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Discuss the "Beautiful Doom" Episode from Season 9 here.
I normally don't post, but Dr Thomas's death was disheartening, so i took some time to figure out why. I mean, i’ve always been okay with characters dying in Grey's. But I cannot stand that Dr Thomas died.
I see two plausible reasons for Dr Thomas’s death: To bring Cristina back to Seattle or to illustrate that devoted surgeons like Cristina and Dr Thomas who has “little regard for anything but their craft” (s9e5) will go down fighting for what they love to do.
Whatever the reason may be, I personally felt that Dr Thomas’s death was as mournful as George, Lexie and Mark’s even though his character was more recently introduced. I wasn’t sure why at first, then I realized that because Dr Thomas wasn’t just her mentor – but the way I saw it, he parented her like a way you would "parent" an adult child.
He was attentive to Cristina and her cared about her development as a surgeon. In episode three, when he showed her his signature move, he wasn't being a boastful jerk. He wasn't taking a holier-than-thou stand or flaunted that his method was superior to Cristina’s beloved LVAD suggestion. His "you impressed? ... [You are] just too prideful to admit it. But that's okay" line was delivered with nurturance. He showed that his move was more appropriate to the patient but didn’t shame Cristina for having insisted less beneficial method. He then went on to explain how his method is done.
His attentive to Cristina was further shown when he continued on to say, "Because I devoted my life to doing it...so, what is your signature move, hmm? Life is short. You've seen that yourself. So, you better get at it". He recognized that Cristina doesn’t have a signature move. Rather than giving her strict orders to develop her own or abasing her for falling short, he reminded her that life is short and art isn’t created overnight. His care of Cristina was shown when he suggested her to “better get at it”.
A tricky area for most parents, especially for those with adult children, is stepping in their children’s lives and encouraging or suggesting something to their kids without being seen as the meddler. But Dr Thomas did this quite well. He understood Cristina. He probed her with the right amount of judgement and criticism without sending her into a rage.
Like most parents, he has high expectations of Yang and believes that she’s great. This is shown when he tells her that she will be the surgeon of her generation (s9e5).
And let’s not forget the most important characteristic of parents: being there for you to give you a hug. A hug is warm embrace and a sign of caring. At the end of episode 3, Dr Thomas offers Cristina a handkerchief. Although they don’t physically hug, Dr Thomas’s action of handing Cristina a handkerchief is a sign of caring. He could’ve just behaved indifferently toward Cristina’s situation and let her be. But much like parents would, he checks on Cristina.
What I found quite neat was that Dr Thomas’s parental attitude toward Cristina isn’t one sided. It works in reverse as well. Cristina’s behavior toward Dr Thomas is much like an adult child behaving to his/her parents. In episode four, when Dr Thomas performed the surgery using more up-to-date method, Dr Thomas was having trouble and was about to quit. However, Cristina helps him by telling him to “turn his right wrist like this”. Cristina essentially saved him from being forced to retire.
With the changing technology, there’s a clear ageism in the society. It is almost as if not being able to use computers or being less sensitive to changes in technology is forcing older generation to be pigeon holed and retire. This is much like Dr Thomas’s case. So, often times children of those older generation steps in to “save” their parents. I’m sure many of us (or had someone on our behalf) to step up an internet payment for their parents because the vendor no longer accepted in-store or mail-in payments.
Dr Thomas will be sorely missed