300 episodes in, this show has come full circle. It really is like the Grey’s Anatomy of old. Look for proof no further than the sleep-deprived, can’t-remember-the-last-time-they-had-a-shower interns. Like the interns who came before them, they live for the exhaustion and the traumas. A roller coaster accident is a dream come true for them, like it was for those who came before. For fans who have watched since the beginning, there were so many callbacks, so many small moments to latch onto. How could you not do a double-take at injured “George and Cristina”, with a pregnant “Izzie” stand-in trying to mediate the bickering? We didn’t even realize we missed the original theme song until it began playing. Every single detail of Grey’s Anatomy’s 300th episode was meticulous, and a perfect tribute.
Maybe it’s because she’s on the verge of winning a Harper Avery, or that she has to take a private plane to get to the award’s ceremony (which worked out so well the last time), but Meredith sees the past everywhere in this episode. The crazy thing is, she’s not the only one who sees it. With mini-resident versions of George, Cristina, and Izzie on the operating tables, Meredith, Alex, Bailey, and Webber put all of their attention on these patients. Alex even stays with pregnant “Izzie”, which is about as close of a reunion as we’re going to get with the exes. Alex takes care of the mini version of his ex, but he doesn’t want to get back in touch with the real thing. Even if real life complications weren’t a factor, Alex makes a fair point about reconnecting with people from your past. If you’re in a good place in your life, there is no need to know for certain. Alex can simply imagine that his Izzie is happy, as he is now.
Ben finally told his wife the truth about his career change. What he really did was drop the sword right on Bailey’s head, and at the worst possible time. Not that there is a good time to tell your wife, who happens to be the Chief of Surgery, that you are walking away from your job. Still, a day when “George” was not on her table would have helped. Bailey wouldn’t feel comfortable comparing her patient to her former friend, but it’s nice to think that she could save “this George”, when she couldn’t save her own.
The interns aren’t the only ones who get a callback. Dr. Derek Shepherd and Dr. Mark Sloan’s memories are honored as well. Amelia works diligently on another victim of the roller coaster crash. She is particularly adamant that the man who jumped in front of the flying coaster car get a head CT before anything else, since she knows skipping that step is what killed her brother. The decision to get the CT isn’t just because of Derek. Amelia wouldn’t be a good doctor if she skipped steps.
Arizona prepares for Sofia’s arrival, daunted by the realization that her little girl is not so little anymore. In order to calm herself down, she tells “Izzie” about Mark. People take for granted how much Arizona mourned Mark. Though she didn’t have the same relationship with him that Callie or Derek did, they still shared a child. Mark was the one who held Arizona when she was missing her brother on her wedding day. Arizona kept Mark alive so that he could see Sofia one more time before he died. That final frame of baby Sofia with all of her parents was beautiful and absolutely heartbreaking.
Despite her family waiting for her to go to the award’s ceremony, Meredith chooses to stay when “Cristina” pleads with her. “Pretend I’m your friend. Save me like I’m your friend.” How can Meredith leave after that? Meredith’s dedication to her patient never wavers. There is a big crowd to cheer her on, but the biggest joy is seeing Zola clap for her mom. This is after that little girl bonds with Aunt Maggie over losing a parent. To Zola and everyone else’s delight, Meredith does indeed win the Harper Avery. Jackson accepts the award on Meredith’s behalf with one of the most beautiful speeches I’ve ever heard. He pays tribute to Lexie, Derek, and even Ellis’s place in Meredith’s life, and the roles they had in framing her career. Lest Meredith forget who started her on this path, Ellis Grey’s spirit shows up right behind her granddaughter as a reminder.
With great detail and consideration, “Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story” was written with love. Was it that good for you?