I can count on one hand the number of times I have sobbed watching a television show. I am not talking one glistening tear or a few whimpers and then a good, hearty blow of the nose. I am talking full on, uncontrolled sobbing. There was the season finale of the first season of the O.C. when Ryan moved back to Chino and Seth took his boat and sailed away, the season finale of Grey's where Denny Duquette dies, and then this past Thursday night.
This week's two hour end to the fifth season of Grey's Anatomy (Can you believe it's already been five seasons?) was a tear jerker, to put it mildly. The show started off on a cute note when Izzie introduced her new husband to all her cancer patient friends. One girl asks to see Alex's rear and responds "That is quality booty". Very adorable moment! That scene also introduces a special guest star, Liza Weil, also know as Paris Gellar from Gilmore Girls!
The show also had a second notable guest star, QB 1, Matt Saracen, from Friday Night Lights, also know as actor Zach Gilford. Zach plays a young man who has returned from Iraq due to a leg injury and wants nothing more than to go back. George, helping Hunt to treat the patient, bonds with Zach when he discovers they are both outcasts in their own families, and have made a family of their colleagues. Treating this particular patient, in conjunction with being mentored by Hunt, inspires George to enlist in the army. More on that later.
Also toward to the beginning of the episode, Mark tells Lexi he wants to buy a house or condo and wants her to move in with him. This is met by laughter from Lexi, who says she wants to wait 10 years before living with a man! Mark said he was thinking more like one year. Uh oh, honeymoon's over!
This episode the Chief makes some final attempts to keep Dr. Bailey from joining the PEDS program (peds, as in pediatrics). He tries to woo her with new surgical robots, and when Dr. Robbins gets wind of this, she confronts the Chief and starts crying. In a cute moment, she explains to the Chief she has a problem challenging authority and she cries when she is angry. I couldn't help but laugh.
The team working on treating Izzie's new tumor convinces her to have surgery to remove the tumor. She agrees, but only if they let her sign a DNR - do not resuscitate. Alex, has a very harsh reaction to this and screams at her "Do you want me to cut L-Vad wires? Tear up the DNR!" For those of you who need a refresher, in a moment of panic, and in an attempt to save Denny Duquette, Izzie cut his L-vad wire to bump him up the heart donor list. This is a reference that eludes to the fact that Alex is now in the same place Izzie was with Denny. This will be important later.
On the Christina/Owen front, Christina convinces Owen its time to finally let his mother know he is back from Iraq, and go see her. Christina goes with him and the next day Hunt tells her he slept through the night, without nightmares for the first time in months. Awww, precious. She's positively impacting his life.
Back at the hospital Dr. Robbins lets Bailey know she got the PEDS fellowship. She says "Welcome to the PEDS program, we're gonna get you a pair of wheeley sneaks!" HA! Can't even picture it.
Inspired by all of the dying patients around her, Meredith decides she wants to go down to City Hall and marry Derek today. She shares the news with Christina who immediately gives her something old (her grocery list), something new (her favorite pen) and something blue (her blue post its). Very cute!
Izzie does go through with the surgery and when she comes out, she can't remember anything for more than five minutes. When the team discovered she may have lost her memory, my heart sank. You could see the sadness in all of their faces. Little did I know, it would get much worse.
After learning that George has enlisted in the army, Callie and Bailey decide to stage an intervention. Their proposal to the group was so brilliantly written it deserves a direct quote:
Bailey: At 6:00pm your idiotic colleague George O’Malley will finish his surgery with the Chief.
Callie: And at 6:00pm you will be standing beside us in the O.R. hallway prepared to join in an intervention.
Bailey: What polite company might call an intervention though, I’m not sure interventions involve whooping people on the behind with a belt.
Alex: What, he’s got a drinking problem now?
Meredith: He joined the army.
Alex: 007? He can’t go to the army. He’s the guy who gets killed.
Christina: He’s the guy who gets killed cleaning his own gun!
Bailey: Grey is going to coax him back as a loving friend. You (pointing to Christina) 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 are going pull out your “I was raised out back with the trash cans” roots and just beat the crap out of him.
Curious about whether or not therapy really works for people, Christina asks Meredith if therapy helped her. She responds and Christina says "You really have changed. I'm going to hug you now" (this after earlier saying they don't hug, that's not what they do). Very cute exchange!
Christina: I (breath) love (breath) you (deep breath).
Hunt: I love you too.
Christina: No. Just. . . I love you. I said, I love you. Me. Christina Yang. (Long pause) You traumatized me.
