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.
Lions Gate via Everett Collection
When we last left our heroes, they had conquered all opponents in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, returned home to their newly refurbished living quarters in District 12, and fallen haplessly to the cannibalism of PTSD. And now we're back! Hitching our wagons once again to laconic Katniss Everdeen and her sweet-natured, just-for-the-camera boyfriend Peeta Mellark as they gear up for a second go at the Capitol's killing fields.
But hold your horses — there's a good hour and a half before we step back into the arena. However, the time spent with Katniss and Peeta before the announcement that they'll be competing again for the ceremonial Quarter Quell does not drag. In fact, it's got some of the film franchise's most interesting commentary about celebrity, reality television, and the media so far, well outweighing the merit of The Hunger Games' satire on the subject matter by having Katniss struggle with her responsibilities as Panem's idol. Does she abide by the command of status quo, delighting in the public's applause for her and keeping them complacently saturated with her smiles and curtsies? Or does Katniss hold three fingers high in opposition to the machine into which she has been thrown? It's a quarrel that the real Jennifer Lawrence would handle with a castigation of the media and a joke about sandwiches, or something... but her stakes are, admittedly, much lower. Harvey Weinstein isn't threatening to kill her secret boyfriend.
Through this chapter, Katniss also grapples with a more personal warfare: her devotion to Gale (despite her inability to commit to the idea of love) and her family, her complicated, moralistic affection for Peeta, her remorse over losing Rue, and her agonizing desire to flee the eye of the public and the Capitol. Oftentimes, Katniss' depression and guilty conscience transcends the bounds of sappy. Her soap opera scenes with a soot-covered Gale really push the limits, saved if only by the undeniable grace and charisma of star Lawrence at every step along the way of this film. So it's sappy, but never too sappy.
In fact, Catching Fire is a masterpiece of pushing limits as far as they'll extend before the point of diminishing returns. Director Francis Lawrence maintains an ambiance that lends to emotional investment but never imposes too much realism as to drip into territories of grit. All of Catching Fire lives in a dreamlike state, a stark contrast to Hunger Games' guttural, grimacing quality that robbed it of the life force Suzanne Collins pumped into her first novel.
Once we get to the thunderdome, our engines are effectively revved for the "fun part." Katniss, Peeta, and their array of allies and enemies traverse a nightmare course that seems perfectly suited for a videogame spin-off. At this point, we've spent just enough time with the secondary characters to grow a bit fond of them — deliberately obnoxious Finnick, jarringly provocative Johanna, offbeat geeks Beedee and Wiress — but not quite enough to dissolve the mystery surrounding any of them or their true intentions (which become more and more enigmatic as the film progresses). We only need adhere to Katniss and Peeta once tossed in the pit of doom that is the 75th Hunger Games arena, but finding real characters in the other tributes makes for a far more fun round of extreme manhunt.
But Catching Fire doesn't vie for anything particularly grand. It entertains and engages, having fun with and anchoring weight to its characters and circumstances, but stays within the expected confines of what a Hunger Games movie can be. It's a good one, but without shooting for succinctly interesting or surprising work with Katniss and her relationships or taking a stab at anything but the obvious in terms of sending up the militant tyrannical autocracy, it never even closes in on the possibility of being a great one.
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Money changes everything. Whether you’re earning it, spending it, losing it, or — in the case of Grey’s Anatomy’s plane crash victims — winning a whopping $15 million in court, any significant change in the moola department can impact your life in a huge way…for better or for worse. This week’s episode titled “The End Is the Beginning Is the End,” made sure to drive this point home with a little trial…and error. So grab your scalpels courtroom gavels and let’s get this recap started!
McDreamy Returns…Sort of: Ever since Derek’s surgical hand has been out of commission, so has our beloved McDreamy’s storyline. But fortunately, it looks like all of that’s about to change. Fresh off his recent nerve surgery, Callie’s instructed Derek to play 8 hours of ping-pong with Dr. Williams as a form of physical therapy. And though things got a little overly competitive at one point (though both guys need to work on their trash-talking skills), his hand didn’t bother him once, which means our favorite neurological surgeon should be able to scrub back into the OR in no time. Huzzah!
The Ex-Factor: Ironically, Cristina and Owen’s divorce is doing wonders for their relationship…not to mention their re-established sex life. Yes, they may no longer be husband and wife, but that isn’t stopping this on-again, off-again couple from having hot, steamy, on-call sex with one another. So what does this mean? Who knows! But fans can take comfort in knowing that these star-crossed lovers haven’t thrown in the towel just yet.
Richard the Remorseful: It’s been weeks since Adele’s death, but Richard is still suffering from a severely guilty conscience. Not only has he been thwarting Catherine’s attempts to comfort him, but he’s also flat-out refusing to perform any surgeries. Instead, the ex-Chief has taken to cataloging all the weird Fear Factor-like body parts that he’s removed from patients throughout his years as a surgeon (seriously, are hospitals actually allowed to keep all that stuff?!?!). But what were once thought of as (gross) trophies, now serve as bitter reminders of all the times he chose surgery over spending time with his wife. Luckily, Meredith — who is bizarrely one of the most normal people on the show now — pushes him to get back to the OR and forgive himself for his past wrongdoings. This, naturally, led to some sweet hand-holding between Catherine and a teary-eyed Richard over dinner.
Show Me the Money: And last, but certainly not least, we come to the main event: the lawsuit trial. It’s time to decide if the hospital is found guilty and needs to pay the piper…or rather the doctors, in this case. The plane crash victims (which include Cristina, Arizona, Meredith, and Derek) were summoned to court where a judge charged Seattle Grace (aka their employer) with negligence and awarded the plaintiffs with a total of $15 million. Each. So they won! They can finally put the ordeal behind them! However, the only one who really feels like celebrating is Callie, who suggests they all go out for a “Survivors Dinner” to commemorate the victory. I get it. It’d be hard to celebrate a win like that when’s there’s so much that you lost in return (Lexie, Sloan, Arizona’s leg). But Callie eventually coaxes all of them into going and manages to put everything into perspective as only she can. “It feels weird and sad and wrong, but it also feels exciting,” she said during a toast. “I miss Mark and Lexie and I’m heartbroken that they’re not here tonight. But I’m also grateful that all of you are, and I’m going to celebrate that.” This seemed to sufficiently lighten the mood and even gave Meredith the courage to officially announce to the group that she’s pregnant.
Derek and Cristina call Owen to try and get him to come join in the festivities, but the poor Chief of Surgery is too busy dealing with another huge crisis. During an important meeting with the hospital board, Owen learns that — thanks to a loophole in the contract — the insurance company is refusing to pay for the lawsuit, forcing the hospital to pay the millions ($60 million to be exact) from its own pocket. The problem is, Seattle Grace doesn’t have that kind of cash on hand and will be forced to go bankrupt and close its doors, possibly for good. In other words…this could be the end of Seattle Grace.
Other noteworthy items:
-Karev and Wilson are hellbent on keeping things in the friends zone (even though she just bought him furniture for his place, which is a totally girlfriend thing to do).
-Avery admitted to a brokenhearted April that he’s currently sleeping with the intern Stephanie. Sorry April, but you only have yourself to blame.
-Bailey learns about vajazzling from an elderly patient (it’s hilarious, but also mildly unsettling).
So what did you think of this week’s episode? Did you see this big twist coming? Were you surprised by the court’s decision? Could this really be the end of Seattle Grace Hospital? Did you know what vajazzling was before now? Sound off on your dissections and opinions in the comments below!
Follow Kelly on Twitter @KellyBean0415
[Photo credit: ABC]
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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.