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'Grey’s Anatomy' winter finale: Jackson stands up, Shane breaks down, more

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The winter finale of “Grey’s Anatomy,” which promised big things, delivered and then some. The episode, “Get Up, Stand Up” aired Thursday, Dec. 12 and centered on April’s wedding but there so much going on you needed a program to keep up.

Shane Ross has been working like a fiend. People are starting to notice a shift in his personality. We soon discover he’s living on energy drinks and doctoring his work schedule so he can put in more hours. Seems he hasn’t slept in days. In a press conference about their recent groundbreaking surgery, Cristina is reluctant to stand in the limelight but Shane jumps in to sing her praises, ticking her off.

April round’s up her three doctor-bridesmaids for dress fittings, forcing Cristina and Meredith to be in the same room together. Cristina confides in Meredith that she is unsure exactly how she saved the baby because the printer graft she used failed and she had to improvise. The conversation begins to disintegrate as they hurl harsher and harsher words at one another. Mer asks how long Cristina has been sleeping with Shane, noticing that when he came to deliver the news that Cristina is being considered for the Harper-Avery award and saw her in her underwear, the usually blushing Shane didn’t even blink.

That escalated into Meredith saying that Shane was doing the same thing Cristina did, sleeping with his mentors to learn what he wanted so he could get to the top. The words grew more hateful from there.

Alex goes to see his dad and wants some answers like how the guy could forget he had a wife and 3 kids. Jimmy explains he used drugs to make himself forget but really, he remembered. He recalled how Alex used to laugh in his sleep. They share memories of a trip to a fair they both enjoyed and things seem better until his dad starts recalling Alex’s mom’s mental condition and how hard it was to live with her. This sets Alex off, who yells at his dad, telling him he wasn’t there. It was Alex who took care of here and raised his siblings. “I was the dad!” he screams.

In a case where a young boy is run over by a tractor, Alex and Callie blame the boy’s father for his paralysis because the dad didn’t wait for help and moved the boy. When Alex tries to reassure the man, saying he was just trying to do what he thought was right, Alex has an epiphany about his own dad. He visits him again and says he’s glad his dad left them because Alex wouldn’t be the man he is today if he had stayed. He might have been a drunk and junkie too. Then he tells him goodbye and wishes him well. After he leaves, Jimmy begins to crash.

Jackson and Stephanie are working together on a man, Dalton, who keeps getting food stuck in his esophagus, leaving him with some nasty bad breath issues. They explain the surgery will help but there is a risk he won’t be able to talk afterward. To lighten the mood, the man begins to say things to his wife he’s always held in, most of them comical and sweet. Just before he goes into surgery, he whispers something in ear that makes her smile and tear up. Jackson recalls when Mark Sloane told him, if you love someone, you should tell them even if it burns your life to the ground.

Derek is being wooed by a firm working on a presidential initiative that wants to hire him as a consultant. He’s offered a considerable fee but turns it down because he’s already stretched too thin and he promised Meredith it would be her turn. He does give them some advice about their research they find useful, though.

Dalton comes through surgery fine but as he is waking up, he has a massive stroke. He is not speaking or responding to anything and may remain this way – there’s no way to know. His wife begins singing their song, “It Had to Be You,” to him. Stephanie turns to Jackson to tell him she loves him but can’t quite bring herself to say it.

Bailey is returning to surgery until she decides to find or create a drug that will prevent her patient’s bronchial tumors from growing back every 7 to 10 days. Leah wants to do surgery and since she’s on Bailey’s service, she hasn’t had much chance. She confronts Bailey and learns she will get to do the patient’s last surgery after all.

On the day of the wedding, as Bailey and Ben arrive, they have a spat that starts when Ben says he’s worried that Bailey gave up her surgery and returned to the lab. That’s where her illness began. She tells him that her symptoms worsened when he moved back to Seattle. Alex meets Jo at the wedding, plants a big kiss on her lips and maps out their future, saying they will be together forever and if they become parents, they will be great ones. Not quite a proposal but Jo agrees.

Arizona has a meltdown in front of April over her relationship with Callie. She talks about the affair she had and how Callie is trying to fix her. When Cristina arrives, she and Meredith continue their bickering that has now escalated to a shouting match. April’s had enough and says it supposed to be her day and they are supposed to be fawning over her and making her feel special.

Shane is the one called in to handle Alex’s dad. He’s having heart trouble and Shane wants to open him up. Leah wants him to wait for an attending but he’s convinced waiting is the wrong choice. In the OR, things go from bad to worse. Shane won’t listen to Leah and there’s blood everywhere. She runs out to find another doctor and brings Weber back. Shane is in a haze, having flashbacks about Heather and his involvement in her death. All he keeps saying is “I did this.” Richard gets Shane calm, makes him leave and then Weber goes to work on Jimmy. The monitors have all flat lined but Weber keeps massaging Alex’s dad’s heart.

April’s wedding get underway and everything is beautiful. Derek gets a call from the President of the United States. We don’t know what is said but we do know you don’t say no to the President.

The preacher asks everyone to voice their approval by saying “We do” and everyone does except Jackson. Stephanie notices but says nothing. After a moment of nervous contemplation he stands. People turn and look; he sits back down. Just as the preacher begins to speak again, he stands and says loudly. “I love you.” He says he always has and wants to know if she loves him too. That is of course where they leave things hanging – not knowing April’s answer.

Will Alex’s dad die and will Shane be held responsible? How will Alex feel about that since he just told the man he never wanted to see him again? Will Cristina and Meredith ever get past this? Will Derek take the job and leave Meredith holding down the home front or will he turn down the President? Who will April choose and how will Matthew and Stephanie react to her decision?

“Grey’s Anatomy” resumes in February. Until then, check back often for news, spoilers and updates.

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