Ummm.... wow. I've been trying to wrap my mind around this season finale and all that will pass through my head is just...wow. I don't even know how to give you a quick summary here without spoiling the whole thing and still not get across just how big this was.
But still... try, right?
Ok, here goes.
Yang is still considering trying again with Owen, but she's totally not giving him a free pass here. Owen stops to tell her how well his therapy is going and how much progress is being made, but Cristina cuts him off by asking if he's told her about not visiting his mother even though she lives only a few miles away. Owen hasn't, and still hasn't gone to see his mother, so he just stands there with nothing to say while Yang walks off.
Derek has formed a plan to remove Izzie's brain tumor, but it will require removing a part of her brain, which could leave her without any memory. Like, at all. Izzie's oncologist would rather use her "miracle cure" that has some initials that I can't remember. I want to say "ILM", but that's a special effects company.
My consultant says it was "IL-2", so we'll go with that.
Izzie's dilemma is that she doesn't want to lose her memory, because then she wouldn't even be Izzie, but she's also not sure that she'll live for the three months that the IL-2 cure would take to work. Izzie tries to get the others to decide, but they only offer to support her no matter what.
But then they go get information from outside sources. Yang sits with the oncologist, who breaks down her miracle patient that went through 15 surgeries and kept developing mets, until she underwent the IL-2 treatment and the mets disappeared within three months. Now she gets monthly treatments and nothing new has developed.
When Alex asks Shepherd as a friend, not a doctor, what he would ask Meredith to do if she was the one with the cancer, Shepherd immediately says he'd ask her to do the surgery. Which isn't a surprise, really - he's a surgeon, he completely believes in the power of surgery. Makes sense.
To see the possible-worst case scenario of the surgery, the doctors agree to run a test where they put the right hemisphere of Izzie's brain (where the tumor is nestled) to sleep and ask her to remember a series of cards she was just shown. Izzie keeps making light of the test and joking around - until they put her right brain to sleep. Not only can't she remember the cards, she can't remember who anybody is or even how to speak.''
This terrifies Meredith, who basically tells Izzie that there's no way that she's having the surgery, unless it's over Meredith's dead body. Together with Yang, Meredith convinces Izzie to go with the IL-2 treatment.
Alex shows up when Yang and the oncologist are going over the regimen with Izzie and goes ballistic. I don't really remember what he said, but it basically amounts to him being terrified of losing Izzie and thinking surgery is the best option.
Later, Izzie visits the doctor's miracle patient, who goes into v-tac in the middle of singing IL-2's praises. After the girl is out of surgery, Izzie overhears the doctors telling the girl's family that she was too unstable to finish the surgery, so they'll have to go back in if and when she stabilizes, but she'll probably never stop having to be on a machine to help her breathe. In fact, I think it's implied that she's probably brain-dead now.
Shaken, Izzie decides to have the surgery, but signs a DNR to avoid becoming a vegetable. Alex predictably freaks out about this and can't stand the idea of living without Izzie, but she convinces him that, if she's a vegetable, he'd be living a life without her anyway. She makes him promise to not let her live as a vegetable and kisses him goodbye, then rolls into surgery.
A young army vet comes to Owen and, by extension, George and Callie to help him with his leg. Apparently the leg keeps hurting and not working right even though it appears to be healthy. Since nobody can figure out what's wrong with his leg and thus can't fix it, he just wants it cut off so he can get a prosthetic leg and go back to war. Owen is ready to do it, but Callie is totally against cutting off a perfectly healthy leg. She and George try to talk him out of it, but he's not interested in listening. He gives a speech about needing to get back to his life and the people who understand him. Callie is finally convinced to go ahead and amputate, and George seems to have a lot to think about.
Owen has also been affected and pulls Yang aside to tell her that he thinks that he's afraid to see his mom because he didn't finish his job in Iraq and is going back. Cristina is disgusted, refuses to give her support, and leaves.
