Before I get started, let me make one thing clear: Owen is not jealous, in my very honest opinion. I’ll tell you why later, but let’s just get that out of the way. He is not jealous of Teddy moving on. In fact, I would argue that he sincerely wants her to – but with a good guy who can treat her with respect. And Mark’s man-whoring ways don’t really suggest respect. Okay, back to the beginning…
Can you believe it? We got an episode where Cristina and Owen were not part of the drama or the angst. Their relationship was left free of tension and conflict. How nice is that? Super nice. And can we give Sandra Oh a round of applause for being the comedy queen? Cristina was all sorts of awesome in this episode. She’s certainly got her groove back.
Owen gets a complicated case involving a “tumor that’s the size of a possum” that resides in a woman whose greatest wish is she see her daughter get married. (Side note: chalk this up as to another moment where the theme of marriage or engagement is surrounding Cristina and Owen. I’m just saying.) But this case really isn’t about Owen, it’s about Dr. Webber, so I’m not going to get into the parallels of the patient’s case all that much other than the fact that it leads to a contest between “Old School” and “Ginger.”
In the first scene with both Cristina and Owen, Richard manipulates Owen’s sympathy and swipes the case – even with Cristina’s not-so-subtle clues telling Owen not to. But that’s the kind of person that Owen is: he believes in the best of people, and that makes him gullible in the world of Seattle Grace where trickery is often at play to get surgeries. Though he’s been at the hospital for almost two years now, he still has not learned that these surgeons are a sneaky bunch. The farthest he’s gone is setting aside sterile equipment. That’s nothing compared to what Cristina has done (remember when she and Izzie stole the “pregnant” male patient for Meredith?).
I love the exchanges between Cristina and Owen – that Richard catches and calls Cristina on. How hilarious was it when Owen’s eyes are going back and forth between Richard and Cristina? He doesn’t get why Cristina is shaking her head at him. Oh, how innocent he is.
But Richard knows the game – and he knows it well. Just look at the mischievous smile of satisfaction one his face as he leaves Cristina and Owen. Meanwhile, Owen has a light bulb moment when Cristina finally gets the chance to tell Owen what had happened. (How funny was that?) Had it not been for Cristina, I don’t think Owen would have minded that Richard took the surgery off his hands. He isn’t as caught up with getting a Harper Avery award as the others are, and it takes Cristina to “push” him into getting the surgery back. And Cristina’s nudge in the competitive direction is the reason why he and Richard end up arguing over who get the case.
Now, would we consider this to show that Cristina’s a bad influence or a good influence? A bit of both, really. It’s good because she is pushing Owen to strive for better. It’s as Jackson says later in the episode about how the purpose of the Harper Avery award was to get surgeons who are already at the top of their game to strive for more. On the flip side, Cristina’s also now encouraging trickery – but we don’t see Owen partake in it, so it ends up being more good than bad.
As Owen tries to be polite and ask for the surgery back, Cristina cuts right to the chase. Richard did indeed swipe the case. And Owen interjects with a gently admonishing “Cristina.” I have to point out that he says “Cristina” and not “Dr. Yang” because even though we’re in a professional setting, Owen is saying “Cristina.” I know it’s a small thing, but doesn’t it just give you a thrill that he calls her “Cristina”? I think it stems from the fact that he called her “Yang” for so long (and “Christine” once) and that he’s such a stickler for separating his personal from his professional life, it’s telling when he calls Cristina by her first name. There is no more hiding of their relationship or attempting to pretend they’re just colleagues. In fact, it was Owen’s propensity for referring to Cristina by her first name more and more often these days that clued Teddy in on the fact that he and Cristina were together. See? Even Teddy knows that Owen doesn’t usually refer to people by their first names unless he’s close with them.
“Ginger.” Yes, Richard went there. And the reactions on Cristina and Owen’s faces were classic. Owen’s completely taken aback, and Cristina immediately looks at Owen to see if he’s going to just stand there and take it. Then, she looks away with an expression reads something like “oh snap!” Hilarious. And that’s when Owen stops being so polite and actually starts arguing with him.
