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Grey's Anatomy Season Five Finale Recap: Episode 23, "Here's to the Future," and Episode 24, "Now or Never"

Grey's Anatomy Rundown: Episode 23, "Here's to the Future," and Episode 24, "Now or Never"

Grey's Anatomy just wouldn't be the same without an intense season finale. After all, this is the show that had Burke shot, killed Denny, and had Meredith build a house of candles. But even by Grey's standards, Thursday's finale was a doozy. Partially because of the behind-the-scenes drama and partially because of the storylines it set up, we had a lot of questions going into these final two episodes. Were any of them answered? To talk about it,


George might be dying! Izzie might be dying! As the episode fades to black, the two of them are meeting — in an elevator, natch — with Izzie in her pink prom dress and George in his army uniform, while back on earth, their colleagues try furiously to save them. I suppose those of us who wanted answers about whether Katherine Heigl and TR Knight are leaving are out of luck — but wow, what an ending.

Maybe I should have seen it coming, just like last week's wedding. But when George finally managed to sign "007" into Meredith's hand, I screamed. I don't know if it was the twist itself or the the look on Meredith's face, the horror when she sees (and we see) that it's sweet little George there in the bed. George, who's signed up for the army, who saves a total stranger on his way home by throwing himself in front of a bus. He throws himself in front of a bus! And now he's hurt and maybe dying. If he goes out, at least he goes out with an act of kindness — and I'm glad the woman he saved insisted on being with him, because at least he had someone to hold his hand through the pain.

That struggle is the episode's bigger shocker; we knew Izzie's path wouldn't be easy. But I don't think I anticipated how hard it would be for Alex. Should he convince her to have the surgery? Should he let her decide on her own even when she begs for help? And when she comes back, with her long-term memory intact but her short-term recall in pieces, how is he supposed to deal with that? I actually found Izzie's story slow to unravel — until the second half of the second hour, anyway — but several scenes were just heartbreaking, including Alex pushing to get Izzie to remember things. The post-its, the potassium levels — I wanted to shake him, tell him to give her time, but I'm sure he was afraid there wasn't any. It's sad that the only thing she remembers is their fight — but sweet that she remembers anything at all. And yet, just like with Denny, the second you think Izzie's really back, she crashes, and maybe for good.

Speaking for a second of post-its, that's what Meredith and Derek's wedding turns out to be: a little sticky square of paper with vows written and signed. I'm curious to know how the hardcore Mere-Der fans take this, but I thought the whole act was touching (not to mention their actual vows: to love each other even when they hate each other, to never walk out even when they're smelly and senile). Probably they should get around to having an actual legal marriage one of these days, but for now, that post-it is enough for me.

And as for the episode's other great love story: every scene with Cristina and Owen feels so tense I can barely breathe — so I guess I know some semblance of what Cristina's feeling. Talk about hating someone and loving them still: he strangled her, he's horribly damaged, he just told his mom he's back from war, and that's a lot of burden for Cristina — but she still wants Owen. Her tortured "I love you" in the hot vent room is hard to watch, but when she finally marches up and kisses him, it's sweet relief.

So much more to say:

  • When Bailey cries, I cry, so that scene with her telling the Chief that she's sticking with general surgery because she can't be a single mom starting a new specialty made me lose it. Yes, it might have had more punch if we'd explored her problems with Tucker a bit more this season, but her cry of "we're all scared" is chilling.
  • Mark has grown up so much! I wish we could have seen more of him with Lexie these past few weeks (I assume Chyler Leigh's pregnancy had something to do with that), but it's good to see him talking about houses and creating his own future.
  • I hope Arizona's back next season, but I also hope they take her quirk level down just a touch. Wheelie shoes? Fine. Crying in front of authority figures when she's mad? Not fine. But her fight with Callie about George joining the army gave us some insight into her backstory, and I think there's a lot more to do with her.
  • The story of the patient whose healthy leg gets amputated gets lost in the grand scheme of the two hours, but wow, Zach Gilford is so much less mumbly here than he is on Friday Night Lights.
  • I'm glad Alex pointed out that Izzie's memory loss is just like that case earlier this season.
  • How do you imagine the George intervention would have gone down?
  • Shouldn't Owen and Cristina be meeting someplace without a whapping fan blade?

I could talk about this episode for hours, but I'll turn it over to you now. It's going to be a long Summer with a cliffhanger like that!

Photos copyright 2009 ABC, Inc.

