(So, to take some of your advice, I’ve decided to start my own Cristina/Owen blog to host all my episode analyses in one place. From here on out, I’m going to post them here so as to not hog up space on the Yang-Hunt Thread.)
First of all, I thought this was a wonderful holiday present to the Cristina/Owen fans. (Not so much to other fandoms.) I know that some people were upset by what happened. And I hope by the end of this, some concerns can be alleviated.
One of the main reasons I enjoyed this episode is because I’m an avid romance novel enthusiast. And I gravitate towards a certain kind — the kind that gives me this “oomph” feeling, where there’s just a bit of heartbreak followed by a joyous resolution and affirmation at the end. And in my opinion, this episode’s story arc for Cristina/Owen definitely contained most — if not all — of the ingredients in the recipe for my brand of romance novelesque storyline. And I’ll point them out as I go along.
Our first scene was the one seen in the sneak peek (and garnered millions of repeat watchings from myself alone, I promise you), and it was a great way to start things off for Cristina/Owen. And this scene marks the first milestone in my favorite type of romance novel journey: the fiery passion reminiscent of new relationships and the “honeymoon” stage. I think it’s incredibly amazing that Cristina and Owen still have such a fervor for each other, and it does attest to the “newness” of their relationship, as the writers and KMK have been alluding to in their blogs and interviews, respectively. They haven’t reached the “married old couple” stage yet (as Meredith and Derek have), which is why we are amidst the exciting (and often frustrating) storylines.
Anyways, back to the scene itself. First, Owen and Cristina are continuing to partake in the Seattle Grace tradition of using the on-call rooms for some at-work hooky — and I’m loving it. We were so frustrated last season that all the other couples were consummating their relationships while ours was taking forever (i.e. 19 episodes) to do so. And they’re definitely making up for lost time. Luckily, we get to see a hint of it in this episode (but it’s a given fact, per KMK’s and Shonda’s comments, that they are definitely engaging in some “burying” activity off screen throughout these past few episodes). And what a fantastic glimpse.
I get the sense that Owen just can’t get enough of her. Back in ELL, we talked about how he inhales her or breathes her in. How he wants to flood all his senses with her essence: sight, taste, touch, smell — and even sound (I mean, seriously, these two are noisy kissers — it’s ridiculously hot). What stands out about this love scene is how it contrasts against all other love scenes throughout the show with the other couples. It’s definitely more risque than most of the love scenes we’ve seen in that there’s some serious kissing of the collarbone/breast area. And of course, my favorite: neck kissing. Also, when she’s reaching for the pager (stupid pager — always interrupting hot on-call room scenes), I can totally hear Owen making a “nuh uh” noise. Which is so delicious. As well as Owen’s caressing of Cristina’s body (arms, waist, etc.). His hands are all over her. His lips are all over her. He’s all over her. And laughter during foreplay and lovemaking makes it all the sexier for me.
I don’t know if it’s because I’ve got a dirty mind, but this scene held total implications of no clothing. What I mean by that is that I feel the only reason their scrubs are on at the moment is because it’s ABC and not HBO. You know what I mean? For television purposes and for the viewers to see anything below the chest area, they had to be wearing clothes. But in a more realistic setting (i.e. without cameras rolling and if we were in the world of Seattle Grace), all of this hotness would have been going on sans clothing. (Now to take a moment to pause and fan ourselves.)
But unfortunately for Owen (and us), Cristina opts for cardio surgery. And though I would have obviously chosen differently, it’s understandable. She’s been starving for cardio surgeries for a long time now. Of course she’s not going to pass up this opportunity. And it’s not like she won’t be picking up where they left off later. But what I found was hilarious was that I think, for the briefest moment as Cristina kisses him before leaving, Owen thinks just maybe Cristina will stay and follow through with the hot hot sex. Thus, the utter disappointment on Owen’s face when such an event does not take place (and Owen’s left with a serious case of, excuse my language, blue balls). (Funny side note: Cristina leaves the on-call room without putting her shoes or shirt on. If anyone were to see her in the hallway, they would totally know what she had been up to. That would have been hilarious to see.)