“I’m with Webber.” When some of us first saw this clip, it was in the CTV promo. It was definitely confusing since one would think that Cristina would immediately side with Owen – as it turned out to be the case. And her supposed choice is immediate the moment Derek leaves, which is why Owen’s head instantly turns towards Cristina with this incredulous look on his face. He can’t believe she would choose the opposing side – and so quickly. And Cristina, seeing this, simply says, “What? He’s got it in the bag” and gives Richard this ingratiating smile on her face. As Richard smugly smiles at Owen because his girlfriend picked him, Owen scoffs at the both of them and walks away. Poor guy is just not used to the games that go on in this hospital. But Richard and Cristina are old hands when it comes to them – and at competing (remember when they faced off in the surgical skills class?).
And now one of the most “adorable” moments for Cristina and Owen. Owen’s feeling a little betrayed because for all he knows, his girlfriend pushed him to do this and now picked the other team. You can see why he’s feeling a bit angry. Owen asks, “Why’d you push me to do it in the first place?” But what he’s implying is, “Why’d you push me to do it in the first place… if you were only going to play for the other side?” And that implied second half of the question is what Cristina responds to when she tells him her actual plan: she’s going to spy on Richard for Owen. Yep, we weren’t wrong to hope that Cristina would choose her boyfriend instinctively.
Once again, Owen shows just how out of the loop he is when he says, “That’s… that’s cheating.” As if Cristina didn’t know. Oh, she knows. She knows very well what she’s doing. And then she calls Owen “adorable.” Which he is, but it’s not the first adjective that comes to mind when describing Owen. (“Ginger,” perhaps. Nah, I’m just kidding.) McBadass? Yes. Hot? Of course. All sorts of macho or manly terms? Top of the list. But adorable? Not so much. And only with Cristina.
“You’ve got a dark, dark mind.” Yep, Owen’s turned on by his girlfriend’s “dark” side. The tone in which he says it reminds me of “Good Mourning” when Cristina and Owen were messing around in the on-call room and Cristina revealed the black lingerie underneath. And Owen says, “You’re evil. You’re the devil.” Cristina is dark – she’s “dark and twisty.” So, it’s wonderful to see that the man she loves recognizes it and embraces it. In fact, one could say that he sometimes finds it absolutely “adorable” as well. Le sigh, these two are cute.
Of course, Richard flips her because he knows Cristina’s competitive nature side well. (Although, I don’t see how bribing Cristina with the chance to do some of the resections worked because Owen could have counter-offered with the same. But, oh well, this gave Meredith and Owen a chance to bond.) Cristina as a double agent. We had to expect it. Remember, this is one “scalpel-hungry animal,” and Richard offered the ultimate prize. And like I said, Richard knows how to play the game.
On a side note, in the scene between Bailey and Callie that takes place right after, Callie thinks that Bailey is so giddy because the gas man brought her coffee. If this is meant to signify some sort of step in the relationship as to when things go from casual flirting to something more serious, let me just remind you that Owen brought Cristina coffee once. Granted, he ended up messing things up by acting “hot and cold,” but he did bring her coffee. That seems to be a common theme in the show.
Now, onto the hot topic of the episode. Did Owen talk to Mark because he was jealous? I vote no. Why? Because when he’s talking to Mark, he’s just telling Mark that Teddy isn’t just another notch in the bedpost. That he can’t treat her like he’s been treating the other various female hospital staff members. Teddy deserves more than a romp in a supply closet. And all those are good things. I didn’t sense any kind of jealousy behind those words. And when Mark reveals that she was the one who seemed to only want a fling, nothing further came of it. Owen didn’t stare in the direction that Teddy went off to, and we didn’t get a scene where Owen talked to Teddy about what she was doing, and so on. He just let things go. That was it. Not really promoting the “Owen was jealous” idea that Meredith has. If the writers really wanted to capitulate on that, they would’ve shown something more – at least one scene of follow-up between Owen and Teddy. But it didn’t happen.
I honestly believe that this love triangle is over. And if we can concentrate on the fact that there is nothing to worry about between Cristina and Owen, I think it will make some of us a lot calmer and less annoyed in regards to Teddy’s affect on either Owen or Cristina. In this episode, Teddy is seen interacting with the other characters. That suggests to me that they are upholding the idea that Teddy is indeed moving on – and with Mark. (Must insert here that the writers of this show should at least send the 5.5 writers a fruit basket for coming up with all these similarities. Just saying. If you don’t get the reference, don’t worry about it.)
