh no. A preview of things to come? Scary.
The experiment proves, apparently, that the surgery may not be the best path for Izzie, but Derek being stubborn, still wants to go for it. Alex has a talk with Derek outside, while Meredith closes the door and tells Izzie that she’s not having the surgery. Alex wants Derek to talk to her as a friend and not as a doctor. Alex asks Derek what he’d do if it were Meredith who had cancer. He says Izzie is the one good thing that happened to him. Derek says he would ask Mer to have the surgery.
Meredith tells Izzie what happened, that she didn’t know Meredith’s name, or who Alex was. Apparently, the tumor is sitting right at the center of everything that she was. And for a moment, she was gone. Creepy.
Izzie consults fellow cancer patient Allison, and tells her that she’s permanently hallucinating. Allison says she had been careless as a college kid and told Izzie that she had 15 surgeries until she says enough, and then the therapy worked. Now her brain tumor is gone. There’s no way Izzie will have that surgery now.
Back to Charlie, Callie tries to talk him out of the amputation as Owen watches on. Charlie yells at Callie that while he’s not sure of the decision, he’s sure that he’s in hell right now. He adds that nothing scares him now.
The Chief announces to Arizona that Bailey just performed a first in Seattle Grace. Arizona is a little irked because she plans to have Bailey assist her in some peds surgery. When Bailey goes away, Arizona tells the Chief that she’s going to cry and she wants him to ignore it. Blinking back tears, she tells him that she’s mad at him because he’s her boss and he reminds her or her dad. She says it’s bad to lure Bailey to surgery via robots, and in peds, there are no robots, only kids, which are not as fun as robots. She vows to fight him for Bailey.
Izzie tells Alex that she decided not to have surgery. He, again, shouts at her and says it’s for the best blah blah, it’s her last chance blah blah, it’s also my life at stake here blah blah. Man Alex is just easily irritable. He practically orders Izzie to have the surgery, and her cancery eyes don’t work on him anymore.
Meanwhile, Derek is scolding Cristina for crossing the line, and Meredith says it’s her fault. Cristina says she’s going – unless Derek plans to apologize. He gives her the look and she goes. Meredith talks about her mother and that Elis was no longer herself because she lost her memory. Derek tells her she made it personal, so she better go back to Izzie and change her mind. What happened to marital bliss?
Owen pulls Cristina into a storeroom and talks about her mother and his commitment to the army. He tells her that he decided to go back to Iraq. Cristina says he doesn’t have her support.
Charlie goes up to Callie and George and tries to apologize. He proceeds to romanticize war and soldiers and the camera pans and focuses on George arching his eyebrow, which probably means a thought is brewing in his head. He compares his being a solider to Callie’s being a doctor.
Izzie complains that Alex and she are already fighting to Allison, who cracks a joke about make-up sex and Snow White. She assures Izzie that Alex will come around.
Meredith wants Cristina and her to explain again to Izzie her options, and confesses that she practically threatened Izzie to not get that surgery. Cristina gets a page, and Izzie is trying to revive Allison. Cristina takes over.
On the amputation of Charlie’s leg, Callie wants someone to remind her why she’s doing it as she holds on to a drill. Owen tries to convince Callie that they’re doing the right thing, and they begin when we hear the sawing sound.
While operating on Allison, Dr. Swender and Cristina argue about something, and Swender gets defensive and asks her if she thought it was her fault. She admits, though, that sometimes the toxins that they use for therapy kill the patient.
Mark gives Lexie the blinding flash of the obvious and tells her that he wants her to move in with him. During the conversation, it’s made clear that they have different things in mind. Mark wants to move in within the next one year and Lexie, the next ten. They haggle, and they end up in an awkward talk about marriage, or being asked to marriage. What just happened?
The Chief and Arizona continue to fight over Bailey, and she reminded Bailey of the “joy” – of seeing kids survive, I guess.
Izzie looks on as Swender breaks the news to Allison’s family. Cristina tells them that it’s unlikely that she’ll be able to breathe again on their own. This is the deal breaker in Izzie’s mind, and suddenly she’s back to the beach beside Denny. Back in the real world, George tells her that she knows what to do and gives her a pep talk.
Meredith comes into Derek’s office with Izzie and gives him the go signal but says she’s also signing a DNR because she doesn’t want to end up a vegetable supposed it doesn’t go well. As she is being wheeled to surgery, Alex reminds her (shouting again) that this is exactly what made her crazy, when Denny signed a DNR and she ended up cutting LVAD wires. He tells him, “You don’t get to quit on me,” and orders him to tear the DNR up. She says she does not want to live like this, with all the hallucinations, and she just wants to go to the other side if ever. “Just let me go,” she tells Alex. Tearfully, they share one kiss, and the music builds up and – Kleenex break.
Meredith suddenly invites Derek to go to city hall because she doesn’t want to spend another day not married to her.
In a bench outside Seattle Grace, Cristina tells Owen that it is sometimes all pointless, because no matter how good you get, your patients are still going to die. And yeah, she tells Owen that she doesn’t want him to die.
Bailey comes into the room to two distraught people – Callie tells her she just cut off a healthy leg, and Swender says her only miracle case is on life support. “I hate this job sometimes,” says Swender. Bailey tells them to follow her to witness the “joy” of Arizona’s patient’s family. “That’s why we do this,” she says. “The joy.” All three of them smile. Oh, Arizona got one over the Chief!
Meredith’s voice over comes and she talks about the future. Owen and Yang are in his car, and they go to his mom’s house. “I’m home,” he says simply. Mother and son hug. And George signs up for the army. Are we surprised? Not really, but why do I get the urge to stop him?
-Glenn L. Diaz, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of ABC)