And off Cristina goes to surgery and we meet Danielle Panabaker’s character (Kelsey). By the way, I adore Danielle and Nathan West (Chyler Leigh’s husband in real life). Anyways, what I like about this surgery scene is that we see Teddy letting Cristina scrub in and be hands on — she really is a great teacher for Cristina, giving her the chance to really learn firsthand how to do surgery. It’s fantastic, and it makes Cristina happy. And that makes me happy.
Later on, when they’re telling Nathan’s character (I’m going to call him Nathan from now on because I swear they never say his character’s name), I love the fact that Cristina interrupts Jackson’s explanation to provide a simpler, more understandable one. It’s interesting because usually it’d be someone else interrupting Cristina’s more medical explanation (like in “An Honest Mistake” with Dr. Campbell). I think that this shows growth in Cristina as a doctor, which I attribute to the fact that Cristina is under the tutelage of a brilliant cardio mentor again. She’s blossoming as a surgeon, which is a huge step from the previous episodes. She’s also learning to have better bedside manners (albeit a rather unique, dark-humored one). I think she really feels for Kelsey and Nathan because of their similarities to her and Owen as a couple — a topic I’ll discuss later in more detail.
In this scene, we also see the bond that’s developed between Teddy and Cristina. Cristina refers to Teddy as “Teddy” most of the time, which really attests to how much Cristina likes her. She’s totally impressed with Teddy, as can be seen when she tells Nathan that Teddy basically performed a “miracle.” Unfortunately for her, this perfect cardio mentor also happens to be in love with her boyfriend, but we’ll get to that later. (Oh, the tangled web these Grey’s Anatomy writers weave.) And Teddy likes Cristina as well, as we heard in the previous episode. Seriously, this whole situation is complicated, just as KMK said.
And onto the first scene with Owen and Teddy in the ambulance bay. It had “awkward” written all over it. I mean, the stereotypical conversation about the weather and the stuttering — all signs of awkwardness. Which is hard for Owen because I think he genuinely cares for Teddy. As KMK said in his interviews, these two share a strong bond that comes from being in the army together. They understand each other in ways that no one else could. To paraphrase KMK’s analogy, Teddy knows Owen in a way that no spouse/partner ever could because of the fact that they survived a war together. But along a similar line of reasoning, Cristina knows Owen in a way that Teddy never could because they survived a different war — PTSD — together. Love is in both relationships, but the key difference is that Owen is in love with Cristina — and I highly disagree with anyone who questions the verity of that.
Love the brief interlude with the remaining original interns scene (Alex/Meredith/Cristina). I pretty much love all Alex/Cristina interactions these days. They’re a hoot together. And of course, Meredith and Cristina together is always wonderful (excepting that brief period in season 5 that I choose to see as a plot device for Cristina to lean on Owen more). And the “bit.ch” talk. HI-larious.
The scene with Teddy, Cristina, and Kelsey reminds me a bit of Owen and Cristina in “An Honest Mistake” as well with Teddy’s clearing of the throat in response to Cristina’s version of comforting the patient with her “organ palooza” comment. Patient care with a twist of Cristina’s dark humor. Both Teddy and Owen seem to tolerate it because they like (well, for Owen, it’s love) Cristina and know this is just the way she is. They both accept Cristina as is, which I really appreciate. As the writers said, Cristina in full throttle can be a tough pill to swallow for many people.
I think Cristina gets the first real hint of something going on in regards to Teddy and Owen during the next scene as they wheel Kelsey outside and Teddy reminisces about how Owen saved Christmas for these soldiers with a snow machine. (Owen seems to have a penchant for these highly romanticized gestures: his proposed date to the West Point Lighthouse to watch the Northern Lights and bringing snow to the desert. I love it. He’s my kind of guy.) And just in case she didn’t catch it, Jackson comes in with his teasing (and rather bratty) comment, “Hunt’s so delicious when he’s tending the bloody soldiers. Love me some Hunt.” (But seriously, I do love me some Hunt.) Poor guy, he knows he doesn’t have a chance with Cristina, especially when he knows he’s up against Owen — a badass trauma surgeon. And per her usual tactic with Jackson, she shuts him up.
