Once again, there was little Cristina/Owen screen time, but what we had definitely spoke volumes, however brief they were. Overall, I really loved this episode. Probably one of the few episodes where I was glued to the screen every second. And I didn’t figure out what had gone wrong until we got closer to the end. I totally thought it was something else that April had done. But enough about her, let’s get back to what’s important: Cristina and Owen.
Cristina shows a lot of self-awareness, levelheadedness, and badassness. That’s a lot of ness-es. I thought it was hilarious that she comes into Meredith’s room, putting herself on “a time out” before she ended up killing anyone. That’s a smart choice. It goes back to a previous voiceover that Meredith gave about how sometimes surgeons have to know when it’s best not to cut. I’m glad that she’s learned that.
The beginning certainly made it seem like Cristina was going to be the one to take the blame, with her telling Owen that she wasn’t going down for death of Cathy Becker. And when Owen said, “Someone is,” it all sounded so ominous. However, not for one second did I think Owen was referring to Cristina. In fact, he looks at the rest of group before going in, as if it is one of them who will be going (and as it happens, he was right).
Now, when the sneak peeks came out, I know that there was a whole uproar of Owen not supporting Cristina or placing Cristina in the line of fire, but as the context of the scene shows, he wasn’t. As I said when the sneak peek of Owen’s scene came out, he doesn’t give up Cristina’s name easily when it may get blame placed on her. First he says, “Everyone is everywhere.” Then, when he’s asked directly, he pauses and avoids eye contact before finally saying, “Dr. Yang.” Nothing here to give reason for Cristina to get upset. See? No reason to panic. He was being a good boyfriend and a professional.
I honestly believe that Owen has started to catch on. He’s offering Cristina a choice of cases, telling her to take her pick. This is different than the previous moments in the other episodes where he gives someone else a surgery. There’s none of that in this episode. In fact, as we see throughout the episode, Owen keeps on placing Cristina on his service. And they work closely together throughout as well. (Oh, and it seems Bailey has forgiven her. She called Cristina to come with her to the trauma bay.)
This episode really shows just how brilliant of a surgeon she is — even when she’s not holding a heart in her hand. I know she’s often accused of having bad bedside manners, but what she lacks in sensitivity or tact with her patients, she more than makes up for in treating them. So, even though she can’t remember who she handed off the Beckers’ charts to, she can remember everything on Cathy Becker’s chart. And she does have tact, translating the message behind Jackson’s “bug up my a.ss” comment into “being uncomfortable consulting on a patient that wasn’t his.” Very diplomatic of her. In fact, while Jackson was quick to point fingers at Cristina and imply that she was at fault (“The next time I saw [the patient], she was dying”), Cristina doesn’t do that to Jackson.
So, Cristina steps up. She takes charge and prescribes the pain medication. But first, she demonstrates exactly why she’s the top resident to the Chief by reciting Cathy’s chart. And you can tell that the Chief respects her talent and attempts to engage her in a discussion of what could’ve happened as though they were equals — colleagues or doctors, not the Chief and a resident — before the in-house legal representative interrupts. When Cristina starts suspecting that she may have done something wrong because the in-house representative asked if it was a pain in Cathy’s chest or on her chest, one can get the sense that if Cristina had made a mistake, she would’ve claimed ownership for it. She holds everyone to a high standard, most of all herself. So, she’d be the first to admit responsibility if she thought she truly was responsible.
Onto one of my favorite scenes, where we see Cristina being all McBadass and then “making a toddler cry.” When Cristina pounded Roy’s chest, you can tell that Owen was totally impressed. That move was such an Owen move — quick and dirty — that I have to admit, my girl crush MP alert flared way up. And not only does she save Roy’s life, she saves the kid’s because Danny (the little boy) could’ve shocked himself. There was 200 volts coursing through there — that’s not the little jolt you get from static. And while everyone else is lost in the choas, Cristina has the clarity to notice the toddler, who’s not really a toddler (loved that scene with the Chief with Cristina explaining why she was yelling at a child), is in a dangerous situation.
