Original Post on “Tainted Obligation”

Cristina and Owen in "Tainted Obligation." (Credit for screencaps used goes to freaky_x)

I admire Owen for his professionalism.  It’s what sets him apart from the other characters, and it fits with his military background.  I also think it’s what makes him a laudable character.  But not only did the first scene show his ability to separate his personal and professional lives, it showed how much of a kind heart he has.  Even though Izzie and Owen don’t have the best relationship (remember the pigs?), he is the one that’s willing to give her a chance.  He has a soft spot for the underdogs, it seems.  First George, and now Izzie.  Even though I would have loved to see Cristina and Owen work together, I love him more because of this side of him.  Also, I loved how Owen can point out a weakness of Cristina’s (not having a “light touch” when dealing with patients), and she’ll take it.  (I think she appreciates how honest he is with her.  Both of them are honest people — though Cristina tends to show it through dark humor.)  He tells her with a smile, which signifies to me how even though he knows her flaws, he still loves her anyways.
Once again, we see a professional conflict, but it doesn’t translate into a personal one.  Although Cristina is not getting her way, she doesn’t get mad at him.  She accepts it — it’s who Owen is (and here’s that pattern of unconditional acceptance of each other).  This aspect of Cristina and Owen (the separation of their professional and personal relationships) was emphasized in the last episode as well; but I truly that if Owen truly believed that Cristina was at risk of being fired, he would step in.  Because in the end, Owen values his personal relationship with Cristina over his professional one.  This was a lesson that Cristina learned last season, especially with “An Honest Mistake” and Dino (Dr. Campbell) — careers are temporary, a love between two soul mates like Cristina and Owen isn’t.  Ever since Owen came into Cristina’s life, she’s learned to put more value on personal relationships (in general).  We see evidence of this throughout this episode: Cristina’s advice to Alex and comment about how “once you save a person’s life, you don’t want it to suck,” Cristina being for Meredith donating part of her liver (as hopecrowe, my awesome and smarty-pants twin pointed out, Cristina didn’t get to save her dad, which is probably why she is surprised at Meredith’s unwillingness to), and Cristina’s move to go support Meredith before Derek stopped her.  Cristina’s got a softer side — and I’m loving it.  But not only is she sensitive, she’s still as hardcore/competitive and hilarious as ever.

Okay, now onto my latest favorite Cristina/Owen scene.  I’ve been watching it on repeat for the past 2-3 hours now.  Cristina whoring herself out for surgery is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.  And doing this to Shadow Shepherd?  Oh. My. God.  All the better.  Getting caught by Owen?  Total classic.  The way that Cristina was propositioning Shadow Shepherd (in the mannerisms of any good hooker looking to snag a john) was awesome.  Chest thrust forward, seductive tone in place, sexual innuendos coming out of those pouty, smiling lips — yeah, it’s no surprise that SS was going for it.  From the moment she says, “Hey, whatcha looking for?” in that suggestive tone to the possibly double entendre of “I’m available” and her final words to Shadow Shepherd before he bolts, “I can be hardcore into anything you want” (you don’t need a dirty mind like mine to get the obvious sexual innuendo here) — I was sold.  Sandra Oh, you are the comedy queen.

Meanwhile, Owen is doing a double take because for some odd reason, his girlfriend has this seductive smile on her face — and she’s looking at another man…a man that’s not exactly a McDreamy.  And what’s more?  She’s saying all these things that should not be said to another man.  And what she’s saying is definitely working — I can almost see the drool dripping down Dr. Nelson’s (points to me for remember his real name!) face.  Yes, “mama [seriously] needs to cut,” and she isn’t afraid of doing something a little inappropriate.  And Owen is probably thinking that there is the tiniest chance that Cristina’s desperate enough to give Nelson a little somethin’ somethin’, which is a big no-no because Cristina is not going to hand out her goodies under his watch.  Sex and surgery — Cristina’s two basic desires.  When denied either one, she goes a little bonkers (as we’ve seen).

"Uhh...WTF?" Owen and his surgical whore of a girlfriend. (Credit for screencap goes to In_The_After)

And how thrilled was I when Owen was giving Nelson the “don’t even think about it” death glare.  You know me, I love jealous Owen — even if this wasn’t really jealous Owen but more territorial Owen.  [Redacting this.  I watched it again and realized it was more of an amused look.  And honestly, I seriously doubt Shadow Shepherd presents much of a romantic threat to Owen.  Now, if Cristina had been whoring herself out to Sloan or some other good-looking attending, it may have been a different story.]  Anyways, I love how Cristina tells Owen to “shut up” after he implies that she’s a surgery whore.  These two lines demonstrate a common theme that we’ve seen before: where if anyone else were to say something like that, they would’ve gotten their butt kicked.  I don’t see anyone else being able to tell Owen to shut up and get away with it.  But with Cristina, he laughs it off.  See?  These two are pretty fantastic together.  And scenes like this one show how much more comfortable they are with each other, which is a great growth from last season.

