ABC Television Network
The worst kept secret on this season of Grey's Anatomy finally finished up: Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) left Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. But how would she exit? And would she make it out alive?
Season finales of Grey's have a way of scaring the hell out of fans as cast members have been killed off with little or no notice. In the past, a gunman invaded the hospital, a plane crash turned numerous lives asunder and last season a bus accident and blackout threatened the future of many. Season 10's major threat was a potential terrorist attack at a local mall. Yang narrated the beginning and end of this episode, a task usually reserved for best friend Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). We all knew it was Yang's last day there, yet her narration hinted at the worst: what if she got hit by a bus? Considering that her good pal George O’Malley (T.R. Knight) died in Season 6 by this fate, that wouldn't seem too far fetched.
Yang's final episode wasn't sudden. Her exit was milked by Grey's this entire month. Commercials and teasers on ABC gave us the hint: "Hey, you better tune in, Cristina is leaving." Finally, Yang, the surgeon with the elite skills and even better potential, earned the exit necessary for someone of her talents: she zipped off to Switzerland to run a hospital, at last becoming the cardiothoracic surgeon god she had longed to be even as an intern.
Thankfully, Yang made it through the finale, but not before too-brief goodbyes with her co-workers. The most difficult of all was with Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd), Yang's on again-off again lover. This couple never really had a chance; Hunt wanted to settle down while Yang yearned to climb whatever ladder she could to become the best surgeon possible. Their last encounter wasn't a strong hug or deep kiss. Hunt was busy operating and all Yang could do was watch from the viewing room, waving and saying goodbye in the easiest way possible, kind of like ripping a Band-Aid off. Before officially leaving, Yang had to dance it out with Grey, her closet friend. "You're my person," they would always say. They hadn't called each other that in a while as their lives took different routes, but that final dance was a proper sendoff for the best friends, who may or may not see each other again.
The Season 10 finale tied up some story lines and brought some cliffhangers for next season. Here are the biggest questions for Season 11:
Grey vs. Shepherd: Who Wins?
All of Derek Shepherd's (Patrick Dempsey) neurosurgeon work paid off as the White House had asked for his help. Shepherd had been consumed with work so family life and normal hospital duties sometime suffered. The solution? Move to Washington D.C.
Grey, however, realized she didn't want to move across the country. Her life, friends and work were in Seattle. This stalemate looks to be ugly next season, especially since Shepherd had accepted the job and even got his wife a position too. They won't move. They can't; how could Grey's take place in two locations?
Who Gets the Empty Board Seat?
Yang's exit leaves an opening on the board of directors. Initially, Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.) told Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) that it would be a done deal and she would take that seat. But wait, what wrinkle do we get at the end? Yang left Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) a package, which basically gave him the empty seat. Can she do that? Bailey needs that seat to continue her research, which will get cut because of budget issues. Karev doesn't need it, however, he does thrive when added responsibility comes his way.
How's the Baby?
The entire hospital now knows that April Kepner (Sarah Drew) is pregnant. She had kept it a secret for some time. She had kept her marriage to Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) a secret too. What other secrets does she have? Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) and Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) plan to have a baby, but which one of them will carry? Or will they use a surrogate? Anytime a baby is expected, dramatic events are bound to unfold.
ABC Television Network
The winter finale of Grey's Anatomy left a bunch of questions that need to be answered for the doctors of Sloan-Grey Memorial Hospital. Drama will unfold in unusual ways, but what road will take us to the season finale?
The Departure of Sandra Oh
Every dedicated Grey's fan knows that Sandra Oh, who plays Dr. Cristina Yang, will leave the show. But how will the doctor drama handle it? She could leave to become a brilliant surgeon somewhere else. Don't count out death. And what will become of her torn friendship with Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo)? Will it mend by the end of the season?
Is Dr. Avery Going to Be a Major Distraction?
Dr. Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) has the final say on the Sloan-Grey board of directors. But he has caused a lot of trouble by busting up Dr. April Kepner's (Sarah Drew) marriage. And he had a girlfriend while doing this. A responsible leader doesn't engage in this type of behavior. Could this lead to Avery's overthrow on the board?
Will Dr. Grey Pull Her Weight?
She's balancing motherhood, supporting her brilliant husband, engaging in a feud with her best friend and trying to make organs on a 3D printer. Dr. Grey can't do it all, so what will suffer? Hopefully, she makes amends with Dr. Yang. It will be difficult to continue her research if her husband, Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) gets involved in brain research at the behest of the President of the United States.