Now to a scene that hopecrowe totally called: Owen bringing Cristina a coat and warming her up. How cute was that? Such a gentlemanly thing to do — and Jackson takes notice of it (he looks back as the ambulance bay doors open). And what was even cuter was the fact that as he’s rubbing Cristina’s arms — when we see the scene at a wide camera angle — Owen pecks Cristina on the cheek. I know it’s fuzzy, but you can literally hear the kiss. I’m not kidding. Go rewatch (and re-listen) if you don’t believe me. What I also loved about this act is that it’s such a boyfriend move; and in all my episode analyses, I always talk about how Owen tends to keep the personal and professional world separate. But coupled with the fact that it’s Christmas Eve and that Owen has been seen to slowly merge the two worlds together in the past couple of episodes, it’s an instinctive move on his part.
I can just imagine him working in the ER (more kudos to them for coming into work on the holidays) and seeing that Cristina is outside in the snow shivering. Of course he’s going to take care of her. Of course he’s going to bring her a jacket and keep her warm. And I also think that it’s interesting that Owen doesn’t even look at Teddy (nor does Teddy glance back at him) or bring an extra jacket for her, considering that Teddy and Owen are friends. I mean, the writers could have had Owen bring Teddy a jacket then move towards Cristina — since Owen is a gentleman, after all — and it would have still remained in character. But they didn’t, proving that Owen’s primary concern and focus is on Cristina. Even when he talks about Teddy being a “sucker for Christmas,” it’s said in the tone of an afterthought. He’s simply sharing information and responding to Cristina’s remark. I mean, he doesn’t even notice the look Cristina shoots him after he says it. He’s distracted by the (literally) heartless patient who’s frolicking in the snow. He doesn’t realize that he just cemented Cristina’s suspicions even more with this second hint of something going on between Teddy and Owen.
Before I break down the “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” scene, can I just say how much I adore the writers for giving KMK the chance to play guitar? What a great gift to us for the holidays! He’s an awesome guitar player, and I’m glad that we were able to see it. (And I’m sure that Owen’s played before for Cristina — just not on camera.) In the beginning of this scene, Owen’s definitely having a jovial time. He has a goofy smile on his face, and he’s totally getting a kick out of the Chief and Arizona singing the duet. But the moment his eyes connect with Teddy, that joy flees from his eyes and his smile disappears. Her longing look puts a huge damper on his happiness. It’s almost as if he’d prefer her not to be there (at that moment at least). (Honestly, I think the only reason she was invited was because Cristina likes her and because Meredith, in turn, wants Cristina to be happy. Meredith is really a great friend. I adore Meredith and Cristina’s friendship. Totally my second favorite relationship.) And then he doesn’t look at her again, instead focusing on the guitar. In addition, Teddy also looks away. And more than that, she’s uncomfortable. In my mind, that reaction implies that the emotion behind Owen’s look towards her had a negative valence. Because if it were positive, I’d think she would give a hopeful response (as is seen later in the exam room scene between the two.)
Cristina singing is HI-larious. Apparently, lots of people were singing this episode. I was only expecting the Chief and Arizona. But we got Cristina, Nathan, and Bailey, too. And Cristina is totally not into it (thus the pitchiness — I mean, Cristina can carry a tune, as we saw in season 4 with her rendition of “Like A Virgin”). Her “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow” held such an annoyed and resigned tone, it was awesomely funny. (I also am glad that Bailey’s letting Cristina be first assist on the surgery. Guess they have patched things up.) And oh Cristina with her overplaying of the “I’m Jewish” card. Sorry, that just won’t cut it anymore.
The dinner scene was just plain awkward, but that was mostly because of the tension between Bailey and her father. However, there is a brief moment of awkwardness between Teddy and Cristina as she passes the stuffing, which may suggest a cut scene of Cristina and Bailey arriving at Meredith’s house. However, there is a brief moment of awkwardness where Teddy says to Cristina, “Here, eat some stuffing.” And the fact that Cristina, after thanking Teddy, immediately hands it off to Owen makes me think that Cristina realizes that the person she’s really trying to offer the stuffing is Owen. Because although I believe Teddy honestly likes Cristina, I don’t know if they’re at the point of being friends. Or at least to a point where Teddy would be concerned with whether or not Cristina’s getting some stuffing. You know what I’m saying? It’s like when Bailey serves her dad some food even as she’s giving her speech and is upset with him. She loves her father and cares for his well-being, so she makes sure his plate has food. I don’t think Teddy would do that for Cristina. She’d do that for Owen. (Side note: Owen and Bailey share a brief smile before Bailey’s dad ruins the festive mood. Far cry from their interaction in 5×18.)
