“That’s Me Trying” (That’s Me Worrying, That’s Me Quitting)

Cristina and Owen in "That's Me Trying."

Owen kicks the residents’ asses into shape.  Roy lives.  April calls AAA.  Meredith gets yelled at.  And Cristina quits.  All in all, a pretty eventful episode.  So, you know what that means…  Yep, dear readers, this is going to be a long blog post with plenty to discuss.

I’m a total spoiler junkie.  I make no apologies for it, and I certainly don’t hide it.  Yet I was completely surprised when Cristina told Owen that she quit the program.  Before this episode, I had no idea this was happening.  And now that I know this to be the case, it certainly explains why there hasn’t been too many spoilers about Cristina in the recent Grey’s Anatomy scoops (and also why she was noticeably missing from all the promotional pictures from the upcoming episodes).

First of all, Meredith and Cristina are fighting (again).  Obviously, it won’t be for long since this show doesn’t work well when they fight for prolonged periods of time (i.e. season five during the serial killer arc).  But while the previous time was more of a plot device for Cristina and Meredith to bond to their respective partners (which I was totally fine with, by the way), this time stems from a deeper issue.  And apparently, these feelings of anger and frustration have been boiling up within her for some time throughout this season.  Yet, honestly, I haven’t noticed it until possibly the last episode where Cristina told Meredith to stop during their interview with the camera crew.  We hear these feelings vocalized later on the helipad, so I’ll save the rest of this topic discussion till later.

Let's go play with dummies! It'll be easy – easy fun. (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

Owen demonstrates his unfamiliarity with the concept of jinxing when he utters the words, “It’s a pretty easy day.”  That’s like saying that it’s not going to rain, and suddenly, a torrential thunderstorm comes in out of nowhere.  I guess he didn’t remember Callie saying that it was going to be a slow day in the pit – only to be hit with the victims of a multivehicle accident five seconds later.  Cristina, on the other hand, has apparently forgotten that her husband doesn’t do “easy” skills labs.  Does she not remember taking care of four pigs with stab wounds?  That wasn’t easy.  But helping out with setting up and keeping an eye on things?  Now, that’s easy.  For a man who once claimed to not play favorites, he certainly does so in this episode.  And rightly so.  There was no way that Owen was going subject Cristina to the same rigorous training that he put the other residents through, especially when she’s already struggling.  (Plus, even if Cristina weren’t suffering from post-traumatic stress, you have to consider the possibility that he’d probably end up on the couch for an extended period of time if he made her “take a knee” in the pouring rain.)

It’s sweet that Owen has come up with a plan to make sure Cristina still gets her trauma certification and participate in some way, without putting too much pressure on her.  (Not only that, but he gets to spend the day with her, too.)  Cristina doesn’t even need to ask him or play the “wife” card to get out of it.  This is a huge difference from last season.  And honestly, I think this behavior is much more befitting of him than last season’s, which is probably why I’m loving this season so much more.  (That and, once again, because Cristina and Owen are married!)  Owen of season six went awry, but he’s back on track now – back to the man who came off an ambulance and swept all of us off our feet.  He’s been so supportive since the beginning of the season, and I do not see that changing at all.  This is how Owen was supposed to be written in season six.  The writers made a mistake last season in regards to Owen and his relationship with Cristina – that much is certain – but I’m a firm believer that they have learned from their mistakes.  (And oddly enough, that was Owen’s first lesson to Cristina.)  If you notice, the angst does not spill over into Cristina and Owen’s marriage.  In fact, it is the marriage that brings the light and brevity to Cristina’s suffering as Owen provides his wife with all the support she needs.

I'm not playing with dolls. Not even life-sized ones. (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

And speaking of brevity, we do see glimpses of snarky Cristina in this episode.  First, her response to Owen, “It’s a skills lab.  It’s already an easy day.”  And then later, when she tells Roy, “Any joke that starts with an animal walking into a bar is scientifically unfunny.”  What I love about this season is how the show has found its funny bone again.  Yes, there are dark moments, but it’s counterbalanced with comedy.  (And boy did we get our laugh on this episode with Owen’s trauma training.  Three letters: AAA.)  I mean, I obviously watch this show primarily for Cristina and Owen, but this season has made me into a fan of the show in its entirety again.  It seems that the new blood in the writers’ room is doing wonders.  (And Austin Guzman, the writer of this particular episode, made me burst out into laughter to the point of tears.)

But back to Owen and Cristina.  Our beloved duo is interrupted by Teddy, who comes bearing the news of new lungs for Roy.  I love how Owen is the one who answers Teddy.  Yes, I know that she was directing her comments to him; but since it’s regarding Cristina, one would expect Cristina to respond.  Instead, Owen does.  And the gesture carries this sense of protectiveness.  He’s like a buffer, gauging whether Cristina can handle something.  And it seems that this is within her realm of capability, especially since Cristina knows that she will not be totally alone.  She’s got Dr. McQueen as backup.  (Side note: Dr. McQueen, a cardio fellow, is played by an actor named Leith Burke.  Burke is back!  Sort of.)  During this scene, Owen keeps looking at Cristina as if to check that she can indeed handle monitoring Roy.  After Teddy leaves, Cristina whispers to herself, “Okay.”  It’s faint and under her breath, like she’s preparing herself for what is up ahead.  Owen offers words of comfort before she goes, “You’ll be fine.  It’s still an easy day.”  And Cristina replies, “I know,” but it doesn’t really do much to alleviate Owen’s concern.  (In fact, Owen is pretty much worried in every scene he shares with Cristina.  And though it’s heartbreaking, I love it because it shows how much he loves her.)

But Owen needs to set aside his worry for a moment because he needs to get these residents up to par in regards to trauma.  Once again, it seems the residents have suffered some sort of memory loss since they are under the impression that this will be anything like their skills lab with Bailey.  How could they not remember the pigs?  That was a far cry from taking turns on a dummy.  Anyway, Owen comes rushing in with trauma gowns and gloves, relaying the incoming of a mass casualty.  If I didn’t know any better, I’d totally buy it.  He’s very convincing, with the running and the stern yelling.  But once those doors open to reveal all those dummies on the ground, Owen starts grinning like a schoolboy.  He is the only one amused by all this.  (And poor Steve is dragging out the rest of the dummies.  I bet he dressed each of them, too.)