What Will Be The Big Surprise Or Cliffhanger?
No Grey's Anatomy season is complete without some kind of disaster or sudden death in the final few episodes. Last season, it was disaster and death. What will test the doctors this season? The anticipation alone is worth watching the episodes that lead up to the end.
Now that the doctors officially own the hospital on Grey's Anatomy, it’s time to reopen the ER under its new name, Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. And while the doctors on the board are concerned with the new struggles that come with owning a hospital, all Dr. April Kepner's (Sarah Drew) mind is elsewhere.
"She’s just so relieved that the ER is back and up and running," Drew tells Hollywood.com. "[Tonight], we have the reveal of the new ER with all the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital logos and we have a bunch of bright, shiny, new toys. So she’s super psyched about all the new stuff that this new regime has enabled to happen."
Drew says April is lucky — she doesn’t have to worry about the business side of the hospital, unlike its new owners, who face some struggles opening Grey Sloan Memorial. "They are all very passionate people and particularly excited about their projects that they’re working on," Drew says. "They’re not as interested in the bureaucratic nonsense, like trying to push for funding and making the administrative decisions that need to be made. We’ll see them struggling with wanting to be who they feel they’re striving to be but also fill this role of hospital owners, which just makes everything more complex."
It’s especially hard for Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams), who was appointed as head of the board by his own mother, much to the chagrin of the other, more experienced doctors. "It continues to be a difficult line for him to walk because he’s the youngest of the bunch and the newest of the bunch to the hospital," Drew says. "He spars a lot with Callie in particular over the next few episodes. But we’ll see him beginning to come into his own, take the reigns, and try to do the best he can possibly do given the circumstances."
RELATED: 'Grey's Anatomy': April Kepner's New Boyfriend Is 'Practically Perfect'
So how does his new leadership role affect April’s complicated relationship with Jackson? "They’ll always have some kind of magnetic draw to one another, but I don’t think April has ever been truly able to articulate how she feels about Jackson," Drew says. "She’s never actually told him how she feels about him. In her head, she thinks that he’s not the right fit for her. He doesn’t see the world the same way she does. But in her heart, she feels the opposite. She doesn’t know how to make her head and her heart communicate with each other. It’s hard."
And now that born-again virgin April is getting serious with her new EMT boyfriend Matthew (Justin Bruening) — who she says is "just perfect in every way" — expect her past with Jackson to complicate her present. "April is in total distress after lying to Matthew [about being a virgin], plus she’s realizing that she really does miss sex. Quite a lot, actually," Drew teases. "She wants to have sex with Matthew but feels guilty for even wanting it, and doesn’t want to lose him. She’s in a whole new tizzy about that."
Her confusion leads her to seek advice from an interesting source. "She goes to Meredith for advice which is a sort of ridiculous person to go to about that," Drew says. "Meredith is on the polar opposite spectrum about feeling guilty about sex, so that’s a pretty hilarious interchange."
It’s also bad timing for Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), since tonight’s episode, "Idle Hands," focuses on her anxieties about her pregnancy. "She’s dark and twisty as she’s been for nine seasons, so she’s imagining that everything that could potentially go wrong will go wrong," Drew says. "Like, 'What happens if my kid comes out with 10 legs and four hearts? What if my kid is an alien?' She’s dealing with a lot of fear."
But tonight, Meredith and Derek (Patrick Dempsey) will have something to celebrate: "They do reveal the gender of the baby," Drew says. "But I can’t tell you what it is!"
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 PM ET/PT on ABC.
Follow Sydney on Twitter: @SydneyBucksbaum
[Photo Credit: Eric McCandles/ABC]
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The Dancing With The Stars judge agreed to marry accountant Jesse Sloan in March last year (11) after he proposed on live TV while Inaba was working as a guest co-host on U.S. show Live With Regis and Kelly.
However, a representative for Inaba has now confirmed the couple has parted ways, telling showbiz website People.com, "They decided early in the summer to break off their engagement and have remained friends."
