Cristina Yang Is Back On 'Grey's Anatomy' — Kind Of

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Grey's Anatomy finally gave fans some long-awaited discussions about one of Meredith's beloved day ones. Oh wait, did you think that was going to be about Karev? Nope, sorry, we still only have that weak "he's in Iowa" explanation for now. It was actually Sandra Oh's Cristina Yang who returned to Grey's Anatomy in the ABC medical drama's Thursday, Jan. 30 episode, "A Hard Pill to Swallow."

OK, so maybe Cristina wasn't actually at Grey Sloan in the flesh, but she sure was discussed plenty throughout the episode. And that's a lot more than can be said for poor Karev (Alex, not Jo, of course), who didn't even get an honorable mention this week. Do the powers that be think Grey's fans are just going to forget about him?

At this point, the more probable Grey's homecoming will be from Cristina. She's been mentioned throughout Season 16, and, let's be honest, there isn't much viewers would love more than to see Meredith reunited with her "person." If fans are going to have Karev ripped from their lives without warning (or explanation, at this point), don't they deserve a Cristina cameo, at the very least? (FYI: For her part, Oh has given several different answers over the years on whether or not she'd ever make a Grey's comeback, so anything's possible.)

Cristina's texted Meredith in several episodes this season, and don't forget that very-Cristina letter that Karev read on their former intern's behalf at Meredith's medical board hearing. As the Jan. 30 episode finally delved deeper into why Cristina sent Meredith the "McWidow" (aka Dr. Cormac Hayes), however, the former Grey's surgeon was talked about more than ever. Here are five times Cristina was the topic of conversation this week.

When Cristina Made A Strategic Use Of Emojis

ABC

The episode began with the exact kind of text exchange you'd expect Meredith and Cristina to have. While it's unclear why she waited until now to question her BFF, Meredith began the conversation asking what she'd meant when she referred to McWidow as a "gift." Cristina's response? A shrug emoji. When Meredith asked if it was "professional or personal," she again replied with a shrug emoji. Going three for three, Cristina sent — you guessed it — another shrug emoji after Meredith typed, "I need more information!!" Dr. Grey ended the text convo with, "You're not funny." Some may beg to differ on that point, however.

When Amelia Complimented Cristina's Gift-Giving Skills

An eagle-eyed Amelia — anxiety ridden in preparation for breaking the news to Link that he may not be the father of her unborn baby — sarcastically labeled the former colleagues' texts as an "illuminating exchange." After a hilarious moment where McWidow offered to tie pregnant Amelia's shoe for her, she told Meredith that Cristina had sent her a "very well-wrapped gift." Mer didn't quite appreciate this assessment, though.

When Meredith Addressed The "Elephant In The Room"

During a hallway stroll with McWidow, Meredith finally broached the subject of why he might be in Seattle. "So, elephant in the room," she began, adding, "I'm not sure what Cristina said to you, but..." Only McWidow cut her off to twice ask, "Who?" Meredith immediately said, "Never mind." So maybe he and Cristina don't actually know each other? Well, read on.

ABC/Gilles Mingasson

When McWidow Discussed An Old Colleague

After Meredith and McWidow had some disagreement over the treatment plan for a teen who'd suffered extensive lung damage from vaping, the Irish doc deferred to the Grey Sloan vet. When he turned out to be the one whose plan of action was correct, however, he revealed that he'd learned the hard way. McWidow had been in Meredith's shoes regarding a similar vaping-related case in the past, he explained, but a fellow surgeon at Zurich's Klausman Institute who "adamantly disagreed" with him ultimately reigned supreme. Who was the colleague? "Dr. Yang," he said. "Absolute nightmare." Hmm...

When McWidow Revealed Cristina Hasn't Changed One Bit

Following the procedure, McWidow assured Meredith he wouldn't "rub it in" the way his co-worker had. "When I was on the other side of this, Yang drove me mad," he told Meredith. "She gave me notes all over the place. Every day for months. 'Yang was right, you were wrong.' Little pictures of resected lungs." Meredith remarked that his story sounded about right. "Do you know her?" McWidow asked. After some awkward hesitation, Meredith simply said, "Um... I gotta go."

And with that, the mystery continues. But you know who could quickly solve it? Cristina! If all the Yang talk this season has just been a big tease, Grey's should know that fans have already suffered enough. Even if Cristina and McWidow may not have been on a first-name basis, we could still use some help filling the Karev-sized hole in our hearts. And who better to resuscitate a heart than a brilliant surgeon like Cristina? We'll be waiting.