May 16th, 2014
03:49 PM ET
Before she said goodbye, "Grey's Anatomy" actress Sandra Oh said thank you - with champagne.
The star ended her 10-season run as Dr. Cristina Yang on the medical drama Thursday night, and while she'd known for months that moment was coming that didn't make it any less bittersweet.
So on her last day, she rounded up 250 gifts - "this beautiful champagne in a box, and on it is an anatomical heart and a '10'" - and walked around the set passing them out to each and every recipient personally, she tells The Hollywood Reporter.
"It was like, 'Here's my heart in a box for a celebration. Please take it. This is my gift of thanks,'" Oh recalls. "For me ... it was good to have that moment of being able to say goodbye."
By the end, Oh says she completely "came apart" and was in tears, but it wasn't "a place of being sad," she clarifies. "It was a place of being tremendously moved. It's not like I broke down and I was crying. I felt so filled with the meaning of this moment that it was very emotional. I do want to try to be specific about the quality of the emotions because many people can be sad — and it is sad — but I was extremely moved."
For the most part, it sounds like "Grey's" fans feel just as satisfied with Cristina Yang's departure. HitFix found the season finale fitting, calling it "a happy ending for blunt, tough-minded Dr. Yang on a show that rarely has them," as E!, too, thought the closer was "perfect."
Entertainment Weekly, on the other hand, thought the big farewell was handled a little too casually, as Cristina Yang essentially bids Seattle adieu through a series of conversations, gets in a cab and heads off to Switzerland. While "keeping things simple helped make Cristina's farewell ... more realistic," it also didn't allow the episode to focus on Cristina's departure in the way that it could. "No, she wasn’t dying," EW says, "but she was moving to freaking Switzerland. It’s not as if she packed up and settled two states away."
And to Oh, the end of Cristina's story was worthy of the character. "We set it up well that there were certain things that were lacking for her in Seattle: the Harper Avery award, the questioning of her relationship with Owen," Oh told THR. "I thought that was a great way to go."
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