This should be to no one’s surprised, but I loved this episode. I really think that in the end, Cristina and Owen both invested in love. And I’ll tell you why — in the end. (I have to do this chronologically because I’ll start talking all over the place.)
I know that some people weren’t happy that Owen didn’t call Cristina in for surgery, but I don’t think it came from a place of malice. He weighed two choices: call her in for a surgery or let her sleep. We saw in 6×03 that due to the merger, Cristina opted out of sleeping in favor for more hours in the hospital. In that same episode, Owen tried to convince her to go home (“Let’s go home” — still love that line) and sleep, but she refused. They ended up playing baseball, but you can bet that he got her to sleep afterwards. We saw the other surgeons who got paged hauling their butts out of bed and hoping that it wasn’t them who was getting paged. Yes, Cristina would have reacted differently to being paged in the middle of the night and would have loved to have done some cutting; but considering the fact that Owen and Callie had only done the cursory work — just enough to stabilize her — he probably didn’t think that Cristina needed to be there since she would be on the same case later on in the day. I find that rather considerate — but then, I love sleep. So much so that maybe my birthday gift to myself this year is to just sleep. LOL.
When Owen told Callie and Arizona that he was handling Cristina and to ignore her, I honestly thought that he was telling those two to ignore her while he figured out what to do. In rounds, he obviously didn’t ignore her, since he said, “Thank you, Dr. Yang.” I just think that he was trying to walk on eggshells around her because he didn’t want anyone to set her off. Because if anyone got her angrier, that would mean he would have to suffer the repercussions to a higher extent later. I thought it was a step in the right direction that Owen wanted to be the one to handle Cristina. That job used to be Meredith’s or Callie’s — but now, it’s Owen’s. I don’t know why, but that makes me all kinds of giddy.
The whole sequence of Cristina presenting Hilary’s charts and emphasizing the fact that Owen had performed the repair before she’d gotten there was hilarious. They shared a look, with Owen smiling, trying his best angelic look to assuage the situation, and Cristina having none of it. But obviously, Cristina was not as upset as Owen thought because the next time we see them together, it’s at breakfast.
Oh, the Breakfast Club. I really hope that they continue to do more scenes like these. (Also loved the fact that Owen kept sneaking glances at Cristina during the scene.) Seeing the doctors outside of the hospital is a treat, and to see that Owen slept over even though he was in the doghouse was just proof that these two are made of stronger stuff. Because even when they’re not the happiest with each other, she still allows him to sleep over — that’s a sign of a good relationship, in my opinion. They don’t hold grudges, which is definitely beneficial if you want a long-lasting, successful relationship — which is what I think Cristina and Owen will have.
I don’t think that the fact that they’re different is a negative thing. The writers purposely showed that all three couples disagreed internally over the issue of the surprise party. But it’s how you treat your differences that matters. Owen and Cristina? They don’t let their differences get in the way of being together. Instead, they take advantage of it by learning from each other — and we’ve seen this since Owen first came onto the show. They can learn a lot from each other, taking the good parts and applying it to themselves. And as such, it’s conducive to growth — which is another thing we’ve seen, albeit slowly at times. For the most part, I think Owen adores Cristina’s quirks and characteristics: her intensity, her affinity for greasy foods, her snarky humor. Even if he doesn’t always agree with her, he still loves her. And even in this episode where they were on different sides of a major issue that caused them to have a fight, in the end, love trumped all.
In the beginning of the surgery scene, as they’re talking about how they were raised, I loved the fact that when Cristina speaks, Owen is just staring at her with this searching look. It’s almost wistful — as if he wished he could’ve seen Cristina when she was younger, attitude and all. (Also note that Owen said “parents,” which makes me think more and more that PaHunt passed away — so Cristina and him can definitely relate in being in the Dead Dads’ Club.) And as the camera pans to catch Jackson’s line, you can see that Owen is still looking at Cristina. It’s rather romantic. Although, I couldn’t help but be a tad concerned that he was not looking at the patient. Otherwise, I’m all for Owen looking longingly at Cristina. I’ve missed it.
