Sometimes, things are simply out of your control. You can't change them. You can't bend them to your will. It doesn't matter if you're already forty-five minutes late, your hair isn't brushed, you haven't fixed breakfast and you're hemorrhaging brain cells by the second while you sit here. Dying, dying inside.

Beautiful Doom is the fifth episode of the ninth season and the 177th overall episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Short Summary[edit | edit source]

In this Meredith & Cristina-centric episode, the two friends continue to cope with life after the plane crash and their ever-growing responsibilities at their respective hospitals. As Meredith juggles taking care of Zola with a case that hits close to home, Cristina assists Dr. Thomas on a challenging heart surgery.

Full Summary[edit | edit source]

Meredith is watching Zola sitting on the toilet, praying for her to pee in the "big girl potty".

Cristina is lying in her bed, watching it snow outside. Darren Parker lies next to her and kisses her. He offers to stay and keep her warm, but she declines the offer, saying she wants to sleep. He leaves.

Meredith is in the kitchen and on the phone with Cristina, who's leaving for work. Cristina greets one of her neighbors, explaining to Meredith that she's neighborly now. Zola just peed on Meredith. Cristina comes outside and sees her car is buried under a mountain of snow and Meredith laughs.

Meredith gives Zola to Derek, who'll leave town later today, to leave for work. Before leaving, she grabs a box of fishsticks for multicultural day at preschool. Zola starts crying as Meredith leaves.

As Cristina is standing outside, a car stops and horns and the driver beckons her. She gets in the car, and the driver is Dr. Thomas. As he drives her to work, he gives her a danish. While she eats it, he gives her a case: the biggest aortic aneurysm he has ever seen. She gets to scrub in, and she thanks him. 

Cristina and Dr. Thomas are explaining to the patient with the aneurysm that she needs to have two surgeries: one to repair the current aneurysm, and another surgery to fix the defect that formed the aneurysm. The patient and her husband turn out to be doomsday preppers, ready for the apocalypse. Cristina and Dr. Thomas leave the room when they've finished their story.

Cristina is on the phone with Meredith again, bragging to her about the aneurysm. Meredith is in her car, and she passes an accident. It looks bad, so she parks her car and gets out to help. The driver is fine, but when Meredith runs to the other side of the car, she sees woman trapped under the car. This reminds her of Lexie, who was trapped under a part of the crashed plane. The woman can't breathe, and Meredith wants to lift the car to get her out. The bystanders are hesitant to help her, as they were told not to move the woman. They want to wait for the paramedics to arrive. Meredith yells that the woman will die if they don't move the car, and the bystanders then decide to help her. They lift the car together, and Meredith and another man drag the woman away from it, allowing her to breathe again. 

While Cristina is buying candy from the vending machine, Dr. Parker asks her to join her in a surgery. She declines the offer, as she prefers to work on the aneurysm with Dr. Thomas.

Meredith comes into the ER with Melissa, the woman from the accident. She puts Jo on the case, and throws her keys to Stephanie, ordering her to pick up her car and to bring the fishsticks to the daycare center. Bailey yells that Meredith stole her intern, and Meredith apologizes before going to her patient.

Dr. Thomas and Cristina are watching a 3D reconstruction of the aneurysm. Dr. Parker comes in and now knows why Cristina declined his offer. He asks Cristina to talk. She follows him outside, where he tells her he wants to assign the surgery to another doctor. She asks him not to, and he then tells her that there's nothing to gain by working with Dr. Thomas, even though he's a great old guy. "There is, actually," Cristina says before walking away.

Meredith, Shane, Heather and Jo are operating on Melissa. There's a lot of bleeding when Callie enters the OR. She forgot about multicultural day in daycare. Callie looks at the scan of Melissa's break and she says there must be a lot of bleeding, to which Heather agrees. Jo has to scoop out the blood of Melissa's abdomen with her hands. 

Cristina and Dr. Thomas are operating on their patient too. Dr. Parker enters the OR for the second time during the surgery. Dr. Thomas says that he knows that he wants a front row seat to his inevitable demise. "I hope you forgive me if I disappoint," he adds. The aneurysm blows. Dr. Parker doesn't think that they can handle it on their own, and he goes scrubbing in, when Cristina successfully places the clamp. 

Richard comes into the OR to tell Meredith that Melissa's parents have been found and that they're coming to the hospital. Meredith asks for more blood transfusion, but Richard and Callie think that it might be time to pack up Melissa and let her body rest. He says that being crushed by two tons of twisted metal is a lot of trauma for the body. "I know exactly how much trauma that is for the body," Meredith says, referring to Lexie's death. Richard and Callie urge her to stop again. "I'm trying to save her life," Meredith says. "Hands off the patient, now!" Richard orders. Everyone obeys, except Meredith. She keeps operating a little longer, until Richard calls her name. She then agrees to pack up the patient. 

