‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Recap: Does Cristina Yang Win The Harper-Avery Award?

On the April 17 episode of 'Grey's Anatomy,' we finally find out if Cristina gets to claim the prestigious Harper-Avery-Foundation Award. Meanwhile, Callie and Arizona have to decide which one of them will carry their next baby. Is Cristina going to win the Harper-Avery Award?! It's the question that's been on our mind for one whole week -- and now we find out the answer.

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Grey's Anatomy Cristina Yang Harper Avery Award
Image Credit: Courtesy of ABC

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ — Cristina Prepares Alone

When Grey’s Anatomy begins on April 17, we get an instant dose of Cristina (Sandra Oh) and Owen (Kevin McKidd). Cristina is preparing to travel across the country to Boston, Massachussetts for the Harper-Avery Awards, and Owen wants to go with her. But, in true Cristina fashion, she will not hear a single word of it. Instead, she would rather focus on Owen’s new haircut. Random!

Also, Cristina has not written a speech for the awards. Or at least she’s not admitting to writing a speech — we’ll see!

We already knew that Alex (Justin Chambers) accepted Dr. Butthole’s invitation to join him as a partner at his private practice, but he hasn’t told anyone about it except for Jo (Camilla Luddington). While Jo thinks he’s double-life is incredibly sexy, the truth is that Karev is working 24 hours a day and is bound to put someone’s life in danger if he doesn’t start sleeping soon. I see your foreshadowing, Grey’s. You can not fool me!

Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw)  have decided to have another baby, but finding the time to do that has been difficult. Even scheduling a simple date night is a challenge, but when they finally get to do so Callie is not letting anything stand in their way. Besides, they have reason to celebrate now!

April & Jackson Disagree About Everything

April (Sarah Drew) and Jackson (Jesse Williams) get to work together on an adorable little girl named Jill who is deaf and suffering from a dog bite. Her parents seem a little sketchy, especially when Jackson suggests that Jill undergo transplant for her hearing. What parents wouldn’t want their little girl to be able to hear? Especially after a dog bit her after warning her with a growl that he didn’t like her pulling her tail.

This conversation haunts April and Jackson, and when they are having dinner later that night it sparks an argument. While Jackson is adamant that he would have had his child fitted for a transplant “years” ago, April disagrees. Apparently, April would not want her child to undergo the transplant and instead would rather allow her child to be embraced by the deaf community. Jackson is baffled by this, and it makes me wonder — are these two really meant to be?

What appears to be a tiny disagreement sky rockets into April and Jackson screaming at each other around their apartment. Jackson doesn’t understand that he is basically dismissing April’s beliefs, while April is trying to drill the point into his head. It’s a lose/lose all around for these two. It all comes down to April’s religious beliefs, and when she calls Jackson out on it he is speechless with realization.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’: April & Jackson Need To Make Their Marriage Work

Eventually, April berates the admission out of him. Jackson doesn’t believe in God, he believes in medicine. Instead of being upset for herself, she admits that she pities him for it. He doesn’t know how to believe in anything because he wasn’t raised to believe in anything — except medicine.

Everyone Is Stu Working Overnight

Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) gets stuck with an overnight when Richard (James Pickens Jr.) dumps it on her, and she’s pretty pissed about it from the start. Even though she’s very jealous of Cristina’s Harper-Avery nomination, she had plans to spend the night with Cristina preparing her for the ceremony.

After figuring out that Brayden, the little boy who doesn’t have an immune system, could potentially be cured by manipulating his stem cells, he undergoes surgery immediately. Bailey (Chandra Wilson) has masterminded something she calls “replicating genes” — and she has been working around the clock to remove HIV from a virus, which she believes she can use to build an immune system for Brayden. It sounds terrifying, and super risky, but she’s so confident it’s hard to think she’s wrong.

Once Cristina finds out Meredith is out for “night before” plans, she hangs around the hospital looking for people to hang out with instead. When she stops by to visit the three siblings who all have debilitating heart conditions, she starts a war between their parents. Apparently, living in a hospital around the clock while your children are all suffering is a marriage deal breaker.

Thankfully, Cristina is smart enough to intervene — because she knows that fighting is definitely not good for her three heart patients. What does this mean for her big night out though? Well, not much, because she ends up spending it with the three young patients.

In fact, she finally works on that speech of hers, and as she begins reciting lines to the three young patients, they are brutally honest with her. My favorite description of the speech is when the boy calls it “braggy.” Of course it’s braggy, it’s Cristina’s speech! Hanging out with the kids is only temporary though, because she pages Owen to see if he wants to hang out. Now that Meredith bailed on her, she wants to hang out with Owen? Okay, whatever, I’ll take it.

Except it doesn’t happen. Owen is pissed that Cristina had him paged just for her speech, so he leaves her behind with the young patients. However, one of the girls’ headaches quickly spikes into a fever and suddenly the girl is very, very ill. When Cristina realizes that the girl may be rejecting her heart transplant, she runs to have an operating room  booked. Maybe Meredith bailing on her was a blessing in disguise, because this little girl needs her help now.