And now the topic of huge debate. The rogue cutting and the arguments that followed. I agree with the writers: both of them were right and both of them were wrong. Owen is all for following protocol (he is of a military background after all) — to an extent. The only times he really breaks from protocol is when there’s a dire need for it: pen trache was because he had nothing else and magic powder was because the patient was bleeding out and nothing FDA-approved worked as well. But in this case, he did not think that they’d reached that point yet. As he said, if he had thought it necessary, he would’ve done a thoracotomy himself and broken protocol. That’s not the issue. The issue is that Cristina really did take advantage of their relationship and performed this surgery because she knew Owen would not physically stop her. She also took advantage of her relationship with Callie for the same reason. Both of them are too close to her personally. The fact that Owen is yelling “Cristina” instead of “Yang” is interesting because it also symbolizes to me that we’ve crossed from the professional world into the personal one. And when things are on a personal level, they hurt more and are less easily dismissed.
Their argument in the scrub room is a classic example of each side saying things they don’t really mean because they’re hurt and angry. They’re human. Emotions are going to get the better of them, and they are going to say things that they regret. On Owen’s side, he says that he has to bring this to the Chief, implying that it could get her fired. On Cristina’s side, she responds with the fact that the last time she did perform an open thoracotomy, it was with the Chief and he was encouraging her, not screaming in her ear. She basically implies that the Chief is the better man since he at least supported her while Owen isn’t. We know it’s something she regrets saying because when Owen storms off, she looks remorseful and seems like she’s about to take it back. We know Owen was speaking out of anger because in that week, we never saw him report it to the Chief nor did we see any professional repercussions occur. I may be proven wrong next episode, but I don’t think he did. Also, he brings in a cardio mentor for her, which is almost like he’s awarding her rogue cutting. So, yeah, both of them said things they didn’t mean.
Also, it’s important to note that Owen’s anger is directed at Cristina and not a bit at Jackson, even though he totally helped her by turning on the fluoroscope. This also suggests to me that he’s angrier on a personal front than a professional one. And as such, emotions are running high throughout the episode.
I did appreciate that Owen tried to keep the argument away from other people while in the scrub room. I couldn’t help but laugh that they kept getting interrupted. Not many attendings would be so considerate. But then again, as I’ve said, this was less an attending yelling at a resident and more of a couple’s argument. (Though Jackson didn’t see that. Him trying to win points with Cristina by dissing Owen was hilarious. Sorry, Jackson, not the way to go.)
The second argument that took place in the apartment revealed a lot more. Of course, now that they’re back in a personal setting, Owen’s okay with a more public disagreement, and I thought it was funny that they were all cross-arguing with each other. The way they entered the room made it seem like they’d been arguing on their way over. And though Cristina says that she had performed the surgery because the kid was dying, that’s not entirely the truth. She truly has been a “scalpel-hungry animal” of late, and that clouded her judgment. The patient was not coding, the cardio team did make it in time, and there was another option that carried less risks. But Cristina didn’t see that because this was the first cardio-related opportunity in a while, and she jumped the gun a bit. Meanwhile, Owen’s judgment is also clouded because it’s Cristina. His judgment is almost always clouded when it comes to Cristina. He did a surgery he didn’t want to because Izzie took advantage of his feelings for Cristina. He didn’t wait till he had become healed and whole before starting things up with her because his desire to be with her won out over his self-control and better judgment. That’s a good and bad thing: on the one hand, he fell in love with her hard and fast; on the other, he did become a burden for her to bear.
The “I’m done” comment, in my honest opinion, had nothing to do with the relationship but was in reference to the argument itself. And I, for one, was glad for it. I believe that Owen hates arguing with Cristina, he hates being at odds with her. Given what they’d gone through in season 5, the last thing Owen would want to do is for them to be apart for an extended period of time. He went through that before, and it was definitely when he hit rock bottom. He never wants to go there again. And so, he walks away before any more damage can be done. He understands that yelling some more will not help the situation. He understands that letting anger overtake their relationship will only lead to things becoming worse. He wants to snip it in the bud, give each other space, before they say things that will cause irreparable damage — which is always a possibility when emotions are running high.
In the scene between Meredith and Cristina, we see that Owen’s coming from a place beyond anger: he’s ultimately concerned about Cristina. He cares about her career — and her unauthorized cutting threatened that. And the only reason he cares about her career is because he cares about her. “He is in love with you,” Meredith says. He truly is. He loves her so much that when she does something that could threaten her happiness — and she doesn’t even realize it — he is emotionally invested. There is not a huge step from concern or fear to anger. Case in point: when I was around 8 or 9, my friend and I got lost on Mount Diablo. We were lost for several hours. It was our own fault since we rushed ahead and took the wrong route. When we finally found our ways back, our parents were so angry. But it wasn’t that they were necessarily angry at us, it was that all their fear and worry manifested itself into anger because the fear and worry had gotten so intense. Cristina and Owen’s case is very similar: Owen’s fear and worry over her professional (and personal) well-being have gotten to such a high degree, that it turned into anger. If she had done this with anyone else, there would have been huge professional repercussions. And Owen is afraid of this. Make no mistake, I am confident that should Cristina be fired for any reason and be forced to go elsewhere (i.e. not close by) to complete her residency, Owen would follow. Like I said, he doesn’t do well when they’re apart.
