When they’re gathered in the hallway, questioning Meredith if she knows for certain that it’s George, Cristina and Owen share a glance after Meredith claims that George wrote “007” on her hand. First of all, you can tell Owen is confused as to what that means, but the scene also showed this habit of Cristina and Owen looking at each other in reference whenever they’re near each other. As I’ve mentioned in the previous times they do this, it really emphasizes how these two have the ability to communicate without words (and this shows up multiple times in these episodes alone).
The trauma bay scene was perfect, with Owen tenderly taking Cristina’s hand without uttering a single thing. What he tried in “What A Difference A Day Makes,” he succeeded to here: comforting her because he knows that she’s hurting even if she won’t say it. As we all saw and know, Cristina takes a while to process huge emotional trauma. It took her a while to comprehend that the choking incident had been too much for her handle. When Mer had been “dead,” she had gone out and went thrift shopping. So, Owen knows that she’s still processing and silently comforts her. This time, she accepts. And it’s such a poignant pause before the ambulance rushes in with Clara, who is pretty much a mirror of Owen.
I love watching Owen and Cristina work together side by side. What I envied about Meredith and Derek was the fact that they always seemed to be on the same case together. You know that Cristina is on Owen’s trauma service only because he put her there. I can just imagine Cristina demanding to be on his service, especially when there’s no juicy cardio case. And beyond that, Cristina can learn a lot from Owen — he’s a brilliant surgeon (and man, when we later hear his credentials). He teaches her a lot, and it’s not always about surgery (more about that later).
Seeing Cristina force Lexie to be Clara’s friend was an interesting move. It’s because Cristina knows that Clara needs a strong support system, which is demonstrating her recognition of the fact that surgeons can only do so much in the healing process — there is a need for a psychological component. Owen, himself, is the perfect example of an illness needing psychological help rather than cutting. The look that Meredith and Cristina share as George is being wheeled away was touching. I’ve always loved the bond between the dark and twisty sisters and hated it when they were fighting (though I understood why the writers did so — giving Owen and Cristina the chance to connect).
Lingerie scene — I totally called that it’d be Cristina trying to make things more difficult for Owen and a show of rebellion against Wyatt. Cristina needs her sex (as we later see). These two are just hot — plain and simple. Noisy kissers, too — I absolutely adore it. And the stroking of the face and hair — oh, to be in Cristina’s shoes…or rather, black lingerie. I love the face Cristina makes when Owen asks if she wants him to quit therapy. Obviously, she wants him to get better, but as I said, the woman needs her sex. Oh, and don’t get me started on that “bury myself in you” comment. I had heard from a source, let’s call her “Santa,” that Owen would say something to that effect, but I didn’t believe her simply because it’s ABC. But boy, was I glad to be proven wrong. As people previously pointed out, the next step for these two is getting to know each other. And all sexual innuendo aside, Owen has been “burying himself” in Cristina: he took up therapy so that he could be a better man for her and with her. For a while, almost everything he did was for her. But the content of this dialogue is totally a setup for the oncoming reveal of Cristina’s history to Owen. Because truth be told, Cristina’s also had a “dark” past: being left at the altar, losing a baby, and being part of the Dead Dads’ Club. We also see Cristina showing her true colors to Owen in this scene with her “ceviche” comment. She’s so inappropriate, but he loves her anyways. It’s totally something he would never say. More than that, if he had heard it from someone else, he would definitely scold them for it. With Cristina, he laughs it off as another one of her quirks. This is what I call being blinded by love. But Owen does not always cater to Cristina’s wishes, as he proves in the next moment when he forcefully tells Cristina that they’re going to the funeral. Le sigh. Love it when he goes all manly and me-Tarzan-you-Jane. That’s why he’s McBadass.
