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TV REVIEW: Grey’s Anatomy Asks “Do You Know?” in an Episode that Celebrates Sandra Oh

By on March 28, 2014
(ABC/Kelsey McNeal)
SANDRA OH, KEVIN MCKIDD

(ABC/Kelsey McNeal) SANDRA OH, KEVIN MCKIDD

In the latest Grey’s installment, the show asks “Do you know?” After watching, we know one thing for sure. We are going to miss you Sandra Oh.  This one was all Cristina Yang, and it leaves us wondering why there are even other doctors on the show.  Do we need anything other than a little Yang once a week?  I’m thinking no.

The episode begins with the usual voice over saying, “All it takes is one patient to change your life forever.” This patient is a man who’s flipped his car and Cristina’s working to fix his damaged heart. She is a miracle worker making the save only to find out his spinal cord’s been severed leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.

The wife says he wouldn’t want to live like that; he’d rather die. Can you say huge life insurance policy?  Not really.  It just seems a tad bit cold hearted to be talking removing life support before the blood’s even dry.

Yang asks Jason, the paralyzed patient, if he wants the vent removed. He nods his head yes, and BAM, we get to see what Cristina’s life would be like if she took the path of domestic bliss or hell depending on your perspective.

(ABC/Kelsey McNeal) SANDRA OH

(ABC/Kelsey McNeal)
SANDRA OH

Do you know who you are?  Yes, Cristina sees herself as wife and mother if she follows this yellow brick road to a wizard-less Oz.  Following this ‘traveled by many’ path shows Yang admitting to Owen Hunt  (Kevin McKidd) that she loves him and wants to be with him forever.  Be careful what you wish for, Doc.  That forever can be a really, really long time.

Cristina is shown juggling career and family.  They even adopt a dog that looks more chupacabra than canine.  Karev (Justin Chambers) teases that the dog will be dead in a week.  Flash to another scene with Yang pregnant running into an equally pregnant April (Sarah Drew) who declares, “Ooooh, we’re belly buddies!”  Cristina looks like she’s ready to attack, maybe with that huge stomach she’s wearing that looks more artificial limb than beautiful baby growing inside.

Scene after scene, we see Yang as the sad, reluctant mother giving up a little more and more of that caustic surgeon we’ve grown to love.  Finally, she’s sporting a soccer mom bob, and we know that hairstyle has killed our feisty doctor and replaced her with a Stepford wife.

This alternate universe ends with a gray haired, bespectacled, old lady Yang giving the Harper Avery Award to Dr.Shane Ross.  He no longer looks twelve and is happy to take his seat as the best, most driven surgeon at the hospital. Baby shark morphed into Cristina. We see Yang sobbing in a bathroom stall and we will definitely choose Door #2.  Get me outta this place.

The show obliges and flashes back to Jason, with Cristina asking if he wants her to remove the vent. In this freaky parallel universe, the victim says no this time. Cristina emerges victorious. Her patient’s heart is doing fine and now he’s decided he has the will to live.

She stays free from marriage in this one, but becomes a mean, coldhearted Cristina (yes, meaner than she usually is).  Owen wants more – marriage, picket fence, 2.5 children. They argue, with Hunt demanding things that Yang is incapable of giving. He ends up in a downward spiral that eventually leads to him messing up on the job, coming in drunk, and getting “terminated.”

In one of the final scenes of this version of “It’s a Not So Wonderful Life,” Cristina is in a white dress waiting for Owen anxiously; we think to get married. He’s no knight in shining armor in this parallel world. He’s stuck at the hospital treating victims. Shane Ross shows up to sweep her off her feet. My jaw dropped to the floor.  What?  She was waiting for Shane?  They’re getting married?  This is Grey’s, the benchmark of ‘what the heck’ storylines, so nothing should really a shock me.

I could close my mouth when Cristina ends up not marrying Shane but being presented with the Harper Avery award instead.  This is what she wanted; she’s living the dream (or so she thought).

I sincerely hope that Cristina Yang’s got a third option to choose from.  These first two don’t seem to leave anyone happy.

ABC Television Network. (ABC/Danny Feld) KEVIN MCKIDD

ABC Television Network. (ABC/Danny Feld)
KEVIN MCKIDD

At the end of the episode, we get that third shot at a Yang happily ever after.  Flash to Jason again.  “Would you like me to remove the vent?”  He nods yes, and she reluctantly does. Cristina sees Owen at the elevator again, but this time doesn’t go to him. Meredith needs her to look at a patient.  Flash to black.

At first appearances, this eppy had the tease of being another “If/Then” from a few years back.  In that humorous offering, we got a glimpse of the doctors taking very different paths. A preppy, sweater-wearing Meredith was with a Clark Kent looking Alex. The feel was tongue in cheek and the characters’ lives mirrored a soap opera (even more than they usually do).

“Do You Know” had none of that lightness and humor; it was all a reflective universe worthy of any philosophy class you take in college. It showed our favorite docs miserable. It showed Cristina Yang miserable, regardless of which path she took. Did it show that Owen Hunt is NOT the one?  I believe, yes.  Shonda Rhimes has promised a send off for Sandra Oh worthy of this excellent actor.  This was the first step, the set up if you will. Her exit appears to be sooner rather than later, and “Do You Know?” has us thinking about life’s choices, her choices and where they lead.  Where will all this lead?  I fear we will find out in the next couple of weeks as we say goodbye to an old friend.

Random Notes

  • The episode had Cristina and Meredith as the best friends they are.  Lying in bed, contemplating Yang’s relationship with Owen, these two make a run for cutest couple in Grey’s history – the Yin and Yang of the series if you will.
  • In this freaky world of Yang popping out babies, we see Miranda Bailey has a baby of her own, a Doctor Oz type show on TV.   She’s enthusiastically talking to a guest about some health issue. Hilarious, but I can see it.
  • All the actors play mean really well and most have an opportunity to stretch their villain wings.  Derek (Patrick Dempsey) is a jerk, Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) is the wicked witch of Seattle, Owen is out of control and even gets a little physical with Cristina, and Yang is more self centered than ever, displaying a cut throat attitude to a degree we’ve never seen on the show.  The only one immune to the nasty transformation is April. Obviously her sweetness can’t be killed even in alternate universes.
  • The big return of Dr. Burke (Isaiah Washington) is coming, and I can’t help but feel that this outing points to a Yurke end game, not Crowen. We shall see.  Oh, in an interesting development, apparently when an oldie returns, two newbies must “die.”  Shane (Gaius Charles ) and Leah (Tessa Ferrer) will not be returning next season.

2 Comments

  1. Mattie

    March 29, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Your reviews are the best ones I’ve read! Your sense of humor and witty remarks make your reviews my favorite. I completely agree with your assessment from the episode that, “Owen Hunt is NOT the one.” It was a sad realization when both universe options left our beloved Yang less than happy.

    • Jennifer Griffin

      March 29, 2014 at 6:03 pm

      Have to agree! Love Lisa’s take on this show. See her Chicago Fire and Chicago PD weekly recaps for more of the same.