In between moments of Bailey’s speech, you can see everyone just staring intently at their plate. It’s rather hilarious in spite of the emotionality of the scene. Another huge moment of awkwardness. Followed by polite smiles from both Cristina and Owen (who are both probably wishing that they were sitting at the other end of the table) towards the end of the scene and a truncated/muted moment of Cristina and Owen saying something to each other (probably to the effect of “give this food to Bailey”). And I definitely don’t mind that background music. Sara Ramirez’s voice can make angels cry. (I was definitely tearing up, and I’m no angel.)
Back to hospital where we see Cristina giving patient care, comforting Kelsey and Nathan in regards to her prospects. We’re seeing the gentler side of Cristina, which is able to come out because she’s no longer yearning for cardio surgery or panicked over her job. We’re back to the calmer, more rational Cristina — without evident professional insecurities. (Personal insecurities? That’s still somewhat present, especially in respect to her relationship with Owen. Or romantic relationships in general. But who can blame her? She got left at the altar.)
And now to a series of scenes that is dividing the Cristina/Owen fans a bit in a sense. I’m obviously going to look upon these scenes with a hopeful attitude, because that’s the type of person I am, so bear with me please. In the scene where Cristina catches Owen looking at Teddy instead of her, my heart broke. This bright smile comes across her face upon seeing her boyfriend, only to turn into pain and sadness when she realizes that he’s looking at Teddy. The whole look towards Teddy then back at Owen was heartwrenching. It still pains me now — but like I said, it’s what I want from the romance novels I read, so it’s a “good” pang. The “oomph” factor, I call it. This scene had to happen — it was the necessary instigator of Owen finally dealing with Teddy straightforwardly.
The whole exchange of looks between Owen and Cristina was well done by both KMK and SO. Just so well done. You see everything that goes on in their minds. Cristina’s look of realization and subsequent disappoint and hurt. Owen’s own realization of his gaze towards Teddy being seen by Cristina (I don’t want to say “caught” because I think that implies that Owen was looking at Teddy longingly, and I don’t think he was — I think the look reflects more of a desire to discuss and resolve the bombshell she dropped on him) that turns into guilt (the moment where you see his desire to go to her and explain) and shame (the classic look to the ground). Then Cristina’s look of concession (some may call it defeat, but I think it’s more of a pain-ridden resignation) before she turns and leaves the ER. And last but not least, Owen’s look of anger (anger at himself for being party to a situation that causes Cristina pain that’s transferred onto and partly the fault of Teddy) as he shoves her into the exam room for a private (it’s Owen, of course he’s going to try to keep it private — as he did in the last episode with Cristina and that scrub room scene) argument.
And of course, the scene where all of Owen’s pent-up frustration and guilt from keeping a tight lid on the situation with Teddy finally culminates into an explosive outburst (a smidgen of Vorenus fury, perhaps?). He can’t keep quiet anymore. The elephant in the room can no longer be ignored or tiptoed around. He has to “draw the line in the sand” now. Why? Because it’s gotten to the point where it’s affecting Cristina. The point where Owen sees Cristina being hurt. And that is unacceptable, especially when he’s partially to blame (at least he is in his mind). KMK mentioned numerous times in the various interviews about how Owen is very protective of his relationship with Cristina. And I got that sense here. He is so protective of his personal relationship with Cristina — and her feelings — that he will attempt to eliminate any threat — even if that threat is himself (as in the “take care now” scene where he tries to let her off the hook). Self-sacrifice is not a foreign concept to either Owen or Cristina. And I honestly believe that it’s because they love each other so much that they exhibit that type of behavior.