I loved this scene with Meredith because Meredith can see what Cristina could not — the source of all the anger. Cristina is too involved in the argument to see what is really going on. And I’m glad that Meredith finally removes some of the blinders that Cristina had on. Yes, she did rock the surgery, but that was not the point. The point was that Cristina has reached a point where she’s so starved for cardio surgery, that her judgment was impaired. And she can’t let that get the better of her because it could lead to negative consequences.
Cristina does realize this, as we see in her scene with Hilary, where she is essentially speaking to herself. Owen was right when he said that Cristina was lucky. And as she tells Hilary, she also needs to “grow up” a bit. Or in her case, regain some of her rationality and perspective — both things she has somewhat lost due to the stress of the merger and feeling unseen in the hospital because of the lack of a cardio mentor to guide her.
I’m going to blow right past the Jackson and Cristina kiss because I can’t take them seriously. Though, I can’t blame Jackson for having a crush on Cristina and being intimidated by her. I was laughing the whole time. “Can I Cristina you?” “Nuh uh.” Bwahahahaha. Denied. And for the ones who are saying that they wished Cristina had said more than “I’m involved,” I must say that there wasn’t really room for much more. It wasn’t like she could say, “I’m in love with Owen Hunt. I even told him so — three times. The last time I said, ‘I love you’ was when that guy was sleeping, so this was a huge step for me. He told me that he wants to be around in 40 years — before all the hot hot sex — and I didn’t run away. Which says a lot, since I’ve been known to have commitment issues. And when we finally did have the hot hot sex, it was after he had a night terror, due to his PTSD, and choked me. And if we could survive that as a couple, we can pretty much survive anything, boy-o. Did I mention that he literally swept me off my feet the first time we met? He did. After he was all badass and hot. And I’m just as badass and hot. We’re team McBadass. Sorry. But you’re just going to have to look elsewhere.” Somehow, I don’t think there was time for all that.
What I do appreciate is the fact that after the kiss with Jackson, Cristina goes straight to Owen. I’m very thankful for that closure. As the writers said in the podcast, there was a window of opportunity for Jackson and Cristina, but Cristina shut it down and chose Owen. Jackson is a guy who agrees with her and thinks she was right, but it doesn’t matter. What matters more than being right is being loved. So that’s what Cristina does. She picks love. She picks Owen. He doesn’t always agree with her, he doesn’t always give in — but he loves her, and she loves him.
Although I would have much rather preferred Owen responding to Cristina’s “Can’t you see that?” with something other than “See what?” I get it. Owen doesn’t see yet because Owen doesn’t know. We take for granted that Owen knows things about Cristina that we do, but we’ve seen and known Cristina for four more seasons than Owen has. Owen doesn’t really know much about who Cristina was before he got there. Though they supposedly “talk all the time” (per Cristina’s comment to Dr. Wyatt in the season 6 premiere), they really don’t. Cristina does not offer much about her past in general. And though people want Owen to ask, he is not one to push others to do things he doesn’t do himself. The only reason he began talking was because of therapy. And the whole Beth situation came out because Beth showed up. Both of them are not much for talking. And I hope that the later episodes in the season will show them communicating more.
Owen isn’t perfect. He really does need to step up to the plate a bit and “see” Cristina. He, too, has blinders on. Which is unfortunate because in season 5, we had that lovely “see me” scene. Well, Owen, it’s time for you to see her. Owen wasn’t completely right to be so angry at her — even if it came from a place of concern for her. He said some rather harsh things, too, (though nowhere near as harsh as things Burke had said to her) and he needs to own up to that as well. (Of course, bringing in a cardio mentor for your girlfriend is a hell of a way to say, “I’m sorry.)