Later, we get scenes of Owen and Cristina in his truck, about to go somewhere intercut with an Army recruiter being told that there is a doctor who wants to sign up. We're being led to believe that Cristina has relented and is going with Owen to sign back up, but George is the one who walks through the recruiter's door and Owen and Cristina are shown standing at his mother's door
The next day, Cristina sees Owen hug George and asks what's up with that. Owen tells her that George has an announcement that's his own to make, but that Owen is ecstatic that he actually slept without any nightmares and thanks Cristina for forcing him to go see his mother. He feels that he's really on track to becoming better, and wants to do it with Cristina. She seems flummoxed and he tells her that she doesn't have to say anything, to just think on it.
Later, though, she tells him that she wants to give things a try and it's all AWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!
The Chief calls Bailey into his office with Arizona to tell her that she's received the Pediatric Fellowship. Rather than being excited, Bailey looks like she's about to cry and walks away. After being continuously asked for an explanation, Bailey tells Arizona and the Chief that her husband gave her an ultimatum the night before - if she takes the fellowship, he's divorcing her. She plans on leaving him, because there is no place for ultimatums in a marriage, but doesn't think she can do the fellowship as a single mother. Instead, she's decided to stay in General Surgery and maybe become the Attending.
To add to Bailey's misery, George has chosen to tell her first about joining the Army. She predictably thinks he's crazy and recruits the rest of the crew to stage an intervention for George as soon as he gets out of a surgery with the Chief. When they ask the Chief where George is at the end of the day, though, he says he sent George home to spend his last day of freedom with his Mom early in the morning - probably shortly after he spoke to Bailey.
Somewhere in all of this, Meredith and Derek have decided not to wait any longer to get married and just go to City Hall that evening, but later realize that there's just no time. Instead, Derek writes their vows down on a post-it note that they both sign and then stick in their locker. It's pretty damn sweet.
Meanwhile, a man is brought in who pushed a woman out of the way of a bus and was subsequently ran over by the bus and dragged half a block. The girl he saved keeps checking on him and calling him her hero and Prince Charming and blah blah blah. Every time Meredith is talking to him, he tries to trace letters in her hands. When she hands him a pen-and-paper, but he's too weak to hold the pen and passes out.
His initial surgery is successful, but then develops further complications and has to have another. While Meredith is prepping him for surgery, he begins tracing letters in her hand again. Finally, she follows what he's writing - "O" "O" "7", or 007, George's nickname since his initial horrible surgery in season... was it season one? Anyway, Meredith and I both realize that the bus dragging guy is George at the same time. She runs to tell the other doctors and they rush him into surgery to save him, but he dies on the table.
I had already predicted that George was going to sign up for the Army, but I did NOT see that death coming.
Oh, Izzie? Yeah, she survived the surgery. When Derek examines her, she seems to have retained her memory and is in good health. She's super excited when Derek tells her that he got the entire tumor, but five minutes later asks how the surgery went. It quickly becomes apparent that she has no short term memory at all. Alex gets obsessed and starts drilling her to improve her memory, but it doesn't seem to work. He finally gets frustrated and goes into a tirade about how unfair life is and wah wah wah. Twenty minutes later, when Yang comes into check Izzie's stats, she vents to Yang about the things Alex says. It takes them a few minutes, but they realize that Izzie's memory is back. Alex comes rushing in and hugs Izzi and everyone's happy.
...and then Izzie flatlines.
Alex tries to do CPR and save her while everyone else tries to remind him of the DNR, but he doesn't listen. Finally the Chief says screw it and calls for the electric paddle things.
While they're trying to restart Izzie's heart, she has a vision of getting into the elevator again with her "prom dress" on. When the elevators open, it's not Denny waiting, but George in an Army uniform.
...and that's the season. Although we don't actually see George or Izzie actually pronounced dead, it seems pretty obvious to me that they're gone.
....surprisingly, I didn't cry at either of these, though my eyes were really leaky at last week's wedding. I think I had just already made my peace with Izzie dying and was just too shocked at George's death. Still, though... heavy season finale. Worse than Denny dying, no doubt.