The much hyped about episode in which Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington) returns to Grey’s Anatomy aired last night. I have to say that while I agreed with the decisions that led to him leaving the show 7 years ago, we never really got the closure that we wanted until last night.
Frankly speaking, Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) is my favorite character on the show. Even when she was going through all those dark and twisty moments, even when she was going crazy, even when she suddenly decided to marry Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd), she was still my favorite character on the show. She’s ruthless and determined to be at the top of her field. And I love to see a female character like her who doesn’t let the glass ceiling phase her.
So the episode starts off with Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.) bring all the board members into the room (sans Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams)) and discussing the startling news from last week that Dr. Yang did not win the Avery Award because of the foundation’s ties to the hospital. Long story short, the foundation swooped in and saved the hospital from bankruptcy. As a result, it seems that none of the doctors have a chance at winning that award so the story of Yang being robbed of the win hit a nerve. Doctors are leaving to go to different hospitals just so they have a chance. Webber wants Yang to appeal but she’s reluctant to do it for fear that it might make her look petty and that she’ll become a laughingstock.
Yang decides to leave for Zurich instead to get away from it all. She gives a presentation about the innovative procedure to produce a portal vein when a doctor in the auditorium asks a question. She immediately recognizes the voice in the dark. He tells her that he’s the one who requested her presence in Zurich.
Later, she calls Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) to relay the story through voicemail. They keep playing phone tag so they end up leaving long messages to each other. Of course, Mer happens to hear it while she’s sitting down to lunch with Owen.
Afterwards, Burke brings by a cup of coffee and asks Yang to join him in a cardio surgery. He gives her a present during that procedure. The hospital has the ability to see holographic hearts right in the surgical room. In fact, the hospital has 49 printers, the same one that Cristina used to print the portal vein. They originally had 50 but one was wonky. They also have a great deal of private funds, funds that could be used so that Cristina could figure out a way to print a heart. Okay, my nerd moment took over at this moment thinking how amazing it would be if this could come true. Somehow over the last 10 years, I really believe that Cristina Yang is a real and effin’ amazing doctor. Who is this Sandra Oh person anyways?
The offer is incredible but Cristina does not want to go through the same thing she did 7 years ago. That’s when Burke gives her the news. He’s actually married and has kids. He knows that his relationship with Cristina consumed and they would have made a great pair of cardiosurgeons but he has different priorities now and met a woman who sacrificed her career for him. He would have never asked Cristina to do that. Now he wants to sacrifice his career for his marriage as well. Burke tells her that he invited Cristina to Zurich so that she would come on board and eventually take over for him at the hospital.
So Cristina returns to Seattle and Mer picks her up from the airport. Just by the expressions, Mer can tell that Cristina plans to leave.
Ugh, what a satisfying episode. The thing that totally sucks about Sandra Oh leaving is the Mer/Cristina couple having to part ways. Off screen, I’m sure their friendship is fine even though it’s long distance but I loved their back and forth conversations. As for the Burke reveal, I’m a bit relieved. I really liked the Burke/Cristina couple but he’s been gone for so long and I don’t think it’s fair for him to swoop in and sweep her off her feet. Plus, I started to feel bad for Owen. Even though, I am adamant about the fact that they should not be a couple. I just know how much Owen is in love with Cristina. But a few episodes back, I’m glad we also got to see what their relationship would be like if they got married again and had kids. I was not okay with that Cristina. In the end, I think Burke gave the perfect gift to a talented person like Cristina and that’s all I can ask for. The episode wraps up with an awesome rendition of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” but sung by Amos Lee. Check it out below.