‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Finale Recap: Who Died in the Plane Crash?

by | May 18, 2012 at 7:17 AM | Grey's Anatomy, Recap

Grey's Anatomy (ABC)

For weeks, fans have known that a major character would die in the “Grey’s Anatomy” season finale, ‘Flight.” When last week’s episode ended with a horrific plane crash, the death pool was narrowed down to passengers Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), Derek (Patrick Dempsey), Cristina (Sandra Oh), Lexie (Chyler Leigh), Mark (Eric Dane) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw).

The crash scenes played like the pilot of “Lost” minus the mysterious island. Everyone lies amongst the wreckage, which is scattered over a large distance for a relatively small plane. Meredith flashes back to the Chief’s opening speech from the pilot about how few of them would survive their residency. Who knew, back in those innocent days, that he was being literal? She has a piece of metal stuck in her leg, which she pulls out. Mark seems like he is okay. Cristina is, of course, indestructible. Arizona, whose leg is disgustingly wounded, is screaming so loudly that it makes her normal baby voice seem appealing.  Derek is missing. Cristina, who is seemingly the only person who was awake during the crash, tells her he was sucked out of the plane, which would have instantly killed hi in real life.

Cristina tells Arizona to shut up. Thank you. This is Cristina’s episode, as her lack of emotions and sarcasm prove to be exactly what the situation requires.  As she puts it, “If there’s one thing that I’ve learned with all the bombs and the guns to my head and the buses running down my friends is that I am not interested in dying!”  Hearing all the show’s more melodramatic plots summed up that way, it’s no wonder all the residents want to leave Seattle Grace. It’s an awful place to work. No wonder every hospital in America recruited her.

The pilot is still alive and stuck in the cockpit. Arizona tells him not to move. He says he can’t feel his legs.

Lexie, trapped under a giant piece of the plane, smartly bangs on the wreckage with a seat belt to get people’s attention. Mark and Cristina are unable to move the plane off her. Lexie thinks she is beyond help.

Derek wakes up and hears Meredith calling for him, but his arm is stuck in a piece of metal and he can barely speak,. He hits it with a rock, screaming in agony.

So who dies? Surprisingly we find out about a third of the way through the episode. Lexie tells Mark she is dying and to tell Meredith that she loves her and is a good sister. Mark insists she will be fine. He yells that he loves her and always will. He wants to marry her and have kids with her. He says they are meant to be. Then she dies as Meredith and Cristina arrive. Watch the clip and decide if you think Lexie was the right doctor to kill. Her death will certainly impact numerous characters, but so many fans wanted to see her reunite with Mark.

Derek, having freed himself from the plane part with a rock in a way that is never really explained, finds Meredith and Cristina. He is holding his bloody wrist, which is every bit as gross as Arizona’s leg. He passes out. Meredith douses his seriously jacked up arm with disinfectant. Maybe his injury will end his surgical career, and he’ll lose the Harvard job, keeping him in Seattle next season. Derek instructs Meredith to use a safety pin to close the wound. It is so, so gross. Derek screams in pain before passing out. When did all the doctors learn how to perform McGyuver style surgery?

Mark seems to be in shock from losing Lexie, but he actually has a serious cardiac problem. In a cool sequence, we cut back and forth between the improvised way that Cristina saves Mark to the doctors who are still at Seattle Grace using conventional methods to treat a patient with the same injury.

Speaking of the doctors who are safe and sound, Owen (Kevin McKidd) learns that Teddy (Kim Raver) turned down an amazing job opportunity because she wants to help Owen through the loss of Cristina. So he fires her to force her to accept it. Acccording to showrunner Shonda Rhimes, Teddy will not be back next season, so the safe bet is that Cristina will takeover her job and reunite with Owen. The Chief forces the unenthusiastic residents to join him for a fancy dinner. He starts to get concerned when he realizes that Meredith and Cristina are not back from the surgery. Owen finally checks his messages and learns that the plane did not arrive at the hospital in Boise.

A chopper finally flies over the crash. The pilot tells them to use the flare gun to get the helicopter’s attention. The gun doesn’t work and the helicopter does not stop. The pilot thinks the plane’s transmitter, which should have sent a signal to air traffic control, was damaged during the crash. Cristina thinks Owen will figure it out. Mark says Lexie is waiting for him and is ready to give up and die, but Arizona convinces him to hang on for his daughter’s sake. Meredith lights the final match. It instantly burns out. So the season ends with half the cast on the verge of dying from their wounds. That’s one hell of a cliffhanger.