In the funeral scene with the Fab Four as Alex, Cristina, and Meredith find Izzie to check up on her, I love how it’s Cristina who first sits by Izzie and puts a comforting hand on her back. These two have totally formed a bond, and it’s rather odd to see the bubbly one with the snarky one. But it shows Cristina’s growth as a sensitive person. Also liked that Owen and Derek both watched their respective women leave with concern and then look at each other. Bromance — gotta love it. I thought that them laughing was perfect. It’s who they are, and it’s really reminiscent of their old camaraderie in the earlier seasons. I’ve missed that. And though they’re laughing, you know that they are grieving. Just a random side note: laughter is usually a fear response that’s in a safe setting. (Thank you, emotions seminar.) We use it to deflect but also to connect. Here, we see a bit of both: deflecting the gravity of the situation but also connecting as the remaining original interns. But when they stop laughing, it really hits you right in the gut.
Owen and Clara — Clara is Owen, but a few steps behind. He told his mother, but he has not completely been honest to Cristina, yet. He was damaged, he lost a part of himself in the war, and now he’s fighting his way back to recovery — just as Clara does. What Clara has in physical injuries, Owen has in psychological ones. I’m getting ahead of myself, but when Owen tells Clara about his situation to try to get her motivated and continue in her physical therapy, it definitely was a foreshadowing of Owen realizing that it was time to take that step and talk to Cristina about his trauma and the choking incident. Another case of the patient mirroring the doctor and eventual moment of realization. Oh, and in a way, Cristina helped get Clara out of her funk as well. It was the “ceviche” comment that shocked her out of it. (Love how Owen tries to keep Lexie from sharing what “people” — aka Cristina — are calling Clara behind her back. On the one hand, he doesn’t want to hurt the patient’s feelings; but on the other hand, he is trying to protect Cristina in a way from getting in trouble for making up inappropriate names like that.) Sometimes, we need a bit of inappropriate humor to get past a rut. It worked for Owen, and it worked for Clara.
Must step back a moment from Cristina and Owen to say how awesome Callie is. She is totally a superstar.
The scene between Owen and Mrs. O’Malley was just heartbreaking. Owen’s speech was the touching eulogy that the priest didn’t give (emphasized by the hymn that is being sung in the background). And coming from a man that George obviously respected makes it mean so much more. Because when Owen says that someone is a hero, you believe him. When he says someone was going to be a brilliant trauma surgeon or that they’re noble, you believe him. He’s just the type of person who you can’t help but listen to. Because Owen isn’t one for words, so if he’s giving a long speech, it’s got to be important.
That opening scene of them just lying there, staring lovingly at each other — can you say, “Awwwww”? It’s like their other on-call room scene where he’s sleeping on top of her. So sweet. Once again, we get this connection between them that doesn’t require words. Can you imagine them just taking a break, meeting in an on-call room, setting aside the lab coats and pagers, and then just silently getting in bed together? All the while knowing that sex is not on the table, but it doesn’t matter. It’s enough (for now) for them to just be able to lie there and quietly absorb each other. I guess this is where some may have raised the “mushy” flag, since it is a bit reminiscent of the slow-motion scenes. It’s got that Victorian romance novel feel where you can’t touch, but you can long for it. It’s so tender, and I totally can watch it over and over again. This also contrasts with Cristina’s relationship with Burke, which started out as purely sexual. Once again, we get this dichotomy of sex versus emotion. Burke and Cristina went from sexual to emotional, Owen and Cristina went from emotional to sexual. And though I’m all for the sex, sometimes it’s nice to see these two just showcase how strong of an emotional connection they have. And this scene — albeit only lasting for a few seconds — did that. It was pure emotion and love. It’s why I think they chose not to be touching at all.
Okay, “cancer pops” scene was just hilarious. Poor Cristina does get grumpy and inappropriate without sex. I’m not condoning her inappropriateness, but you have to admit that it’s so her. And you can’t help but laugh at just how inappropriate she is. It’s why a lot of people don’t like her character, but I love it. If we always did what was right and proper, never stepping out of bounds a bit, life would be uninteresting. And Cristina’s last line. “I would totally have sex with you.” Yes, Cristina is desperate enough for sex that she’ll do Izzie (and it would be better than Dead Denny sex). And notice that Izzie, who was angry before, gives the slightest smile at Cristina’s comment. Yep, everyone wants a piece of Cristina. What makes it funnier is that Cristina is so sincere. At that moment, she really would have sex with Izzie. Yes, this no-sex rule is wreaking havoc on Cristina’s psyche, and she’s going bonkers.