Major Owen Hunt reporting for duty! (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

Owen doesn’t do things half-assed.  As we saw with the pigs from season five, he’s very much into teaching them in a hands-on manner, placing them into a situation that mimics life and death.  And honestly, they will be better doctors for it.  With this show, you never know when your next ferry boat accident will occur – or something like it.  And chances are, they won’t be able to save them all – and it’ll be raining cats and dogs.  (It is Seattle after all.)  Out of all the attendings, Owen has turned out to be one of the best teachers.  He’s patient but stern, and he lets them do a lot of the work rather than having them watch from the sidelines.  (Teddy, as we saw when she was first introduced, was the same way with Cristina.)  Maybe it’s the military background, I wouldn’t know.  But whatever it is, I find that it is the better way to learn – learning by doing.  And even better, they aren’t risking actual human lives in the process.

The only person amused about this situation. (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

Meanwhile, as her fellow residents are put through a grueling exercise, Cristina is monitoring Roy.  These two have a great camaraderie going on, and I had hoped to see more of it in this episode.  Roy tries to crack a joke but fails to make Cristina laugh.  (I agree, “animals walking into a bar” jokes are corny.)  And when Roy reports being nervous about getting new lungs, Cristina suggests, “Don’t think of it as new lungs.  Think of it as getting rid of old, crappy lungs.”  This goes back to the idea of patient care being more than just cutting – something that took Cristina a while to learn.  However, now that she’s essentially not cutting anymore, this more personal aspect of patient care is what we’ve been seeing from her.  So, Cristina, too, is becoming a better doctor in connecting with her patients.  They’re not just an obstructed bowel or a lung transplant.  They are people – people with hopes and fears that need tending to, be it trying to salvage worms or offering a comforting word.  And I hope that she continues to recognize that after she gets her surgical mojo back.

The return of our favorite patient. "An animal walks into a bar..." (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

Then Roy’s daughter, Erin, comes in.  Before all hell breaks loose, Roy makes a comment about how he likes snarky (which we already knew because he likes Cristina) and how Erin got that from him.  There’s this brief shot of Cristina looking down, and I wonder if she’s thinking about her own father.  While Erin is standoffish after seeing her father for the first time in twenty years, Cristina would give anything to see her father again.  I had previously thought that they would be a parallel for Cristina and her own parental issues, but we honestly did not see much of them.  Regardless, Roy plays a major role in Cristina’s decision to quit.  But more on that later.

Cristina freezes as Roy crashes.  And Erin yells at her, “Aren’t you the doctor?  Do something!”  Cristina can’t.  And later, Cristina has a hard time looking Erin in the eye when she realizes the extent of the damage to Roy’s heart.  The prognosis is not good, and Cristina is not in any position to assuage the fears of a daughter who may lose her parent.  In season six’s “How Insensitive,” Cristina was able to provide support to the little girl who’d lost her mother.  But as we know, it took a lot out of her, and she later broke down in the privacy of an on-call room while wrapped in Owen’s arms.  And that was when she was fine, emotionally.  But now she’s emotionally compromised, and she just doesn’t have it in her to do the same for Erin.  Because Cristina is probably just as scared as Erin is to lose Roy.  (And thank goodness she doesn’t.  I don’t know what that would have done to her.  I’m going to credit his survival to me chanting, “Roy can’t die” over and over again while I watched.)

You remind me of someone I used to know... Another cardio surgeon... (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

Self-doubt.  That’s the overarching theme of Cristina’s trauma.  Self-doubt and the fear of being alone.  It’s the former that drives her to seek help from Dr. McQueen even though she doesn’t really need his help.  She knows what to do, but she needed him to confirm it.  The Cristina of “before” would’ve followed her instincts and done it.  Everyone believes in her skills as a surgeon but her, and it’s heartbreaking to watch.  Some people are still complaining that this storyline is dragging, but I think they’re handling it well.  In this episode, she proves that she can still be a doctor – if not a surgeon, necessarily – in keeping Roy alive.  She’s hanging in there (unlike Jackson, later).

Romeo spies his Juliet. Though, for some reason, he's on the balcony while she's on the ground. (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

Owen surveys his handiwork from his perch on the stairs with a look of amusement until he spies Cristina standing there.  The worrying returns as she comes down to talk to his wife.  (Side note: Apparently, their scrub pants have pockets.  How have I not realized this before?  First with the shirts under the dark blue scrubs and now this.  But hey, at least I notice the important stuff, right?)  She’s watching the others, who are too busy to notice her standing there.  But Owen notices because he’s got this sort of Cristina radar.  “Are you sure that you’re okay?”  Having learned his lesson that Cristina can put up a good front, he really wants to make sure that she can handle it.  When her pager goes off and she stammers a bit, Owen’s concern is exacerbated.

How did I not realize that these pants have pockets till now? (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

“Cristina…You can do this,” he tells her.  But he doesn’t completely believe it.  So, just in case she can’t, he sends Meredith, her best friend, to provide a helping hand.  There are so many things I love about this scene.  Cristina takes Owen’s words of encouragement without annoyance or frustration.  All she says is, “Okay.  Thanks.”  She can tell that he’s worried – it doesn’t take a particularly perceptive to tell that Owen’s worried.  So, she understands that his pep talks are just signs that he cares.  I’m really glad that Cristina is no longer lashing out at him as she did in the beginning of the season.  (Although, we see that she’s moved onto Meredith in that respect.)  Instead, Owen’s become her main support system.  The first person she turns to is Owen, and I love it.  Seriously, this marriage was the best thing that happened for this relationship.  (Just as Meredith and Derek’s marriage was the best thing for their relationship.  It really moves the focus of the angst from the relationship to the individuals, which is something I’m all for.)

And here comes Owen’s second show of favoritism.  Calling Meredith over, he tells her that she’s certified just so that she can go help out Cristina.  “Well, what does she need?  Did she ask for me?”  “Meredith, please.”  Owen makes it clear that he is the one asking her to help.  And if for some reason Meredith still had doubts about Owen, this gesture would’ve laid them to rest.  It shows that his first priority is Cristina.  He pulls Meredith out of training early because he believes she can help.  He obviously doesn’t realize that things are “frosty” between them at the moment, but it’s the thought that counts in this case.  Since he can’t leave, he’s sending the next best person.  I love this moment between them – this shared love for Cristina and desire to help her.  I hope that we can get more of these scenes, especially now that Cristina has quit.

