Grey’s Anatomy (Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV) made its way into TV history this week by becoming the fourth primetime show to reach 300 episodes.
Now in its 14th season, Grey’s Anatomy has tackled just about every surgical and relationship hurdle possible, often intersecting the personal and professional storylines. Cast members have come and gone, with a disproportionate number dying, a statistic that is reinforced when looking at the fact that there are only four original cast members left; Ellen Pompeo, Justin Chambers, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr.
For weeks now, Grey’s Anatomy has been promoting the upcoming 300th episode as one of the biggest shows they’ve ever done. We hoped there would be some guest stars from episodes past, but in the end, we had an intern-level episode when we were hoping for Harper Avery.
While many previews for the historic 300th episode teased the return of beloved characters like Sandra Oh’s Christina, Katherine Heigl’s Izzy and TR Knight’s George, the actual episode delivered look-alikes. Literally, they used look-alikes.
Unable, or in some cases unwilling, to have former stars return (Heigl reportedly had a less-than amicable split from Grey’s), the episode began with three medical interns rushed into the ER after being involved in a carnival accident. Fake George and fake Christina were trapped in a roller coaster, while fake Izzy was pregnant with a real baby and was only able to give birth with the support of, who else, Alex.
Meredith should have been on her way to Boston for the Harper Avery award ceremony, but instead she stuck around the hospital to stare at people who look like her former best friends. Meredith getting in the way of her own happy moment? Yep, that seems fitting for a 300th episode considering it’s a character flaw that the show is largely based around.
The spirits of Izzy, Christina, and George weren’t the only ones lurking the halls of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital for the special episode. Many doctors of days past also got name checked throughout, including Burke and Mark Sloan, whose picture still hangs in Arizona’s house. This week’s episode also featured a soundtrack comprised of songs used in past episodes during pivotal scenes, although we are pretty surprised that Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” wasn’t included. How can a Grey’s Anatomy fan hear that song and not think of the show?
After Meredith successfully saved fake Christina, the entire surgical team gathered in the OR to watch Jackson accept the Harper Avery award on behalf of Meredith. Up until this point we felt pretty cheated that there weren’t any actual cameos from past characters. But by the end of Jackson’s speech, which focused on Meredith’s incredible show of strength after the passing of her sister Lexi, her husband Derek, and her mother Ellis, we were crying so hard it felt like a season seven episode. And that’s a good thing. Plus, we also finally got a ghost in the form of Ellis Grey. She wasn’t a huge character on the show, but at this point we’ll take what we can get.
The episode ended with a call back to the early days, with Meredith and Alex, the only original five interns left, finding a comfortable place on the gurneys in the back hallway and celebrating Meredith’s win over the phone with Christina. Of course, George is long dead and Izzy…well, according to Alex, Izzy is happily married with three children and still practices medicine. It may not be true, but it is a nice image for a show that has caused us so much heartbreak over 14 seasons.
Catch up with some of your fave Grey’s personalities: