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HomeNewsGrey's Anatomy's Season 8 Plane Crash Is The Show's Most Traumatic Episode

Grey’s Anatomy’s Season 8 Plane Crash Is The Show’s Most Traumatic Episode

Grey’s Anatomy season 8 featured a plane crash that put everybody through the emotional wringer, making it arguably the medical drama’s most traumatic episode. The doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital have dealt with every kind of emergency imaginable during their eventful medical careers. This includes attending to victims of incidents like train derailments, gas tanker explosions and school shootings or saving people wounded in natural catastrophes such as mudslides, sinkholes and superstorms.

Grey Sloan Memorial has proved a risky place to work too, and its doctors have been directly involved in major incidents on more than one occasion. Back in Grey’s Anatomy season 2, a bomb exploded in the hospital which almost killed Meredith Grey while in season 13 another explosion caused by oxygen tanks being set alight engulfed the building in flames. It’s also been targeted by not one, but two crazed gunmen and in season 5 a burst pipe flooded the hospital and caused a ceiling to collapse-mid surgery.

To say it’s a dangerous job is putting it mildly, but the most perilous situation the show’s characters have found themselves so far came during Grey’s Anatomy season 8. In the season’s penultimate episode, six doctors – including Meredith Grey herself, her half-sister Lexie Grey, Mark Sloan, Arizona Robbins, Cristina Yang and Patrick Dempsey’s Derek Shepherd – were en route to assist in a surgery in Boise, Idaho when their plane crashed in a forest.

The season 8 finale revealed that Meredith and Cristina escaped relatively unharmed, but the rest of the staff weren’t so lucky, including Arizona who was left with a grisly open femur fracture and Derek whose hand as gruesomely mangled when he was sucked out of the aircraft. The most traumatic moment, however, came when fan-favorite Lexie was crushed to death by part of the plane, leaving her sister Meredith heartbroken. The Grey’s Anatomy plane crash caused even more heartbreak the following season when Arizona had to have her leg amputated and Mark eventually succumbed to the internal injuries he sustained during the accident.

Many fans and critics of Grey’s Anatomy found the plane crash storyline hard to watch – thanks to its gory wounds and Lexie’s emotional death – and the season 8 finale is still remembered as the show’s most traumatic episode a decade since it aired.

Grey’s Anatomy season 20 premieres on March 14, 2024.

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