Owen asks Meredith to go help out Cristina. (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

Some may think that Owen sending Meredith to “babysit” Cristina is a reflection of him thinking that Cristina can’t do her job.  I don’t think that’s the case.  If that was true, he’d have excused Meredith from trauma training entirely and sent her immediately.  Instead, it’s only when he learns that there are complications and sees Cristina stumble a bit after the pager goes off that he sends Meredith.  Because complications mean that it’s not going to be an easy day.  After all, it was a complication in the OR (i.e. Jackson knocking over the tray) that triggered her panic attack.  It was a complication with the brain tumor patient in “Superfreak” that caused her to back into a corner.  Moral of the day?  Complications equal stress, which Cristina already has enough of just going into the hospital.  And Owen wants to make sure she has someone there in case it gets too much for her.

Here’s the biggest difference between Owen and Meredith when it comes to supporting Cristina: Meredith is hovering and coddling her, which only frustrates Cristina; Owen, on the other hand, can read her better.  He knows when to take a step back and when to step in.  Meredith is almost treating Cristina like a child.  She is more of a “babysitter” than an “extra set of hands.”  Cristina knows what she is doing, so it doesn’t help when Meredith starts listing the complications they need to watch out for from this procedure.  Cristina already knows of these things.  She doesn’t need to hear them.  Especially since it’s the possibility of these complications occurring that is freaking her out.  Owen is protective of Cristina, there’s no doubt about it.  But he knows from personal experience that inserting yourself will just cause the other person to be annoyed.  (Like when Cristina asked him about therapy back in “Sympathy for the Parents.”)  That’s why, in “Almost Grown,” he opts to cheer her up instead of asking more about her patient.  On the other hand, Meredith is unfamiliar with how to handle a person with post-traumatic stress.  And later, when Cristina yells at her, she takes it personally.  (Owen knows not to, as he said in his speech to her back in “Shock to the System.”)  In a way, she is now in the same position that Cristina was – in seasons five and six while Owen’s PTSD was at its worst.  Now, Meredith can better understand the choices Cristina made, and this could lead to Meredith and Owen becoming friends.

A few people that won’t be counting Owen as friend for a while are April, Alex, and Jackson.  Just as they think they’re done, Owen snaps a finger and new symptoms appear.  (Haha, poor Steve.  First Cristina’s lackey and now Owen’s.)  Their training isn’t done yet.  And to make matters worse, it starts raining.  “Patients don’t suddenly die.  It just seems that way when you stop paying attention.  Food for thought.”  Owen’s official first lesson of the day.  Don’t worry, there is more to come.  Owen’s trauma exercise reminds me of the time when Izzie wanted to teach the interns.  However, I can’t imagine Owen with glue and glitter.  Though, he obviously took time to come up with all these chains of symptoms, print them out, and clothe the dummies.  (Maybe he should’ve taken Cristina’s signature leather jacket and put it on one of the dummies just so she can get a new jacket on this show.)

It's raining men! (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

“A dry patient is less likely to die.  Hypothermia or shock.  Something to think about.”  Lesson number two, followed by April’s first moment of hilarity as she rips the trash bag off of Alex and puts it over her patient.  “Here you go, little guy.  No hypothermia for you!”  Another awesome line?  “We’re in Apocalypse Now, and we’re gonna get scalped.”  Just a slight exaggeration there, Jackson.

Here’s something that separates Owen from the other attendings.  He’s right in the thick of it with them.  Steve – plus Owen’s pager and cell phone – gets to stay relatively dry under an umbrella with a poncho while Owen gets rained on with the rest of them.  (At least they get slightly more protection with the trauma gowns.)  He won’t ask his residents to do anything he isn’t willing to do.  And that’s what makes him a great teacher.

According to athebeach, this is Owen's "P. Diddy" moment. (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

Back to Meredith and Cristina with Roy and his daughter.  Cristina is avoiding seeing Erin for reasons we find out later.  And lo and behold, Roy develops one of the complications that Cristina was afraid of: a blue leg (meaning there’s no oxygen flowing into the leg).  Meredith calls Teddy in a panic, but Cristina’s already on it.  See?  Cristina still knows what she’s doing.  She’s already started to wheel in the ECMO machine before Meredith relays Teddy’s order to do just that.  This is a good sign because it means that Cristina’s instincts are still there.  She’s not completely lost.  (Though that doesn’t mean people are going to stop worrying about her.)

Cristina's already got it covered. (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

Alex is the one to deliver Owen’s third lesson: “Trauma is unfair.”  He’s the only one to have realized it.  April is delusional, thinking she hears an imaginary helicopter.  (Seriously, I am liking April more and more.)  Jackson messes up, accidentally kills his patient, and quits when he realizes that the point of this trauma exercise is for all the patients to eventually die.  Remember how we thought Alex would be Owen’s “trauma guy” in the previous seasons?  If you listen carefully, Owen tells the other residents to keep an eye on Alex, saying, “That’s what resourceful looks like.”  Oh, Alex, he’s good at pediatric surgery and trauma.  I’m so happy that his professional life is booming because he’s had a tough time of it on the relationship front.

Another relationship having a tough time is Meredith and Cristina’s.  Meredith just can’t seem to know when to stop pushing.  Cristina has made it pretty clear that she wants to stay as far away from Erin as possible, but Meredith still tries to get Cristina to update Erin.

She doesn’t need to hear an update from me.  All she wants is to make sure that I know that she’s afraid.  And I can’t hear that right now because I’m scared enough as it is.  I was scared when he coded.  I’m scared now that he’s stable…  I’m scared walking across the lobby.  I am scared all the time.

Things are indeed frosty. And I'm not just talking about the weather. (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

Then, later, on the helipad, Cristina has another great monologue.

How are you fine?  How are you just completely fine?  I am ruined, okay?  I am dead.  I am wrecked.  And you’re just walking around, what, babysitting me?  As if you don’t go through the same thing, too?  Why are you okay?  You know what?  You were there, too.  You know, you were there, too.  With your sad eyes screaming at me to save his life…  I didn’t have a choice.  You did that.  If it were anyone else on that table, if it was anyone else standing there, I would’ve walked away.  I could’ve walked away.  And then I would be here!

It makes sense that Cristina would want to blame Meredith for everything.  If it hadn’t been Derek on the table, if it hadn’t been Meredith’s husband, Cristina would have been more able to walk away.  And no one would have blamed her for it.  But if she had walked away from Derek, Meredith would have never forgiven Cristina for his death.  Because Cristina obviously had the ability to save Derek’s life but chose not to.  Would Meredith have done the same for Cristina if it had been Owen on the table?  I’d like to think so.

