- ABC.com Recap
showMeredith tells Cristina that her marrying Burke is a sign that “women like us” can really have it all. Cristina wants to scrub in but Miranda orders her to go home since she’s getting married in less than 12 hours.
Richard is indignant that, since he’s still Adele’s husband, he was not notified she was in the hospital. Addison finally tells him Adele might be having a miscarriage. Adele comes to and is flustered to see Richard at her bedside. Addison leaves Richard alone with her. He wants to know why she didn’t tell him and she snaps at him that he must have work to do. He insists on staying right where he is.
Rina, Joe and Walter’s potential birth mother, needs to have her twins delivered immediately. She’s upset because she hasn’t made a final decision on who to give her babies to and they assure her that it doesn’t matter right now. When the babies arrive, they each hold one.
With the fourth hiker, Lonnie, found alive with an ax in his head, Derek demands to know what really happened on the mountain. The three hikers say that Lonnie insisted they climb back down, not up, to camp for the night. Since they were all tied together, when he started down, they all fell. One of the men swung his ax to try to catch a rock, but caught Lonnie’s head instead. “It was an accident,” they insist, and swear they thought he was dead when they left him behind.
During surgery, Derek discovers that the ax wound is clean, meaning it was no accident. He tells Lonnie’s friends that he knows the ax would was deliberate and that if they won’t tell him the truth, they can talk to the cops. One of the hikers finally reveals what happened: They were so sure Lonnie wasn’t going to make it that he tried to put him out of his misery. “He’s my friend,” the man sobs.
Rebecca’s husband, Jeff, shows up at the hospital and has trouble recognizing her after her plastic surgery. He holds his daughter, telling Alex that she looks like Rebecca, or at least what she used to look like. Alex demands to know why he didn’t come looking for his wife, since the ferry crash was all over the news. Jeff says he thought she’d left him. “I didn’t look for her when she was missing,” he says, “but what’s worse is I didn’t see her when she was there.” He tells Alex he still loves her.
Derek tells Meredith about the pretty woman who offered to buy him a drink last night. He says nothing happened but she wants to know if she should be worried. He tells her, yeah, she should be worried that flirting with that woman was the highlight of his week.
Richard meets with all of the attendings to tell them whom he’s selected to succeed him. He thinks Mark only wanted the job to compete with Derek. Addison says she needs the job as a reason to stay in Seattle and because she’s 39 and alone. He says that’s why he didn’t pick her, because she shouldn’t need a job to give her a new life. Even though Richard wants to give Burke the job, he says he can’t because Burke let him down.
Callie tells George all she can think about is having a baby and George says if she really wants to, they can try.
Mama Burke pressures Cristina into wearing a choker that was worn by “five generations of Burke women” on their wedding day. She says she’d initially thought Cristina was selfish, but that she admires the way she’s given into all of Burke’s wishes. Next, she wants to know what Cristina intends to “do” about her eyebrows — and Cristina ends up with none! Cristina begs Miranda to let her operate, because she has no eyebrows and no dignity left. “One cut,” Miranda says and then sends her off to get married.
Addison asks Burke if he’s nervous for the wedding. He says he’s excited, but admits he’s uncertain about the vows he wrote himself. Addison urges him to practice them on her, Izzie and the nurses. In his vows, he doesn’t promise to love or honor Cristina, saying those are vows for people who are optimistic and hopeful and he is neither of those things. “I am sure,” he says. “I am steady.” He goes on at rapturous length and when he is done, Addison jokes, “I think I speak for every woman in this room when I say, dump her and marry me!”
Izzie, emboldened by Burke’s vows, corners George and tells him because she’s his best friend, that if he’s in love with Callie, she will do everything in her power to make his marriage work. But she’s in love with him and she hope she’s in love with her too. Before he can answer, the other interns barge into the locker room, in a rush to prep for Cristina and Burke’s wedding.
