'Grey's Anatomy' Recap: Reunited and it Feels -- So Good?

Grey's Anatomy - Ellen Pompeo - P 2012

[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Thursday's "Beautiful Doom" episode of Grey's Anatomy.]

Meredith and Cristina both began their emotional road to recovery during Thursday's Grey's Anatomy with an episode centered entirely on the longtime friends.

The "Beautiful Doom" hour often used a split-screen to tell parallel stories between Meredith treating a bicyclist pinned underneath a car following a crash and Cristina working with Dr. Thomas (William Daniels) on a complicated case.

With Derek (Patrick Dempsey) heading out of town, Mer (Ellen Pompeo) is tasked with taking care of Zola and fighting hard for a patient whose case replaced a car for a plane with its victim pinned underneath in a story quite similar to that of her late sister, Lexie (Chyler Leigh).

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After Webber (James Pickens Jr.) questions if the case is hitting too close to home for her, Meredith explains that she's going to take advantage of the resources the plane crash survivors only wished they had to fight to save her patient's life.

Ultimately, her patient makes it and recalls Meredith being there every step of the way.

Cristina (Sandra Oh), meanwhile, is still charmed by her wise colleague, Dr. Thomas. After Cris turns down a surgery with her sex friend Dr. Parker in favor of Thomas, the former opts to crash it as he continues his quest to get the elder surgeon to hang up his stethoscope.

After Thomas says he'd rather go down swinging (i.e. fighting for his patients), the duo moves forward with the surgery against Parker's wishes. During the risky procedure, Cris and Thomas continue their affectionate teasing with Thomas ultimately bestowing upon her the highest compliment when he dubs her the "surgeon of her generation." He says he knew it from the start and, as they rib each other about whose name will come first in the medical journals, he reveals that he'd like it to be known that he helped train her. Moments later -- in the middle of the surgery -- Thomas collapses.

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The outcome is both good and bad for Cris, with her patient ultimately surviving and Thomas failing to regain a pulse and dying on the OR floor. Hearing Thomas' words of wisdom that he shared during her tenure in Minnesota -- that no one would ever understand her and she should find someone who has similar priorities and only cares about being a doctor.

Thomas' passing prompts Cristina to return to Seattle, arriving at Meredith's doorstep -- drunk -- where Meredith's first words to greet her wrap up her case: "Lexie's dead." To wit, Cristina's reply: "Everyone's dead."

It's a sad end to reunite Meredith and Cristina, but progress for both as each in their own way began to deal with the emotional ramifications from the plane crash.

What did you think of there Meredith/Cristina episode? Will you miss Dr. Thomas? Are you happy to see Cristina back in Seattle? Hit the comments with your thoughts. Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@thr.com; Twitter: @Snoodit