Grey’s Anatomy: Ending the season with a bang!

Well, that was one way to get rid of those pesky Mercy West folks.

Seriously though. I am a horrible person. Because when the bad man pulled out his gun and shot Reed straight through the forehead after she gave him snark there was a teensy part of me that was kinda happy.

I mean, it was after the initial shock of “OHMYGODHESHOTREED!” and I screamed and she fell to the ground. After all that, there was just a moment. One little moment where I said to myself “Now she won’t be on the show anymore!” But then he shot Alex and I was ripped away from my happy/horrible moment and thrust into the intensity and emotional distress that encompassed the entire two-hour episode.OK, let’s start at the beginning because there’s a lot to talk about. We knew it was going to be a scary episode because of commercials and Meredith’s voice-over where she described growing up in the hospital and said “I love this place. Correction: I used to love this place.” Eeep!

Back when she loved the place

First, we found out that Meredith was pregnant! A Mini McDreamy was on the way! I loved how she told Cristina first, but was so nonchalant about it that Cristina didn’t even know what to think. “Are we happy about this, or are we recognizing our legal right to choose?” she asked. It’s these kind of exchanges between Meredith and Cristina that make me love them. After they’d decided they were happy Cristina congratulated Meredith, saying “This is very adult. I’m very proud of you, Meredith Grey,” and “I hope he has his hair!” Meredith went to tell Derek, but he was all stressed out with paperwork and she decided to wait until he got home that night.

Meanwhile, other romantic dramas were still all over Seattle Grace. Cristina and Callie (who’d started off the morning telling each other to stop crying) were avoiding Owen and Arizona, respectively. We saw the patients everyone would be treating – a little girl with appendicitis, a man who’d been shot as a result of some major road rage and Mandy Moore playing a charming young woman with a colostomy bag and a cute husband. Then we saw the guy – the older man who’d tried to sue the hospital after Derek pulled the plug on his wife – enter the hospital and make scary eye contact with Meredith. OK, maybe she didn’t know it was scary. But we knew it was.

Moral of the story: Politeness pays

The man, Mr. Clark, kept asking for directions to the Chief’s office but everyone was too busy to help. So when he encountered Reed and she sneered that she was a surgeon, not a tour guide he shot her. In walked Alex and Clark shot him too, in the abdomen this time. Clark walked about and Alex managed to drag himself into an elevator. Bam – two people shot within the first ten minutes of the episode.

There was lots of dark foreshadowing as the docs went about their normal business, not knowing there was a shooter in the hospital. When Meredith showed up to gloat about a surgery Derek joked that he’d love to have something jammed in his brain, “that way I could see the inside of an OR.” Meredith told Cristina she was going to be Mini McDreamy’s godmother, meaning that if she and Derek died Cristina would have to care for the kid. “I have to admit, I kind of hope you and Derek die. Just a little bit,” Cristina quipped. And later, once everyone knew the hospital was on lock-down, Meredith and Cristina joked that an axe-murdered on the loose would be exciting.One of the most intense moments was when Cristina ended up in the elevator with the gunman, before anyone knew that Reed and Alex had been shot. His weapon concealed, he asked Cristina how to get to the Chief’s office. I know you were all thinking it too – Cristina is the queen of snark! She was sure to brush him off like everyone else and end up with a bullet lodged in her body. But no! She politely gave him directions and he thanked her as he exited the elevator. Cristina fans everywhere began breathing again.

Poor April. April went down to the supply room and tripped. She was covered in blood and discovered she’d tripped over her best friend’s dead body. She went to tell McDreamy and blathered on about how she grew up on a farm and Reed only weighed, like, 5lbs. and you wouldn’t think she’d have that much blood in her body. Finally Derek got it out of her and put the hospital on lock-down. No one was to move until the shooter was located, but most people didn’t know why. Callie was stuck in peds with Arizona, Bailey was stuck with Charles and Mandy Moore and Teddy, Owen and Avery were performing surgery.

Sloan, Lexie and Alex

The shooter started roaming the halls of Seattle Grace and ended up in a heavily populated area. When someone told him he wasn’t allowed to go up the stairs, he turned around and shot a nurse. Sloan tried to usher Lexie into safety but when they opened the elevator Alex was in there, bleeding to death. Well that complicated their love triangle. They got Alex into an empty room and tried to stabilize him without getting the attention of the loose shooter.

Things really weren’t looking good for Alex, and he gave Sloan this last minute on-my-death-bed advice “Eat more bacon and have more sex.” Lexie told him she loved him, but the next thing you knew Alex was talking to Izzie instead of Lexie. It was very sweet of Lexie to just go along with it. Once the three were evacuated Alex was taken to another hospital. Do you think Lexie and Alex will stick it out, or will she eventually go back to Sloan (who she really belongs with) because Alex still loves Izzie?