Callie & Arizona Decide Who Will Carry Their Baby

The interns are in rare form — partying form! Just as they are all changing into their street clothes and getting ready to hit a karaoke bar, Derek (Patrick Dempsey) pops in and tells them they aren’t going anywhere. Instead, they are working an overnight and will be observing another brilliant brain surgery.

There’s one problem with this: Meredith asked him to pick up the kids. If they are both working overnights, where are their children?!

Well, it turns out they are with Callie and Arizona. Their date night turned into a babysitting night, and even though they are upset about it, they are pretty pleased they get to hang out with little Bailey, who is only a few months old. Since they recently decided to have another child, they can use a refresher course in all things baby! But when Callie mentions that she will be having another one, Arizona seems offended. Apparently, Arizona was hoping to carry their next child. Yes, Arizona, who did not even want a child in the first place. Talk about major change!

Later on, the couple are sitting up in bed talking about who is going to carry their next baby. Arizona seems really interested, so they decide they are going to flip a coin to make the decision. It seems silly, which even they admit, but to them it also feels right.

When Callie throws the coin in the air, Arizona flips out and tells Callie she doesn’t want to do it. Callie is thrilled to carry again, but the whole thing is just so funny. After all of that, Arizona is not ready to carry a baby. Hey, maybe she’ll carry their third!

The next morning, Arizona and Callie get a knock at the door from April. She needs a place to stay, which tells us exactly how things ended with her and Jackson.

Cristina Has ‘Night Before’ Surgery

While Arizona and Callie were bickering about babies, Derek introduces his interns to a man with a pair of scissors lodged in his forehead. Let that sink in for a moment. (Pun only partially intended.) Of course, Jo takes the reigns on this surgery when Derek announces that someone will have to “yank” the scissors out. It’s gross, but it’s pretty cool to watch this little woman and her incredible yet terrifying strength at work.

It turns out that Cristina does get Owen to listen to her speech after all, but only while they are in surgery doing a biopsy on the girl who is rejecting her heart transplant. Owen tries once again to get Cristina to agree to bring him to Boston, but she doesn’t want anyone there for an unknown reason. This frustrates Owen enough to walk out, leaving Cristina exactly what she wants: alone.

One of the young patients that Cristina has befriended is missing, and Karev is the only person who knows where to find her. He enlists the help of Brayden, who befriended the little girl named Frankie, and he uses his remote control car to find her. It’s a neat little gadget he’s got there, but unfortunately when they find the little girl she’s passed out in a hallway.

It turns out that Ivy, the girl rejecting her heart, is back on the transplant list while taking anti-rejection medication. Frankie, her sister, is also on the transplant list again. These poor parents. Watching them deal with having three children on the transplant list is painful, especially as they continue to battle each other.

When the father finally comes back, he’s remorseful for his actions and their argument earlier. It’s such a sweet reunion, you can’t help but tear up.

And the winner is…

Towards the end of the episode, Meredith, Alex, and Cristina start to reminisce about their years in the hospital. Karev admits that he always thought he would read about Cristina winning a Harper-Avery one day, but he never thought he would be operating with her the night before.

Now that Cristina’s patients are stable, Meredith and Hunt are waiting with her for her cab. Meredith has to run to her patient once she gets paged, and Owen claims he wants to see her off. But he’s being paged over and over and has to leave her behind as well, so Cristina gets her cab all by herself. I don’t know how she’s doing it — my nerves are shot waiting to find out if she is going to win or not!

While in a major, major brain surgery with Derek, Leah (Tessa Ferrer) messes up big time. The patient is a bleeder, and she may have just damaged the brain even further.

Thankfully, later when the patient is in recovery, she wakes up without a problem. Leah is so overwhelmed by relief she starts to cry, and Derek reminds her that this is a lesson that she needs to take with her. It was a close call, and they happen, but now she must continue to learn and grow from the experience. Why is McDreamy so brilliant? It’s kind of not fair.

In Boston, Cristina is alone. She’s sipping champagne, and she looks incredible. During the cocktail reception, party-goers are clamoring to talk to Cristina about her conduit trials. It’s overwhelming, even for Cristina, and when the reception starts she makes a desperate call to Meredith. The truth is, Cristina doesn’t want to be alone. She wants Meredith and she wants Hunt, and guess what? They are there! They’ve surprised her, and it’s exactly what she needed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Cristina so nervous, or so thankful, and it’s a touching turn of events before the biggest moment of her life.

Then, it finally happens. Cristina… loses.

Tell us, HollywoodLifers — Are you surprised that Cristina lost the Harper-Avery Award to another doctor? Do you think April and Jackson are going to split for good? Let us know your thoughts below!

— Lauren Cox

More ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ News:

  1. ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Recap: Cristina’s Career Hits A Major Milestone
  2. ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Recap: A Vicious Viral Infection Puts Everyone At Risk
  3. ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Recap: Cristina Has An Imaginary Relationship With Hunt