In a post-Harry Potter Avatar and Lord of the Rings world the descriptors "sci-fi" and "fantasy" conjure up particular imagery and ideas. The Hunger Games abolishes those expectations rooting its alternate universe in a familiar reality filled with human characters tangible environments and terrifying consequences. Computer graphics are a rarity in writer/director Gary Ross' slow-burn thriller wisely setting aside effects and big action to focus on star Jennifer Lawrence's character's emotional struggle as she embarks on the unthinkable: a 24-person death match on display for the entire nation's viewing pleasure. The final product is a gut-wrenching mature young adult fiction adaptation diffused by occasional meandering but with enough unexpected choices to keep audiences on their toes.
Panem a reconfigured post-apocalyptic America is sectioned off into 12 unique districts and ruled under an iron thumb by the oppressive leaders of The Capitol. To keep the districts producing their specific resources and prevent them from rebelling The Capitol created The Hunger Games an annual competition pitting two 18-or-under "tributes" from each district in a battle to the death. During the ritual tribute "Reaping " teenage Katniss (Lawrence) watches as her 12-year-old sister Primrose is chosen for battle—and quickly jumps to her aid becoming the first District 12 citizen to volunteer for the games. Joined by Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) a meek baker's son and the second tribute Effie the resident designer and Haymitch a former Hunger Games winner-turned-alcoholic-turned-mentor Katniss rides off to The Capitol to train and compete in the 74th Annual Hunger Games.
The greatest triumph of The Hunger Games is Ross' rich realization of the book's many worlds: District 12 is painted as a reminiscent Southern mining town haunting and vibrant; The Capitol is a utopian metropolis obsessed with design and flair; and The Hunger Games battleground is a sprawling forest peppered with Truman Show-esque additions that remind you it's all being controlled by overseers. The small-scale production value adds to the character-first approach and even when the story segues to larger arenas like a tickertape parade in The Capitol's grand Avenue of Tributes hall it's all about Katniss.
For fans the script hits every beat a nearly note-for-note interpretation of author Suzanne Collins' original novel—but those unfamiliar shouldn't worry about missing anything. Ross knows his way around a sharp screenplay (he's the writer of Big Pleasantville and Seabiscuit) and he's comfortable dropping us right into the action. His characters are equally as colorful as Panem Harrelson sticking out as the former tribute enlivened by the chance to coach winners. He's funny he's discreet he's shaded—a quality all the cast members share. As a director Ross employs a distinct often-grating perspective. His shaky cam style emphasizes the reality of the story but in fight scenarios—and even simple establishing shots of District 12's goings-on—the details are lost in motion blur.
But the dread of the scenario is enough to make Hunger Games an engrossing blockbuster. The lead-up to the actual competition is an uncomfortable and biting satire of reality television sports and everything that commands an audience in modern society. Katniss' brooding friend Gale tells her before she departs "What if nobody watched?" speculating that carnage might end if people could turn away. Unfortunately they can't—forcing Katniss and Peeta to become "stars" of the Hunger Games. The duo are pushed to gussy themselves up put on a show and play up their romance for better ratings. Lawrence channels her reserved Academy Award-nominated Winter's Bone character to inhabit Katniss' frustration with the system. She's great at hunting but she doesn't want to kill. She's compassionate and considerate but has no interest in bowing down to the system. She's a leader but she knows full well she's playing The Capitol's game. Even with 23 other contestants vying for the top spot—like American Idol with machetes complete with Ryan Seacrest stand-in Caesar Flickerman (the dazzling Stanley Tucci)—Katniss' greatest hurdle is internal. A brave move for a movie aimed at a young audience.
By the time the actual Games roll around (the movie clocks in at two and a half hours) there's a need to amp up the pace that never comes and The Hunger Games loses footing. Katniss' goal is to avoid the action hiding in trees and caves waiting patiently for the other tributes to off themselves—but the tactic isn't all that thrilling for those watching. Luckily Lawrence Hutcherson and the ensemble of young actors still deliver when they cross paths and particular beats pack all the punch an all-out deathwatch should. PG-13 be damned the film doesn't skimp on the bloodshed even when it comes to killing off children. The Hunger Games bites off a lot for the first film of a franchise and does so bravely and boldly. It may not make it to the end alive but it doesn't go down without a fight.
Inaba was a guest co-host on Live With Regis and Kelly when her partner of two years, accountant Jesse Sloan, appeared on set, got down on one knee and popped the question.
He said, "I struggle to find the words to express what you mean to me. You're an inspiration. You're everything to me. Will you marry me?"
The newly-engaged couple toasted the news with champagne with were joined by Regis Philbin and fellow guests Jake Gyllenhaal and comedian Howie Mandel.