Arizona and Callie

For most of the show Arizona and Callie didn’t know what was going on in the hospital. They were tucked away in peds, fighting over who was to blame for the break-up and trying to deal with all the kids and the lack of doctors and nurses on the floor.

Later, the gunman came to peds looking for gauze to treat a wound and Callie handled it. He left, leaving everyone unharmed and Callie helped comfort a little girl whose appendix had exploded by telling her that Arizona has a magic smile and makes everyone feel better just by walking into the room.

Eventually the SWAT team came to evacuate Callie, Arizona and all the sick kids. Once outside, Callie decided she could sacrifice having children in order to be with Arizona and Arizona decided she trusted Callie and wanted to have babies with her.

Bailey, Charles and Mandy Moore

When the gunman made his way to Bailey’s wing of the hospital my heart really started pounding. Bailey getting killed would be a deal breaker for me – I won’t watch Grey’s without her! The gunmen made enough of a commotion outside the room that Bailey and Charles, who were checking on Mandy Moore (playing a patient, not herself – but I’m calling her Mandy anyway), had a moment to prepare. Bailey made Charles hide in the bathroom, lowered Mandy’s bed and pulled the sheet over her head so she could play dead and had just enough time to hide under the bed before the gunman entered.

So, so intense. The gunman looked around the room and was clearly agitated. He found Mandy Moore, but believed she was dead. Then he found Charles in the bathroom. “Are you a surgeon,” he asked as we watched Bailey’s terrified face. Poor Charles. I always felt lukewarm toward him, but he was amazing in this episode. How was he supposed to know what to answer? Maybe the guy needed a surgeon! Who knows? Charles responded that yes, he was a surgeon and Clark shot him through the chest. Before leaving he found Bailey and pulled her out from under the bed. “Are you a surgeon?” he asked her. Poor Bailey. You know she wanted to proudly declare that she was, but she had the benefit of knowing the last guy got shot for admitting he was a surgeon.

Bailey stumbled, but finally made the right decision and told the guy she was a nurse. She did have one benefit that Charles didn’t have – I don’t know if Clark would have believed that Charles was a nurse. Unfortunately, it was more believable coming from a woman. Clark believed her and let her live. He left, apologizing for the mess he’d caused.

So Bailey was left to try and save Charles’ life and it wasn’t looking good. He asked her if he was dying and she said no. She promised she would be honest and tell him when he was dying. She tried packing the wound, and it was pretty heart wrenching when she asked where the water was coming from and Mandy Moore informed her it was her own tears. With Mandy’s panic-stricken help she tried to save Charles, but she needed to get him to an OR. They dragged him to the elevator on a sheet only to find that the elevators had been shut down.

Those last scenes with Bailey, Charles and Mandy Moore were really sad. Chandra Wilson needs an Emmy ASAP. Upon realizing that the elevators were shut down and she wouldn’t be able to get Charles to an OR Bailey lost it, shouting and crying in a fit of rage despite Mandy’s cries that the gunman would hear them. Then she took off her gloves and held his head her lap and told him that he was dying. For reals, guys, that whole scene was SO SAD. I know the Meredith/Cristina/McDreamy thing was intense but for some reason, even though I didn’t have a huge emotional attachment to Charles, this scene really got to me. Charles asked them to tell Reed that he’s always loved her and Bailey and Mandy comforted him as he died. I’m glad Charles got the good death scene instead of Reed.

Cristina, Meredith and Derek

Cristina and Meredith went looking for Derek during the lock-down so that Meredith could tell him she was pregnant. Apparently they thought the lock-down only meant they couldn’t leave the hospital – as Cristina said, “I never leave anyway.” When they found Derek, though, he told them there was a shooter in the hospital and made them hide in a closet.

In the closet Cristina spotted the shooter, Clark, and recognized him. She remembered she’d given the guy directions to the Chief’s office earlier and realized that the guy who’d tried to sue the hospital was looking for Derek, intending to kill him. Personally, I don’t know if I would have shared that insight with Meredith. I guess so, because they needed to warn Derek. But of course, that’s not what happened. They saw Clark with his gun pointed directly at Derek. Cristina held Meredith back as Derek tried to calm the man down.

At first Derek didn’t realize that Clark was the shooter, and warned him that it wasn’t safe. “Of course it isn’t safe,” said Clark before pulling out his gun. Clark had killed and shot so many people in the hospital at that point without the blink of an eye. But when he came across his intended target, it was time for a speech. Which gave Derek a chance to try and talk him down. Derek said that he’s just a man, he makes mistakes. He told him about how he’d watched his father die as a child. He told Clark that he could tell he was a good man. Just as Clark looked like he was going to drop his weapon April ran out, not realizing what was going on. She killed the moment and Clark shot Derek through the chest.

