Sandra Oh played the left-brained, career driven Cristina Yang on the set of Grey’s Anatomy for ten years. Arguably, her character has been one of the most influential, though last night her role has come to an end. And whether her absence will be sorely missed is yet to be determined, but it seems that despite it all, Shonda Rhimes’ has a knack for producing hit TV series like ABC Grey’s Anatomy.
In last night’s episode everyone’s favorite cardiothoracic surgeon left the show officially to pursue bigger and better things. As shown in previous episodes, all building up to her departure, Dr. Yang has been offered the prestigious position of the head of the hospital in Switzerland where her ex Dr. Burke currently presides. She appears to struggle with her decision at first, but her best friend and closest cohort, Meredith Grey, stubbornly encourages her to move forward and to forget about all the unknowns.
During last night’s farewell episode, Meredith and Sandra take a trip down memory lane and end up “dancing it out” in true Grey/Yang style. The episode is a retrospective of their ups and downs together, as one of the most celebrated primetime friendships of all time. Arguably, this episode was one of the most talked about of the season, aside from Isaiah Washington’s return as Dr. Preston Burke in recent episodes leading up to this one. In an ironic twist, the man who took Dr. Yang’s breath away is back to offer her everything she has always wanted: A hospital with a limitless budget to continue her research in printing a fully functioning human heart.
Although it has been years since Grey’s has received any type of Emmy or Golden Globe nominations, the show has remained a fan favorite, which has lent to itself to the show’s longevity. But the departure of Sandra Oh’s character raises the issue of how much longer the show must go on. Typically, when the core characters begin departing, it is a sure sign that the show is in trouble. However, according to previous reports, Grey’s Anatomy will stick around for the time being, but will be moving time slots next season to make room for new Shonda Rhimes shows in the making.