Cristina's coworkers give her a fond send-off, a possible terrorist act occurs in Seattle and leads to pandemonium at the hospital, and Meredith makes a life-altering choice.
At Owen's trailer, Cristina dresses as she tells him she has to be in Zurich by Monday for a staff meeting. He tries to pull her back into bed as they discuss when they'll have their big goodbye. She leaves, frazzled.
At home, Derek tells Meredith he found them a place to live in DC, she just needs to sign the paperwork.
Jo and Arizona tease Alex by the nurses' station at the hospital. In the boardroom, Jackson tells Richard that Meredith and Derek will telecommute from DC so they can stay on the board. Bailey breezes in and Richard leaves. Jackson tells her funding is being pulled from her genome trials. She won't stand for it. In the corridor, Owen chats with the new cardio head, who is frustrated with Yang and eager for her to leave. April corners Owen and blurts that she's pregnant. Suddenly the TV nearby reports a huge explosion at a neighborhood mall with speculation that it could be an act of terrorism.
As the traumas begin coming into the hospital, Owen holds a press conference outside to tell media what people looking for loved ones should do. The authorities arrive looking to speak to some of the injured parties. Owen has April look after them. Owen tries to unsuccessfully to reach Cristina, who had mentioned going to the mall earlier. He asks Alex, who says he hasn't seen her. All of the doctors arrive and pitch in as the ER is thrown into pandemonium. Katherine crosses paths with Richard and mentions she's apparently going to be a grandmother. In one room, the authorities try to question a young man about what was in his friend's backpack but his eardrums are ruptured. Meredith wants the authorities out of the way.
Just outside the ER, Alex works on a young boy. Cristina appears to help. Alex is relieved to see her. Inside, April hollers for the TV to be shut off as they speculate on whether it was a terrorist attack. Murphy arrives to help out. She assists Shane in fixing a man's eye that is bulging out of the socket.
In the OR, Callie, Jackson, and Stephanie are working on the arm of a 31 weeks pregnant lady. Her water breaks and they have to deliver the baby by c-section. In the hall, Meredith tells Cristina about the move to DC. Elsewhere, Owen sees a reporter speculating on dirty bombs and radiation and kicks him out of the hospital. Cristina and Alex operate on the boy, and in the OR, she lets Alex know that she noticed how good he is as a pediatric surgeon. Meanwhile, Meredith argues with the authorities as she brings the suspect out of surgery. Suddenly they announce he's no longer a subject of interest. The TV reports that the explosion was caused by a gas leak.
Cristina's young heart patient and his mother arrive at the hospital and tell Owen that Dr. Yang called them because there is a heart available for transplant. Owen is overjoyed to learn they spoke to Cristina. In a supply closet, Katherine finds April crying about the prospect of raising a child in a world where they could die shopping for shoes. Katherine tells her a story about not giving in to fear and they go back to work. Cristina is scrubbing in to operate when Meredith tells her she needs to go - the new head of cardio can do the transplant. "You've been stalling for two weeks." Cristina tries to explain that she has to finish something here. She and Owen aren't finished, she and Mer aren't finished. Nothing feels finished. Meredith advises that there's no endpoint. "You just have to go." Cristina follows Mer out. Cristina hugs Derek goodbye.
Outside, Bailey rails at Richard for not fighting for her trial. Richard informs her he trained her as a surgeon and she would be wasted anywhere else. He also recommended her to fill Cristina's spot on the board. Cristina appears to say goodbye. Shane stops her and begs her to take him to Switzerland with her. She agrees. Shane tells Richard he quits - respectfully. Cristina hugs Bailey and Richard. Meredith tells Cristina she has to go, but she takes off and finds Owen in the OR. She waves goodbye from the observation area and then disappears.
Meredith finally puts Cristina in a cab outside and urges her to get to the airport. She tells her she loves her. "Call me when you get there." Once the cab turns the corner, Mer gets tears in her eyes.
Back inside, Meredith talks to Amy, who is struggling with the day. Cristina reappears, shocking Meredith. She pulls her into a room, sets up a phone call schedule, orders her not to let Owen get dark and twisty, and asks her to mock Alex regularly; he needs it. They put on music and dance it out. After, Cristina tells Meredith she's a gifted surgeon and not to get sidetracked by what Derek wants.
At home, Meredith tells Derek she can't sign the papers. "I think I have to stay here." They argue. Meredith won't be a trailing spouse. "You believe your career is more important than mine." She asserts that she is staying there. At the hospital, Callie and Arizona watch parents meet the surrogate baby that was delivered prematurely. They think it's amazing. Elsewhere, April and Jackson talk about raising their baby right and kiss. Owen wanders off after the successful transplant surgery. At home, Bailey and Ben laugh and talk about her being on the board. At his place, Alex tells Jo that Cristina left him her shares and her place on the board. Outside the hospital, Richard chats up the new head of cardiology. She confides that her biological parent, who passed away, was a surgeon there. Her name was Ellis Grey... In Zurich, Cristina takes in the view from her office. Shane knocks. "Dr. Yang? They're ready for you."
Wow! Tonight was very fast-paced with many subtle but powerful moments. It didn't have quite the shock value of previous season finales, but Cristina's departure was emotional, and the reveal that the new cardio head might just be the daughter of Richard and Ellis was unexpected and pretty wild. It will be interesting to see what becomes of Derek and Meredith, who seem to be at a critical crossroads, what will happen with Cristina's board seat, and if perhaps Arizona and Callie will consider using a surrogate.
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- Candace Young