Oh, Cristina and Meredith. Once again, you can see that Meredith’s true sister is Cristina. As Lexie goes on and on about how Mark needs to move on and stop harassing Alex, Cristina and Meredith provide a united front with their various exchanges of looks and smiles. Cristina honestly doesn’t care. She only gives a murmur of interest off-camera when Meredith reveals that Mark seems to be interested in Teddy now.
“You’re just that good, Little Grey. There’s no getting over you.” Freakin’ hilarious. The way Cristina’s voice dips into that sultry voice that one would expect from a phone sex line. That and the smile she gives Lexie pushes Lexie over the edge and forces her to leave the table in disgust. She’s not going to get a sympathetic ear from this crowd. And Meredith, instead of showing concern for her half-sister, simply says in an appreciative manner, “You clear the room. Every time. You clear the room.” These two definitely have an ESP going on. Which is why when Cristina responds to Owen’s plan (Owen, who trusts Cristina implicitly) with a simple, “Hmm… Interesting,” Meredith is the first to pick up on the fact that something’s going on.
The fact that Cristina thinks that she can deceive the two people who know her the best is laughable. And she isn’t even trying all that hard. She gives them the same crockery that Richard gave Owen in the beginning about nearing the end of his career. And before they can react, Cristina’s off to go report on her best friend and boyfriend. I love how easily Owen and Meredith accept the fact that Cristina has gone to the other side. Like I said, they know Cristina for who she is and love her anyways (and because of it). And though they’re on opposing sides, her relationships with both aren’t the least bit negatively affected.
“Harper Avery bait.” Yep, Cristina’s just full of the best lines in this episode. I don’t know how she convinced Jackson to come with her – though it seems like she’s forcibly dragging him – but Cristina shows up with Jackson in order to improve the winning team’s chances of getting the Harper Avery award. In this situation, Cristina really can’t lose. She’s truly invested in both sides. If Richard wins, she gets to scrub in. If Owen wins, then it’s her boyfriend and best friend who win. Of course, she’d much rather be able to cut, but if there were ever the two to take her place in the OR, one would think that it would be these two.
As Richard goes over his plan, we can see Cristina handing out copies of it to the three in the back. Or rather, Owen and Meredith – she intentionally skips Jackson. And I love how Owen glances up at Cristina when she hands him his copy. And how Owen shoots Cristina a look when she says, “Snap!” Yeah, that’s his Cristina. But Owen ends up the victor, and we don’t see Cristina protesting at all. Like I said, she wins both ways. And that’s why she isn’t all that upset about “losing” when she’s in the gallery with Richard.
Richard learns a little humility, and Owen asks for his help in the OR. See, Owen doesn’t put pride before his patients. And he’s not afraid of asking for assistance when he needs it. And his priority is Audrey’s survival rather than an award. I do find it interesting that during the operation, Meredith and Richard are on the same side while Cristina is on the same side as Owen. Perhaps it’s habit, but we more often see Richard with Meredith and Owen with Cristina. Regardless of the reason, I certainly do like seeing Cristina and Owen working together on the same cases, side by side.
The final scene. Cristina’s still hanging onto the hope of getting a Harper Avery out of the surgery. (And look! She says “Owen”!) Jackson delivers a touching speech about the true purpose of the award, and for a second, it seems like Cristina’s absorbing it. But she isn’t. “This message was brought to you by the Harper Avery foundation…” Another brilliant line. And another instance of Cristina clearing the room. Love how Cristina has her hands on her chest as if she was moved by his inspiring speech. Love how Meredith and Cristina are just giggling. Love Meredith and Cristina, period. And love how Owen just laughs along with Cristina even though he has no idea what she’s laughing about. He’s instantly happy because she’s happy. How adorable is that? Plus, you can see that there are no hard feelings between the lovebirds because Cristina ended up flipping sides.
