Don’t miss out on Part 1 of this Top 10 list! Start by reading Part 1 of the top 10 Grey’s moments, featuring episodes from Seasons 1 through 5 of Grey’s Anatomy. Once you’re ready, read on for the final five best Grey’s Anatomy episodes of all time. Don’t forget, be wary of major spoilers below!
Season 6 episodes 23 & 24 – “Sanctuary” and “Death and All His Friends”
This is another two-parter that was undeniably one of the most captivating yet terrifying Grey’s storylines of all time. Fans were on the edge of their seats for the entirety of both of these episodes, as the hospital goes into total lockdown when a shooter arrives at Seattle Grace/Mercy West. He primarily seeks revenge on Shepherd, Chief Webber, and Lexie Grey – the three doctors who had worked on his deceased wife’s case – but is interested in taking down any surgeon. The gunman shoots and injures Alex badly, and Lexie and Mark perform emergency surgery to try to keep him alive, making the intensity of the trio’s love triangle more apparent than ever. Soon, Derek runs into Cristina and Meredith in a hallway and breaks the news of the shooter. As he tries to the girls to safety, the gunman finds them, and Part 1 ends moments after Derek takes a bullet square to the chest as a horrified Mer watches.
As Part 2 (episode 24) begins, Cristina is trying to save Derek in one OR while Mark and Lexi continue to work on Alex in another, but neither surgery is going well. The shooter is still roaming the hospital trying to out Webber and Lexie. Chief Webber is actually outside the hospital this whole time, arguing with police to let him inside so he can help. Teddy and Owen are also outside, having just managed to exit the hospital. But Owen soon realizes Cristina is still inside, and thus in danger. He leaves Teddy’s side and rushes in to find Cristina, choosing Cristina over Teddy.
Owen finds Cristina in the middle of a failing surgery for Derek – but with the shooter holding his gun to her head, threatening to kill her if she doesn’t stop surgery immediately so Der will die. As Mer begs the gunman to kill her instead of Cristina or Derek, Owen lunges for the shooter and gets shot in the process. Amidst the commotion, Derek flatlines. The shooter and Meredith both think he is dead, so the shooter leaves the OR and Meredith collapses in agony. But with the shooter out of the room, Cristina quickly gets back to work on Derek’s surgery and we realize the flatline was just a fake-out. Meredith gets to work tending to Owen’s gunshot wound with April’s help. Elsewhere, Webber has just managed to sneak past the police into the hospital when he comes face to face with the shooter. Webber speaks calmly to the gunman and he does not get shot. Soon, the SWAT team converges and the shooter takes his own life, thus ending this gripping, roller-coaster-ride of a storyline. Owen, Alex, and Derek all survive their surgeries.
Decisions and Consequences
Season 7 episode 22 – “Unaccompanied Minor”
With emotional episodes like “Unaccompanied Minor”, the Grey’s writers show viewers they don’t need major bells and whistles to make a big impact. This episode was memorable for the long-lasting impact of major characters’ decisions. Mark tells Lexie they shouldn’t be together once and for all. After many months of trying, Meredith and Derek are elated when they are finally given permanent custody of their adopted baby Zola. But their celebration is cut short when Alex spreads the news that he caught Meredith tampering with Derek’s important medical trial. Derek is horrified that his wife and the mother of his child has turned out to be a liar, and he leaves Mer and Zola. Cristina discovers she is pregnant and breaks the news to Owen. He is thrilled and wants to start a family; she decides not to keep the baby against his will. This disagreement between them is the foundation for major problems in the future.
Aftermath of The Big Crash
Season 9 episode 2 – “Remember the Time”
Some Grey’s fans may majorly protest that the Season 8 finale, “Flight” didn’t make this list. However, though “Flight” features an actual plane crash involving major Grey’s characters, it is only in “Remember the Time” that we learn in great detail the tragic events that occurred in the hours, days, and weeks following the accident. Through a series of flashbacks, this episode depicts these events:
- Lexie dies immediately following the crash, and her final goodbye to Mark.
- Mark’s intense heart injury in the crash, but then his amazing recovery once returning to Seattle. This quickly turns into a rapid decline and he dies, just after admitting Lexie was his true love.
- Arizona’s legs are badly crushed in the crash, and back in Seattle become infected. Eventually the only way to save her life is a double amputation.
- One of Derek’s “million dollar hands” is badly injured in the accident. Callie must perform a very complex operation to try and save his nerve function.
- After the crash, Cristina is the only one of the doctors who stays conscious the entire time they are lost in the woods. She hears Lexie’s dying, Arizona’s screams of pain, and more. After they are rescued, she suffers a mental break and then goes catatonic for weeks. When she finally regains composure, she decides to leave Seattle for good and moves to Minnesota.
A Storm of Emotions
Season 9 episode 24 – “Perfect Storm”
In the Season 9 finale, after spending the previous 24 episodes dealing with the aftermath of the plane crash, Grey’s presented us with a whole new set of problems. There is a major electrical storm going on in Seattle, sending lots of traumas to the hospital for our surgeons to deal with. Two hands not deck – Meredith, who is in labor, and husband Derek by her side. Mer needs an emergency C-section, but the hospital’s power goes out. Though the baby is delivered successfully, Meredith begins bleeding internally. Interns are the only ones in her OR and must perform surgery on her alone, and with no electricity. In pediatrics, Callie and Arizona are working together when Callie notices her wife is wearing the wrong scrub top. This reveals Arizona has been having an affair. Outside the hospital, a huge bus crashes and many doctors rush out to help. It first appears Jackson was trapped in the bus’ fiery explosion, though he turns out to be alright. April, newly engaged to another man, collapses when she thinks Jackson has died, showing she still loves him. Finally, Chief Webber goes to the basement to try and fix the electricity. He is electrocuted, and we see his motionless body on the ground as the episode ends.
Season 10 episode 12 – “Get Up, Stand Up”
Jackson and April’s relationship has been a major part of Seasons 8, 9, and 10, and in “Get Up, Stand Up” it reaches a pivotal moment. It is the day of April’s wedding to Matthew, and most of the hospital is in attendance. As preparations for the day go on throughout the episode, other characters distracted from April’s big day by their own drama. Bridesmaids Meredith and Cristina are having the worst fight of their friendship. Back in the hospital, Shane has a mental breakdown in the middle of operating on Alex’s estranged Dad. But the biggest moment comes during April’s wedding ceremony, when Jackson stands up and interrupts just before the “I do’s”. He declares his love for her, and the episode closes with her gasp of surprise at the altar.
More Unforgettable Moments To Come
With almost ten seasons under its belt and no signs of slowing down, Grey’s Anatomy is sure to provide us with many more amazing episodes in the future. Sadly, it has been confirmed that Cristina Yang (played by Sandra Oh) will no longer be part of the Grey’s cast after the end of the current season. While Grey’s will never be the same without Yang, storylines like April and Jackson’s and Cristina and Owen’s are still keeping every Thursday night very interesting!