In the two-hour season finale, some of Seattle Grace’s denizens will be sad, some will get mad, some will decide, and some will have cried. And two will have died. Sorta. Maybe. The distinction between well-written dramatic cliffhangers and contract negotiation is so blurry sometimes.
Meredith tells us you think you know stuff, but you don’t: “The house you think you were going to sell becomes your home, the roommates you were forced to take in become your family, and the one-night stand you were determined to forget becomes the love of your life.”
Conversely, those high-waisted shorts you heard were going to be the new hot thing for spring now make you feel like a soccer mom with camel toe and don’t you feel duped.
Arizona approaches Bailey with her signature wide-eyed enthusiasm for childhood diseases and offers her the chance to scrub in on a surgical procedure I can’t spell.
Before Bailey can answer, the Chief drags her away, asking pointedly who Santa Claus is. Bailey assumes he means the fat white guy who “enters people’s homes inappropriately.” No, that would be Rush Limbaugh.
The Chief shows Bailey his newest acquisition: a huge surgical robot so sophisticated, it can remove a lung through your left nostril and still get you home in time for dinner. Bailey promptly has a squealing O.R.-gasm.
Meanwhile, Derek and Izzie’s oncologist fight for the right to party. Derek wants to perform a surgery so risky, it could ruin Izzie’s ability to remember what day it is, that Alex is now her husband, and the schlock known as 27 Dresses. See that kids? Everything has a silver lining. The oncologist wants to put Izzie on her new experimental drug therapy. Everyone’s talking at her. Izzie goes to her happy place: a Corona commercial.
Elsewhere, Callie, George and Owen consult with a young soldier who wants his leg cut off. Nobody bothers to check if the guy has Body Integrity Identity Disorder because that would be, ya know, logical. Instead, they listen to his tale of woe: after being injured in Iraq, he still has pain so severe, he can’t function. If only he had a fake leg, he could go back to the frontlines — the one place he feels at home – and beat insurgents with it. Owen’s all for it, but Callie balks because why cut off an otherwise healthy limb? Uh, because you can. Duh.
In other medical news, Izzie has some preliminary tests done aboard the starship Enterprise.
Results show she could not only lose her memory, she’d lose her ability to speak English, but gain the ability to sound like a drunk at last call, trying to order one for the road. Now what? Team Surgery consists of Derek and Alex. Team Drug Therapy consists of Meredith, Cristina, and Izzie’s friend from chemo. It’s the boys vs. the girls. Interesting.
Later, Bailey is as giddy as a drag queen with a new handbag after taking the shiny, new surgical robot out for a spin. State-of-the-art technology, sleek design, and gee-whiz features, all with that delicious new robot smell; it’s hard to resist. Knowing full well what the puerile, sneaky Chief is up to, Arizona confronts him and says tearfully, “It’s wrong and mean to use a robot to lure Dr. Bailey back into general surgery.” It’s never really wrong to use a robot to seduce someone, is it?
No matter. Arizona plans to win Bailey over to her side anyway. The Chief replies derisively, “Good luck.” Arizona starts to cry because she’s angry and that’s what she does when she’s mad at authority figures who command respect. If only we knew someone like that here.
Although the Chief has a cool toy, Arizona has joy — the joy of saving children and eating pizza in bed with Callie. No contest.
Meredith secretly tells Izzie to stay away from Derek’s super-dangerous surgery. Cristina agrees, having seen some promising scans of Izzie’s chemo ward pal. Derek finds out Meredith is hurting his monthly billing and goes ballistic on her. When Alex finds out his wife has opted not to have the surgery, he goes ballistic for making the decision without her.
Also out of the loop: Owen’s mother. She thinks he’s still in Iraq. After talking to Hoppy McPatriot, Owen starts to think that’s where he belongs, too. Now it’s Christina’s turn to go ballistic. But she accompanies Owen on a visit to his mom’s anyway. She’s a giver.
Meanwhile, George listens intently to a speech about saving people and starts to see stars and stripes and a buzz cut in his future. Don’t ask. Don’t tell.
On the lighter side, Mark asks Lexie to move in with him after only a few months of dating, dispelling the myth that only lesbians know where the U-Haul rental place is located.
Izzie’s chemo friend develops complications and goes on life support. Frightened by the less than stellar outcome of drug therapy, Izzie changes her mind about surgery, adding a Do Not Resuscitate to her order. On the up side, Izzie’s hallucinating and sees more sandy beaches and pretty birds than a middle-aged pothead at a Jimmy Buffet concert.
Meredith tells Derek she always thought it would be her, getting Alzheimer’s like her mother. Callie finishes removing a healthy limb and isn’t feeling the joy. Owen sits with Cristina as she wallows in the knowledge that despite Asian-level preparedness and the best skills money can buy, people still drop like flies. “I don’t want you to die,” she tells him morbidly.
Seattle Grace: The Happiest Place on Earth.
In the second hour of the finale, Izzie is out of surgery. She wakes up, relieving Alex’s worst nightmare. She can’t remember anything new for more than 10 seconds, confirming his worst fears. Arizona informs Bailey she has won the coveted and extremely competitive children’s pediatrics fellowship. Bailey is not thrilled at all, and even less thrilled when George tells her that he joined the Army to be a trauma surgeon. “You did what?” she says calmly and supportively.
Cristina and Meredith do something they haven’t done in a long time and I’ve missed it: they talk.
Cristina: You know something’s going on with George.
Cristina: Owen hugged him. They were happy.
Meredith: Well, we don’t hug when we’re happy.
Cristina: Are you better, you know, with your therapy? Or whatever? You said you got “well.” Are you? Better? Or are you just fake-better?
Meredith: What do you mean?
Cristina: Well, I’m just asking if you — are you different? Do you feel different?
