“Grey’s Anatomy” brought back Isaiah Washington's Dr. Preston Burke for episode 10x22, “We Are Never Getting Back Together” as a way of setting up the departure of Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) or so it would seem. On May 1, The Hollywood Reporter said Burke made Cristina an offer she may not be able to refuse.
Following her loss of the Harper Avery Award, Cristina tries to pick up the pieces and resume work. Webber convenes a board meeting which he leaves Jackson Avery out of on purpose, to announce the chief of the cardiac department has resigned. The resignation comes, presumably over the ineligibility of the hospital staff to ever win the prestigious award because of Jackson’s affiliations and position as member of the board of the hospital. Webber wants Yang to appeal the award decision. She feels this would make her look petty and pathetic. Webber explains that without the ability to win, which helps the hospital get grants for research, the hospital will not be able to attract top quality surgeons anymore.
Cristina accepts an invitation to speak on her research project at a gathering in Zurich. It will give her time to mull over her decision except she ends up with even bigger decisions to mull over. Burke attends the presentation and afterward, reveals he is the one who invited her to lecture through his assistant, explaining, "I didn't think you'd respond to an invitation from me given the circumstances of our last interaction."
They talk a bit and discover they have each been paying attention to the other’s career. Not only did Burke invite her to lecture, he wants to show her something in a surgery he’s going to be doing as it will be the basis for his next publication on some groundbreaking findings. He also shares that winning the Harper Avery left him on a tremendous high for a while but that was followed by a crippling fear that his best work was behind him. It forced him to putt too much pressure on himself and he came to Zurich where he hooked up with a billionaire who wanted to leave his mark on the world. Burke can do his research and has o reliance on outside funding.
In between meetings with Burke, Cristina frantically calls Meredith several times, always playing phone tag and leaving detailed messages. Meredith, who keeps missing the calls, hears the developments and leaves messages of her own reminding Cristina of how Burke jilted her.
Cristina assists in the surgery where Burke unveils a 3-D hologram, suspended above the patient, of his heart. It is shown in real time and can be rotated or bisected to allow the surgeon to see more clearly what is really happening. Cristina is impressed. When asked, she reveals to Burke that she has dreams of her own – to print a functioning human heart – but she is afraid after losing the award she won’t be able to get the funding. Burkes shows her more of the facility where he has 49 printers at his disposal and invites her to do her work there, at his hospital.
Finally, Cristina addresses the elephant in the room and asks Burke if this all a ploy to get her back as a romantic partner. He turns around the framed photos on his desk to reveal a wife and kids. He tells her, “My family is my world.” After a pause he says, "I know you've become a magnificent surgeon. You've become everything I've dreamed you'd be. You should be in a place like this. You should consider it."
In her next message to Meredith, she says “Everything I've ever wanted is here, except he is here… What would you tell me to do?" She ultimately decides to turn the job down.
When she tells Burke of her decision, he wants an explanation. She says, “You think I want to work for you again? I never wanted to work for you, I wanted to be you. The best thing that ever happened to me was you walking away from our wedding. It made me stand on my own two feet," Cristina tells him. "So why offer me a job I can't resist? I don't want the job."
This is where Burke drops the real bombshell. In response he says, Only Burke has something more in mind. "I don't want you to work for me. Us working together would destroy my marriage, my life. The way I loved you was consuming. And eventually you'll hold the carrot and I'll be chasing you," he tells her. "I have a family now, a life I want. I don't want you to work for me. I want you to take over for me. I'm leaving."
Cristina is stunned. As the realization of what he’s offering registers, she says, "You're offering me your hospital, like you're Willy Wonka and you're handing me the Chocolate Factory?" You're not serious. You are serious."
"This place is yours, Cristina, if you want it," Burke says.
When Meredith meets Cristina at the airport, she can instantly tell something’s going on. She asks her BFF if she’s leaving and Cristina says nothing.
In other parts of the episode, we saw April and Jackson visiting the OB for their first prenatal visit. They still haven’t resolved their marriage issues but they state adamantly they neither of them wants to terminate the pregnancy.
Webber keeps lashing out at Avery publicly for what happened to Cristina. Finally April can’t take it anymore and puts Webber in his place by reminding him that it was his relations with Catherine, Jackson’s mother that brought the Avery Foundation to the hospital. Meredith privately tells Webber that they have to find a way to make it work. He reveals that his emotional connection to the award is also his connection to her mother. He feels what Catherine did cheapened it and made it meaningless.
Toward the end of the episode, Jackson looks for April and finds her in the chapel. She is surprised he found her there and he replies, “I know who you hang out with.” He sits beside her and comments that he’ll have to get used to these seats. She looks at him questioningly. He explains he doesn’t plan to sit home every Sunday morning while his wife and kids go to church. She is surprised and asks if he’d really come to church with her. He says sure, so long as they can stop for pancakes afterward. Aww, looks like that problem is resolved.
Jo, who has been having a rough day and finds herself in hot water with several of the attendings, overhears Owen telling Webber that there is a resident who "isn't cut out to be a surgeon." Later at the bar, she, Leah, Stephanie and Shane drown their sorrows; each convinced it will be them who get fired.
Stephanie gets the results of some lab work that Bailey ordered on Bubble Boy, She deduces what Bailey has done – used the HIV protocol on him without his parents’ consent – congratulates her on her success. The boy is showing dramatic improvement. Bailey denies knowing what Stephanie is talking about but she grins ear to ear.
So it seems April and Jackson are going to be fine. Bailey will be facing some serious repercussions if and when her actions become known. The residents are as jumpy as some cats on a hot tin roof. Meredith and Owen stand to lose someone they both love dearly if indeed Cristina takes that job.
What did you think of the Burke episode? Do you think Cristina will take the Zurich job?
There are 2 more episodes left in season 10 “Grey’s Anatomy.” Tune in next week on Thursday for episode 10x23, “Everything I Try to Do” on ABC.