30 Grey’s Anatomy episodes sure to make you cry

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(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images) /

11. Season 5, Episode 13, “Stairway to Heaven”

This storyline was certainly one of the most controversial ones on the whole series, but when you want to cry you need to watch this particular episode. This is the one where Meredith goes to William Dunn’s execution just to make sure he has a friendly face in the crowd.

Up to this point, Meredith and Derek were on completely opposite sides of the death penalty. Derek was all for it after everything that happened to his father and didn’t want this death row inmate’s organs used to help save a patient, despite being a match. Meanwhile, Meredith heard the inmate’s story and learned all about his fears of death.

Sure enough, we find out that despite all the bad he’s done, he’s terrified of what’s to come next. There’s an attempt to make us feel some sympathy for him, as he makes it clear that he wants one good thing to come from his death and he even tries to kill himself to make it happen.

In the end, William is executed by lethal injection. Meredith decides to give him his dying wish: to have a friendly face in the crowd. It certainly brings him some relief, but she’s hysterical because of everything that she’s just witnessed.

Cristina is there for her afterward, but Meredith just can’t stop crying. It’s hard to feel sorry for the death row inmate, but we do cry for Meredith as she lets all the emotions out. Then Cristina turns to Derek because she knows that Meredith needs him the most right now. And despite everything, he goes out to her and offers her his love.