If you ever wondered what happens to characters after they either die or vanish from the script of a TV show, Grey’s Anatomy proved there’s a life after. Well, why Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), Izzie Stephens (Katherine Heigl), or George O’Malley (T.R. Knight) weren’t physically there for “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” they were there in thought.
For years, fans wanted or needed closure on certain characters. O’Malley, Yang, and Stevens had to rank as the top three, especially since we already had our goodbye’s to Derek Shepard (Patrick Dempsey), Mark Sloan (Eric Dane), and Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh). What the writers were able to do in “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” was beyond brilliant. While each character’s name has dropped a few time over the seasons, it was only a matter of time before either Yang or Izzie made an appearance. Thanks to the 300th episode of Grey’s Anatomy, fans got their wish.
What made these characters so special was, not only did Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) go through the fire with them, fans did as well. Yang was as cocky as she was brilliant, but she was Meredith’s person. Yang was that individual we knew in school or work that just knew everything. As much as we wanted to hate her, we just couldn’t because she gave balance to our life. If Meredith was the leading lady, then Cristina was the understudy who pushed Meredith to be great.
O’Malley was the death that shook Grey’s Anatomy core. Fans didn’t see it coming nor wanted to happen. Do you remember he and Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) brief relationship? When he first found out about her living in the basement of the hospital, George didn’t care, he still loved her. He was special like that. No one in the hospital hated George and for him to die the way he did by saving someone’s life was classic Superman.
— Greys Anatomy (@GreysABC) November 10, 2017
Izzie was the pretty girl who had the brains and beauty. Her issues ran deep and her departure on the show left a gaping hole. But, for some reason, unlike George and Yang, fans seemed to be drawn to her a bit more. Maybe it was because Izzie was the one who got away from Alex. In all seriousness, Izzie shaped Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) into the man he is today. In the beginning, you could see their relationship was doomed, but we still rooted for them. Izzie was brash, stuck to her point and was the first of her class to pull off the impossible.
What we’re seeing from Meredith and Karev as far as experimental procedures, none of them would be possible without Yang and Izzie.
As I watched “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story,” I didn’t notice the episode’s direction until Meredith pointed it out. It was great to see the closure for Yang, Cristina, and George, but lost in it all may have been the great tribute to Sloan. Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) has flourished in the role of Sofia’s mother and as she paid her respect to Mark, it finally felt like an open chapter received its proper closing.
As great as the episode was, there was one mistake. After Meredith won the Harper Avery Award, there was a shot Ellis Grey. It was a great symbolic gesture, however, the presence of Derek would have made it greater.
[Featured Image by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The People’s Choice Awards]