"Migration" (S8E23) begins and ends with Meredith's (Ellen Pompeo) narration describing the natural migration of the birds in Seattle, alluding to the comparison of the residents to the birds in the fact that they are all trying to figure out their next move after they've passed the boards, possibly leaving Seattle Grace (well, all except April [Sarah Drew] who didn't pass the boards and is awaiting her doctorial fate).
In "Migration," the residents throw a party to celebrate their victories. Chief Owen (Kevin McKidd) is concerned that if the doctors all choose different hospitals to work for, he will be daunted with the task of hiring new doctors immediately.
Meredith and Derek are deciding between Boston and Seattle. Derek is offered the head of Nero-surgery at Harvard, where he would be able to continue his Alzheimer's research. But, Meredith wants to stay in Seattle for Christina (Sandra Oh), and the comforts of home. Christina's choices are between Mayo, Stanford, and Colombia.
Richard (James Pickens, Jr.) tells Alex (Justin Chambers) he somehow impressed the examiner at the boards so much, that he is being offered a Pediatric Fellowship at renowned hospital, Johns Hopkins. Alex attempts to have Seattle Grace match the offer that Hopkins is making, all the while keeping Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) in the dark until he makes a decision.
Meanwhile in "Migration," Arizona has been dealing with battles of her own. She's been purposely ignoring her childhood friend who came to Seattle Grace after 5 years of hiding his cancer, for surgery. Yet, he refuses to get help unless Arizona is there to support him. When she finally does, the Doctors open him up to find that the tumor has spread through his entire heart and there is no surgery that can save him.
Another side story in "Migration" is between Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and her anesthesiologist boyfriend Ben (Jason George). As they are about to have the day off to share together, Bailey gets called into the hospital for a case in which a couple of patients (Mary Lynn Rajskub (24) and Patrick Fischler (Lost/Mad Men) just came back from their 3rd honeymoon in Thailand with parasitic worms. Bailey chooses work, as she always does, but doesn't realize Ben was going to propose to her on this 'day off.' By the time this news comes to light, it's almost too late because he receives a call from UCLA that he has been accepted into their surgical internship program and will have to move to LA.
April loses her offers from each Hospital, including Seattle Grace. A ticking emotional time-bomb, she pushes everyone away in "Migration," including Jackson (Jesse Williams) who is more concerned with April's behavior than his own future right now. He tries to be there for her and talk to April about their relations in San Franscico, but she doesn't want his pity and runs away.
Yang pretty much keeps her thoughts to herself in "Migration," with everyone giving their two-cents about where she should choose to go. Finally, just as it looks like she's forgiven Owen for cheating on her and that she might stay in Seattle, she announces that she's leaving for Mayo Hospital. Meredith announces she has also chosen to leave, and will work in Boston with her husband.
Just as we're left wondering what could possibly be next for these residents who are all choosing to leave Seattle Grace, the real drama of "Migration" happens within the last few minutes. Lost reminiscent, and a long time coming since the last life-threatening event has occurred on Grey's (the shooting), as the Doctors are on their way to Boise, ID to help separate a set of conjoined twins, we see their plane crash in the middle of nowhere. Dun, dun, dun…
Next week's episode is sure to be intense for Grey's Anatomy fans. The previews imply one of our favorite Seattle Grace doctors dies.
*** SPOILER ALERT
After doing a little review research, I came across a statement that Patrick Dempsey made to Italian Vanity Fair in May 2011, saying, "It (Season 8) will be my last. I do not know about the other characters. But for me it's over." What will Grey's Anatomy be without McDreamy if he is indeed the one to go?! I can't wait to watch (and cry)!!
Andrea Fasano is a host, actress, writer and producer best known as a hard-hitting New Yawker (er, Long Islander) who can talk sports with the boys, but it's her bouyant personality and accesible humor that keeps audiences watching her interviews and reading her blogs and reviews. After graduating with her Master's Degree in Broadcast Journalism from the New York Institute of Technology, Andrea started her career in 2005 as a producer/one-man band for PresspassTv in addition to being an Associate Producer for the Style Network's show, "How Do I Look?"