First of all, who else loves Owen in these casual clothes? Mmm… Sorry. Cristina must love Owen very much to come in during her free time (thus, the street clothing) and do therapy. Cristina in therapy… I do believe pigs are flying. But it’s for Owen, so it’s more understandable. I don’t think Cristina would ever go to therapy for herself. Especially with Wyatt. I love how Cristina lists facts about Owen in a medical history kind of fashion, with Owen in the background looking at the ceiling and laughing. In the beginning, Owen and Wyatt share a nod — it’s like Owen saying, “Yes, this really is the woman I love.” I don’t know how to describe it. It’s not like he’s embarrassed by her, but he’s amused by it. He adores her — obviously — but he understands that not everyone else gets her the way he does. He accepts her “sick humor” because it’s who she is, but he knows most people won’t. And Owen knows that Cristina is totally doing this
for Wyatt’s benefit so that she’ll lift the sex ban. She’s prepared. You can just imagine her demanding Owen to tell her everything (and boy is he a smarty pants — Northwestern and Harvard?) so that she can show Wyatt that they do know each other. And just in case Wyatt was concerned it was one-sided, Cristina interrupts and assures her that Owen knows stuff about her, too. It’s funny how Cristina thinks that in order to prove to Wyatt that they really are a couple, she has to call Owen “honey.” It’s what many couples do, using terms of endearment — but they’re not most couples. And Owen calls her on it when he replies, “Honey?” Cristina and Owen don’t do “honey.” I love that part so much, you have no idea. I laughed my butt off when she first said it. And then when Owen repeated it, I totally started laughing harder. Yeah, these two don’t do “honey.”
So, what starts off as a comedic scene ends in seriousness, which is a common theme on the show, especially in this episode as the characters deal with their grief: laughing turning to silence and realization. This therapy scene ends in Cristina realizing just how much Owen hasn’t shared with her. She’s not used to sharing feelings and talking, so it’s not like she knows intuitively when something’s not being said. Which is why it’s great that Wyatt can be there to tell her. Yes, we were all upset about the no-sex, but here we see just why it was prescribed. Sex can be a mask and an avoidance of facing reality. In Cristina and Owen’s case, it could lead to a repeat of before, where they think things are going well when they truly aren’t and you get the choking incident. This is why Cristina listens. She doesn’t want to go back to that cycle, where they broke up. She wants to be with him. So, she listens, and you can see it in her face that she understands now. She’s always been a bit slow in learning the relationship and personal stuff, but she does learn. Learning from your mistakes — it fits their situation.
What sets this therapy session apart from the other is that Cristina is almost there for Wyatt’s benefit. Cristina’s body is facing Wyatt, she’s leaning forward towards Wyatt, trying to convince Wyatt that they’re all good. She hasn’t come to understand what’s truly going on with Owen just yet. She hasn’t realized what he’s been holding back.
For agneskenya: Wyatt tells Owen that his post-traumatic stress is fed by his avoidance in talking about anything about the war. We talked about how avoidance can lead to a repression of emotions that build up within you until it goes off. It’s like a pressure cooker. Too much pressure? It explodes. The more he bottles these emotions up, the more stress he puts on himself internally, which leads to incidents like night terrors. Talking is a way of relieving that pressure or stress. Because you’re finding a venue to let it out. It’s not the only way — but in psychotherapy, it’s the most common way. Imagine you come home when you’re really stressed with work or someone/something really made you angry, in order to keep yourself from exploding, you find something to do to relieve it: writing about it in a journal, painting an angry picture, etc. But most people vent. We rant and rave about what’s upsetting us, and afterwards, with the help of our listener, we feel a bit better. Same applies here, except that it’s specifically post-traumatic stress. He’s not angry, but he’s got all this psychological trauma locked within him that needs to be relieved. And so, Wyatt tells him that he has to talk. If we add sex into the mix, we add avoidance and the sense that things are okay — when they’re not completely okay. So, although I hate to admit it, Wyatt was right. (But we got sex at the end, so she’s forgiven.)
Cristina and Bailey’s smackdown — Bailey is being a hypocrite. “Learn how to talk to an attending.” Uh, pot calling kettle black. When did she ever speak appropriately to her superiors? Never.
