The first bump into each other (a typically romantic comedy move, right? Bumping into some person and then falling instantly in love?). I, too, caught that little smile she gave him before the first 3-word Dr. Wyatt approved sentence: “Take care now.” It’s like instinct for Cristina because seeing him makes her happy — she loves him (more on that later). Even though they can’t be together and the situation stinks, he makes her happy in ways that no one else can (which is why the fact that they aren’t together is tearing her apart and causes her to cry at the end — and Cristina is not one to cry at just anything). And although the smile Owen gives her is more of a way to cover up the pain and grief he’s really feeling, it oddly reminds me of the smile he gives when he first asks her out on a date and in the 40 years speech scene when Cristina missed the fact that he was implying that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. It’s a smile that hides his discomfort, and it’s endearing. The look of confusion and “what the hell just happened” that comes across her face after he says, “Take care now” is hilarious. Plus, I think that initially, he is happy to see her — and then he pauses, as if he wants to say something, but quickly covers it up with the 3-word sentence. And then he walks away, as if he’s afraid to let it slip. Wouldn’t it have been funny if he’d said, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I love you.”? Not the best way to tell someone how you feel, but hey, you can’t win them all — and Owen’s infamous for saying things out of the blue.
And I love the fact that she refers to him as Owen in front of Callie and Arizona — it seems that she isn’t really keeping her and Owen’s relationship a secret. Also, Callie seems to have gotten over feeling like it’s necessary for her to “protect” Cristina from Owen. Granted, she’s a little preoccupied with her situation with her family, but I’m going to take this as a good sign of Meredith and Callie no longer wanting to step in the way — I think they see that he’s seriously trying to do right by Cristina. At least, I hope so.
We’ve already covered the infamous “hey there now” scene, so I’ll just skip right past that one and move on to the scene in the exam room where it becomes clear cut that George is his new Karev and the one with Derek.
(Side note: I love how sweet Alex is to Izzie. Every couple is definitely maturing and growing — I really am enjoying that.) So, while they’re checking the man for gunshot wounds, Owen’s doing this half-ignoring, half-acknowledging thing with Cristina. He knows she’s there, but he’s clearly not wanting her to do anything of importance. On the one hand, he’s helping out George — someone who is going into trauma surgery — get more experience that is necessary for his future career (as he says later in that awesome scene at the end). But on the other, he’s definitely shoving her to the sidelines and treating her like the underling that she is. He’s treating her like any other resident — which ties in with what Meredith is going through with the Chief: she complains that he crosses the line and doesn’t treat her like any other resident. And in the end, it’s not what either of them want. (In fact, Cristina obviously hates it.) But it’s not like the cold way he treated her before, like in “Wish You Were Here.” Yes, he’s abrupt, but I don’t think he could ever do that to her again. He’s learned his lesson, and he knows that doing so would hurt her. No, this professional treatment has a hint of the feelings he has for her: distant but cognizant of the fact that she’s the love of his life — which is why I think he waits for her and tells her good job later.
The scene in the OR: Cristina talks back to him, which I found hilarious. Because it’s Owen, she actually apologizes (she didn’t with Dino because she doesn’t respect her). I know Owen’s a great surgeon, but I think one of the reasons he probably doesn’t want her working so closely with him is the fact that it’s too comfortable. They work well together — sure they butt heads professionally at times; but I always get the sense that if they’re in the OR together working side by side that they’d be completely in sync. Maybe it was that tiny glimpse we saw when she assisted him with the surgery with Dino. Also, she’s shoved to the side and not able to get close to him physically; and I think being in close proximity would be a tad distracting for him. I know he’s a great surgeon — but it reminds me of that episode with the patient who had a bomb in his chest and Burke tells Cristina that she has to go because he can’t operate with her there. He’s got all these pent up feelings for her, and emotions are a very distracting thing when one’s operating (I’d assume) — heck, strong emotions are distracting in any situation. I’m sure many of you know the feeling when you’ve gone through something that has a huge emotional impact on you — that event/situation stays on your mind throughout your days even when you don’t want it to. Another sign that he’s not doing the “cold” treatment is the fact that he is still talking to her and kinda/sorta praising her (“You are helping”) — also, she’s still in the OR. Remember in 5.07, he kicked her out of the OR because Mark hit on her. So, it’s like a push and pull thing with him: on the one hand, he doesn’t want her too close; but on the other, he can’t help but want her somewhat near by.