In this last scene, both of them are compromising. I didn’t see Cristina’s apology as saying sorry for being herself because honestly, the stunt she pulled was not Cristina being her usual self. That was Cristina in her paranoid, panicked, desperate, frustrated mode — with her rationality and judgment impaired. I’m thankful that she realized that she did do something that was not entirely right because had things turned out differently — had she accidentally killed Hilary — many would be singing a different tune. Cristina was lucky. And as I said earlier, she realizes that she needs to regain some of her perspective and rationality back. Because that is the real Cristina: not this scalpel-hungry, desperate animal, but the driven, rational, and brilliant doctor.
As I don’t see her apologizing for being herself, I also don’t see her begging. “Come home with me…please.” There is a pause, and that pause is important. They have just come off an argument, and the necessity to be careful with one’s words is pertinent to not causing another argument. If she’d simply said, “Come home with me,” that can be construed as an order. By adding the “please,” it becomes a request. She gives Owen a choice, and that is extremely significant. Especially since Owen chooses yes.
Owen gives in to Cristina rather easily — more easily than many would expect out of him. But once again, when it comes to Cristina, his judgment is skewed. And honestly, had it been anyone else, he would have reported it to the Chief. But in this case, he hasn’t. And he gives in because he wants to give in — he wants to go home with her (“home,” not “my place,” but home — I’m really digging the fact that Owen’s spending so much time at her place), he wants to reconcile, he wants to just love her and make her happy. And if you look very carefully after he says, “Okay” and moves towards her, it seems like he is about to take her by the arm and walk downstairs together. And trust me, after a blowout like the one they had, going home at that point could only really mean one thing: makeup sex — sex that is so exhaustive and draining that after Arizona comes back and finds Callie sleeping on the couch that they don’t even wake up to the yelling about donuts or the malfunctioning noisemaker.
I can’t let this episode analysis end without making a comparison to the Burke and Cristina relationship. I’ve seen many people do so in Burke’s favor on various boards, so I just have to say that I appreciate how Owen and Cristina fight more than how Burke and Cristina fought. While they’re fighting, Cristina and Owen are still talking to each other. Burke really did ignore Cristina. But in both cases, Cristina made the first move towards reconciliation. With Burke, she concedes and says that he wins. With Owen, she acknowledges that she was wrong for taking advantage of their relationship to perform an unauthorized surgery — and love wins. She recognizes that he had the right to be mad. I don’t think that she believes Owen was completely right — he wasn’t — but she gets it now, more so because of her talk with Meredith. So, it wasn’t out of character for her to come to Owen apologetically or acting in humility because we’ve already seen her do so before. And both cases marked a period of personal growth in Cristina’s character in regards to being part of a couple. In both cases, she realized that it was worth more to have a lasting relationship than it was to be in the right.
In the beginning of the season, the writers talked about how this season would be about these various couples exploring their relationships, and this is what we’re seeing in Cristina and Owen — albeit at an excruciatingly slow pace at times. But the light at the end of the tunnel is that we’ve got multiple sources telling us that our couple will be the stronger and better for it.
This issue of Owen not “seeing” her is really rooted in him not really knowing a lot about her past. So, he doesn’t really know just how brilliant she is at cardio surgery. However, with the introduction of Teddy and subsequent cardio surgeries (and I hope Owen gets to at least witness one), I think he will get more of an idea of just how closely tied Cristina is with cardio. As of now, he only really knows she has a passion for it, but he hasn’t gotten the chance to see just how ingrained in her identity it is. And as per the podcast, he will be witnessing more of Cristina at her cardio goddess core over the next six to seven episodes. And though some may think that it could drive him away, I really think there’s nothing to worry about. He’s already shown that he’s not going anywhere. (I mean, he still finds her hot even with all that diaper business.) And this episode was the supposed epic moment of Cristina “testing Owen’s boundaries” (per the press release), and they survived intact. I don’t see Owen suddenly changing his tune and bailing.
Like Owen, I don’t think we should bail out on this couple either. I think that we should give it time and see where the writers are taking this couple before we jump to upsetting conclusions that cause us unnecessary grief and frustration. Why dwell on negative matters when they have not come to pass nor been proven to be negative in the first place? Although I would have wished for certain storylines to be altered in a more positive direction (i.e. Owen “seeing” Cristina and realizing what is going on sooner), I am certainly not going to give up hope that we will get our payoff. As with all rollercoasters, with great dips come great highs. We’ve got the former, and I’m excited to see the latter. (And for those who are in need of a POP — a picture of positivity, simply look at the upcoming promotional pictures for episode 10 with Owen’s “teeheehee” face of joy.)