And now Meredith’s “jealous” speech. I really don’t think that this insert of Owen being “jealous” from Meredith is implying any sort of romantic feelings on Owen’s part for Teddy. To be quite frank, the idea had to be said. Admit it, the moment you saw Owen step in and talk to Mark, all of us was thinking in the back of our heads, “Oh great, they’re going to make it so that Owen is jealous of Teddy and Mark.” I know I did. But when the conversation played out where Owen was more like the “protective older brother” rather than some “jealous ex-boyfriend,” I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Owen is a good guy, as trinity says. He gives Richard his surgery because he buys into his “I only have a few surgeries left” speech … until Cristina tells him that he’s being played. And when Cristina reveals that she picked Richard so that she could spy on him for Owen, Owen points out – as if Cristina didn’t know already, “…but that’s cheating.” He’s a good guy. And knowing that he hurt Teddy already in a major way, he doesn’t need someone else adding to that by having her be just another notch in the bedpost.
So, the idea of Owen being jealous had to be said out loud for it to be addressed. And it was addressed. And the person to say it was appropriately the person who has Cristina’s back. Meredith is Cristina’s “person” – she’s Team Cristina. And given that Meredith is still distrustful of Owen for choking her best friend, of course she’s wary of him. We know that Meredith realizes that Owen has been a huge part of Cristina coming back to being herself and being happy. And time and again, it’s Meredith that points out that Owen loves Cristina and that’s why he sometimes does the things he does (e.g. as in “Invest in Love” when Meredith pointed out that Owen cares about her career, which is one of the reasons he was so upset about her rogue cutting). But Meredith has seen Cristina devastated, and she doesn’t want that ever to happen again. So, she’s protective – as Owen was for Teddy. That’s what friends do.
And when Meredith claims that Owen was jealous, the way he reacted just proves that he wasn’t jealous. He isn’t defensive, he doesn’t object – he stands there just listening with a look that’s partially surprised, partially understanding (of where Meredith’s coming from), and completely taken aback (ignore the math on this) on his face. When he said that he and Meredith made a great team, he certainly wasn’t expecting the “best friend” speech. And especially not so late in the relationship – it’s usually one of the things you say at the beginning. But it has been coming since “Elevator Love Letter.” And I think Owen realizes that Meredith has to say it, so he listens and takes it – even though he knows that he wasn’t jealous. He understands Meredith’s need to protect Cristina, just as he knows that he was doing the same for Teddy. I mentioned in my previous episode analysis that at one point, Owen was probably Teddy’s “person” (during the war) – so it’s understandable that he would be the one to tell Mark not to hurt Teddy. Arizona doesn’t know Teddy as well, Callie is Team Mark – so the role of the protective friend has to be Owen.
Owen isn’t jealous. Notice that Meredith says that she saw him. She didn’t hear what he was saying. She didn’t catch that Owen’s tone was not angry. He’s just telling Sloan, one of his bromance buddies, that he can’t treat Teddy in the same manner that he’s been … uh … “treating” the nurses and drug reps. Let’s compare this to a time when Mark did something to make Owen actually jealous – hitting on Cristina. Now, that was a different story. He didn’t know Mark at the time, so it’s not like he had any right to tell Mark not to hit on a woman that Owen had no real entitlement to (in fact, Owen was pretty much denying his feelings for Cristina). But when he saw Mark hitting on Cristina, he first kicked Cristina out of his OR so that he didn’t have to watch any more of it and then projected his frustration onto the Chief. That’s jealous Owen. Jealous Owen gets angry. Yes, there were other contributing factors to his anger, but jealousy was fuel to the flame.
As for Owen not defending himself, I preferred that. Because, as I said, had Owen tried to defend himself to Meredith, that would have made him look guilty of having been jealous. He has nothing to be defensive about. He knows that he wasn’t jealous. And Meredith obviously has something to get off his chest. And in a way, I think he feels like she deserves to say it since she never got the chance to say something after the choking incident. I have been expecting Meredith to give Owen a lecture like this since “Elevator Love Letter.” Meredith isn’t afraid to speaking up for Cristina, and she’s certainly not afraid of Owen. So, I appreciated the fact that Owen lets Meredith speak without objecting. Not only did it prove that he wasn’t in fact jealous, in my opinion, but it also suggested that he still has some residual guilt from the choking incident. I think Owen carries the weight of that with him every day. And because he always carries that burden with him, it makes him treat Cristina as though she’s all the more precious and why he’s all the more unwilling to ever let her go.