Just then, a nurse arrives with their test results. They all announced that they passed, even Meredith. She’s preparing to leave when Derek shows up, so she stays behind to talk to him. She tells him if he wants to break up with her and see other people, to just tell her he doesn’t love her anymore. “I do love you,” he says. “You’re the love of my life.” He can’t leave her, but she’s always leaving him, so if she doesn’t see a future for them, to please end it because he can’t. She answers that she really needs to go make sure Cristina walks down that aisle.
Alex shares the good news about passing his exam with Rebecca and she tells him she and the baby have been discharged. Medically, there’s no reason to stay, but she wants him to give her one. Jeff is a good man but he knows her as Rebecca and she doesn’t know if she’s that person anymore. “I was more me as Ava than I’ll ever be as Rebecca,” she says. He tells her her husband loves her and she should “stick with the decent guy.”
Adele starts to crash and Addison informs her she might have a placental tear due to the accident and they need to operate on her right now. Addison saves Adele, but not the baby. Richard rushes in to see how she is and asks if she wants to call someone. She admits that the father didn’t even know she was pregnant. “I misjudged him. He’s a much better man than I thought,” she says. He slowly realizes she’s talking about him and they tearfully embrace.
At the church, Burke congratulates Derek on being named Chief and he tells him that Richard didn’t pick him. Derek confides that he and Meredith might not make it but that today is all about Burke.
Alex sits next to Addison and asks if she wants to grab a drink after the ceremony. “You don’t want me. You want Ava,” she says. He tells her Ava’s not Ava anymore and she tells him to go after her.
Miranda is devastated to see that Callie has been chosen for Chief Resident instead of her. George skips the wedding and commiserates with Miranda, who tells him she is so sorry that he’s failed his exam. He now has two options: Walk away from being a resident or repeat his intern year.
Izzie looks for George in the church and Callie tells her he’s going to be late, since it was a big day for them: She was named Chief Resident and they’ve decided to have a baby. The music starts to play and Cristina panics when she realizes that she no longer has her wedding vows written on her hand since she scrubbed in. She orders Meredith to give her the advice Cristina herself would give if their positions were reversed, so Meredith threatens to kick Cristina’s ass if she doesn’t walk down that aisle. After a noticeable delay, Burke goes to talk to Cristina and she assures him she’s ready. He says he knows she doesn’t want to do this, but that she was only doing it because she loves him. And that if he really loves her for who she is, instead of who he wants her to be, he wouldn’t be waiting for her at the altar, he would be letting her go. Meredith informs the guests that the wedding is off, saying, “It’s over.” She follows Cristina to her apartment. “He’s gone,” Cristina says. “I’m free.” Meredith helps her tear the choker and the dress off and holds her as she sobs. Alex rushes back to the hospital, but Rebecca is gone. George is joined in the locker room by a fresh batch of interns. One of them, the pretty girl who asked Derek for a drink, asks him for advice. She introduces herself as Lexie Grey. We find out that in Derek’s interview with Richard, he turned down the position of Chief of Surgery. “You’re the best man for this job,” he tells Richard.
- Adam’s Immediate Reaction
showSo. The season finale. Arguably the most anticipated episode of the season (minus the season premiere). Was it good? Oh, yes. So very much so. Was it surprising? That’s where it was lacking. I will admit it, the fact that Callie of all people was chosen for Chief Resident and not Bailey (I mean, seriously, explaination please!), surprised me. Some of the Chief things surprised me, and the fact that it was Richard’s baby kind of surprised me. And, for some reason, even though I saw it coming, Burke leaving Cristina surprised me (I think it was the way and when he left her – like, um, WTF?). I just…don’t feel like there’s much to say about this episode. I liked it. A lot. Which is a big testament considering I hated season two’s finale the first time I saw it, and now it’s my favorite episode. So, yes, it was an awesome episode. But the shock value…wasn’t there. Season One, it was there. “The last five minutes, everything will change…” Season Two, it was there. I mean, there wasn’t even a real freaking promo for Season Two’s finale! But Season Three? When you do a wedding on TV, you’ve already given away the ending – someone will leave someone, and most likely, the fans will figure out who is leaving who. And I think that’s where the finale went wrong. Yes, the Cristina breakdown scene was my favorite tonight (and was that song not awesome?), but if Cristina and Burke had gotten married…I dunno. I’m kinda 50/50 on it. We’ll have to see what happens in the fall.