Hunt: I know, I am so sorry!
Christina: No, damn it! Its not about the choking! Its like you come here and then you pull out my icicle and you made my love you! I don't want to! I can't breathe (long pause) without you!
Hunt: You can do this. We can do this. All you have to do is meet me half way. All you to do is say "yes".
GAH! These are exactly the kind of heart wrenching scenes that Grey's delivers over and over again. Too extremely tortured souls, clinging onto each other for dear life, and afraid to just give in.
Upstairs Bailey tells the Chief that her husband Tucker told her if she took the PEDS fellowship he would divorce her. She starts crying and explains she is not ready to be a single mother and take on a new specialty. The Chief tries to comfort her, but she doesn't want a pat on the back or a hug. He says, in a father-like voice "Ok, I'll just stand here with you". This kind of vulnerability from Bailey can only be matched by her breakdown during the episode where she gives birth. She tries so hard to wait for her husband, who is on the operating table with a serious head injury. Its been that long since we've seen the emotional side of Miranda Bailey.
Mer and Der had planned to get hitched at City Hall, but between Izzie, and the emergency trauma patient - John Doe, they haven't had a spare minute. They decide to write their vows and sign them. They use Christina's pen and post-its (her something old, new and blue for Meredith) and they make promises to each other, sign the sheet, and hang it in Meredith's locker for safe keeping. CUTE!!! SO happy Mer and Der are back together again! All that fighting and hiding in the woods was just no good!
After the vows, Meredith heads in to check on John Doe, an unidentified male who jumped in front of a bus to save a woman about to be hit. He has severe internal injuries, a cut open arm, a smashed in skull, a mangled face and several other serious injuries. Up to this point he has not been ID-ed, and the team has been referring to him as John Doe.
John Doe takes Meredith's hand and wants to write something on her palm. He tried this after his first surgery but he was too weak. He traces: 0. Meredith says "O" and he does it again. She says "O". Then he writes 7. She look at him, and he does it one more time: 0-0-7. Meredith looks at his face and asks "Double 0-7?" then he grabbed onto her hand tightly and she screams. "IT'S GEORGE! JOHN DOE IS GEORGE!" And I am sobbing. Absolutely beside myself that this mangled face belongs to sweet, kind, unconditionally supportive George O'Malley.
For those who do not remember, George was nicknamed 007 back in season one when he was trapped in an elevator with a patient and Dr. Burke has to give him instructions through a tiny hole in the floor. One of the other residents, thinking George didn't have what it takes, said "looks like we have ourselves a 007" (license to kill). Karev found that hilarious, and continued to call George that through all five seasons. Including earlier in the episode during the conversation about the intervention.
As if we weren't sad enough already, Alex discovers Izzie has regained her memory and as he is hugging and kissing her, and telling her he loves her, her body goes limp in his arms. She signed a DNR so they are not supposed to try and save her, but the Chief says, "screw the DNR!" and they grab a crash cart.
Then, in the closing scene, Izzie hallucinates herself in her prom dress, getting into the elevator to go upstairs (just like the episode where they have the prom, and she gets in the elevator to go upstairs to check on Denny, only to discover him dead. In fact, I would bet its the old footage.). She presses the button to go up, and when the elevator doors open, who is standing there? George. With a crew cut and dressed in an army uniform. I am now not only sobbing, but short of breath and rocking back and forth on the couch saying "no, no, no, no!"
Honestly, I have been emotional about television shows before, but this episode left me absolutely destroyed. I could not fall asleep that night, and welled with tears thinking about it the next morning. Those of us who are faithful readers of Perez Hilton and US Weekly Magazine know that both Katherine Heigel and T.R. Knight have expressed interest in leaving the show, so if their characters were to be killed off or sent away, that would be no surprise. But for George to exit the show in such a horrifying, completely devastating way, well, I was just not ready for that!
In my personal opinion, Izzie is not dead. If she could hallucinate Denny (who is really dead) then she could also hallucinate George. I think in next season's opener, we will find her still living and the team will continue to find a way to treat her.
I do hope next season Meredith and Derek have a real wedding (or at least make it legal). I also hope Hunt and Christina continue to work towards a healthy relationship. I'm ok with Mark and Lexi breaking up. I'd also like to see Callie tempted by another woman. As long as we're going down the lesbian path, why not go all in?
Now that Grey's is on hiatus, I will turn my attention to FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance" premiering next Thursday night, May 21st.
Bravo to Shonda Rhimes and team for an absolutely superb final episode!