5 ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Episodes That Changed the Shondaland Series Forever

by Jeremy Spirogis
Sarah Drew as April Kepner on Greys Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy has been on for 16 seasons — and counting. The well-liked Shondaland collection has over 350 episodes with no plans of slowing down anytime quickly. So naturally, issues have shifted over the previous 15 years, from solid adjustments to the general tone of the medical drama. And whereas we patiently await the 17th season to reach on ABC, we’ve gathered just a few iconic Grey’s Anatomy episodes that really modified the route of the collection ceaselessly.

1. The Shooting Episode: Season 6, Episode 23 and 24, “Sanctuary” and “Death and All His Friends”

Sarah Drew as April Kepner on Greys Anatomy
Sarah Drew as April Kepner on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Danny Feld/Walt Disney Television through Getty Images

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The two-part taking pictures episode in Grey’s Anatomy Season 6 is probably the most devastating piece of labor Shondaland has put out thus far. A grieving widower, Gary Clark (Michael O’Neill), arrives at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital with a gun to kill Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) and Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.). But ultimately, there have been considerably extra casualties than the shooter initially deliberate.

Gary murdered Reed Adamson (Nora Zehetner) and Charles Percy (Robert Baker). He wounded Alex Karev (Justin Chambers), Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd), and Derek.

Meanwhile, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) revealed she was pregnant with Derek’s child. But the stress from the taking pictures induced her to miscarry. Then after talking with Richard, Gary shot himself, ending the stress-filled episode with yet one more tragedy. 

Following the Grey’s Anatomy episode, the characters have been by no means fairly the identical. There was a darkish cloud looming over everybody concerned when the Shondaland collection returned. And a lot of the seventh season handled the repercussions of the taking pictures.

2. The Plane Crash Episode: Season 8, Episode 24, “Flight”

Eric Dane as Mark Sloan, Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, and Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang on ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" - Season EightEric Dane as Mark Sloan, Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, and Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang on ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" - Season Eight
Eric Dane as Mark Sloan, Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey, and Sandra Oh as Cristina Yang on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Karen Neal/Walt Disney Television through Getty Images

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The Grey’s Anatomy Season Eight finale was probably the most pivotal moments within the present’s historical past. And it’s actually surprising to see what number of characters have been affected by the tragic accident. 

For one, Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) misplaced her leg. This was a turning level for the character, particularly since Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) was the one who made the decision. Eventually, this led to quite a lot of resentment and divorce.

The aircraft crash additionally resulted within the deaths of Mark Sloan (Eric Dane) and Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh). This left Derek with out his greatest friend. Callie and Arizona Robbins additionally misplaced the daddy of Sofia. Meanwhile, Meredith misplaced her sister.

The surviving members of the aircraft crash — Derek, Meredith, Arizona, and Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) — ended up suing the hospital earlier than shopping for it, together with Callie, Richard, and Catherine Avery (Debbie Allen). Then, as a result, the docs renamed the hospital to Grey Sloan Memorial, closing the chapter whereas celebrating the lives of Mark and Lexie.

3. George’s Death: Season 5, Episode 24, “Now or Never”

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For the primary few seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, viewers fell in love with the dynamic between MAGIC — Meredith, Alex, George O’Malley (T.R. Knight), Izzie Stevens (Katherine Heigl), and Cristina. However, the fifth season finale broke the fandom’s coronary heart.

In “Now or Never,” George obtained hit by a bus and died. This was the primary main character dying, breaking apart the core group of interns. Meanwhile, the episode additionally launched the descent of Izzie’s character and she or he left halfway by the sixth season. 

4. Cristina’s Exit: Season 10, Episode 24, “Fear (of the Unknown)”

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Speaking of core exits on Grey’s Anatomy, it might be inconceivable to disregard Cristina’s departure from the collection. The character left for a brand new alternative in Switzerland, courtesy of Preston Burke (Isaiah Washington). However, Cristina’s exit meant Meredith would lose her particular person and the Twisted Sisters could be separated.

Of course, we nonetheless obtain references to Cristina on Grey’s Anatomy today. Nonetheless, the friendship between Meredith and Cristina was an enormous a part of the present. And when the present took the dynamic away, it left a niche that was by no means really stuffed. But even so, it appeared Cristina’s last remarks moved Meredith’s character ahead. And Meredith lastly began seeing herself as “the sun.”

5. Derek’s Death: Season 11, Episode 21, “How to Save a Life”

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An epic romance doesn’t imply there can be a contented ending, particularly on Grey’s Anatomy. From the candle home to the post-it observe wedding ceremony, followers thought Meredith and Derek could be endgame. But it was removed from that. 

Throughout the 11th season, Meredith and Derek confronted just a few challenges, because the neurosurgeon obtained an vital job in Washington D.C. Derek was absent by many of the season. And the couple gave the impression to be headed for divorce. But fortunately, MerDer realized what was vital. So Derek determined he would return to Seattle.

Nevertheless, Derek was struck by a semi-truck in “How to Save a Life.” He ended up at a hospital with out the right assets and docs. Then Derek was declared mind useless and Meredith took him off life-support. 

The repercussions of Derek’s dying echoed all through Grey’s Anatomy for seasons to return. Following the episode, the ABC drama turned a lot darker as Meredith dealt together with her grief. But now, it’s been just a few years since Derek died and the Shondaland drama has turn into extra light-hearted in current seasons. So as they are saying, time heals all wounds.

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