I’m not going to lie. When I was watching this scene, I was totally cursing my head off. Because the writers scripted it so that Owen is so close to Teddy that they could be kissing, and that tiny chance of lips actually meeting is just hanging there. Boy, was I yelling. And it didn’t help that Owen admits to having had (it’s important that Owen consistently speaks of his feelings for Teddy in the past tense throughout this scene) feelings for Teddy. Another important word choice is the specific decision for Owen to never say “love” during this heated scene. No, he saves that word — and for Owen (and Cristina), the utterance of that word to another person is not ever made lightly — for Cristina only. Once during this scene and again in the last scene. How we know that it’s significant that he never says it in respect to Teddy is based off the history between Cristina and Owen, namely the “take care now” scene where it killed him not to tell her how he really felt. He ached to tell her that he loved her, to actually say the words to her at that point. And had he ever said “I loved you” to Teddy, I feel that it would have cheapened the “take care now” moment. So in my honest opinion, the fact that Owen doesn’t say “love” reinforces just how much Owen loves Cristina (note present tense).
This scene is a passionate scene, but it’s also a rather tragic one. Because had things turned out differently, I’m sure Teddy and Owen would have made a great couple. They’re similar, they went through a lot together, and care for each other. Our moment where we are meant to feel “torn” (per KMK’s words). For Teddy, Owen is the one that got away. The one that is always on her mind, even when she’s “coupled up.”
But, Teddy is not the one that got away for Owen. Because for Owen, the moment he met Cristina and fell in love with her, I believe that he no longer thought of Teddy in the same way that Teddy currently thinks of him. He moved on. More than that, he found his soul mate. For him, the ship for him and Teddy has already sailed — far, far away. And why do I think this? Because he doesn’t kiss her, he tells her that he had feelings for her (implying it’s not there any longer), and, most importantly, he says, “I’m in love with Cristina.” The writers called this “brutal.” In a way, it is. He’s being honest with her. And Teddy, who once again is misinterpreting the situation a bit, is shell-shocked. She doesn’t know about the silent exchange between Cristina and Owen that led to this outburst. In her mind, she’s seeing this as a sign of Owen being unable to deny his feelings for her anymore and wanting to be with her now that knows of her feelings for him. Owen unintentionally gives her false hope in thinking that he will choose her over Cristina.
If you read between the lines of what Owen and Teddy are saying in this scene, you can fill in the blanks about what had happened. Owen was engaged to Beth, met Teddy and had these feelings but never acted upon them — out of honor and because he never realized that Teddy had feelings for him, too. He ended things with Beth prior to his meeting of Cristina but never called up Teddy because he didn’t realize that he had a chance with her. Came home for leave and got into a car accident, trached a guy with a pen, and the rest is history — “new history.” A rewriting of his tragic love story into one of hope, starring Cristina as his “damsel in distress.” Le sigh. (Hopeful romantic, here, can’t you tell?)
Which is why this scene ends as it should have: with Owen professing his love for Cristina and then him walking away. Because Cristina is the one he wants to be with. Cristina is the one he can’t bear to let go. Give the choice of a personal relationship (of either romantic or friendly nature) with Teddy and a personal relationship with Cristina, Owen chooses Cristina. He knows that this choice will have a lasting, strenuous effect on his relationship with Teddy. But he chooses Cristina. Once again, because he loves Cristina. I know I keep repeating that but it seems that some people still doubt it (journalists, included). Owen drew the line in the sand — a line that excluded Teddy and included Cristina. He is definitely adhering to his promise to Cristina: he wants to be around in 40 years.
Now, I know some people think that Owen lied to Cristina in regards to his past relationship with Teddy. But when he told her that they were friends, he wasn’t lying. He really thought that they were “just” friends — at least from Teddy’s perspective. I mean, it’s not like he should have told Cristina, “Oh, I had feelings for her but I was with Beth and Teddy didn’t really give me a hint” and so on. It was a thing of the past — just as Cristina’s romantic feelings for Burke are a thing of the past. As a general rule, you probably shouldn’t share the fact that you had feelings for someone, especially when admitting such feelings can only cause pain and won’t help matters. I liken it to talk of the number of past sexual partners. Don’t talk about it. It rarely leads to anything good (if it ever does) for the people currently involved in a relationship.