April, obviously, was going to be next. But she remembered an episode of Oprah and started spouting off personal details to Clark, telling him her birthday and her hometown and how she hadn’t had a chance to live yet. And just in case you weren’t already crying, when Meredith broke free of Cristina and ran to Derek she sobbed “I pick you, I choose you. You don’t get to die.”

Christina, Meredith and Derek – Part II

With the gunman gone but no surgeons around, it was up to Cristina to perform life-saving heart surgery on Derek. Teddy and Owen had left the OR to move their patient but Avery was still there with the whole surgery team. Cristina banned Meredith from the OR, telling her that she couldn’t save Derek if Meredith was staring at her with big, sad, don’t kill McDreamy eyes. It turned out that the bullet had been lodged near Derek’s aorta which meant Cristina had to perform “the hardest freakin’ repair in the history of the world.”

April sat with Meredith on the floor outside the OR where April was crying. Intense stress had turned Meredith into a teensy bit of a bitch, because she told April to stop crying. “It took me a long time to find him. And even it took me a long time to realize I wanted him. And now that I realized that he’s lying on a table in there and my best friend’s hands are inside his chest. YOU don’t get to cry about that.” Ouch. April responded with “Reed was my best friend. She died today.” Just a little reminder that it’s not all always about Meredith. Meredith must have realized that, and she took April’s hand.

Owen and Teddy had been evacuated by the SWAT team, who were clearing the hospital floor by floor. But when Owen found out that Cristina was still inside, he ran back in. Owen found Meredith and April huddled on the floor and spoke to them before entering the OR. He was acting really weird and refused to scrub in before going in to check on Cristina. Turns out that was because he could see what was going on, and Clark was in there holding a gun to Cristina’s head. He told her to stop operating on Derek or he would shoot her. As weird as I found it that Clark had shot some people so carelessly, but was now giving Cristina the opportunity to live, the moment was too intense to care. Cristina kept operating. At some point, Meredith must have looked in the room because she came in and told Clark to shoot her. She was like a daughter to the Chief. She was Derek’s wife. If he wanted to hurt them, he would shoot her. “An eye for an eye,” she said.

Owen tried to make a move to knock the guy down but got shot in the shoulder. Then Avery (always considered the most worthwhile of all the Mercy Westers) saved the day. He told Cristina to stop operating and Derek started to flatline. Clark left, with Meredith sobbing on the floor. Then we found out that Avery had disconnected some wires, only making it seem like Derek had died. Cristina began operating again, and snapped Meredith back to reality by yelling “Mer, is Owen dead?” and “I can’t talk right now. I need to save your guy. Now please go try and save mine.”
Meredith did save Owen – the wound wasn’t that bad – but she had to do it while having a miscarriage.

The (former) Chief

Miraculously, the (former) Chief had the day off. He was sitting in a nearby Diner when he saw all the cop cars and emergency vehicles speeding toward the hospital. So he followed them, only to be barred from entering. A pretty poignant moment was when he said “I’m the Chief…I’m the former…this is my hospital.” It really reminded me how much has happened this season, and how much we’ve seen this characters go through.

The Chief (I’m dropping the former, it’s easier that way) helped the cops determine who the shooter was, but when no one was looking he ran back inside. He found the shooter, who was now sitting alone in a room drinking out of a flask. He had one bullet, and a decision to make – would he use it on the Chief or on himself? He explained he’d bought a ton of ammo because it was on sale (thank god I live in Canada) but hadn’t brought it all so that he could bring the flask.

The Chief should get some kind of award from AA, because the guy refused a drink twice with a gun pointed at him. He even poured it out onto the floor. The Chief told Clark to choose between a lifetime in jail or the possibility of seeing his wife again in the afterlife. He said “Death, for me, is not justice. It’s the end of a beautiful journey.” Was anyone else kind of convinced that Clark was going to shoot the Chief? He didn’t, though. We heard the gun fire as the SWAT team closed in and out came the Chief, in his soft-looking green sweater.

WOW. What a season finale! We’ve got Callie and Arizona living happily ever after, Lexie is still with Alex and Cristina is back with Owen. But even though McDreamy is alive, Meredith’s world has been kind of shattered. And we lost a few of those pesky Mercy West intruders. On the one hand, I’m happy no one I cared about died. But on the other hand, I feel like it’s a bit of a cop-out to only kill off extraneous characters. All in all though, I’d say the season finale was epic and successfully got me hooked on the show again. What did you think? Did it compare to last season’s George Is Really the Patient twist?

Upstream Music plays it out in Halifax

The Metro Centre from the Town Clock

Photopool: The Old Town Clock Looking Outward