hoyagrrrl hoyagrrrl 8 years
Also, I feel like there's a storyline with that girl who thinks George is her prince charming or whatever.
hoyagrrrl hoyagrrrl 8 years
I think Izzie dies and George survives. Izzie dying would allow them to explore more of Alex's mysterious history and whatever darkness is in his past. George's survival would allow them to explore what his life becomes; he's lost his best friend, his arm is so torn up there's no way he can go back to surgery let alone join the army. And I think it also allows the show to explore the evolution of the Alex-George relationship and how they deal with losing Izzie - they were her closest friends.
gruaig_rua gruaig_rua 8 years
It's criminal to leave us hanging like this!! Minutes before each reveal I would guess what was about to happen. So I shrieked "it's George!" just before Meredith! I think he will die and Izzie will live. I'm not a fan of her character but it would affect Alex so much if she died. Mer and Der make me queasy. I watch the show in spite of them. Mark and Lexie are cute. And it's fun to see Mark as "the girl" for the first time in his life. I did think it was sweet when Christina announced she was going to hug Meredith. And to see Bailey so excited with her new surgery machine.
pianoteacher1 pianoteacher1 8 years
Justin Chambers (Alex) has grown so much as an actor, I think he really deserves a nomination at least from the Emmy and Golden Globe people. I was always in tears when I see his heartbreak and emotions. Izzie is actually great too! I wish they would de-glam her more though. Totally didn't see the George thing I"m wrong, but I think George's gonna die and Izzie might actually survive. Luv the relationship between Mer and Der this season. Touching and not annoying and repetitive at all. Patrick Damsey and Matthew Fox are hooootttt! The only weak point is between Callie and Arizona. We don't need every scene to be a reveal of character. Feels like bad writing 101 to me. Bailey rocks! Luv the light saber sound effects and also very sad for her impending divorce! I thought it was a much more satisfying finale than it's on the Betty
Zelle Zelle 8 years
LaurenG22 - Thank you!! I loved the episode, and was shocked along with everyone else...but the whole time this niggly feeling was annoying me - why on earth would George not have his wallet?
nessa17 nessa17 8 years
When Izzie had short term meemory loss at the beginning of the second episode I started to cry a bit, it remeinded me of 50 first dates. Grr, I missed part of Bailey's crying scene due to my loud family.
nessa17 nessa17 8 years
Did not finish my comment since I accidentally pressed a button, anyway I was saying that when Meridith said George I started to cry, Omg what a surprise. Also liked the Mer and Christina hug, so awkward and sweet. Mer and Derek's wedding vows were cute. I love Christina and Owen together. I wonder what will happen next season.
nessa17 nessa17 8 years
The episodes were alright with some sweet and funny moments in betwee. The ending made up for the two episodes though. When Mer screamed I wasnt sure why cause I never watched the first season bU
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 8 years
Why in the world did George not have his wallet on him?
GKitty GKitty 8 years
I'm sorry for your loss.
GKitty GKitty 8 years
Mer's outlook seemed brighter in this episode...I hope this new attitude carries into next season. As for George and Izzie...they better be dead!!!
Glamgal Glamgal 8 years
hellokitty that's a new way of analyzing it...George was already off the maybe that does mean he's already gone. (GOOD POINT!!) I love how we're all trying to guess at this! That's how you know you have a winner on your hands. Shonda totally hit it out of the ballpark!
Glamgal Glamgal 8 years
OK so this is probably old news now but I just watched it and omg...I can think of one word to sum it all up: AMAZING!!! I wish I could be like some of you more saavy people and say I totally saw the George thing coming but I totally didn't. I too started bawling! it was the strangest thing I mean I don't even really like George ( I think his storyline has been all over the place these last few years) but in the end I think his character means well. I hope they keep them both...I'm tired of all the main characters leaving the show. Also no one has really said this but I thought Mer's narration during the final death scenes were sooo good. those words and how she said them had me crying sooo hard. I've been indifferent about Grey's this season but this episode was great. Welcome Back!! Cant wait to find out what happens.
SunnyBunny SunnyBunny 8 years
Oh thank GOD ...finally some to actually discuss this with. My friends either don't watch or haven't got to watch the Tivo'd show yet and i have been DYING to see what someone else thought of it. George being the John Doe was a complete surprise to me. Horrible. Bailey crying about her situation was just crazy- she's one of the strongest women I have ever seen!!! Izzy......well, I've never much liked her since she broke up Georges marriage. But I felt sorry for Alex. Christina and Owen....I'm kinda "eh, whatever" about them. Final scene with George and's gonna be a LONG SUMMER!!
SL56 SL56 8 years
I love greys anatomy all the drama and the exiting plot-lines. But isn't there anyone else that HATES how pro-war and pro-military is seams to be? I watched the road to Guantanamo for the second time and later watched these episodes and just wanted to scream at them! There is NO pride in going to a war thats killing hundreds of children! (maybe as a surgen though..but still) argh!
laceykk23 laceykk23 8 years
i think im the only one who thinks that bailey crying is obnoxious a little over the top for me. loved the post it vows b/w meredith and derek. the izzie and george thing reminds me of meredith and her mother a couple seasons ago, only it will be just them and no one else. maybe there wont even be any talking just a look and that will be it, who knows. all i know is that im really looking forward to the premier next season!!
ning ning 8 years
I was also surprised that I was so touched by Bailey's crying scene. But I can't agree with you on Mark and Lexie scene. I can't stand these two anymore. I had to skip them when I watch them from my recordings.
laoff laoff 8 years
The last few minutes of this episode were like... wow!!! I just hadn't seen the George thing coming, I realized it was him when Mer said "07". I was shocked. Mer Der post it wedding was really cute and so them. Cristina and Owen were perfect as usual, their scenes are SO intense and they're finally together, yay! But the whole episode I just kept thinking that Izzie couldn't die because of Alex. He was trying so hard to make her remember and in the end he was crying so much... Now I can't believe we have to wait months to get all the answers! Who is gonna live? Who is gonna die? OMG I can't wait.
kdottt kdottt 8 years
So when the Chief tells Bailey and Callie that he sent George home to see his Mom, I was [jokingly] like "And then he got hit by a car! ahahah" And my mom and I laughed at how silly that would be.. except when it happened it wasn't silly it was soo sad. And then when he started to write 007... He got the first 0 and I jumped up, just SHOCKED !!!! And then of course spent the rest of the time crying.
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