See. That’s the thing about this season’s finale. It wasn’t very “big.” Season One’s supposed-to-be finale (“Bring the Pain”) was big. Season Two’s finale…HUGE. But Season Three? Yes, it was big. There was a wedding. Chief got picked. Chief Resident got picked. And some other things. But it didn’t feel “big.” But the thing is? So freaking much was left hanging this season. In Season One, it was mostly just that Addison showed up. In Season Two, it was Meredith having to choose between Derek and Finn and Izzie quitting. But Season Three? Holy crap. We have to make a freaking list!
- Meredith and Derek. Are they over?
- Burke…uh…he just left? What about Cristina? What will she do? Where did Burke go…?
- George failed. And…no one knows. What’s he going to do? What’s Callie going to do? What’s Izzie going to do? Are George and Izzie over? Or are Callie and Izzie over?
- Who is Chief? Because Derek turned it down…
- What about Alex and Rebecca? Is she gone for good (I bet not)?
- So…are Adele and Richard back together?
- Oh, I just know there is more, I just can’t think of them…
But, see what I mean? I just felt like this episode ended so…abruptly. Not that that’s necissarily a bad thing. I mean, it definitely leaves me wanting more RIGHT NOW. But it just…ended. And there’s so much left. And it depresses me.
What also depresses me (and, frankly, angers me) are the fans. The fans who say they love this show and will stick with this show and then read Shonda’s blog where she tells us it’s going to be a rocky ride to the end (and, wow, was it ever!), but that the fun (the better) will be back in Season Four. But then don’t come back. Well, you better come back. And see how it gets better. Just…stick with the show. Stick with us. Because it’s only going to go up from here (I mean, seriously, how could it go down?)…
- Music Guide
show“The Jealous,” Girlfriends
The song plays as Callie copies Cristina’s vows onto her hand, Izzie and Meredith play toilet paper bride. Bailey tells Mark and Derek that they found the fourth mountain climber.
“Falling or Flying,” Grace Potter
Song plays as Cristina is unable to sleep, Alex watches Ava and her husband talk, Derek talks to Meredith about his night.
“Hold You in My Arms,” Ray Lamontagne
The song plays as Burke practices his wedding vows, Callie and George talk about having a baby, Alex talks with Ava’s husband while he holds the baby.
The song plays as Cristina operates. Izzie helps George with his tie and declares her feelings.
“Within You,” Ray Lamontagne
The song plays as the interns get the results of their intern test results. Ava asks Alex to giv eher a reason to stay. Meredith and Derek have a heart to heart.
“Eulogy,” The Hereafter
The song plays as Alex talks to Addison about Ava. George and Bailey talk about his results. The girls get ready for the wedding.
“Explosions,” The Mary Onettes
The song plays as Cristina readies herself for the aisle & Burke goes to check up on Cristina.
“Keep Breathing,” Ingrid Michaelson
The song plays over the end of the episode as Alex looks for Ava, Meredith helps Cristina, Callie watches Izzie, George meets Lexie and Richard talks with Derek.
- Writer’s Blog, by Shonda Rhimes on 05.17.07
showSo the third season began with Meredith helping Izzie remove her prom dress and ended with Meredith helping Cristina get out of her wedding gown. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but…I like a little symmetry.