But I think Meredith is right.  When Cristina insists that she could’ve walked away had it been anyone else, Meredith protests.  Could Cristina have walked away if had been someone else?  I don’t rightly know.  The only people getting shot that day were members of the hospital staff, meaning that it would be one of her colleagues.  Could she have walked away from someone she knew?  We will never know.  I personally think she could not let someone die, knowing that she could save them.  This is the woman who stayed even when there was a bomb in the hospital.  This is the woman who walked into a room filled with a gaseous neurotoxin to save a patient.  She is not the type to leave someone, despite the risk to her safety.

Obviously, Cristina’s true object of blame should be Gary Clark.  But she hasn’t reached that point in her healing yet to see that.  (Seriously, where is Dr. Wyatt in all this?)  While I’m thankful that she isn’t unloading all her anger on Owen, I am sad that these two are fighting.  And it’s sadder for Meredith, who used to be the one person Cristina could count on.  But now Cristina has Owen.  So, in a way, she’s been replaced and relegated to be the backup.  However, the same is true for Meredith as well.  Now, she turns to Derek first.  These two have grown up, gotten married – of course, their relationship must evolve accordingly.  And note that when Cristina decides to quit, Owen is the first person she tells.  (Other than the Chief, of course.)  There was a time when the first person she told anything was Meredith (like when she was pregnant in season two).

Anyway, Cristina’s anger is actually stemming more from the fact that Meredith seems to be doing fine while Cristina is ruined.  The first thing she says is, “How are you fine?”  Why is no one else taking the traumatic event as hard as she is?  Lexie got better after sleeping.  Meredith, who suffered a miscarriage, is going on with life.  How is it that she is the only one still suffering?  She’s supposed to be the strong one, yet now she is the weakest.  It’s as Owen says, “Trauma isn’t fair.”  (One must keep in mind that Meredith has an amazing capacity to cope with things and shove them aside, having grown up with a neglectful mother and an absentee father.  I would not be surprised if it all hits Meredith later.)

In the lighter story arc, April decides that she’s had enough of this never-ending list of symptoms.  In fact, she’s already anticipated Owen’s next move, which is quite impressive.  No more patients of hers are going to die.  Then, following Owen’s lead, she starts making up rules.  The ambulance is in play, and she’s going to drive it to the hospital that’s only twenty feet away.  (Love how Alex goes for Steve’s feet first and how Steve drops the cards and takes a startled step back.  Hilarious.)  April, with Alex’s help, haphazardly throws in her remaining two patients, gets a little help from AAA, threatens to run Owen down (a comedic moment for the record books), and drives it toward the ambulance bay where Owen and Alex have run to meet her.  (I have no doubt she would’ve run Owen down or gotten an OR for a dummy.  That chick is batshit crazy.  But it’s the endearing kind.)

Owen vs April. Winner? April. (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

That whole sequence, ending with Owen caving and telling April that the blue team wins, is reminiscent of the humor we used to get from the early seasons.  Hot dog contest, anyone?  But this is leaps and bounds beyond that contest.  (I must go a bit off-topic here and insert how much I’m liking April and Alex’s chemistry.  At the risk of getting hit by cyber dirt clods, I must say that I am not against the idea of AK2.)  “He’s going to live for forty more years and have fifteen grandkids.  You happy?”  I don’t know about you, but if that turns out to be Owen’s future, I would be quite ecstatic.  (Owen and his “forty years.”)

Owen approves of Alex and April, too. (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

Owen finally gets the chance to confront Jackson for quitting.  Jackson simply copped out, and Owen calls him on it.

I’ve lost dozens of friends in the field.  Dozens.  And I have never – never – used them as an excuse to quit.  You’re a doctor, Avery.  And that doesn’t stop because you’re up against a wall.  You need to figure out how to be a doctor no matter what you’re dealing with and no matter what tools you don’t have.  That is the lesson you need to learn.  You don’t get to quit.

Owen vs Jackson. Winner? Owen. (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

Sorry, Jackson, but playing the “I lost friends” card is not going to work with an army veteran.  Owen has gone through war, where losing lives is an unfortunate commonality.  And instead of throwing in the towel and quitting, it has driven Owen to learn from his mistakes so that he can save more lives.  That is the attitude that Jackson needs to have.

This provides a stark contrast to Cristina, who actually ends up quitting.  But Cristina fought through her own fears and was a doctor.  She may not be able to step into an OR without getting anxious, but she goes in anyway.  She may be afraid of walking across the lobby, but she does so anyway.  She never gave up being a doctor this entire time, even though she was hurting.  And the reason she quits is not because she can’t do it – she can.  She quits because she doesn’t want to be a surgeon anymore.  It used to give her a rush, a thrill.  It used to make her happy.  It used to make her feel like she was on top of the world when she saw a heart start beating again because of her.  But Roy’s heart did start beating again, and she only felt relieved that she hadn’t killed a patient.

The thrill is gone. (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

The last expression on Cristina’s face while the camera fades to black is relief.  I think that quitting was the right step for her – for now.  All season long, I’ve talked about how this trauma provided the opportunity for Cristina to learn what life is like without surgery – and to realize that she can still be happy without it.  Well, now, she is going to take that one step further because she won’t have a career.  Period.  For the first time in Cristina’s life, she doesn’t have a career goal.  From what we’ve learned of her history, she always knew she wanted to be a surgeon and focused on her studies to achieve that goal – at some cost to her personal life.  But now, the only thing she needs to focus on is her personal life.  And I think that’ll be interesting to see.  (Obviously, I’m hoping for a lot more domestic Cristina and Owen scenes to come out of this, since I’m guessing she’ll be spending most of her time at home.  Guess it’s a good thing they bought a fixer-upper so that she can keep busy.)

Cristina quits and breathes a sigh of relief. (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

Meanwhile, the last look on Owen’s face is concern.  He starts off being proud and excited about the success of his trauma lab.  And just how Owen is the first person Cristina wants to tell her news to, Cristina is the first person Owen wants to share his news with.  “I wish you could’ve been there.”  Sweet, right?  He wishes that his wife could’ve shared in his joy and excitement.  But he is not so caught up with his news that he doesn’t, in turn, ask Cristina about her day.  While Owen was having a fantastic day, Cristina wasn’t.  While others were finding their possible true calling, she came to realize that surgery was no longer hers.  (Don’t worry.  I’m sure it’s temporary.)

Owen is surprised, for sure.  I was totally in shock as well.  But, as I’ve said over and over again in this post, his primary reaction is concern.  Cristina without surgery?  It’s unimaginable.  Not long ago, he was having to tell her that people matter, that surgery (alone) can’t make her happy.  Now, she’s quitting.  And I have no doubt in my mind that Owen will support her in every way he can.  After all, he’d love her if she were a plumber.  All he cares about is if she is happy.  So, if surgery is not making her happy, then he’s not going to push her into staying.

