There is one thing we know all too well: Any kind of tragedy can strike the doctors and patients of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. From cheating to fatal accidents that take away people’s lives, Grey’s writing team certainly is getting more imaginative with the dramatic events as each episode passes by. Notably, when season 8 of the series comes to an end, viewers were left with a major cliffhanger and a broken heart as they saw the infamous Grey’s Anatomy plane crash.
As much as we love the series, the anticipation of death is always unsettling – even when it’s the death of a fictional character. Before Grey’s Anatomy season 8’s finale (titled “Flight”) was aired, interviews with the show’s creators already dropped hints that we would lose one of the characters. That’s why we watched it with the same sense of dread family members of a cancer patient would feel.
The pain was taken to the next level when the plane crashed. Turned out, the victim would be one of the six doctors on the flight: Derek Shepherd, Meredith Grey, Mark Sloan, Cristina Yang, Lexie Grey, and Cristina Yang.
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Grey’s Anatomy Plane Crash In Season 8 Is Hard To Watch
As we know from the previous episode, the team is on their way to assist the surgery of conjoined twins at a hospital in Boise, but they never make it there.
“Flight” begins with Meredith (Elle Pompeo) opening her eyes to finds herself in the forest, while Cristina (Sandra Oh) begging her to wake up. Cristina has lost her shoe and her shoulder is badly injured. Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) is nearby crying out in pain until Cristina told her to shut up. Cristina, Meredith, and a seemingly-fine Mark (Eric Dane) then go on to rescue Derek – who was swept out of the plane, and Lexie – who was trapped in the sheared-off tail section.
It Becomes Clear Lexie Wouldn’t Make It
Though still conscious and responsive, Lexie herself knows she doesn’t have much time: Both her legs and pelvic have been crushed, her left arm is paralyzed, and her chest is burning from a severe hemothorax.
Having analyzed the situation, Cristina rushes back to the fuselage to get water for Lexie. She also has to take care of Arizona and Jerry (the pilot). Since Jerry refuses to accept his condition, Cristina has no choice but to impale him with a pen.
Meanwhile, Mark stays with Lexie. I’ve got to say, this is the most emotional scene in Grey’s Anatomy, to the point that it might as well be overwrought. Despite his desperate attempt, Mark is unable to move the debris off Lexie and save her. That said, he sits beside and holds Lexie’s hand as her life slowly slips away.
After telling Mark how much she loves him, Lexie asks him to relay a message to Meredith. Just like us audiences, Mark doesn’t want to believe what’s going on before his eyes. “We’re gonna have the best life, you and me. We’re gonna be so happy,” he tells her, clearly referring to her confession from the previous episode. “So you can’t die, okay? Because we’re supposed to end up together.” But he couldn’t stop the inevitable. In a bittersweet scene, Lexie took her last breath, with Mark holding her hands.
Lexie’s Death Is One Of The Most Heart-Wrenching Scene In Grey’s
All of that is too much. I mean, Lexie’s death certainly packs a wallop. Over the course of 8 seasons, she has been one of the most-loved characters. It’s just terrible to see her passing away so suddenly – and rather abruptly. Well, Ms. Rhimes has warned us every week, but the fact that they kill off Lexie is just unsettling.
What’s Left Of The Survivors Following The Accident?
When Meredith and Cristina arrive, it’s already too late. The reactions to Lexie’s death are predictable: Mark is completely struck by the event while Meredith wails like a lunatic, believing she has lost her sister and husband.
In an attempt to get everyone out, Cristina turns on her battle-bitch mode. It’s our ever-cynical surgeon who provides the wisest commentary on their crazy situation: “If there’s one thing that I’ve learned with all the bombs and the guns to my head and the buses running down my friends is that I am not interested in dying!”.
For me, this is Cristina’s second-best moment in the whole series, just after the ‘You are my person’ scene. Her let’s-get-real talk pulls the team back to reality and helps them stay grounded. Luckily, they eventually find Derek and bring him back to the fuselage, where he is treated for his injuries.
Back to Seattle – where the team and the pilot came from, everyone is clueless about the accident. Chief Hunt only receives several voicemail messages from Boise at the end of the episode, alarming that Seattle Grace’s surgeons never arrive. At that moment, he realizes something is seriously wrong.
We are left at that: The best and brightest surgeons of Seattle Grace were trapped in the wood, without any hope of rescue, and their chief just discovered they weren’t where they should be. Distress!
Did You Know That The Infamous Plane Crash Was Hinted 3 Seasons Early?
The surgeons in ABC’s medical hits have gone through countless insane events, from Grey’s Anatomy ferry crash to hospital shooting. Still, hauntingly tragic and heart-wrenchingly cruel, Grey’s Anatomy plane crash remains one of the most memorable moments in the series until now.
You will be surprised to know that the accident was very subtly hinted a few seasons back, precisely in season 5’s episode “Sympathy For The Devil”. This episode marked Arizona’s second appearance when she was dealing with a patient who needed a new liver and intestine to survive. As a result, she hopped on a jet with Alex to collect the organs from another medical facility.
During the flight, Arizona admitted to Alex that she was never fond of flying. “I always felt much closer to death flying than in the OR”, she said. Well, she had a point. This conversation becomes even more relevant when you realize that Alex was supposed to be on the crashed plane, but Arizona replaced him at the last minute. The fate of the survivors unfold in season 9’s premiere episode: Mark’s injuries are much worse than we think, and he has to be taken off life support, while Arizona’s leg has to be amputated.
Arizona To Alex: “I Feel Closer To Death Flying”
It’s unclear whether Arizona’s line in season 5 was pointing to Grey’s Anatomy plane crash in season 8, but it’s certainly an intriguing (and sad) detail viewers might have missed unless they go through the series a few times. Since Grey’s Anatomy is still on the air, fans should keep an eye out for any subtle clues of coming disasters and losses.
Wanna go on a Grey’s Anatomy marathon? Spice things up with the Grey’s Anatomy drinking game!
Grey’s Anatomy Plane Crash – The Aftermatch
For more reasons than just Lexie’s death, Grey’s Anatomy plane crash is difficult for many of us to watch, with gory injuries and many extreme emotional events taking place. All in all, it certainly shake up the fans for quite some time after it first aired, and Lexie’s death still remains one of the saddest of the series. It reminds us that no one in this series is immune to the cold touch of death.
Despite all the tragedy surrounding them, though, the journey has not yet ended for our surgeons. It’s just like how Meredith concluded the episode, “We will be pushed to our breaking point. This is the starting line. This is our arena. How will we play? That’s up to us.”