This season was important to me. It wasn’t as light as Season Two and for good reason – our characters were in a darker place. I needed to put Meredith’s mother to rest, Izzie’s grief to rest, and the race for Chief to rest. George needed to grow up on a monumental level and then come full circle to where he was when we first met him in the pilot. Meredith had to finally try to face the fact that she’s damaged when it comes to relationships. I wanted to put Bailey on the path of questioning her standing as The Chosen One. Both Burke and Derek needed to hit a relationship wall, each in their own ways. And then there’s Cristina…
Oh, the Cristina of it all. What this season is about most of all – for all of our women – is the idea of “having it all” is a myth. And that was true for Cristina more than anyone. Slowly, over the course of the season, we’ve watched as hard-nosed Yang sliced off little pieces of herself to accommodate Burke. From helping Burke hide his tremor to Colin Marlowe telling her she’s not the woman he knew to prepping for the wedding, she slowly morphs from kickass surgeon-girl into a woman we don’t quite recognize in that wedding dress with penciled eyebrows. I wanted you to have the feeling in the finale that she’s become this painted doll – beautiful, everyone’s fantasy bride, but a painted doll all the same. No longer our Cristina. There’s that wonderful moment where she begs Bailey to let her cut because a part of her knows she’s becoming someone she doesn’t recognize. And then, just as she’s lost almost all of herself standing there in that gown ready to walk down the aisle, Burke is telling her that he can’t marry her. Because even Burke realizes that this Cristina is not his Cristina. It’s devastating. I hope you noticed that in the beginning of the episode Cristina talks about a heart as a purely anatomical thing (“it pumps blood”) and then Burke’s vows are all about the heart as an emotional thing (“I promise to lay my heart in the palm of your hands”) and it’s so sad to realize that they have completely opposing views of the world. I feel for Burke and you should too because he knows that, in a way, by leading, pushing, cajoling her down this path to being together, he’s done this to her – he’s changed her. That the only way to save her from disappearing completely is to set her free. And then in that wonderfully painful moment (how much do we love Sandra Oh and her incredible talent?) in the apartment, Cristina turns to Meredith and says “He’s gone. I’m free. Damn it.” And it’s so nuanced and so layered and so tragic because she’s relieved and terrified and heartbroken and suffocated all at once. Watching her journey back from this is going to be amazing next season.
George and Izzie and Callie: you all have your opinions, very strong opinions, on how you feel about this love triangle. I’m glad – strong opinions mean you care what happens. In the finale, Izzie’s declaring herself and Callie’s fighting for her rightful territory. That moment when Callie casually lets Izzie know that she’s not only been named Izzie’s boss but that she and George are trying to have a baby is very interesting. Callie’s saying “don’t mess with me” in the only way she knows how. About the baby thing – for the record, I am very strongly against anyone trying to have a baby to save a relationship. It’s crazy because it never works and I highly recommend you don’t do it. Plus it goes against every feminist bone in my body. But it is also human to delude yourself into believing that you’re not having a baby to save your relationship, that instead having a baby is a way of taking your relationship to the next level. And Callie gives that great speech about her hormones and her body. I’ve been there and I know that it is real, this sudden baby rush that happens and, if you are firmly into your career, it freaks you out. Callie’s just being as honest as she knows how to be with George. Because she can’t bring up Izzie again – not when the last time she brought it up, George called Izzie a supermodel thereby suggesting that Callie was, well…not.
George is interesting is this episode. Did you notice that after he looks at his test scores, his entire demeanor changes? How he’s vulnerable in a way that we haven’t seen in a long time? My favorite moments for him are in that scene with Bailey where he says he can’t repeat his intern year over again. He just can’t. And then when that girl in the locker room (Lexie Grey! Lexie Grey!) asks if he has any advice, he says simply “No.” I love that. Because he doesn’t have any answers. He thought he did and then he fails his intern exam and Izzie has to go and tell him she’s in love with him. He has no idea what the future holds. His whole future is one big question.
Alex and Ava. My heart beats for them. How amazing was Ava in those scenes? And Alex…I’ve said before that Alex is Meredith’s mirror and I’m saying it again. He’s too screwed up to give Ava a reason to stay because he doesn’t think he’s good enough. And it’s no coincidence that this scene comes right before the MerDer scene where Derek is asking her, all pained and raw, to put him out of his misery and Meredith is WAY too screwed up to give him an answer. They’re damaged people, Alex and Meredith.