Drs. Parker and Thomas leave the OR, followed by Cristina. Parker is mad, even though they managed to save the patient's life. He thinks Craig should've listened to him when he told him to put the patient on bypass, but Dr. Thomas says that he doesn't need nor does he want Dr. Parker's help. Dr. Parker tries to convince Dr. Thomas to surrender his license and go out gracefully. When Dr. Thomas refuses, Dr. Parker puts him on probation. He asks Cristina to talk to Dr. Thomas.

Meredith is charting in the OR and telling Jo to watch their patient closely. Richard comes in to talk. He is worried that the case is hitting a little too close to home for her after what happened to Lexie. He's worried that her emotions are clouding her judgment, but she tells him that that's not the case. She leaves to go check on Melissa.

Cristina and Dr. Thomas are explaining to their patient's family that the next few hours are critical. Cristina takes out a vase with flowers, as they are not allowed in the CCU. She puts them outside, where they are still visible from the room. Cristina says it's her fault that Dr. Thomas is put on probation, as Dr. Parker wouldn't have given the surgery a second thought if she hadn't been in there. Dr. Thomas says that's not true, as Parker has been after him for a long time. He doesn't want her to worry about his career when the life of their patient is on the line.

Meredith and Cristina are on the phone again. Meredith is leaving the hospital, and Cristina is in a liquor store. Cristina says that she fears that the patient will die, and that Dr. Thomas will be fired. Meredith is worried about her patient too, as she needs to go home with Zola because Derek is out of town, leaving her patient with only interns around. Cristina is buying tequila for her "survival backpack", which was hinted by the patient and her husband. As she realizes she needs more tequila, Meredith walks by Jackson, who's frustrated because his interns closed a wound that he left open to heal. This convinces Meredith that she needs to stay with her patient, and Cristina decides to go back to the hospital too. 

Meredith drops off Zola at Callie's. Callie tells her she will take Zola to daycare tomorrow together with Sofia. Meredith is sad to leave her, but Callie says it's good that Zola sees her work. 

Meredith and Cristina are both sitting outside their patient's room. They both go check on their patient's vitals. Back in their chair, Meredith proposes to get some sleep, but they then both say they can't fall asleep.

Cristina is sleeping, while Meredith's interns are bickering over who should wake Meredith. Heather does so, when Cristina is woken up by Dr. Thomas. They both pray for their patient to be alive. Dr. Thomas' patient is doing great: she's up and talking. She tells Dr. Yang that they'll perform the second surgery that afternoon.

Meredith tells her interns that Melissa needs another surgery to take out the packages and check for more bleeding, but she wouldn't survive that surgery now. Jo asks them what they're going to do then. Meredith tells them they need to keep her alive until they're in the perfect window to operate again. Callie, who's carrying Zola, draws Meredith's attention. She says daycare wouldn't take Zola, as she's running a little fever. Callie has to leave because she has surgery. Shane then informs Meredith that Melissa's BP dropped. Meredith leaves Zola with Stephanie and orders her to monitor Zola's temperature. 

Cristina is talking to Dr. Thomas about Dr. Parker, and Dr. Thomas then says that he objects to Cristina's sex with Parker. Cristina is surprised that he knows about that. Cristina has to go prep their patient for the surgery. She's worried about what Parker will do, but Dr. Thomas tells her that he spend very little time thinking about Parker. 

Meredith is taking care of Melissa, and we hear a baby crying. Bailey asks if it's Meredith's. Meredith hoped that no one would hear it, but Bailey says that it's pulling her focus as women are genetically predisposed to respond to crying babies. She asks Meredith to have her baby crying somewhere other than the ICU.

Cristina's patient's husband would like to hear the risks of the surgery again, because he's afraid that she'll die. "Now I know what the end of the world feels like, and I don't wanna feel that again," he says, referring to him waiting for her to wake up after the first surgery. She wants the surgery, because she can't live with the fear of accidentally blowing another aneurysm. "We look disaster in the eye, and we do not shrink with fear," she says. 

Meredith is putting in a chest tube in her patient. Alex comes in, saying he kept Zola but that he has a surgery now. She asks Heather to check Zola's temperature again and to sweet-talk daycare into taking her back. Alex goes to pick up Zola, while Meredith starts explaining how to potty train Zola, but he says that he's not going to do that.

Cristina is on the phone with Meredith, telling her that Dr. Thomas will do the surgery. She says that he'll get fired if he does it. Meredith says that she needs to find the perfect window to open her patient back up. 

