'Grey's Anatomy': So this is how they're writing Cristina Yang's exit

greys-anatomy-cristina-yangs-exit-finally-explained.jpg We'll be the first to admit that we were wrong. 

Back in October, we jumped to conclusions and assumed that "Grey's Anatomy" was writing Cristina Yang's (Sandra Oh) exit at the end of Season 10 as a culmination of her big, nasty fight with Meredith earlier in the season. It seemed like everyone Cristina loved was cutting her out from their lives, and she was no longer needed or wanted by everyone she knew. It was sad, it was depressing, and it wasn't deserved for a character we've come to know and love for a decade on the ABC medical drama.

But we were absolutely wrong, and thank goodness. We should have been patient and let executive producer Shonda Rhimes work her brilliant magic. Because on Thursday's (April 24) episode of "Grey's Anatomy," it was finally explained why Cristina will leave Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital at the end of Season 10, and it makes sense. It works. 

It's right.

She's leaving the hospital because no one from Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital will ever be able to win the Harper Avery Award, the one thing for which every doctor aspires their whole lives to win. That's "the point of all of this," Cristina says. Catherine Avery dropped that truth bomb on Webber during "Change of Heart" when he flew across the country to confront her over why Cristina -- who was the absolute shoe-in to win -- lost the award. 

Well, actually, Webber flew across the country to propose to Catherine, but their fight over Cristina and the award ended on such bad terms that wedding bells may not be in this couple's future.

Catherine explained that because an Avery (Jackson) owns the hospital and sits on the board of the hospital, it's a conflict of interest. Politics will not allow anyone from that hospital to ever win the award as long as Jackson is there. In fact, Cristina actually did win the award. She had all the votes, and it was rightfully hers, but the foundation could not award it to her based on her place of work. That is absolutely and unequivocally not fair.

And that's why Cristina will leave. She will find a new hospital to work at, go on to win all the awards she deserves, and live a full and happy life with the career she always dreamed of. And based on the promos for Isaiah Washington's big return episode, she might even do it with him. Not get back together as a couple (although the promos sure tried to frame it like he "wanted her" romantically, didn't it? We call shenanigans on that, though), but get back together as a team. As a pair of cardio gods. And most surprising of all, we're rooting for that to happen.

We want Cristina to get everything she ever wanted, and she can't do that at Grey Sloan Memorial. She'll keep working her magic and innovate medicine, but won't get the recognition or praise she deserves. She'll keep falling back into old patterns with Owen, but that relationship is toxic. She needs to leave to be happy, and we want her to be happy. Seriously, bravo Rhimes. Who would have thought we'd actually want Cristina to leave by the end of the season? Not us.

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