In season 17, fan-favorite characters have come and gone from Grey’s Anatomy, so it’s time Cristina Yang made her return to Grey Sloane Memorial.
As Grey’s Anatomy season 17 continues to say goodbye to beloved characters, Cristina Yang needs to return to Grey Sloane Memorial to be with her “person”. While Meredith Grey has been hospitalized and bedridden with Covid-19, there have been recent appearances from characters like George O’Malley and McDreamy who have been encouraging Meredith to wake up. However, Cristina hasn’t returned to help Meredith and it’s becoming clear that Meredith needs her “person” more than anyone else.
Cristina Yang, played by Sandra Oh, began in the series as an intern alongside Meredith, and the two quickly formed a significant bond. They were so hungry for surgeries that they walked together into an operating room where a paramedic held an unexploded bomb inside a man’s chest cavity. By the time Cristina left the series, she had endured a miscarriage, was left at the altar by Dr. Preston Burke, survived Grey’s Anatomy’s notorious plane crash that took the lives of two colleagues, and watched helplessly as a shooter roamed the hallways of the hospital. Cristina’s journey then led her to Zurich to accept Preston Burke’s offer to be the Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery. Oh left Grey’s Anatomy because she felt ready to move on and thankfully, Cristina Yang was spared from the shows growing mortality list, giving her room to return to the show one day.
Seven seasons later, Cristina still hasn’t visited an ailing Meredith, and with so much changing in the Grey’s Anatomy world due to Covid-19, she needs to return for her best friend’s sake. Cristina left a void in Meredith’s world that not even Alex Karev could fill. She worked tirelessly for her opportunities, while also developing a sisterhood with Meredith. Not having Cristina return to the show in yet another of Meredith’s darkest hours has diminished the potency of this central love story in the series. Cristina was the first to tell Meredith “you’re my person”, and her absence from the series no longer makes sense as Meredith’s life had so desperately hung in the balance.
The path to getting Cristina back on the show is made more difficult since Sandra Oh has mentioned time and again that she has moved on. Since leaving the show, she has become the first Asian American to win a Golden Globe for best lead actress in a drama series for her starring role in the hit spy series Killing Eve. She also recently mentioned on the Los Angeles Times’ Asian Enough podcast (via Los Angeles Times) that while she appreciates the show, it has been seven years and she’s moved on. Instead, Oh encourages fans to check out her other projects, like the upcoming Netflix series The Chair that better represent the Asian American experience.
While it might take a bit of convincing to get Oh back on set, her character has still been a presence on the show from time to time. Yang still very much lives on in Grey’s Anatomy, but with Covid-19 being a major storyline and Meredith in the very early stages of recovery, it makes sense that Cristina would return to build Meredith back up. Meredith needs her person, now more than ever.