So, though it wasn’t a Cristina/Owen scene, I have to point out that in the scene where Izzie is trying to convince Owen to operate on their patient, it is only after Izzie brings up Cristina that he starts to give in.  Personally, I don’t think Izzie did that completely on purpose — in other words, I don’t think she was thinking, “I’m going to use Cristina to try and convince Owen to do something.”  Because as we’ve seen, Owen is very much a professional and hasn’t done much that blurs the professional/personal line.  So, I don’t think it’s premeditated.  However, I do think that she knows that if she brings up Cristina, it would increase her chances of getting her way.  Let’s face it — no matter how much of a professional Owen is, he’s always going to have a soft spot for Cristina.  She’s his professional Achilles’ heel.  But the message that Izzie is sending — that if she made it, even when the odds were hugely against her — speaks to Owen on another level that also relates to Cristina.  He and Cristina made it as a couple even when the odds were hugely against them — as he told Clara in the season 6 premiere, he never could’ve imagined that he would finally reach the place he is now.  He went from completely shutting everyone out post-ambush to being on the path of becoming happy and wholesome — and falling in love.

True, or “real,” love — as is the love between Cristina and Owen — is characterized by taking the other person’s identity and merging it with your own, so that you become essentially one entity.  Thus, the idea of soul mates and being a perfect fit.  (Once again, thank you, emotions seminar.)  How far from being totally removed from human connections can you get?  But I digress a bit…  Basically, he’s in a better place, Izzie’s in a better place; and now he’s thinking that maybe other people can beat the odds, too.

And when they lose the patient, we have more reasons to admire Owen for the person he is: his ability to own up to his own mistakes and dedication to improving himself sets him apart from the other attendings.  He blames himself for doing the surgery, even though he could’ve easily blamed Izzie instead.  (Side note: If this had been Derek, he would’ve blamed Izzie.  I mean, he blamed Meredith for the clinical trial deaths, and he loved her.)  And furthermore, he was angry at himself for not being a better teacher — what other character would say that?  It reminded me of when Mark and Derek were all ready to ream him out for what he’d done in front of Alex and then Owen surprised them by asking how he could’ve done better.  We don’t see this kind of humility on the show often.  And this Izzie/Owen scene also showed Owen’s honesty, which is another admirable quality of his.

The scene with the three male attendings — or as far_to_nowhere of the In_The_After community calls them, the “Dream Team,” — was another great comedic moment.  (Have I mentioned how much I love that Owen gets to be funny and lighthearted this season?  Thank you, Shonda.)  You have to give Owen some credit for at least trying (at first) to save Cristina from the embarrassment of taking on the penile implant surgery.  And how much did you love his last line in that scene: “I know I’m going to pay for that later, but that was totally worth it.”  Yes, we’ve got a bromance trio a-brewing, ladies and gentlemen.  Owen’s getting friends!  Yay!

And another “Yay!” because Cristina and Owen are much more of a public couple now.  In season 5, they were pretty much on the down-low, where no one really knew the extent of their relationship.  Now?  I think everyone in the hospital (except perhaps the Chief because he’s pretty much clueless) knows that Cristina and Owen are a couple.  Also, Cristina and Owen themselves are more open about the fact that they’re together in front of others.  Off the top of my head…compare the scene in “Wish You Were Here” when Owen brought Cristina coffee then nearly bolted as Derek showed up to now.  Owen’s even commenting on his relationship with Cristina to the other two men.  He’s giving Shadow Shepherd a death glare for being a little too taken by Cristina’s charms.  I’m loving it.  And also loving the dig Cristina makes at Owen when she thanks Mark for allowing her in on his surgery.  (However, I didn’t appreciate his attempt to humiliate her in the OR when he asked her to check to make sure the surgery was a success in front of Steve.)

In Cristina’s scene with the Chief, I really felt for her.  It slightly reminded me of another scene she had with the Chief back in season 4 when she told him that she felt like a ghost.  Now, she feels like she’s useless and like she’s wasting her time/talent, which really upsets and frustrates her.  Also, it’s not wasted on me that she brought up the fact that there still is no Head of Cardio.  I’m purely speculating here, but I’m definitely thinking that we have a new cardio god/goddess coming to town.  This show is known for its foreshadowing (case in point: Cristina saying, “…find a mole, or be hit by a bus…” in the episode before George gets hit by a bus).  Once again, pure speculation.

2 responses to “Original Post on “Tainted Obligation”

  1. kevin's biggest fan

    OMG the scene when Cristina is whoring herself out for surgery is so funny and the face that shadow shepherd makes when he notice that Owen was watching the whole scene was hilarious 🙂 I couldn’t stop laughing!

    One of the things that I love in Owen is that he is totally different from Derek and Mark. He is able to recognize his own mistakes and he never put the blame on other people, like you said he could’ve easily blamed Izzie.

    In that episode in season 5 when Derek and Mark were arguing at Owen and he shut them up by asking what he could’ve done better (I was like: ah take that Derek!), he showed them that he was capable to listen and learn from other people, unlike McDreamy and McSteamy.

    My favoutite scene was when Cristina arrives to the patient room all happy and she realizes that she has to shave his private parts! That was HILARIOUS 🙂

    • Cristina, the surgical whore. But let’s face it, all of them are, basically. Of course, Cristina just went the extra mile by hitting on Shadow Shepherd. And the look of amusement on Owen’s face was priceless.

      I find humility to be such an attractive quality. Especially on a show where most of the characters are egomaniacs. I mean, it comes with the territory because they’re all supposedly at the top of their respective fields, but you don’t have to rub it in all the time.

      Oh, the penile pump. What is it with this show and penile issues? I guess it’s the same as their obsession with bikini waxes. I shudder at the thought.

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