Meredith and Cristina’s scene in the locker room was just hilarious. She’s so distracted about not getting any that she’s not paying attention. Love the glare that Meredith shoots at her. These two are awesome. Then, Cristina gets Lexie all flustered with the “ceviche” comment (love the sound effects and gesturing of the propellers bit), ending with a perfectly Cristina line, “Anyone else I can offend?” Yes, Cristina needs her sex.
Owen’s scene with Clara — won’t talk about it much since I talked about it in the Episode 6.01 Episode Analysis. Once again, if Owen’s making a speech, you should probably pay attention. Ah, “ceviche.” Healing with laughter. See? Cristina’s humor works sometimes.
The second therapy sessions starts off completely different. Cristina’s speaking to Owen, the two are turned inwards towards each other, their arms are almost (or are) touching, and they’re almost oblivious to Wyatt’s presence. They’re having a normal couple-like conversation (reminds me of that conversation in the cafeteria between Meredith and Cristina back in 5.17 that makes Izzie to laugh and say that they’re just talking at each other, barely listening to the other person — except, in this case, they are actually engaged in a conversation and talking to each other). They’re comfortable…and talking. This conversation shows a difference between Cristina and Owen, which I’ll discuss more later, about how Owen has a better handle of people’s underlying feelings and motivations for their actions. Anyways, I think this is the first time Cristina actually says “Owen” to his face. When Wyatt finally interrupts their banter, she replies, “Oh, it’s Owen’s patient” in reference to “ceviche.” I love how Owen turns to Wyatt for back up, trying to show Cristina just how sick it is. And when Wyatt agrees with him, Owen gives nod that implies “I told you so.” So, Wyatt calls Cristina “dark” — a word KMK used in an interview, saying that Cristina is darker than he thought. Another foreshadowing about the eventual reveal of Cristina’s “dark” past? Perhaps.
Cristina cracks another inappropriate joke (oh, Cristina), and again we get laughter that turns into silence and realization. But this is such an awkward laugh. It’s like Owen doesn’t know how else to respond. (That clap, by the way, is such a KMK move.) So, he laughs — as we often do in uncomfortable situations — until reality sets in. Owen talks. Cristina listens. They move forward. Cristina honestly does recognize that it’s a serious topic (thus Cristina’s “I know” when Owen says that he’s not the guy that goes around choking people either), but she deals with it with humor. But she cares about Owen, which is why she asks him if it’s too soon. So, Owen talks, and Cristina accepts. Goodbye no-sex rule. (Thank goodness! No waiting for 19 episodes.)
So, I know some wished that Cristina had talked about Burke in one of these therapy sessions. However, it’s more realistic that she didn’t. First of all, this is Owen’s shrink, not hers. They are talking about issues related to Owen — not her. If there was a time for Cristina to talk about Burke in front of a shrink, it would not be in front of her boyfriend’s (that’s if she went to a shrink for herself in the first place). The reason why Cristina is there is because it’s a safe setting for Owen to talk about the choking — and he needed to talk about it with her in an open manner. Not just mention it, but to talk about his trauma from the war and his night terror. So that they can both move forward as a couple. To become, as Owen later terms it, “real.”
As Cristina’s odd sense of humor forced Clara out of her rut, it does the same for Owen. Because her inappropriateness is apparently just what Owen needs to start talking. Good call on Wyatt’s part to have Cristina come in (though I would have loved to have seen the initial conversation between Owen and Cristina where he told her that Wyatt wanted her to come in). These two — although opposite in so many ways — balance and complement each other (more on that later).
So, the bed scene is just so good. The thigh touching, the face stroking, the care they take with each other — all good to me. “So the best we can do…is try for honesty.” I think that’s what this scene is about. He’s being honest. This is like a point of no return (though, seriously, that was a long way back). He tells it to her straight. If they do this, move forward, and have sex, it will make them a “real” couple — their problems will be shared, they’ll embark on life together. He’s asking permission, letting her make the first move — as he did in ELL, but the question is implied. Cristina accepts in her own way: “You can sleep in the bathtub” (which I think is just a figure of speech — another show of Cristina’s sense of humor). Ladies and gents, Cristina and Owen are officially a “real” couple. They truly are “less fragile,” and if I were you, I would no longer be worrying about them breaking up.