The scene that follows between Teddy and Cristina was interesting in that Teddy seems a tad snippier with Cristina now that her hopes have been crushed. I don’t blame her — I mean, she really thought Owen was going to pick her. And Cristina is acting chipper. Salt to Teddy’s raw wounds. And this makes Teddy less tolerant, to put it kindly, towards Cristina’s “insensitivity” — or rather, Cristina’s being so focused on the fact that Kelsey’s getting a heart that she doesn’t see that it comes at the cost of another’s happiness. I hope that this harsher treatment of Cristina doesn’t continue throughout the next few episodes because then we’d be back where we started — with Cristina having no one to teach her. And Cristina deserves some professional happiness. She really does.
Also interesting to note that Cristina is not acting any different towards Teddy. I think that speaks volumes. I mean, we know that Cristina has this insane ability to compartmentalize. But it’s a total front (and denial) as we see later when she talks to Owen. Cue my heart pang again. Why do I think she isn’t acting with any hostility? Because Cristina likes Teddy and thinks that Owen could be happy with Teddy. And so, she doesn’t put up a fight. Whether this is due more to insecurity or generosity — or a combination of both — is a toss-up and really up to the viewer. But regardless of what you attribute it to, I find it to be fodder for my romance novel recipe.
I really do appreciate that there is no catfight, and I definitely don’t attribute that to Cristina’s desire for cardio surgery trumping her feelings for Owen. In fact, I think it really is the opposite. Her love for Owen is so generous that she is willing to sacrifice her own personal happiness so that he can be happy. Or if we go the insecurity route, she thinks that perhaps Owen would be better off with Teddy because of their past and similarities so she doesn’t mark her territory and tell Teddy to back off. Self-sacrifice: love it or hate it, it will tug at the heart strings. (I’m personally eating it up because I think, in my own angsty, twisted, and slightly masochistic mind, that it really shows how much Cristina loves Owen. And how she really is a woman first in this relationship and surgeon second.)
Cristina’s last scene with Kelsey and Nathan was sweet, touching, and funny. Cristina really does associate herself with this couple, especially when Nathan delivers his proposal speech. “We went through a war together, we through this together. And we came out the other side. And I think, if we can get through this, we can get through anything.” While Cristina interprets this in respect to Teddy and Owen’s relationship — both of them literally surviving a war together, we should interpret it in regards to Cristina and Owen. Because it suits them much better. They went through PTSD together and survived — intact. In fact, I’d even say that they became more whole and healed. They fell in love with each other (almost) instantly, forging emotional bonds faster than most — just as Nathan and Kelsey did. And Owen “proposed” in the “40 years” speech (in reference to KMK’s remark about how he thought it was a proposal at first) within months of them being together. Fate presented Kelsey and Nathan with a situation that brought them to be together, just as fate brought Cristina and Owen together. With Teddy and Owen, fate gave the opposite treatment, keeping them apart with missed signals and such. Plus, they knew each other for “years” and nothing ever came of it. I feel like Nathan’s speech was a message to us, the Cristina/Owen fans. If they can survive PTSD, then they can survive anything — even this situation with Teddy (and Jackson — though it has been repeatedly made clear that it’s “never gonna happen”). Hopeful, huh? I think so. (Don’t get me started on the fact that Nathan is actually proposing and what possible foreshadowing that could mean for Cristina/Owen. As long as there’s major progress in Cristina and Owen’s relationship by the end of this season, I’ll be a happy camper. I don’t want to raise expectations, even though I am totally squeeing at the mere thought of a real Cristina/Owen proposal.)
And now, for the last scene. Cristina begins the scene in a very emotionally vulnerable position. You know she has been considering the situation between Teddy and Owen and has decided to give Owen an out — just as Owen gave her an out when he tried to “let her off the hook” in “No Good At Saying Sorry.” That’s the thing with this relationship — Cristina allows herself to be vulnerable with him. Yes, it breaks all our hearts when we see her like this, but I feel that it’s a necessary pang. It affords Owen the opportunity to do something to address her vulnerability and (hopefully) remedy it. And in this last scene, I definitely see Owen doing some “remedying.” Boy, do I ever. (He can “remedy” me anytime.)
