Warning: spoilers ahead for the 300th episode of Grey's Anatomy, called "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story." If you haven't watched yet, you may want to check out some of our non-spoilery articles until you can catch the episode.
Grey's Anatomy hit a milestone that few shows ever achieve in Season 14 with the 300th episode. It was an hour of television filled with all kinds of callbacks to earlier seasons and previous characters, and longtime fans had plenty to enjoy. "Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story" brought back the memories of three original main characters who have since departed the series. Lookalikes for Cristina, Izzie, and George were all on board for the big episode. Co-showrunner and episode writer Krista Vernoff (who only recently returned to the series) revealed the inspiration behind the decision to bring in the lookalikes, posting this about the woman who played the faux Izzie:
Eryn Rea may have gotten her Grey's Anatomy start as the stand in for star Ellen Pompeo, but she was evidently such a dead ringer for Katherine Heigl that Krista Vernoff was inspired to include a trio of lookalikes in the 300th episode. Vernoff's reveal on Twitter is a fun explanation for a pretty wild plot twist. All things considered, it's a plot twist that might not have happened had Vernoff not rejoined the show for Season 14. She was a major presence on the series in the first seven seasons before departing; it makes sense that she'd want to honor three of the most significant characters of those seasons in the big episode.
The three lookalikes turned up at the hospital after a county fair accident left a number of people injured. In addition to Eryn Rea as the Izzie double, Jackie Chung appeared as the Cristina doppelganger, and Brandon Tyler Russell appeared as the new George. It's easy to see why the show cast these actors to kinda sorta reprise the original Grey's Anatomy roles. There are definitely strong resemblances between the new actors and their predecessors in the forms of Katherine Heigl, Sandra Oh, and T.R. Knight. That said, there's definitely one actor who most resembles the original. Seriously, if there's ever a Lifetime movie made about the life and career of Katherine Heigl, Eryn Rea should get the call. Just take a look!
The 300th episode was really a celebration of all things Grey's Anatomy, and Krista Vernoff deserves credit for including a whole lot of callbacks into one episode and weaving a cohesive story. This was an important episode to get right, and it was a fun ride. Swing by our breakdown of all the callbacks and references from the 300th episode to catch any you might have missed. Grey's Anatomy airs on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. For all the shows that got the axe this year, take a look at our breakdown of the 2017 TV cancellations.