'Grey's Anatomy' Season 10, episode 22 recap: Burke returns to change Cristina's life forever

Add to Favorites | Grey's Anatomy
×
Remove from Favorites
Grey's Anatomy has been added to your favorites.
OK
CANCEL
greys-anatomy-we-are-never-getting-back-together.jpg No matter how you feel about the offscreen politics and scandals that went down seven years ago when Isaiah Washington left "Grey's Anatomy," if you are a true fan of the ABC medical drama then Dr. Preston Burke's return on Thursday (May 1) was literally chill-inducing. Seeing him reunite with Cristina Yang after so long was surreal to say the least, and the way in which it was pulled off was incredible. So why did Burke make his grand return to Cristina's life?

After hearing about her Harper Avery Award "loss" (more like steal, but whatever), Burke knew how Cristina would be feeling since deep down, as surgeons, they really, truly are the same. He knew that she would be second-guessing whether or not she'd be able to get the funding or support for her next idea, even though he knew that her work was valid. And so he sneakily brought her to Zurich to his own hospital to give a presentation on her work, all so he could present her with an offer that she couldn't refuse.

No, not a romantic offer. Burke wasn't interested in rekindling what they had, even though they had a love that "consumed" him. He was happily married to a woman that was willing to give up her surgical career to have children with him. He had two daughters and had everything he wanted. He didn't want to even work alongside Cristina, since he knew that would destroy his marriage. No, he wanted Cristina to take over his hospital for him, since he was going to give it all up and move away to be with his family. He was Willy Wonka, gifting Cristina with the chocolate factory, because she had finally become "everything [he] dreamed [she] would be." Seriously, if you didn't have goosebumps during this scene then you have no heart.

And this wasn't just any old hospital, either. It was a top of the line, highly-funded, on-the-cutting-edge institute. It had 49 3D printers, meaning Cristina could continue her work in ways she never thought was possible. It was then that she revealed to Burke what was next for her: 3D printing a fully-fuctional, beating, human heart. Something that would once again change the entire medical profession. Something that once again would win the Harper Avery Award, but only if she was not at Grey Sloan Memorial.

This decision was a no-brainer, and even though we didn't see Cristina make a choice, the moment that Meredith laid eyes on her when she came back home to Seattle, she knew. "You're leaving," she said upon seeing Cristina's face. And all Cristina could do was smile with a sad but determined look in her eyes.

So there you have it, folks. The reason Cristina (and Sandra Oh) leaves at the end of the seaosn. She's moving to Zurich to take over Burke's hospital. Was that what you expected? It's certainly what we wanted. 

And it's also important to note that Burke's return gave closure to not only Cristina but also to Cristina and Burke fans. Burke's confession about their love and how she couldn't work with him because that would mean the end of his marriage, it was clear that their feelings are still there for each other. But Cristina stood up for herself, telling Burke that him leaving was the best thing that could have ever happened to her since it made her finally stand on her own two feet. They may always love each other, but they're better apart.

After seven years away, seeing Burke and Cristina together was trippy. Burke brought Cristina coffee, his wink when he said to say hi to Meredith after Cristina said she needed to make a call, watching them adoringly gaze at a hologram of a human heart, it was like no time had passed, and yet it also felt like their relationship was a whole lifetime ago. The whole episode was beautiful in a way that only Shonda Rhimes can create. And with only two episodes left this season, one has to wonder: What else can possibly happen to Cristina before she leaves?

"Grey's Anatomy" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Photo/Video credit: ABC