What I love is that for Meredith, Cristina getting married has become this incredibly important thing – this sign – that maybe she and Derek can make it through. That she can be healthy enough to let herself have this, have him. She keeps saying to Cristina “you can do this” and she needs it to be true. She needs it desperately. Meredith, the girl with no family model for how a relationship works, looks to her best friend. So when Burke shuts the whole thing down, Meredith is almost as devastated as Cristina. She does that long walk down the aisle, gets up in front of the wedding guests and tells them it’s over. And she doesn’t just mean the wedding. She means everything she hoped could be true. She means the fairy tale. She means the MerDer of it all. It’s over. It’s so over. Because she no longer believes.
Bailey’s got a lot to contend with next year. She thought she was going to be Chief Resident – she really believed it. After all, the Chief spent the season practically anointing her with Chief Resident oil. But he also spent the season warning her. Because from his own life, he knows what it is to get so caught up in a job that you neglect your family. And he wouldn’t wish that on anyone. That is a lesson Bailey’s not ready to learn – the fact that there may be a choice between family and career isn’t something this generation of women has been raised to believe. It’s not something I’m ready to believe. But, like I said, what the women start to see this season is that maybe they may not necessarily be able to have it all. Because maybe having it all has a price. Is it fair that Bailey has to pay this price? Absolutely not. But isn’t it ironic that Bailey’s got the strong family and (in her mind) a shaky career while Callie’s got the solid career and the shaky family life?
The Chief. Aah, my Chief. I love his full circle journey this season. His wife starts out leaving him and now she’s come back. And Derek hands him back the Chief job. Which opens all sorts of possibilities. Because if he’s going to do it all over again, how will he do it differently? Is it possible for him to have it all? Will he get Adele back if he chooses to stay Chief? I love the wonderful moments with his wife, when they’ve lost the baby and he’s there for her. For me, in the face of the supposed fairy tale playing out with Burke and Cristina, this is what real love is. After years of mistakes and pain and problems, real love is two people standing together, choosing to be together, despite all that has gone wrong. It is very grown-up, the Chief and Adele of it all.
Derek. Poor Derek. He’s done his best to pull Meredith forward. He’s done his best to be in this relationship and help her be in it too. He has tried to be the best man. But it wasn’t enough. He can’t save her. And so in that last moment, when he’s sitting with the Chief, and he tells the Chief that he can’t take the job, it is about so much more than just the job. It is about his belief in himself. I adore the moment in the locker room when he tells Mer that she’s the love of his life. Mainly because Patrick says things like that better than anyone I’ve ever seen. But also because he’s desperately trying to get through to her. And when he says that he can’t leave her, he won’t leave her, because he can’t – it’s sad. And she looks at him and just sort of…freaks out and and he pleads with that one word “Meredith”…it’s all so…the way he puts his head back as they leave the locker room…He can’t be more of a best man. Where he’s going next season is going to be interesting to watch.
Last but not least are Addison and Mark. We don’t see a lot of them in this episode. And for good reason. Their stories were done, finished, earlier. For Addison, there’s a brand new future ahead over at Private Practice (Wednesday nights at 9 pm!). For Mark, he starts fresh over at Grey’s next year. Without Addison. He’ll get to stand on his own and I think you’ll enjoy seeing it.
So that’s it. That was our season. I did my level best to burn it all down this season, to burn it to the ground so that we can have a place to build from next season. Burning it down was hard. But next season…oh, next season is all about the fun and the pain and the new beginnings. Because our interns are going to become residents. Because everyone is single again — well, there is the little matter of Izzie and George and Callie…but still…
…the future is wide open, people.
Special thanks to Tony Phelan and Joan Rater for writing an excellent finale. And to Shoots With No Script for…well, shooting with a very long script.
Have a good summer.
Grey’s Anatomy Season Three, Episode Twenty-Five: Didn’t We Almost Have it All? | May 17, 2007 | Joan Rater & Tony Phelan
- ABC.com Recap
- Adam’s Immediate Reaction
- Music Guide
- Writer’s Blog, by Shonda Rhimes on 05.17.07