A shooter was loose at Seattle Grace in the Grey’s Anatomy season 6 finale and the result was two of the best hours of television all year. It was certainly the best Grey’s Anatomy has ever been, which is saying a lot since I’d written the show off for the past few years.
No show does a big traumatic event like Grey’s Anatomy, and the shooter gave the show license for heightened drama with five major characters being shot over the two hours. It was emotional, expertly paced, and had me in tears for most of the finale.
What made the season 6 finale so great? Here are just 15 reasons why this was the best Grey’s Anatomy ever.
I hated Meredith for a long time because she was so dark and twisty, but now that she’s ready to accept happiness, I squealed with joy when she found out she was pregnant and was even happier when Cristina was the first person she told.
Happiness doesn’t last long, and while operating on Owen, Meredith matter-of-factly stated that she was having a miscarriage. It was the most heartbreaking moment in a finale full of sadness, made even worse by the fact that Meredith wasn’t even allowed to be sad.
Meredith Shoves Cristina
When Meredith learned the shooter was after Derek, Cristina said Mer would have to go through her. And that’s just what she did, in a moment of triumph that proved how deep Meredith’s love is.
Alex Karev Is Shot
The first series regular to get a bullet was Alex, who dragged himself to an elevator and had my screaming at the TV for someone to find him. Thankfully he was safe.
Derek Shepherd Is Shot
The tense standoff appeared to be over, but April’s arrival caused the sudden and awful shooting of the Chief right in front of Meredith.
Owen Hunt Is Shot
Just when you thought Grey’s Anatomy wouldn’t shoot anyone else, Owen Hunt gets a bullet. He was fine, but it was still thrilling to see the show rack up such a high body count of major stars.
Some of the best moments were April’s mini freakout after finding her best friend, Dr. Reed, and again later when she used what she learned on Oprah to get the shooter to spare her by telling him her life story.
Gary Clark Has a Gun on Cristina
I was on a rollercoaster ride for the whole finale, so when Owen Hunt casually stepped into the O.R. and the camera revealed that the shooter had a gun to Cristina’s head while she was operating on Derek, my mouth dropped.
Cristina Saves Derek’s Life
Cristina is Meredith’s person, so it was fitting that she saved Derek’s life after ordering Meredith to stay down.
Dr. Reed and Dr. Percy Die
Grey’s Anatomy has a soft spot for romantic symbolism, so it was nice that the two major characters to die were Dr. Reed and the man who secretly loved her, Dr. Percy. Now they can spend eternity together in Hospital Heaven.
Dr. Bailey Pretends to Be a Nurse
Miranda is always incredibly brave, so to see her tremble in terror and claim to be a nurse to avoid being shot was both understandable and heartbreaking.
Dr. Bailey’s Tears
Miranda is also the rock, so seeing her cry is just about the saddest thing the show can do. And she did it a lot.
“There Are Only Children Here”
When the shooter came to Arizona and Callie’s door, Callie took charge, but the usually calm and collected Arizona freaked out, quietly repeating this brilliant quote as a magic spell to protect her. It was so effective that I started chanting it too.
Arizona and Callie Get Back Together
After all the shooting and death, it was nice to have a happy ending as these two got back together and agreed to have 10 kids.
Michael O’Neill’s Performance as Gary Clark
Throughout the season O’Neill has been quite good as the grieving husband, but in these two hours, this veteran character actor was at the top of his game and delivered a memorable and haunting performance that should definitely earn him an Emmy nomination.
There was certainly a lot more greatness, but this list should be enough to explain why I loved these Grey’s Anatomy episodes more than any others. I am truly in awe, because right when I thought the show was running out of steam, Grey’s Anatomy delivered a season finale that highlighted everything I loved about it.
(Image courtesy of ABC)