'Grey's Anatomy' Recap: Who Met Their Maker in the Deadly Season Finale?

Grey's Anatomy Cast PR Image - H 2012

Grey's Anatomy Cast PR Image - H 2012

[WARNING: This post contains massive spoilers from Thursday's Season 8 finale of Grey's Anatomy.]

One of Seattle Grace's best and brightest succumbed to injuries sustained in last week's shocking plane crash during Thursday's emotional Season 8 finale of Grey's Anatomy.

After departing the hospital for Boise to help with complicated surgery involving conjoined twins, Meredith, Derek, Cristina, Arizona, Mark and Lexie all sustained injuries and were in various stages of distress.

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Left pinned down under part of the plane with her legs and pelvis crushed, ultimately it was Little Grey, Lexie (Chyler Leigh), whose injuries were the most severe. Despite Mark (Eric Dane) and Cristina's (Sandra Oh) best attempts, Lexie couldn't be saved. In one of the ABC medical drama's most emotional scenes in its eight seasons, Lexie tells Mark to relay a message to Meredith: She was a good sister and loved. With Cristina frantically looking for Meredith -- who is busy searching for Derek after he was sucked out of the plane -- Mark realizes that there's nothing he can do for Lexie and, in a bittersweet scene as she slips away, he sends her off by telling her that they'll get married and she'll have a bright future as a surgeon.

Meanwhile, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) is too late to say goodbye and arrives just after Lexie passes away. As the trio start to search for Derek again, Meredith continues to battle her emotions at the thought that she could lose both her sister and husband as Cristina reveals that she's leaving Seattle if she survives the harrowing ordeal.

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In shock after Lexie's death, Mark -- who has a huge gash on his chest -- passes out and needs heart surgery as Meredith and Cristina saves his live by draining the blood pooling in his heart. With bone exposed in her leg, Arizona is left in shock from the crash and despite her massive injuries, does her best to help keep Mark alive despite coughing up blood. Realizing that he's slipping away, Mark tells Arizona to take care of "our girl" and realizes that Lexie is waiting for him, as he knows that he'll be OK. Unwilling to accept it, Arizona tells Mark that Callie and Sophia are waiting for him, too, and she needs him to hold on so they can go home -- together. As Mark continues to cling for life, he notes that he should have professed his love for Lexie well before the crash.

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Derek, whose arm was pinned under part of the wreckage, collapses shortly after Meredith, Cristina and Mark find him. With a swollen hand and an epic gash in his arm, they use a tourniquet in an effort to help save the surgeon's limb.

Owen and Teddy are at odds (again!) when he lashes out at news that she turned down an offer to work at an Army hospital because she's loyal to Seattle Grace, despite wanting to leave because of what happened to Henry. Owen takes Teddy's decision to stay as a sign that Cristina must be leaving. At the end, Owen fires Teddy and encourages her to serve the country as she realizes that he's doing what's best. Realizing that their feud is behind them, a crying Teddy hugs Owen and tells him to fight for Cristina.

Jackson tells April that he's going to Tulane and feels sick to leave her and the hospital. April continues to struggle with the loss of her virginity and tells Jackson that she's not happy to see him leave -- or her status as a deflowered Christian.

Bailey proposes again to Ben, and asks Ben to tell her that they'll be OK.

Alex reveals -- via voicemail to Arizona -- that he's taking the offer at Johns Hopkins because he has to find out if he can succeed without Arizona's assistance and support.

With a busted flare gun, a damaged transmitter and one match left as night falls in the woods, Mark, Arizona, Meredith and Derek are all starting to fall asleep as Cristina does her best to keep everyone awake -- and alive -- as the episode ends.

So who will survive to see Season 9? Will Arizona and Mark hold on? Will Jackson, Teddy and Alex all really leave? Hit the comments with your thoughts.

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