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Grey's Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy Docs in Danger: Near Death Experiences at Seattle Grace

With many of the doctors’ lives still hanging in the balance after the Season 8 finale of Grey's Anatomy , we’re starting to think that working at Seattle Grace-Mercy West could be the equivalent of having a death wish. Is it just us or are our favorite MDs in the Grim Reaper’s crosshairs as often as their patients?

Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) said it best in the aftermath of their plane crash, “If there is one thing that I have learned with the bombs and guns to my head and busses running down my friends, is that I am not interested in dying!” SERIOUSLY!

After Chyler Leigh’s (Lexie Grey) revelation that it was her decision to leave the show, we’re nursing our broken hearts over the loss of Lexie more than ever. Why? Because while it hurts to say goodbye to a beloved character in any capacity, it hurts even more to know it is forever. To make matters worse, showrunner Shonda Rhimes has already warned fans not to assume everyone will survive come Season 9. Please quit playing games with our fragile hearts, Shonda!

Are you ready for the lives of Seattle Grace to flash before your eyes? Here’s a look back at all the near death experiences we (and the characters) have endured from the first eight seasons:

Meredith Grey: Cheating death more than any other doc, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) has certainly earned the title of series heroine. First, there was the whole Code Black incident of Season 2 where she saved the lives of an entire OR by using her hand to keep a bomb from exploding inside of a patient. She traded places with an EMT who meant well but panicked. Then, there was that time she stopped caring and was ready to throw in the towel on life by letting herself drown after Season 3’s ferry boat accident.

After that, We got a brief reprieve from the “are they or aren’t they going to kill Meredith Grey?” storylines. That is until the Season 6 finale where practically the entire medical staff of Seattle Grace was in danger because of Gary Clark, a shooter who was disgruntled over the hospital’s handling of his wife’s care. Next came Season 8’s one-off ambulance crash in the middle of nowhere, shortly followed up by the season-ending plane crash. The bright side to it all? She’s still alive! Is homegirl ferosh, or what?

Alex Karev: When it comes to danger, Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) is the male version of Meredith. So naturally he was riding along with her in the aforementioned boondocks ambulance crash. Before that, he was shot during the Season 6 finale after stumbling upon Mr. Clark and a shot-dead-in-the-head Dr. Reed. Alex lost an unimaginable amount of blood for someone who’s still standing. Perhaps that’s why his character avoided the ill-fated plane ride. Oh, and lest we forget the time Cristina almost killed him by accident. No harm, no foul, right?

Izzie Stevens: From being Denny’s fiancee to Alex’s wife, Izzie’s (Katherine Heigl) time at Seattle Grace was quite the wild ride of emotion. Perhaps we should have realized cancer was in the cards for Izzie when the former teen mom’s biological daughter Hannah was admitted to the hospital with Lukemia. Izzie donated her bone marrow to save the girl but later faced her own battle with the c-word. After flatlining during aggressive treatments for metastatic melanoma, Izzie bounced back with the help of her friends, and both Stevens girls were able to show cancer the door.

George O’Malley: In the exact hospital and at the exact time that Izzie was flatlining, her best friend George (T.R. Knight) was doing the same. After being inspired by Dr. Owen Hunt’s story, George joined the army. We figured that would lead to his inevitable send off. Sadly, he never even made it! George heroically sealed his fate when he jumped in front of a bus to protect a pedestrian, and ultimately, he could not overcome his sustained injuries.

Callie Torres: Before she was with Arizona, Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) was married to George. Losing her ex-husband might have seemed like the most traumatic time in her life, but then came Arizona’s roadtrip marriage proposal — and BAM! — Callie went flying through the windshield as their car crashed. The harrowing events leading up to Season 7’s musical episode left us wondering whether Shonda and Co. would ultimately kill Callie upon her reaching a new state of personal bliss. Fortunately, Callie’s soul fought and sang its way back into her body, but the episode still serves as a horrific reminder of why seat belts are so important.

Derek Shepherd & Cristina Yang: Meredith’s rock and her person seem to be a two for one deal. After all, when Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) was shot, it was up to Cristina to operate on him. As she tried to save him, Gary Clark put his gun to her head. Both made it out alive only to crash with the team somewhere between Seattle and Boise two seasons later. Once again, it was Cristina who had to work with Meredith to save McDreamy.

The Season 6 Shooter: For a handful of characters, Season 6 was their only major tete-a-tete with death. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.), Miranda Bailey (Chanda Wilson), April Kepner (Sarah Drew), and Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) all survived Gary Clark’s malevolent rampage physically unscathed. War vet Dr. Hunt was shot — but not fatally — while Mercy West transplants Reed and Percy met their untimely ends.

The Season 8 Plane Crash: Despite sharing relatively minor moments with Gary Clark in Season 6, the Season 8 finale marked the first time we’ve seen Arizona and Mark Sloan (Eric Dane) in the direct line of fire. Up until then, we were wondering why they’d been left out of all the action. Now we wish it hadn’t happened!

...which brings us back to Meredith’s sister Lexie, whose fate was sealed when she chose a seat in the back of the plane headed to Idaho. Gary Clark came for her in Season 6, but it wasn’t until Season 8 that death finished the job.

Will another Seattle Grace-Mercy West doctor meet their maker at the start of next season? Voice your opinion in the comments below!

Miss Grey’s? Us too. Luckily the show will return to Thursdays at 9 p.m. with all-new episodes in the fall on ABC.

Follow Jonathan Zipper on Twitter @MisterJZip.

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