Saying goodbye to Dr. Christina Yang

May 16, 2014

Sandra Oh as Christina Yang, M.D.

I knew this day would come, eventually: the day we’d have to say good by to Dr. Christina Yang on Grey’s Anatomy.
“We’ve only got two Kleenex boxes near the TV,” my husband pointed out. “Think you should get another?”

Christina. From an arrogant young, smart intern to the brilliant, confident cardiac surgeon of today her character has developed fully. She was played beautifully by the actress, Sandra Oh, and written well by Shonda Rhimes and her team, writers whose story-telling skill I admire tremendously. Love ’em or hate ’em, each Grey’s character is fully formed.

I loved Christina Yang.

What I loved about her was her self-awareness. She knew she had a huge talent. She knew she was good. She had complete confidence in her abilities. And except for a time or two when disaster struck, as it must in night-time dramas like Grey’s, she remained steadfast.

She also knew there was no room in her life for children and as much as Owen wanted them, she knew her destiny lay elsewhere. The writers gave us such highs  in their relationship and also such lows. I was rooting for her and Owen–two people who shared an incredible, but always doomed, love story.

Oh, Christina! I’d say to myself in the early days of the series. Christina had one dimension and that was medicine. But over time we saw her grow, retaining the confidence in her abilities and talent but finally showing vulnerabilities and a softer side.

When Sandra Oh was ready to leave the series, Christina had to also go, and that’s when I realized she’d become my favorite character and the show would not be the same for me without her.

“I know what’s next and it’s big,” she said in one of her final episodes.

Yes, it would have to be. And in some parallel universe where written-out characters live Christina Yang’s story continues. She’ll achieve great things. She’ll grow old and grey and even more confident. She’ll have relationships.

And she’ll remember her youth at Seattle Grace. All of her friends.  And Owen. She’ll look back and remember Owen.

M. and I have often said that we’d love to be friends with those doctors but we’d never let them put a knife to us.

Except for Christina.

It sounds silly to say this but we do get invested in really great television characters. They’re so well-written they become real, and even if some of the experiences they go through are silly and larger than life, we get to see them rise to the occasion. Or not. And that’s what keeps us riveted.

I love this show.

cristina-yang-2And I loved Christina.

Godspeed, Christina.

We’ll miss you on Thursday nights.

Sandra Oh, you rock.


20 comments on “Saying goodbye to Dr. Christina Yang
  1. I haven’t watched Grey’s in a long time, although I have to admit that I was addicted for the first few years.
    I think the hallmark of a great actress playing a well-written character is when they leave the show but you can still imagine their life going on.

    • Karen, that’s such a good point. I stuck with the show and am glad I did–& then got my husband into it, despite the fact that he usually dislikes dramas like this. But these characters are well-formed (some of them, anyway).

  2. I love that your husband made sure you had your tissues!! I never was able to get into the series but I love Sandra Oh as an actress and wish her well. The role was so great for opening doors for her!

  3. Roz Warren says:

    I haven’t even got a TV but I feel your pain.

  4. i wish there was a TV series my husband and I enjoyed together right now. Years ago, I confess, we watched Knots Landing together…but there is nothing we both enjoy. My daughter and her husband watch Castle together. This was very well written, Carol! Good job!

  5. Ryder Ziebarth says:

    The parting shot said it all.

  6. Karen says:

    I have to admit I’ve only rarely watched Grey’s Anatomy–certainly not enough to get attached to any of the characters. But you’re making me want to go back and revisit that decision…like I need more distractions in my life! 🙂

  7. I will miss Cristina! But now I’m worried about Derek and Meredith….

    • I know and I was so excited when we had an end to the Mer-Der drama. It’s baaack… And what about the new twist…i don’t want to reveal spoiler but that ending with Richard W… …well…you know…..

  8. Diane says:

    My DIL has revved up the entire series for me to watch. She says it’s something I need. Now I get to meet this amazing character for the first time. Wish me luck!

  9. Lana says:

    My measure of a great actor/actress is if you forget who they are, and believe that their character is a real person. I love what you said about Christina living on in a parallel universe – I see that too! What a great actress Sandra Oh is – I will miss her too.

  10. Joyce says:

    I finally watched it this morning. I feel like giving the writers lots of gold stars! So wonderful to say goodbye to a character in a way that’s right and worthy of the role she played and satisfying to the audience. I wanted to dance too! I love what she said to Mere when she said her last goodbye, but even so, I think Mere should go to DC and make her own stamp on the world there. And I’m interested to see how the new storyline plays out with the new cardiac surgeon! So you see, I am engrossed along with you! 🙂

  11. Kimba says:

    I have a dear friend who chose her doctor solely based on the fact that she seemed so much like Christina Yang. At first I thought this was nuts, but then I realized – who wouldn’t want Christina as their doctor? May we all have such role models to lead us in our choices.

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