Owen gets more worried about his wife. (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

It annoys me when people say that Owen is just “letting” her do things and how that’s a bad thing.  Okay, Owen’s letting her go at her own pace.  What else is he supposed to do?  Tell her that she can’t quit?  That’s not his decision.  Tell her that they shouldn’t move into a house of their own?  They’re married; they are supposed to be building a home together.  (Meredith and Derek are just taking a longer time doing so.)  Owen’s hands are tied in so many ways.  It isn’t his place to tell her what she can or cannot do.  Cristina is her own person and can make her own decisions.  Owen is there to offer guidance and support, but he isn’t her puppet master.  I would not want that.  No, if anyone was supposed to be providing some sort of intervention, it would be Wyatt.  But for some reason, she is completely missing in action; no one has mentioned her since Perkins.

What's next? (Credit: Slightly Coconuts)

In the promo for the next episode, we see Cristina dancing it out.  Even though I know it’s just a precursor to some probably darker moment later, I have missed seeing her just having some fun.  And judging from the way things have been going on this show, I think we’ll get some fun moments before they get dark again.  (Have I mentioned how much I love this season so far?)  And I hope that we’ll see Cristina and Owen have a scene at home – maybe before he goes off to work.  Plus, we need to start up the kissing streak again.  This is the second episode where we didn’t get a Cristina and Owen kiss.  What can I say?  I’m greedy.

So, now it’s your turn.  What do you think will happen next for Cristina?  Would you like to see Owen take April under his wing as his new “trauma guy”?  Do you think Cristina is seeing Dr. Wyatt off-camera?  What was your favorite line from this episode – funny or serious?  Do you think Meredith and Cristina will patch things up?  Let me know below!

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11 responses to ““That’s Me Trying” (That’s Me Worrying, That’s Me Quitting)

  1. Wonderful review! Glad you are back. Your captions were hilarious this week too. 🙂 First, I am so relieved that Roy made it and Cristina came through for him. Love the twist of Cristina quitting and look forward to watching how it plays out the next two epis.

    The only thing that frustrates me about Cristina’s storyline is whether she is seeing Dr. Wyatt or not. You would think she and Owen would both be in therapy. It just doesn’t seem like they are though. Wonder if it will ever be mentioned.

    ITA that married Cristina and Owen have been the best! Hoping for some good C/O scenes this week with another C/O kiss. Also, didn’t KMK mention more singing on the show soon? I wonder when and where that will happen. Can’t wait for Thursday and to see what happens at Cristina and Owen’s housewarming party!

    • Thanks, klh! I’m glad to be back. Thank goodness I took a break last week. This one took a while! (I think I could sum up last week’s in two sentences: Owen is a titan. Cristina is not doing well.) I also loved the ending with Cristina quitting because I’m excited to see where they’re taking this. (Izzie baked muffins after she quit. But I don’t see Cristina baking muffins.)

      I have no idea if we’re supposed to assume if she’s seeing Wyatt. Perkins mentioned that all his cases were being transferred to her, but it doesn’t seem like Cristina has made much progress in coming to terms with what has happened to her. I don’t think we’ve gotten a clear answer from the writers on that front. So, I share your frustration.

      Every now and then, I need to remind myself that they’re married. Because it’s still a dream come true. I didn’t think it’d happen so soon! But it did, and it’s been an amazing gift to us fans. Plus, though I know this sounds dorky, I think of any scene with Owen as a “Cristina/Owen” scene because when I see a glimpse of that wedding band, all I can think of is, Yep, Cristina put a ring on it.

      I do hope we get some kissing next episode. I know that people want hot scenes between them (i.e. some wumpity wump), but at the moment, I don’t see how it could fit in with this theme of Cristina struggling with where her life is headed. Maybe a quickie at home to cheer her up before he goes to work? Morning soapy sex? Okay, I can see that.

      I remember Kevin McKidd saying that, too, but I wasn’t sure if he meant singing in general (i.e. Justin Chambers singing that Camp Rock 2 song) or him. I hope it’s him.

      I can’t wait to see what happens at the housewarming party either! Doesn’t it just feel so good to be excited about the upcoming episode? I’ve missed this feeling.

      Thanks for the lovely comments! And as usual, thanks for reading. 🙂

  2. Fabulous blog as usual. The captions this week were hi-larious. I’m also digging these little prompt questions at the end. So here goes…

    1.
    Spoiler-phobes reading this comment – Look away.
    Okay, so I’m still so confused by the timeline of the next couple episodes. My hope is that ultimately she’ll get her mojo back and be the one coming out of the ambulance in 7×11. (Omg that would be so awesome. Ahem. Ahem. Writers? Please?) Until then, I’m so confused how this is all going to go down. At least we’ll hopefully get some home scenes between Cristina and Owen and we can be theorizing fools till the end of the year.

    2.
    If it means that we get so see more scenes similar to the ones we got last week, then hell yes. Owen and April working together is pure comedic gold. That last ambulance dummy scene was probably my favorite of the entire episode. I do wonder how she’ll handle trauma since she’s so manic compared to George who was so calm under pressure, but god knows she’s determined to save lives! I can’t wait ’till she starts to follow Owen around with her little red notebook. That’ll be hilarious.

    3.
    I hope she’s been seeing Dr. Wyatt. I don’t see Owen letting her go without some kind of help for the x amount of months since the shooting when she is so clearly hurting. Especially since he’s seen the benefits of therapy first-hand. Heck, I just want to see a Dr. Wyatt and Cristina scene soo bad, I even checked IMDB. “Oh, Shonda! She’s available!”

    4.
    Can I just say the entire last hospital scene or is that a cop-out?

    “Any joke that starts with an animal working into a bar is scientifically unfunny.”

    “Sure a couple of those would be frowned upon by the world community.”

    “He’s going to scalp them. We’re in Apocalypse Now and we’re gonna get scalped.”

    “It’s really hard to manage your roots when you’ve been committed to the psych ward.”

    “Wanna see us give a lady a really big ass?” + Lexies hand gestures “Oh, my god yes!”

    “Looks like I got AAA. Apparently they could get here when the helicopter couldn’t.”

    “It wasn’t a contest.”

    “Karev. Call the OR and see if there’s a room available.” “Will do!” (For Justin Chamber’s line delivery alone)

    5.
    Oh, for sure they’ll patch things up. Hopefully it won’t last as long as the season five fight. I think that the writers will have Meredith reflect on why it is that she is “fine” (or is she?) after the shooting and then have the two besties make up once they’ve both come to terms with what happened to them. I bet once Cristina gets her mojo back, they’ll be fine. Hopefully it wouldn’t last too long though.