Oh, the kid. He’s definitely a cutie. One moment, he’s bawling his eyes out at Cristina. The next, he’s totally content being carried around by Cristina as she tries to pawn him off on someone else so that she can get back to saving lives. And though she’s not the best with children, Cristina has shown that she can connect to t
hem (as in the case with the kid who was in need of a heart transplant but didn’t want one). She must’ve done something to calm him down and make him like her because after she drops Danny off with Lexie, he looks back towards Cristina before they walk off. My only wish was that we could’ve seen the look on Owen’s face when Cristina picked him up and started carrying him around. I mean, the guy has already envisioned them being together in 40 years. He’s got to have thought about them being parents, and this was certainly a sight to see. Bet he smiled — when Cristina wasn’t looking.
Notice that now Owen is intentionally including Cristina on his surgery and on his patient. He takes Cristina to the OR to help him operate on Roy. He is certainly treating her more favorably in a professional sense this episode, leading me to conclude that he had indeed started to get a clue last episode when Cristina walked away, defeated.
I also had a minor squee moment when Owen was talking to “Nosedive” aka “the big kid whose name I don’t know yet” (poor guy, no one knows his name) on the phone and told Cristina to scrub out and see if she could help. First of all, he called her “Cristina” not “Dr. Yang” as per his usual manner of addressing her in a public, professional setting. This is a tiny slip of the personal aspect of their relationship leaking into the professional and I loved it. It’s a bit pathetic how excited I got over that, but there it is. But what’s also important to notice is that Owen has total trust of Cristina’s capabilities. He holds her in high esteem, professionally and personally (obviously). So, he sends Cristina to help save Cathy’s life in a manner that one would send their right hand man. Guess she really is his new “guy” — at least in this case.
Even though trauma is not her field of interest, it doesn’t lessen her talent at it. Cristina is just good at saving lives. And she has become a sort of leader now that Meredith is out of commission. When she comes into the room to help, the others listen to her and follow her lead. Because you can rely on Cristina for the medicine (and the personal issues, as we have seen).
This case was important in a general sense because it broke the lines between the Mercy West and the Seattle Grace crowd. No more “us” versus “them” — it’s got to be “us” versus “death” or “disease.” Everyone asked everyone else for help, regardless of whose side they were on. And in that shot towards the end of all the residents, you get the clear sense that they are now simply “the residents.”
I loved how it was Cristina who spoke the truth about how this situation could’ve happened to anyone. It shows just how much she’s grown. (Also love the part where she says to Jackson, “And who knows what you screwed up?” Jackson vs Cristina is awesome. Not just because he’s just so hot that I can forgive him of almost anything.) That scene shows how Reed had it all wrong. Cristina was not trying to be mean when she asked if April had left (just as how Reed was wrong when she perceived Cristina’s handing off of the Beckers’ charts to her and April as a snarky move). In fact, it seemed more to me that Cristina was trying to be nice about it because she can sympathize with the situation even if April is a Mercy Wester.
Another person who spoke the truth in the episode was Derek. April was not the only one at fault. If the Chief hadn’t come up with this merger in order to save his own job, it wouldn’t have led to a chaotic and overrun ER where a simple mistake can lead to an unnecessary death.
Perception: it’s a very fascinating concept. We are blinded by our own views. Until Derek, the Chief didn’t see that he was also to blame for Cathy’s death. What we see isn’t always the truth because we only see part of the picture. And what was great about this episode is that we get the bigger picture — we see one event happening from multiple perspectives, and we get their own descriptions. No need for guessing or ambiguous interpreting by the audience when the characters themselves offer the thought process. Definitely going down as one of the best Grey’s Anatomy ensemble episodes. And I applaud all the extra work it must have taken for it to be made. No matter whose perspective we were watching from, you could see the actual actors in the background performing the same actions over and over again as the angles change. When greater than usual effort is put in, it would be a shame not to show our appreciation.