After nearly eight years in real time, the doctors of “Grey’s Anatomy” are finally finishing the fifth and final year of their residency. That means they need to tale their medical boards, a difficult test that involves being cross examined by an experienced doctor. Fortunately, the “Grey’s” version is a lot more fun than in real life. All of the residents travel to San Francisco for the exam. Showrunner Shonda Rhimes told TV Guide, “You’re going to see how each person deals with [the boards]. How some of them rise to the occasion, how some of them crack.” Will Cristina (Sandra Oh), who is currently being wooed by the nation’s top hospitals, let the stress of her marital problems get to her? Will high-strung April (Sarah Drew) be able to relax and showcase her abilities?
In the clip below, each of the attendings gives the resident that he or she has been mentoring some last-minute advice before they hop on the bus that will take them to the exam. (One of the episode’s great mysteries is whether the bus is taking them to the airport or if they are preparing for the most important moments of their careers thus far by taking what would be at least a 24-hour bus trip.) Watch the clip and decide which doctor you would want to be your mentor (Mark seems like he would be the most fun) and why April is wearing a dated coat that looks like it might be stolen from the wardrobe department of “Pan Am.”
The residents are not the only doctors who will be partying in San Francisco. When Richard (James Pickens Jr.) encounters Catherine (Debbie Allen) in the hotel lobby, sparks fly. With his wife Adele, embarking on an affair with another Alzheimer’s patient, will Richard — who has certainly cheated before — be open to some romance?
There is real suspense about the results of the exam. Several actors, including Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey, have yet to sign new contracts with the show. It would be easy to write characters off by having them move on to other hospitals, or leave medicine. Said Rhimes of the finale, “The plan is, at the end of the season, our doctors will do what residents all over the country do, which is to accept jobs at different hospitals.” She also confirmed rumors that at least one character will die. “A lot of our writers were crying, which is a very rare thing. There’s some really shocking, horrible moments.”