    • 1. [SPOILER] I’m completely at a loss for what’s up ahead as well. It would be just perfect if it’s Cristina coming off the ambulance in episode 11. It would be an awesome callback to Owen’s introduction to the show. And then, if Owen’s the one in the ambulance bay. That would just be even more perfect – if that’s possible. Shonda did say that Cristina would have a huge comeback. I call that a “huge comeback.”

      And yes, I hope we get more domestic scenes. I like seeing them out of scrubs and lab coats. Now that Cristina is no longer in the surgical program, that means she will be in street clothes for the next few episodes. Yay! (Maybe she can buy a new jacket. Lol. I’m sorry, but change is good. Get a new wardrobe.)

      I want more spoilers. All this speculating is driving me insane, but I love it.

      2. Owen and April are totally comedic gold together. But you’re right, I’m not sure how she is under pressure. Also, she got distracted in “I Saw What I Saw” and missed a step, ultimately leading to the death of that patient. So, it’s a toss-up as to whether she’d be good in a real traumatic situation. She did go a little crazy during this mock one. Don’t think that’s a good thing when dealing with real patients. (She also probably couldn’t just hoist them over her shoulder either, lol.)

      3. I hope she’s seeing Dr. Wyatt, too, but it almost doesn’t seem like Cristina is. Or if she is, she is not making as much progress as I’d like to see her have made in these past months. It’s been at least six months since the shooting, according to that documentary. Professionally speaking, she’s still functioning. But she’s still got a lot of emotional trauma that she’s been holding inside of her. I want a Cristina and Dr. Wyatt scene as well, especially since the patient in question is Cristina and not Owen. Or better yet, a couples therapy session about Cristina.

      4. Haha, I’ll take the “last hospital scene.” And Mark and Lexie were quite the comedic duo in this episode as well. Shonda sure did throw the Mark and Lexie fans a bone. I like these two when they’re being comedic. (Though, Mark and Callie tend to be funnier together.)

      5. The season five fight was rather ridiculous, considering the fact that their friendship started out with Meredith taking a surgery that she’d promised to let Cristina have. They’d been through so much together that Meredith not speaking up for Cristina made them give each other the silent treatment? That was quite odd.

      At least in this case, there is a very real reason behind the fight. It’s not entirely logical, but it’s not supposed to be. And that has everything to do with Cristina’s post-traumatic stress. (Side note: I sometimes hear about the comments in regards to Cristina’s storyline, and it just makes me want to hold an education day on psychiatric disorders and sensitivity. Even Kristin of E!Online, whom I usually like, said something like, “Cristina’s still crazy.” Seriously? It’s disrespectful.) I’m with you; as Cristina gets better, she will begin to recognize that it wasn’t Meredith’s fault and that her anger was misplaced.

      I hope it doesn’t last long, either. I mean, Shonda says that these two are the core relationship of the show. So, if they fight for an extended period of time, the show will suffer for it.

      I’m glad you like the prompt questions! I think that it’s much more fun when it’s not just me blabbing on and on about the show. Plus, it sparks some fun discussion!

      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  3. Yay, Welcome back and great analysis as usual! Good thing you took a break last week, because what we had this week (in amount of screen time) payed off for last week.

    I am wondering again why, oh why Shonda waited till season 7 to use KMK’s talent in comedic scenes. He is so good at them. His line “Take a knee. Learn something!” cracked me up! It’s not just about the line itself, but the way Kevin said it. HI-larious!
    Owen is indeed the best teacher from all the attendings. He is very patient, he can stay with one resident (i.e. Jackson) no matter how much time it takes to get the job done. The thing is he likes very to teach, that’s why he is so good at it. A thing that it’s not very spread in this hospital. Most of the attendings do it because they are forced to. But he loves it.

    The fight between Cristina and Meredith needed to happen, in my opinion. Cristina needed to tell Mer how she really feels. I understand where she is coming from. In these kind of situations, you try to find a culprit, even though that in this case, the only culprit is Gary Clark. So even though Cristina isn’t right in blaming Meredith, I do understand her. But if you think about it, Cristina was put in impossible situation in that OR: either let Derek die and let a pregnant Meredith get shot. How could she choose? Lucky for Owen’s (un)fortunate intervention, because if either Meredith or Derek would have died, Cristina wouldn’t have forgiven herself. She made the biggest sacrifice, she risked her life and Owen’s life (even though they were broken-up) to save Meredith and Derek. Owen could easily have died and Cristina would have been left alone with a huge trauma and without the love of her life. Now is Meredith is fine (or at least she looks like she’s fine) and she is wrecked and cannot move on. A part of the anger is projected toward herself, not only Meredith. It’s a pity that Meredith took it so personal, because it wasn’t like that at all. And Cristina most certainly doesn’t hate her.

    Now to answer your interesting questions:
    1. What will happen with Cristina:
    I am spoiler-free so I have no idea, but I am really excited to see where it goes from here. Cristina made the best/healthiest decision at this moment. She can be a surgeon, we saw that very well in this episode (note that her answers are not longer reluctant “I don’t know”, “I can’t say”, but precise. She knows very well she has to do, except she is a afraid to do it. Because she is so scared and terrified all the time. Being a surgeon is no fun for her anymore. He doesn’t feel rush of adrenaline, that joy now she is just scared. She feels pressured all the time. And she cannot take it that any longer. I suspect that she had no day off since the shooting, she kept coming to work, so indeed she needs a break. Some time for herself, to analyze herself to see where she’s going from now on. You don’t realize how much you love something until you don’t have it anymore. That’s what Cristina has to realize about surgery. I don’t see her staying aside for a long time.
    Right now I don’t see her giving up on herself, more I see it as rebuilding herself. Her come back will be spectacular. I am sure!

    2. Owen mentoring April.
    Yes, that would interesting. I agree that April is acting like a maniac in treating her patients and that’s not the right attitude for a trauma surgeon, but the point is that Owen recognized her potential. If she decides to pursue this specialty, then Owen can guide her and teach her to be more calm and focused. He was so glad that he has found someone with potential for trauma surgery and he really wants to pass all his knowledge to his residents. As we said, he loves to teach and he is very very patient, something that is required when teaching someone like April. I think he can focus her very well. I would like to see that.

