Grey’s Anatomy’s ultimate power couple was and always will be Cristina Yang and Preston Burke. Their relationship was complicated and messy and ultimately heartbreaking, but it was also captivating, romantic, and incredibly sincere. He was the brilliant heart surgeon, and she was the brilliant, overly competitive intern. She was his student, and he was the man she loved. They were both stubborn, cocky, and at times, infuriating. But that’s also what made them so interesting to watch.
And tonight, seven years after Burke left Cristina at the alter, he’s returning to her life. For scoop on that, check out our chat with Shonda Rhimes and Sandra Oh, and then grab your lucky scrub cap, your cup of coffee, and join us in reliving Cristina and Burke’s best moments from seasons 1 through 3:
1. “Be the other guy”: In season 2’s famous bomb episode, Burke asked Cristina to leave the room because he couldn’t focus knowing that she was in danger. But before she left him with the bomb, she gave an unforgettable speech, asking him not to be the hero who dies, but rather, to be the other guy, the one who lives. It was a rare moment of fragility for both of them, and it perfectly demonstrated how much they meant to each other.
2. Their first kiss: At the time of their first kiss, Cristina was an intern, which made Burke more than a little hesitant to start something. But in the end, all it took was a cup of coffee to set these two on a romantic path. And step one of that journey was one of Grey’s Anatomy’s best kisses.
3. Kitchen dance party: If Cristina isn’t operating or preparing to operate, then odds are she’s dancing. But only once was she joined by Burke in a rare moment of pure joy for the couple.
4. “I love you”: In the early days of their relationship, one of the greatest things to watch was Burke’s internal struggle with his feelings for Cristina. She was a frustrating woman, but he couldn’t help himself – he loved her.
5. Cristina’s miscarriage: Burke hadn’t known that Cristina was pregnant with his child until she lost it, but instead of barging in and asking her a million questions, he realized that wasn’t what she needed. Instead, he climbed into bed with her and held her. It was that simple.
6. She holds his hand: After Burke was shot in the shoulder toward the end of season 2, there was a chance he would never operate again thanks to damage done to his right hand. Faced with the idea of Burke not being a surgeon, Cristina couldn’t bring herself to visit him in his hospital room … until Denny died, after which she went to Burke, held his hand, and stayed with him.
7. The proposal: After what felt like forever of not talking to each other, Cristina finally caved and told Burke that he’d won their argument. And in return, he asked her to marry him.
8. She says yes: This scene sums up everything I loved about them as a couple. Everything.
9. “Don’t ever die”: After watching Izzie mourn Denny, Cristina had one simple request for the man she loved: Don’t ever die.
10. Exclusivity rules: When a syphilis outbreak hit the hospital, Burke and Cristina were finally forced to tell each other that they were exclusive in the most Cristina-Burke, nonchalant way possible.
11. His farewell: It seems odd to put this scene in their top 10, but it was actually a really beautiful moment. Burke realized that loving Cristina meant letting her go, and he was right.
What was your favorite Cristina-Burke moment? And remember, Burke’s return to Grey’s Anatomy airs tonight at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.