Grey's Anatomy fans were ready to cry their eyes out during Thursday's season finale, Farewell to Cristina.
Tweets were flying about getting "lots of wine," tissues and "stress food" ready for the episode. Anticipation was at an all-time high.
All. Time. High.
How would creator Shonda Rhimes write out Sandra Oh's beloved character of nine years, Dr. Cristina Yang?
The episode started with Cristina leaving Dr. Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) after spending the night with him. She's happy. Almost chirpy. She's got to get to Switzerland for her new job, but first she needs to go to the mall for an adapter.
And then a bomb goes off at the mall.
There's Cristina. At the hospital. She "didn't have time" to go to the mall.
As the frenzied hospital contends with the many wounded and injured mall-goers, Mer and Der are about to sign a contract for a place in Foggy Bottom as they plan a move to D.C. (of course they can't go).
"I'm happy for you," says Cristina, putting her arm around BFF Meredith.
In the operating room minutes later, Cristina's bantering with Karev and saying nice things about Shane.
And then right around 9:36 p.m., came The Scene.
Meredith sees Cristina scrubbing in for a heart transplant and tells her she has to go; her plane is in two hours.
"I have to finish something here. None of it feels finished," says Cristina. "Owen and I ... You and I are not finished. ... Nothing is finished. I am not finished."
"You don't feel finished because this isn't the end for you," says Meredith. "There is no finish line. There is no end point. You just have to go."
Says Cristina, "I know. I keep trying to, but I don't know how to do it. You gotta help me, Mer."
They both have tears in their eyes. Meredith wipes Cristina's away, and off they go.
Cristina stops on her way out of the hospital to give Derek a hug goodbye. She then hugs Bailey and Webber, just as Shane quits and says he's coming with her.
She takes a minute to run back to find Owen, who's in surgery. She taps on the glass, looks down at him and waves goodbye. Gulp.
Finally, she's in a cab, waving to Meredith from the back seat as the car heads to the airport. Meredith has tears in her eyes.
And then after a commercial break, she's back! What?! She grabs Meredith and says, "We're not finished. We have to dance it out. ... You're my person. I need you alive. You make me brave. Now we dance it out."
They start hopping around to Tegan and Sara's Where Does the Good Go.
Final scene: Cristina, smiling, in her office in Switzerland, where the door reads Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery.
We hear her say, "Sometimes the future changes quickly and completely. And we're left only with the choice of what to do next. We can choose to be afraid of it, to stand there trembling, not moving, assuming the worst that can happen. Or we step forward into the unknown and assume it will be brilliant."