Credit: Ron Tom/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Alex on the Grey's Anatomy Season 8 Premiere on September 22, 2011

Even though it was a season premiere and not a season finale, this week's installment of Grey's Anatomy had more twists than this list could contain. But we managed to choose the most shocking moments and list them below, in order from pretty surprising to pick-your-jaw-up-from-the-floor mind-blowing.

5. Meredith Grey, Resident Kidnapper
With sloppier writing, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo)'s kidnapping of Zola would have been as ludicrous as, say, a doctor resuscitating a deer in the parking lot. But our hearts went out to this embattled mother, desperate to hang on to the one remaining bright part of her life.

4. A sinking feeling
Even though the sinkhole storyline was no surprise for any avid Grey's fan, there were still plenty of shockers associated with that gnarly gully. Like the size of the dang thing! Or Susanna having a whole freakin' car fall on her. Or the fact that little Nicky could have died under the dirt had it not been for Alex (Justin Chambers)'s intuition. Hole-y crap!

3. So long, Zola
Parting isn't sweet sorrow; it's just full-on, unadulterated sorrow for Meredith and Derek (Patrick Dempsey), after watching Janet ride off into the sunset with baby Zola in tow. Why is keeping a baby such a struggle for Grey's couples who want them, and not for the couples who don't?

2. Epi fail
We suppose Alex got all the comeuppance he deserved by, uh, nearly dying in the ER. We think that more than makes up for his tattling on Meredith. A hit of epinephrine would just send anyone else into a frenzy for a bit, but because of Alex's arrhythmia, he nearly kicked the bucket. If it weren't for the quick work of the other docs, the world would have been down one lovable jerkface.

1. Richard's recourse
We were wondering why the promo department at ABC would show previews of Richard (James Pickens Jr.) firing Meredith, which was shocking enough. But now we know: the real twist is that the chief effectively fired himself for the sake of Mer's career, by deciding to take the blame. He really isn't the bad guy in her story after all.