10 years. 10 seasons. 220 episodes.
It was the end of a truly beautiful era on Thursday (May 15) night, when Sandra Oh’s final episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” aired. Her sendoff was perfect and hit all the right notes with each character she’s shared a scene with over the past decade. From Cristina’s one-word “Goodbye” to Derek, to her wordless yet tearful and meaningful look with Owen while he was operating and she was in the pit, to her hugs with Bailey and Webber, to her final “dance it out” moment with Meredith, it was perfect.
But she wasn’t the only one to leave during the Season 10 finale, “Fear (of the Unknown).”
While Cristina was saying her goodbyes in the hospital before getting on a plane to Zurich where she was set to take over Dr. Burke’s research hospital, Shane realized his teacher, his mentor, his inspiration was leaving. And he didn’t want to lose her. So he quite his residency at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital and moved to Zurich with Cristina. It was sudden, but it felt right for these two. He’s her student, and he wasn’t ready to stop learning from her. Seeing them both in Zurich in the final scene, ready to take on this new hospital made their move seem even more right.
Leah also made a final appearance in the episode. Even though she had been fired the week before, and according to Shane, she hadn’t even gotten off the couch since it happened, she came in to help when the local mall exploded and the hospital was packed with trauma patients. She saved one man’s eye and helped with the flood of patients, and when the insanity died down, she looked around and realized she no longer belonged there, and walked out, knowing that something better was out there for her. She went out on a personal high, which was nice to see after her emotional low last week.
As for Alex, he was getting comfortable becoming Dr. Jr. Butthole, but Cristina knew that he was wasting his talents. So before she left, she left a packet on his bed. When he and Jo opened it later, he found that Cristina left him all her shares of the hospital — meaning he no longer has to work at a private practice to pay off his student loans and can come back to Grey Sloan Memorial — as well as her seat on the board of the hospital. One complication with that: Webber and Owen already chose Bailey to take over Cristina’s seat on the board, so expect that to be a huge problem in the beginning of Season 11. Alex vs. Bailey? That’s going to get ugly.
Another issue to be tackled in Season 11? The new doctor who came in to take over as head of cardio. Turns out, she’s Ellis Grey’s child that was given up for adoption. Oh man. Another Grey?!? Webber was caught off guard, so he clearly didn’t know Ellis had another daughter. Is … is he the father? Oh. Man. Whoa.
But that’s not all: Meredith and Derek won’t be moving to DC after all. Well, Derek still might be, but Meredith isn’t. After Cristina’s parting words to her about how she shouldn’t just follow McDreamy around because her work is also important, Meredith realized she didn’t want to leave her hospital, her home and her work to follow her husband around the way her father did with her mother. This is obviously going to be a huge bump in the road for these two, since Derek clearly isn’t going to give up his work, and neither will Meredith. Can their marriage survive long-distance?
We’ll find out when “Grey’s Anatomy” returns in the fall — sans Cristina, Shane and Leah — on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.