    3. If Cristina is seeing Dr. Wyatt off-camera:
    I wish she would, but I don’t thinks so. If she did, she should have been better by now. Let’s not forget that this is Cristina and she is resilient in seeing any shrinks. She didn’t go to her appointment to Dr. Perkins and the few times she did go, she said nothing. And I know most people want Owen to make her go, but he cannot do that. What should he do? Drag her by force in Dr. Wyatt’s office? You cannot make therapy sessions by force. It has to be that person’s free will. Cristina didn’t push Owen to go therapy when he clearly needed that and that one time she tried to tell him, he snapped a bit. So Cristina must be willing to go. I hope we’ll get some therapy sessions with Dr. Wyatt. Maybe there’s some plot, that’s why she didn’t go till now?

    4. My favourite lines:
    “Take a knee. Learn something!”

    “Any joke which starts with an animal walking into a bar, is scientifically unfunny.”

    “Yeah, yeah, yeah. You win. He’s gonna live for 40 more years and he’s gonna have 15 grands. You happy?” (What is it with Owen and 40 years?)

    “It’s a skills lab. It’s already an easy day.” (note aside: Not if that skills lab is with Owen Hunt)

    “Food for thought.”

    “The rain is still pretty bad. It probably got caught up (the helicopter) in a hail storm.”

    Seriously, Owen had the best lines this episode. Epic, one after another. Can I just say how good Owen looked in the episode, more so when he was soaking wet!!!

    5. Yes, Cristina and Meredith will patch up things. Cristina said what she had to say and I don’t think she will give Meredith the silent treatment. We’ll see how Meredith reacts after this, given that fact that she thinks Cristina hates her, which IMO, is far from the truth. I saw pictures with Mer at Cristina’s housewarming party, so I think they will patch things up.

    As a final random observation, this is the second time in Grey’s when they a reference to the movie Apocalypse Now (First time it was Cristina in ” I Will Follow You Into The Dark” after the incident with Owen). More reasons for me to watch that movie!

    And thanks for the kind words from your last reply to my post. You’re too sweet!

    • It feels good to be back after a mini-break. Phew! And yes, this week definitely made up for the minimal Cristina and Owen screentime last week. (But understandably, since that was a documentary.)

      I agree, Kevin McKidd is quite the comedian. But it was probably due to the fact that they wanted to focus on the gravity of PTSD. As for season six? That was bit of a hot mess, so let’s not speak of that. What’s important is that the show is bringing the funny back this season, and I love it. Love it, love it, love it. I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in a long time with this show.

      Owen does seem to enjoy teaching. He has all these lessons for his residents that are on his case. He can be tough, but he can be patient. I mean, he’s staying there to make sure Jackson finishes his training. Not everyone would take the time to do that. And I remember in that case with Izzie, he told her how you can’t be the patient and the doctor. That was a great scene between them. And I liked how he turned it into a teaching moment instead of getting angry at her for convincing him to do the risky procedure that ultimately killed their patient.

      Meredith and Cristina definitely needed to have that fight. Cristina has been holding all this in for too long, and she needed to voice her feelings. And I do suspect this could spark Meredith to confront her own feelings. It is odd that she hasn’t been as effected, considering her loss. I wonder if they’ll follow through with that; they certainly made an opening for it in the last episode.

      1. Ah, a spoiler-free one! Don’t worry, even though I know the spoilers, I’m still clueless. But I agree, her comeback will be spectacular for sure!

      2. I think Owen would be able to coach her well. After all, he is a great teacher. And it would be hilarious to see him get her to let go of the red notebook and improvise more – as that is a required component of trauma surgery.

      3. I wish we could get a scene. I can only deduce from Wyatt not being mentioned or seen that Cristina isn’t seeing her. We see everyone else helping her: Meredith, Derek, and Owen. But no professional psychological help. And I think she really needs it.

      4. Awesome quotes! I loved them all. I especially love the ones with Owen just making up stuff to make the residents’ lives just a bit harder. The introduction of new symptoms, the imaginary helicopter caught in the storm – hilarious.

      5. I hope that things get resolved sooner than later. Cristina needs all the support she can get. (Can I just say how much I love seeing everyone band together to help her? Not just Meredith, Derek, or Owen but Teddy, Bailey, and the rest are doing so in their own way – be it offering an encouraging word or treating her with a gentleness that they don’t normally exhibit.)

      Haha, this show does like to recycle themes. Personally, that movie freaked me out. But hey, Marlon Brando is in it, which is reason enough.

      You’re more than welcome! I really do appreciate you consistently taking the time to write down your thoughts and read my posts. Seriously, you were my first regular commenter. I love it. 🙂

  4. Thanks shli you allways do these reviews so well 😉

    I loved this episoe it was one of those episodes were I found myself watching all the characters and not just Cristina and Owen

    The trauma training was pretty awesome Owen is such a cheeky badass 🙂
    I loved the adorable Expresion on his face like a little boy I’m a badass toy shop 😀

    I love April that girl is jus brilliant she’s got a fire and I loved her and owen together I would love to see Owen mentoring april I would I. Treated that to Sarah drew and she said that would be cool

    I also loved the Alex and April interactions I think they wouldbe so cute together

    Jackson I used to like but they are turning him into a useless bimboy 🙂

    I died when Owen went all Lucious verenus ( ca t spell his name right) on Jackson sooo hot

    I also tink this speech he can’t say to Cristina and ppl Say he should of but he can’t yell at Cristina like that it wouldn’t be right I do think this scene was a parallell to that a bit or Mabe not I dnt no 🙂

    I wasn’t expecting much oc but what we got was very perfect . When he was stood on tge stairs and saw her And we t to her I love that bit 🙂

    I expected roy to die and that would make her quit I expected her to quit just not for the reaso she did

    But it’s good and quit she needs a break and shonda promised when she comes ack it’s with a bang

    Also I am a Mark and Lexie shipper and I was so happy to see them making progress 🙂

    • Aw, thanks, Elizabeth!

      I agree, I wasn’t simply watching for Cristina and Owen this episode. It broke my heart to see Bailey assisting in Mary’s autopsy, trying to find the answers to why she didn’t pull through her surgery. (I think they may have cut a scene with the husband because he was listed as a guest star as well.) And Derek’s struggle to separate the clinical trial from his own feelings toward Alzheimer’s, given that his wife was at high risk for developing it. And of course, April’s hilarious antics. All in all, a well-done episodes.

      I really like Sarah Drew, so I was willing to give her character a chance. (Though, in the season six finale, she annoyed the crap out of me.) Personally, I’ve started to like her. Though I know there are plenty of people out there who still find her annoying. Time will tell if they can successfully integrate her into the show. (And if she can really handle trauma. Anyway, I think she’s more developed than Jackson, that’s for sure.