Like Cristina, I think Owen begins this scene in a vulnerable position. He seems to be expecting her to be angry or disappointed — and he seems to be bracing himself for it. Instead, she surprises him by basically giving him the green light to break things off with her and be with Teddy. (This reminds me of “Invasion” where Cristina starts off being mad at Owen for giving Jackson the surgery for her patient but ends up walking away defeated and the subsequent look of torture on Owen’s face. He can handle anger. Perhaps even disappointment — to a lesser extent, though. But not concession on Cristina’s part.) But when she starts off with “I’m…insensitive? Sometimes?” (ended with questions marks because of that slight lilt at the end of those words) in a softly spoken tone, he turns to look at her. Because that’s a slightly self-deprecating (but honest and self-aware) remark. And the judgment is focused inward rather than at him. Something he wasn’t prepared for. When he turns away for a moment as she’s talking, I feel as if it’s because he can’t bear to see it. It hurts him too much to see her that way. So much so that when she twists the knife in our hearts (because honestly, whose heart doesn’t feel like it’s being stabbed at this point?) even more with the beginnings of her speech to let him off the hook (her voice taking that customary dip in pitch due to tears being caught in her throat as she stammers out, “But I’m not oblivious…And I don’t want you, um, to be with me because you feel like you owe me something. Because, I mean, you two went through war to–“), he can’t stand it anymore. Thus, the sudden swooping in for a kiss to kiss the truth into her. And that truth, my friends, is this: Owen is in love with Cristina. And he’s imploring her to believe him because he needs her to believe him. It’s like the “see me” scene in “Before And After” and the kiss outside of Joe’s in “These Ties That Bind” — that sense of desperation.
“Are you sure?” Cristina’s showing both insecurity (though I believe it’s the lesser of the two) and generosity. She’s still giving him an out. I think that this question pains Owen because she still feels uncertain in regards to just how much he loves her and wants to be with her — only her. And so what does Owen do? He kisses her again. Now, I know that some people wanted him to actually respond with words, but I think the kiss is the response. Let me tell you why. If we compare this scene to the scene between him and Teddy in the exam room side by side, we see the different choices Owen made in each situation.
On the physicality level, we’ve got very close proximity in both; but, it’s only in the last scene with Cristina where there is no space. He’s pinning her against the wall and lifting her a bit off the ground (in between the two kisses, she travels downward and Owen crouches a bit to be at eye level — right after the swooping, they’re almost at the same height, and it’s not like Cristina suddenly grew four to six inches). In the scene with Teddy, their lips never meet (sure, forehead and nose — but not the lips). In the scene with Cristina? Uh, yeah, lips meeting is an understatement: there’s lips and tongue — and even the hint of teeth (slight nibbling towards the end). And what’s more, we’ve got Owen’s hands caressing Cristina all over — her neck, her face, her back, and so on. It’s a tangle of hands and arms. Hot.
On the verbal level, we’ve got marked differences again. With Teddy, Owen used past tense. With Cristina, he uses present tense. And the most important difference is the word that Owen whispers “into their mouths” (an odd phrasing, but it’s what the script called for and how the writers described it). For Teddy, he tells her that he’s in love with someone else. For Cristina, he says, “I’m with you — I’m with you because I want to. I’m with you because I love you.” (Also, Owen gives the tiniest nod right before Cristina asks him if he’s sure, as if to emphasize the validity of what he’d just said.) Pretty obvious who he’s picking, right? Plus, with Cristina, he’s saying it pretty much against her lips in the beginning — back to the no space thing. So hot — and a difference between his scene with Teddy.
So, you see why I think Owen kissing Cristina is the response? Because he chooses not to kiss Teddy — even though it seems he may come close to doing so — but to kiss (okay, more like make out with) Cristina instead. And he professes his love for Cristina in both situations. We got a declaration of being “in love with Cristina” to someone else and an “I love you” being directly said to Cristina’s face. I think it’s pretty clear that Owen’s picking Cristina. Just saying. And what a way to end my “romance novel” fantasy.
To conclude, I want to leave you with is a sense of goodwill in regards to things to come. We’ve had multiple sources telling us that they will make it through and be stronger for it. We’ve got the episode itself alluding to and possibly foreshadowing major progression in their relationship as a couple. Plus, if season 6’s season finale is anything like season 5’s, it’s going to end well for us in the summer.