Cristina approaches Dr. Parker to ask him to take Dr. Thomas off probation. He concludes that she wasn't able to convince him to go gracefully. Despite Cristina's effort to talk about Dr. Thomas's surgical skills, Dr. Parker doesn't take him off probation because he thinks Dr. Thomas is reckless and insubordinate. She asks him once again to let it slide. Dr. Parker says that Dr. Thomas is holding her back, which she'll see once he's gone.

Meredith goes to check on her patient again. 

Outside the hospital, Cristina tries to talk Dr. Thomas out of doing the surgery. She worries that the surgery might be the end of his career. "So be it. Maybe I'm ready for it," he says. Cristina asks him not to leave her alone, saying she couldn't work at the hospital without him. "You're afraid to fly, you're not going anywhere," he says. "Look, if I'm going, I wanna go down fighting for something that I believe in, for this young woman's future," he says. Before walking away, he says that she knows that the patient needs the surgery, and that they're the best team to do it.

Meredith is writing her surgery on the O.R. board, as it's the perfect window to go in. Richard stands next to her, and Meredith assures him that it's nothing like in the woods, as they're in a hospital with a lot of medical resources. He wishes her good luck, and says that it's a right call to go back in.

Meredith is explaining to her interns what they'll do in surgery when they bump into April, who normally should've been with Zola, but her surgery went long. Zola is with nurse Ted, whom Meredith doesn't know. April leaves to go get Zola, and Meredith orders Shane to follow her. Meredith, Jo and Heather enter the scrub room.

Cristina and Meredith are opening up their patient. 

Meredith is informed by Shane that Zola is in the attendings lounge. 

Dr. Thomas says that Cristina's name will be in the article when they publish. They make jokes again. "Oh come on, I'm your dream come true," Cristina says. "That is the truth," he replies, which touches Cristina.

There's a lot of bleeding and Heather confesses that she moved. This helps her to locate the bleeding. 

Dr. Thomas tells Cristina not to be crass.

Meredith asks her interns to help her find the bleed. 

Cristina is told by Dr. Thomas not to hold her breath when she's stitching. She does so, but he tells her to breathe slowly, not like an anxious hyena.

Meredith tells everyone to freeze and says that the patient will die if they don't find the source of the bleed.

"You are the surgeon of your generation. People will try to diminish you, as they did me, and they will fail. I would like it to be known in the medical community that I helped train you," he says. 

Meredith has found the source of the bleeding and clamps it. She then makes time for a 30 second dance party, and makes everyone, including Bokhee, dance with her. 

Cristina asks Dr. Thomas to do something, but he doesn't answer, nor does he move. He drops his instruments, looks at her for a last time and then, he falls down. This forces Cristina to keep operating on her own. Meanwhile, several nurses get to Dr. Thomas and try to revive him. Dr. Parker comes in, and starts CPR. Cristina has her back turned towards them, so she asks what's going on. Dr. Parker tells her to focus on her patient. She urges herself to breathe. 

Cristina informs the patient's family that the patient is okay. The patient's husband hugs her.

"Breathe, Dr. Yang. Don't be crass. You're skulking. Women of your generation are graceless. It's an affront to nature. Mediocre surgeons will see you and feel themselves wilting in your shadow. Do not shrink to console them," we hear Dr. Thomas's voice say, while Cristina sees how his body is taken to the morgue. Dr. Parker comes to Cristina to console her, but she shakes off his hand and keeps on walking. "Do not look for friends here. You won't find them. None of these people have the capacity to understand you. They never will. If you're lucky, one day, when you're old and shrivelled like me, you will find a young doctor with little regard for anything but their craft and you'll train them, like I trained you. Until then, read a good book. You have greatness in you, Yang. Don't disappoint," we hear Dr. Thomas say, while Cristina gets dressed and leaves the dressing room.

Meredith comes into the attendings lounge, but Zola isn't there. She runs down a hallway, and then she sees Owen carrying Zola. He explains that he took her as April had a surgery and that Zola's fever is down. Jo appears, saying that Melissa is asking for Meredith. She leaves Zola with Owen, as he doesn't have to go anywhere, and she runs off. 

Melissa meets Meredith, saying she remembers how Meredith was there when she was trapped. 

Meredith gives Melissa's chart to a nurse, when Bailey gives her a list of "Tucker-tested" babysitters, saying she needs a deeper bench now that she's an attending. "This is gold. I don't give it out to just anyone," Miranda says with a smile. 

Meredith just put down Zola for the night when someone rings the doorbell. "Not tonight! Not one more thing!" we hear Meredith think. She opens the door and sees Cristina. They hug, and Cristina says that she drank all the tequila that she bought earlier. "Lexie is dead," Meredith says. "Yeah... Everyone's dead," Cristina says, and they hug again.