I know he barks orders at her to run to his truck (by the way, if I were a scrub nurse, I’d suspect something is going on between the two of them just by the fact that Owen trusts Cristina to get his car keys and go to his car to get something from there — that shows a bit of familiarity, right?) but he’s in a stressful situation with a guy who’s bleeding out — he’s always been hotheaded, and Cristina isn’t offended by it. She’s more frustrated over the fact that he’s making her run to his stupid car when she wants to be doing the surgery. I think it speaks volumes that she totally brushes aside the gruff manner in which he speaks to her — like she knows that it’s not out of anger or malice but just the way he is under pressure. It’s similar to how Owen totally just brushes past Cristina’s snarkiness and insubordination (i.e. Dino situation) because he completely accepts this as who she is and loves her anyways. As he does when she says, “Magical” (totally hilarious by the way). He just looks at her — there’s no annoyance in his eyes. Just acknowledgement and a pause — I’m sure if things were better between them, he’d laugh. But now, it’s just a reminder of a lighter side of her that he feels he’s wrecked. So, he acknowledges it and moves on.
George’s comment of how “Hunt is incredible” — well, duh. We don’t get to see it often, but it’s always nice to be reminded of just why Owen Hunt was hired by the Chief in the first place. He’s a McBadass surgeon — and it’s nice that George recognizes that. Also, Owen gives Meredith a look as he walks by — I think he’s still a bit edgy around her since she’s Cristina’s person, and he knows that she doesn’t approve of him.
And now the final scene. First of all — SO and KMK did an amazing job. That scene was powerful. It reminds you of the hearbreak you get when you watch the love scene in ELL — it’s about love but it cannot be said because of the way things are. It’s a positive message in a sad situation — it’s bittersweet. What should be a joyous declaration of their love for each other is tainted by the fact that the words cannot be said just yet — Owen’s not ready and doesn’t feel like he deserves her. He wants to let her off the hook. Unlike the Chief, Owen’s not letting himself off the hook: he is trying to do what he thinks is the right thing by letting her go so that she can move on. You can see how it kills him inside — but he loves her that much to want her happiness at the expense of his own. Because I don’t think Owen could move on from Cristina. I think for Owen, she’s it for him. He fell for her the moment they met, and he was a goner. We don’t know much about his relationship with Beth, but instinctively I am guessing it was not the same way. Sure he’s a different man since the last tour; but if he truly loved her the way he loves Cristina, I would have expected him to at least try to stay with her. He didn’t even try — he sent an email breaking off the engagement. And also, Beth never fights for him — and honestly, I don’t think she has the emotional capacity to even know how to. She’s too selfish and immature to know how to maintain a loving relationship with a romantic partner. Cristina is not — sure, sometimes she needs some lessons in relationships; but she allowed herself to be vulnerable around Owen and she was so giving towards him. He saw and sees the sweetest side of her.
The fact that Owen waits for Cristina says a lot. Even though he says that he is treating her like anyone else, he isn’t really. I don’t see him waiting around to tell anyone else that they did a good job. I mean, Owen can be sympathetic and kind (i.e. when Alex can’t let go of the paddles because he was so nervous) but this is well beyond the bonds of a mentor and student. This is a sign of a man who loves a woman he feels he can’t have, is trying to treat her like she’s a colleague, but cares too much to let her think that he finds her lacking in any way. I think he feels bad for sidelining her in the OR.
The look on Owen’s face when Cristina first starts to cry — you can see it’s breaking his heart to see her that way. I think this is the first time (correct me if I’m wrong) that Owen’s seen her truly cry (I’m not counting the crying after the choking scene because he doesn’t really see it — she hid in the bathroom so that he wouldn’t). He can’t stand it to the point where he reveals the 3-word sentences. Also, I think this is the first time Cristina realizes that he’s talking to a psychiatrist. If she had known, I think she would have suspected that his odd behavior had something to do with his therapy. But she doesn’t and is completely taken aback by this “cheery” disposition of his.