Meredith: I’m getting married today.
Cristina immediately shoves an old grocery list, a new Post-it pad, and her favorite blue pen at Meredith. Something old, something new, something borrowed (she wants her pen back, damn it) and something blue. The perfect wedding gift for someone planning on tying the know at City Hall on her dinner break.
An ambulance comes screaming into the bay. A John Doe is wheeled in, his face obliterated after getting dragged by a bus. That’s the thanks he got after heroically pushed a woman out of the way. She has minor injuries but the good Samaritan looks like a bloody pumpkin head.
Everyone’s mad at Owen. While the entire team works on the road kill, Bailey comes in to yell at Owen for talking George into enlisting in the Army. It’s news to the rest of the gang, especially his ex-wife, now lesbian, Callie.
When Callie tells Arizona what a bonehead move George pulled, Arizona doesn’t see it that way. She thinks volunteering to go into a war zone is “awesome.” OK, that’s a difference of opinion in coupledom that goes beyond whether the toilet paper should hang over or under. Callie gives her a who-are-you death stare.
Meanwhile the gang plans an intervention to stop George, the guy who “gets killed cleaning his own gun,” according to Cristina.
Bailey: Grey is going to coax him back as a loving friend. [To Cristina] You are going to use logic and reason to point out the idiocy of his ways, Stevens will make sad cancer eyes and if all of that doesn’t work, Karev, you’re going to pull out your “I was raised out back with the trash cans” roots and just beat the crap out of him.
Later, Arizona finds Bailey and demands a little appreciation and an answer about awarding her the highly prized fellowship. Bailey tells her it’s not as simple as it appears: her husband, supportive as all get out, will divorce her if she accepts another four years of 90-hour weeks, which is code for another four years of babysitting for him. As we all know, when moms take care of their kids, it’s being a parent, but when dads do it, it’s something else.
Callie and Arizona head into Round 2 over George joining the army. “Calliope,” Arizona begins to say. Callie cuts her off with a “Don’t ‘Calliope’ me.” When your girlfriend uses your full name, is it ever less than adorable? Well, maybe only in a deposition during a divorce but we don’t have to worry about that. Yet.
The only thing constant is change, after all. Lifelong player, Mark, is asking a reluctant Lexie to move in with him. Izzie went from being the most brilliant thing ever to grow up in a doublewide, to a bald lady who needs Post-its to remind her her memory sucks. Callie started out in the basement, got married, got unmarried, kissed a girl, and liked it. It’s enough to make your head spin. The biggest change of all is from Meredith, who’s decided moody angst is boring and being scared of life and love is a time-waster.
Meredith: So, yeah, I’m going to get married. I think it’s important to take the time to tell the people you love how much you love them, while they can hear you. [Smiling] I love you, Cristina Yang.
Cristina looks away, her face softening, smiling in utter surprise and wonder. She looks back at Meredith and she says, almost tenderly, “You have changed.” And then, like her old Vulcan self, “I’m going to hug you.”
While the Spock and Plath hug it out, Callie and Arizona argue some more about whether joining the army is awesome. Callie tells Arizona to shut up. No, you shut up. Arizona tells Callie her brother was killed in Iraq because of a lack of doctors. Well, that’s not really why but whatever. It works. Callie understands Arizona’s definition of “awesome” now and takes her hand and apologizes. Love means never having to pull the dead brother card.
Down in the boiler room, Cristina and Owen find each because they both enjoy loud banging and dirty steam when they have some deep thinking to do. Cristina tries on some new words. She slowly forms her lips into “I love you.” Did you feel that? Hell just froze over.
Bailey asks the Chief if she can return to general surgery because her husband gave her an ultimatum: the pediatric fellowship or the marriage. Guess what kids. She chose neither. Bailey tells the Chief she’s divorcing her jackass husband but needs the steady hours of general surgery, being a single mom and all. Her husband is a weak ass, but she’s strong, even when she’s crying.
Chandra Wilson rocks so hard.
Callie interrupts the conversation because she’s looking for George – he’s late to his own intervention.
Only then, does the Chief tell everyone he let George go home early to pack for Iraq.
Derek and Meredith’s schedules ran over and they don’t have time to run over to City Hall and get married. Instead, Derek scribbles their vow on a Post-it note. In a nutshell, they vow to:
Love ya even when I could kill ya.
No going when the going gets tough.
Take care of their old, smelly, future selves.
By the power vested in me by the office supply division of 3M, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
In post-op, Cristina realizes Izzie’s memory has returned when she hears Izzie complain about a fight she and Alex had a while ago. She remembers him offering to smother her with a pillow. It’s a good news-bad news sort of a thing.
Meredith checks up on John Doe. He reaches for her hand, as if to write something. Instead, he traces an “0″ another “0″ and a “7″ in her palm. Huh? He does it again. And again. It slowly dawns on Helen Keller he’s writing “007.”
Her face twists in horrified realization. It’s George.
In the other room, Alex hugs Izzie after learning from Cristina she remembers. She goes limp in his arms. Flat line.
Meredith is tearing down the hallway screaming, “It’s George!” Callie, Derek and Owen come running and rush him into surgery.
As Izzie slips away, Alex ignores her DNR and intubates her. Cristina and the others look around thinking “Well, that seal’s broken The Chief barks, “Screw the DNR,” and everyone jumps in with CPR and shock paddle. Save some of that. The hospital’s attorney just had a heart attack.
In the OR, George goes into cardiac arrest.
As we watch George and Izzie simultaneously circle the drain, meeting somewhere in the white light, Meredith says, “Did you say it? ‘I love you. I don’t ever want to live without you. You changed my life.’ Did you say it?”
Don’t go into the light. There’s a costume party going on there and it looks like a Saturday night dance at Fort Dix.