Cast[edit | edit source]

Main Cast[edit | edit source]

Guest Stars[edit | edit source]

Co-Starring[edit | edit source]

Uncredited[edit | edit source]

Medical Notes[edit | edit source]

Katy Noonan[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Complete vascular ring
    • Aneurysm
  • Treatment:
    • Aneurysm clipping
    • Defect repair

Katy was born with a complete vascular ring, which caused an aneurysm to develop. In surgery, the aneurysm burst, but Thomas and Cristina were able to fix it. The next day, they proceeded with the surgery to repair her congenital defect. Despite Dr. Thomas dying in the middle of the procedure, it was successful.

Melissa[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Femur fracture
    • Crush injuries
  • Treatment:
    • Surgery

While riding her bike, Melissa was run over by a car and trapped underneath it, preventing her from being able to breathe. Meredith enlisted the help of bystanders to get Melissa out from under the car. Once she was freed, Melissa was able to breathe. Meredith rode with Melissa to the hospital, where she was taken into surgery. When they reached the point of diminishing returns, Richard said they needed to pack her and let her body rest. Meredith carefully measured when to take her back into surgery. The surgery successfully repaired her injuries and she woke up.

Parker's Patient[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Gastropericardial Fistula
    • Pneumopericardium
  • Treatment:
    • Pericardial decompression

Dr. Parker asked Cristina to scrub in with him on a gastropericardial fistula.

April's Patient[edit | edit source]

  • Diagnosis:
    • Gallstones
  • Treatment:
    • Surgical removal

April operated on a 23 year old with more gallstones than she'd ever seen.

Music[edit | edit source]

Song Performer Scene
"Passenger" Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes
  • Meredith tries to potty train Zola.
  • Cristina lies in bed with Dr. Parker.
  • Meredith and Cristina talk on the phone.


Conner Youngblood
  • Cristina and Meredith tell each other about the problems with their patients.
  • Jackson rants about what his intern did.
  • Meredith drops Zola off with Callie.
  • Meredith and Cristina watch over their patients.
"Ghosts" On An On
  • Meredith calls for a '30-second dance' party during her surgery.
  • Dr. Thomas collapses during surgery.
"Flowers Turn To Fire" O+S
  • Cristina tries to work on her patient while watching others work to revive Dr. Thomas.
  • Cristina updates Katy's husband on her surgery and then tries to deal with Dr. Thomas's death.
"Gold" Wake Owl
  • Meredith finds Owen taking care of Zola.
  • Meredith talks with her patient, Melissa.
  • Bailey gives Meredith the number for a babysitter.
  • Cristina shows up on Meredith's doorstep.

Notes and Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • This episode's title originated from the song Beautiful Doom, originally sung by Insane Clown Posse.
  • This episode scored 9.26 million viewers.
  • Cristina finally comes back to Seattle after she previously left to take a job at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Episode Stills[edit | edit source]

Behind the Scenes[edit | edit source]

Quotes[edit | edit source]

Cristina: Oh, come on, I'm your dream come true.
Craig ThomasThat is the truth.
Cristina: You're gonna make me gag.
Craig ThomasDon't be crass. Women of your generation think they have to be crass or no one will believe their strength. You're fighting a battle that women of my generation have already fought for you. So have the grace to appreciate their work and move on to something else.
Cristina: Yeah, I'm stil gagging.

Craig Thomas: Breathe, Dr. Yang. Don't be crass. You're skulking... Women of your generation are graceless. It's an affront to nature... Mediocre surgeons will see you and feel themselves wilting in your shadow. Do not shrink to console them... Do not look for friends here. You won't find them. None of these people have the capacity to understand you. They never will... If you're lucky, one day when you're old and shriveled like me, you will find a young doctor with little regard for anything but their craft. And you'll train them like I trained you. Until then, read a good book. You have greatness in you, Yang. Don't disappoint.

(Meredith opens the door to find Cristina there. They hug.)
Cristina: I downed the tequila bottle from my diaper bag. I can barely ... I don't even know what my name is.
(They laugh.)
Meredith: Lexie's dead.
Cristina: Yeah. Everyone's dead.
(They hug again.)

Meredith: Dance or you're fired.

Alex: I'm not going to potty train your kid.
Meredith: Sorry, you're right. Forget it.
Alex: Already did.

Meredith: Can't you just give your sex friend more sex so he doesn't fire your old man friend?
Cristina: I'm not a prostitute! Besides, I thought of that. It's just way too much sex.

Dr. Thomas: That's the biggest aneurysm I have ever seen.
Cristina: Considering your age, that is saying something.

Dr. Parker: Do you like being the big spoon or the little spoon?
Cristina: (thinking) I'm not a spoon. I'm a knife. And I'm going to stab you in the eyeball.

See Also[edit | edit source]

A complete overview of this episode's crew can be found here.

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