Last season, “Grey’s Anatomy” ended with a explosive, suspenseful game-changing blood bath. This year, executive producer Shonda Rhimes chose a far lower key finale where the only stakes were emotional. Almost every couple breaks up and everyone is miserable.
The medical crisis of the week was anti-climactic. A plane crashes. The hospital prepares for an onslaught of survivors, but it appears that everyone died. The doctors are tasked with informing the families of the victims. There turns out to be one survivor, an unaccompanied minor. Some grieving parents decide to stay until the girl’s mother arrives so that there will be someone rooting for her. It’s as tearjerking as it sounds.
Watch the “Grey’s Anatomy” Season Finale on xfinityTV.com:
Owen (Kevin McKidd) tells Derek (Patrick Dempsey) that Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) tampered with his Alzheimer’s test. He goes straight to the Chief (James Pickens Jr.). She refuses to explain what she did. The Chief figures out that Meredith must have done something to help Adele. She comes clean about making sure Adele got the drugs rather than a placebo. He is sympathetic and gives Meredith a brief suspension. Derek thinks it is a sign that Meredith does not know right from wrong and that they therefore cannot raise a child together. It actually seems like a sign that doctors should not have personal relationships with the patients in a clinical trial, but Derek is determined to be a drama queen. He walks out on Meredith right before the social worker grants them temporary custody of little Zola. Derek is a bigger baby than Zola.
Henry (Scott Foley) finally tells Teddy (Kim Raver) how he feels about her, ordering her to get on a plane with her rock star boyfriend because it hurts too much to know that he did not make a play for her before it was too late. His speech gets to Teddy and she finally kisses the man she married solely so he could have health insurance.
Mark (Eric Dane) makes this gross, macho speech giving Lexie (Chyler Leigh) to Avery (Jesse Williams). Lexie ultimately calls him out on it, pointing out that she is an adult who makes her own decisions. She also admits she still loves Mark but can’t be with him.
Owen appoints April (Sarah Drew) to Chief Resident. All of the other doctors pout. Owen tells Alex he would have given it to him if he hadn’t tattled on the one person everyone in the hospital likes, Meredith. Now nobody will trust him. Alex gets drunk and tells Lucy (Rachael Harris) to go to hell, by which he means, “Go star on “Charlie’s Angels,” when she begs him to tell her not to go to Africa.
Cristina realizes (Sandra Oh) she’s pregnant. She tells Owen she does not want to have the baby. He begs her to reconsider, offering to be the one who takes a leave of absence from work to take care of the baby. Cristina is adamant that she does not want to be a mother. Cristina ultimately tells Owen she has scheduled an abortion, in the episode’s most powerful scene. Owen responds by kicking her out of the house. Setting aside the whole abortion issue, this is why people should make sure they both agree about whether to have children before getting married. It’s not as though there is any way to meet halfway on this issue. Either you have a child or you don’t. Cristina goes to Meredith’s house and finds her alone with Zola.
I have to give “Grey’s Anatomy” credit for being one of the few shows on television to acknowledge that not all women are dying to be mothers. Lexie’s decision to end things with Mark because she is not ready to be a mother, and Cristina’s decision to have an abortion are both presented as valid options, not signs that they are cold, unfeeling monsters. It remains to be seen whether Cristina will go the cliched route of bonding with Meredith’s baby and change her mind about motherhood, or if the show will make up for the giant cop out of having Cristina suffer an ectopic pregnancy after scheduling an abortion in Season 1 by having her terminate this time. “Grey’s” is often dismissed as romantic fluff, but its a show in which women are frequently allowed to value their own autonomy ahead of relationships.