Oh, and then the hot kissing and more touching. Hello season sex. See? If you repeat season sex enough, it creeps into the writers’ minds. Haha. Love the way he just cups her face and neck. Kissing and hands — hot.
The scene with them lying in bed (they’ve been doing that a lot this episode — me likey) after the hot hot sex. Like the post ELL lovemaking, Cristina has a moment of truth. “George O’Malley is dead.” Before, she realized she couldn’t handle it. And for the briefest second, you wonder if Owen’s thinking, as Cristina opens her mouth to speak, if she’s going to repeat history. But she doesn’t. She’s accepting — she’s reached the final level of grief. As ozuma pointed out, they’re on the opposite sides of the bed as ELL. Which can by symbolic as they embark on this new journey as a “real” couple, far stronger than before. I love how he’s stroking her shoulder as he falls asleep and that they are looking at each other for a moment before Owen settles into the pillow and closes his eyes. And the moment Cristina realizes the truth of George’s death, causing Owen to wake up and look at her again, you see him being there for her. His hand starts stroking her shoulder again and moves closer. Whether it’s to wrap her in his arms, we don’t know because the scene ends. But I’d like to think so. I like the mirroring of Derek comforting Meredith and Owen comforting Cristina. Judy Doll moment: as we know EP’s screentime is being cut down, it’s almost like the passing of the main couple torch from MerDer to Cristina and Owen.
Final scene as the Chief announces the merger showed Cristina and Owen referencing each other again. We start with the question of Meredith’s identification of George scene and these two referencing each other, and we end with them referencing each other. Look, more circles! Granted, I’m stretching it a bit here. But anyways, it is interesting that she turns to Owen, her boyfriend, instead of Meredith, her equal and “person.” What I love about these two episodes is that you get to see Owen and Cristina drawing closer not only as a couple but as friends as well. Friends and lovers — that’s a good relationship. And a great way to start season six.
BRIEF DISCUSSION OF RECURRING THEMES
1. Owen and Cristina complementing each other.
These two are opposites in so many ways. Owen is very much about authority and being proper, while Cristina (as we saw) is often inappropriate and rebellious. And yet, they work. Owen understands the underlying motivations and feelings behind people’s actions better (as we saw in the 2nd therapy session as they talked about Bailey kicking Cristina off her service). So, he has things to teach her. But she has things to offer him as well. She can reach him when no one else can. And she’s definitely responsible for helping him find happiness again. They’re a case of opposites attracting, but they’re not total opposites either. They’re both total badasses — except with each other, which is one of the things I totally love about them. Like the hand-holding scene in the trauma bay as hopecrowe pointed out to me. One moment they’re holding hands and connecting in this sensitive way, the next, they’re both working to reattach limbs. It’s awesome. Plus, I’ve always had a thing for guys who are tough on the outside but teddy bears on the inside. Thus, my adoration of Owen Hunt.
2. Five stages of grief:
a. Denial: There was a lot of denial going on with these two. Cristina was denying the reality of George’s death and the severity of Owen’s problems throughout the episodes. Owen himself was having a bit of denial with his resistances in talking to Cristina about his trauma and the choking incident. And don’t forget the denial of sex.
b. Anger: We didn’t get much anger. But we did get grouchiness and snarkiness from Cristina. Granted, that was more from the no-sex thing. (Denial of sex means a very snarky Cristina.)
c. Bargaining: The first therapy scene was Cristina bargaining with Wyatt to lift the sex ban with her attempt to prove that she and Owen knew each other.
d. Depression: I would not say there was really a moment of depression, but there were quiet pauses throughout, like the trauma bay scene. I think the fact they had each other staved off the depression. Plus, Cristina was too distracted by the no-sex business to be depressed. She resorted to inappropriate jokes and grumpiness.
e. Acceptance: The second therapy session and the final bed scene showcased Owen’s honest acceptance of his problems and Cristina’s acceptance of both the severity of Owen’s trauma and George’s death.