And Owen’s unspoken “I love you” — see, these writers are definitely clever. He doesn’t say the actual words but it’s there as clear as day. Sigh, Owen’s speeches. He is not one to talk often, but when he does — it always makes for a breathtaking scene. So far, we’ve got the “See me”, the “40 years”, and now this. I’m just going to go ahead and call it the “I love you” speech even though he never says it — because it’s what the whole thing is about. He loves her. It’s definitely not what Cristina is expecting her hear after he’s treated her like this all day (side note: her comment about him being the choke them and leave them was oddly funny — something only Cristina could say). And sure she recognizes that this isn’t just any ol’ relationship — that what they have is a the real deal (I mean, Owen did say he wants 40 years); but now she knows that the feelings are still there and still as strong as ever. So, each of these 3-word sentences have been Owen saying “I love you” — at least that’s how I’m going to see it. Not literally, obviously. (I don’t think he’d ever greet her at the ambulance bay by saying “I love you.” That’d be a bit weird — cute, but weird.)
I’ve mentioned this before (mostly in my fanfics) about how they’re in relationship limbo — neither really knows how to react to the other. Neither of them knows where they stand with one another. But now, they’ve had this “breakthrough” and the feelings have been made clear. The love is still there. Of course, Owen’s gone all savior complex on her again and is trying to “save” her by “letting her off the hook” (or, in other words, keeping his distance from her so that she can move on).
But, I don’t see this as him throwing up another wall — I didn’t see it the same way as the spoiler columnist did. If anything, they tore one down — they tore down this wall of confusion that had been the main factor in their previous avoidance of each other in “Sweet Surrender” and I’m interested in seeing how Owen is going to react towards her in the next episode. Remember, this guy learns from his mistake, and I think a big part of why he came up with these 3-word sentences with Dr. Wyatt is because he thinks that he shouldn’t be with Cristina for fear of dragging her down with him. Dr. Wyatt doesn’t know what’s going on Cristina at the moment. Owen is her patient, not Cristina — so if Owen thinks that he wrecked Cristina and letting her off the hook will alleviate some of the guilt he’s feeling, she’s going to let him go through that process (thus the help with those ridiculous 3-word sentences).
Owen can’t get past the fact that he hurt her. She’s forgiven him, but he still needs to forgive himself — or at least acknowledge that it was an accident since I believe Owen will always feel guilty for what he did. It’s no surprise he thinks that staying away from her is the best thing for her — he’s always thought that (which is why he continually tried to end things between them but never was able to — it’s hard to let go of someone you love that much). But the fact that he is willing to let her go for her own good is admirable. It just goes to show what a great man he is — which is exactly why he’s worthy of Cristina. In his own way, he’s fighting for her — he’s fighting for her happiness. I just don’t think Cristina is willing to accept it. She doesn’t want to be just some colleague — I think she wants them to be back together with him in a better place. She doesn’t want to be let off the hook, as evidenced by the fact that she hasn’t moved on — which is why she is so angry when it seems that Owen has. Because I think Owen’s it for her as well. She barely came back from Burke — and we didn’t see as much or as deep of an emotional connection between those two in comparison to Owen and Cristina. If things were to permanently end between her and Owen, I think it would go well beyond just singing Madonna songs in the morgue or feeling like a ghost. I think being completely without Owen is what would wreck her. It’s a shame that Owen can’t see just how much good he’s done for her — that he hasn’t wrecked her. But, I think that’s fodder for a future Cristina speech where she tells him just that (perhaps in the 100th episode?).
And I agree with all of you, Cristina’s “take care now” is definitely her “I love you, too.” This whole analogy of his list of 3-word sentences being code for the 3 words he really wants to say is significant — so, there’s no way that her saying a sentence from that list does not hold the same meaning. Which is why Owen gets that look on his face. I think he’s beginning to realize that Cristina may have broken up with him because of the choking incident (the fact that she’s kinda joking about it — or at least using it in a snarky comment — is a good sign of her moving past it) and may have said that she couldn’t handle things after all, but it doesn’t mean that she’s giving up. That things aren’t over, that her feelings haven’t changed. And the way her hand slightly lingers on the paper after handing it to him — it’s almost like they’re touching. I’m hoping this sparks Owen to deviate from his original plan of placing distance between them for “her own good” and seriously consider reuniting with her once he’s in a better place. Because him feeling worthy enough to pursue a relationship with her is a huge hurdle he needs to jump over. He needs to start seeing what Cristina sees in him — and then he will realize that she needs him, too.
Definitely an amazing scene — I can already foresee myself watching it over and over again throughout this week as we wait for the next episode. And over the summer… in addition to the love scene (obviously).