      April and Alex are hilarious together, given that he humored her and gave in to her “crazy.” Granted, they were all pushed to their breaking points, and we do strange things when we’re in that state. Like calling up an OR for a surgical dummy. I think we’ll get more interactions between them next episode, judging from that one sneak we got during the commercials. ([SPOILER] Alex kissing April? I started yelling, “Oh my god!” He’s going to deflower her! Lol.)

      Yes, Jackson’s character development is not really going anywhere. Eye candy is great, but I want substance – so long as it doesn’t cut into my Cristina and Owen time. So, I guess I’m okay with him in the background. (And yes, Owen going all Lucius Vorenus was very hot.)

      I do think it was a parallel to Cristina’s storyline. And I know that some say that he yelled at Jackson because he can’t yell at his wife, but like I said, there’s a huge difference between Jackson and Cristina. Jackson quit because he didn’t feel like he could do it anymore. Cristina knows she can be a doctor, despite her own personal struggles, but she just didn’t find the joy in it anymore. It no longer made her happy. Even after saving the life of a patient whom she connected with, she didn’t feel any kind of exhilaration in playing a major role in his survival. So, Owen would have no reason to yell at her for quitting. It makes sense for her to quit when it no longer fulfills her. Now, she can find something else that will (though I’m pretty sure she’ll end up back in Seattle Grace soon enough.)

      I loved that part, too! It was very much a Romeo and Juliet vibe. I loved the moment he saw Cristina standing there alone, how his smile dropped away and all his worry flooded back. And then, he immediately comes down to check in on her. That’s what I call good husband-ing. (Yes, I made up a word.)

      I didn’t expect her to quit till she asked to talk to the Chief. And I feared that Roy would die, but I held onto hope. After all, Cristina did say in “Almost Grown” that if Roy was given lungs, he would live. It would have been a tad cruel to have him die, especially after they had Mary die. No losing two endearing patients at once.

      I also think it’s good that she quit. It will really allow her to grasp what she wants in life and hopefully make her re-realize that surgery is her true calling. But she needs to take care of herself first, and having to put all her energy into making it through the day – every day – at the hospital doesn’t allow her to do that. It’s when things are quiet and we don’t have anything to do that we really can start reflecting on ourselves. And after the unpacking is done and the house is furnished, Cristina will have some serious alone time with her thoughts.

      I’m not a Mark and Lexie shipper, but I did appreciate that they were making baby steps toward each other. I thought that was a nice move on the writers’ part. The Mark and Lexie shippers have had a rough time of it, for sure.

      Thanks for leaving a reply!

  5. She’s back! You were sorely missed last week lady.

    Great review as usual.

    I just wanna disagree with you slightly on the Owen-Cristina-Meredith dynamic. I actually read the episode a little differently.

    Last week we saw the beginnings of friction between Meredith and Cristina during the interview when Meredith steps in to support Cristina at the point when she loses words and almost tears up. She takes her hand but Cristina pulls away.

    So why is Cristina so angry with Meredith? It’s quite simple really: it’s because she loves her and she doesn’t want to lose her. Ever.

    Cristina loves Meredith so much that she was willing to die for her. It is this immense love for Mer that makes Cristina weak, and yet strong at the same time. In that moment when Gary Clark held the gun to her head, Cristina knew with absolute certainity what she needed to do – Derek could not die because Meredith would never survive that. Cristina demonstrated amazing strength in that moment and that strength was born of her love for her best friend. But it took everything out of her and left her badly broken. The pieces she’s left with are unrecognizable: weak, indecisive, scared and pressured by the decison-making necessary for patient care and people’s expectations of her abilities.

    This great love for her friend pushed her to be a hero but it came with a price. The price was that the one other thing she loves the most (surgery) would be forever changed for her. She would no longer experince the familiar joy in cutting; no excitement, no rush, no triumph in saving lives and being better at it than any other resident.

    Cristina blames Meredith for …well, for being Meredith. Cristina blames Meredith for coming into her life and changing her. For being exactly the kind of person she could love forever. For making her the kind of person who would risk her life to save her best friend.

    If she had to go through it all over again, I have no doubt that Cristina would choose to save Derek all over again. Even if she knew what it would cost her. Because, despite everything, she still deeply loves Meredith, even if she seriouskly resents her right now. She’s in mourning – Cristina is mourning the loss of the old Cristina.

    I like to think that Cristina sub-consciously thought she would have company as she grieves for the loss of these pieces of herself. But to her surprise, she’s all alone, frozen. Everyone is coping better than she is and yet she’s the one who had the gun to her head.

    If the universe was fair, she ought to be the one most rewarded for pulling off a complex surgery at gun-point. And yet it seems like she’s the one, the only one at that, paying the highest price. She’d never even met Mr. Clark or heard about him before that day and yet she had to clean up some of his mess.

    How are Derek, Lexie, April and the Chief paying? By rallying and getting on with their lives? Meredith watched her husband get shot in the chest, watched her best friend operate on her husband at gun point and was thus forced to make an inpossible choice and, to top it all off, lost her baby all on the same day. WTF? Why indeed isn’t she at least as messed up as Cristina? All this cannot seem fair to Cristina.

    So she blames Meredith for making her this weak person who loves people. By Cristina’s count Meredith, who suffered through worse stuff, still made it out as good as new (for now) while she, who arguably suffered through less, crumbled in the aftermath. So if Meredith loves Cristina as much as Cristina loves her, and Meredith suffered worse, why is her recovery better than Cristina’s?

    How has their love for each other protected Meredith but wrecked Cristina? More importantly, why? And what does it mean for their frinedship if their experinces of the consequences of this trauma are so different that now they are now practically polar opposites?

    Will it destroy their friendship? Will they lose each other? I believe Cristina fears the loss of Meredith (through growing apart) more than she fears the loss of surgery.

    But of course we know Mer simply has more experience with emotional trauma than Cristina and so over the years she has refined the tools she uses to cope better, such as the mothering we see. Cristina doesn’t get this yet but hopefully she will soon.

    I also saw things differently in regards to the “hovering”. In fact Mer went out of her way not to hover this episode (recall the beginning when Cristina walks by and flashes a fake smile at Mer? Mer does not follow her. At skills lab, Mer walks in alone. Contrast with Almost Grown when they are seated at the lab together).

    Mer only goes to Cristina’s aid because Owen asked her to. Even then she hesitates and asks Owen if Cristina had specifically asked for her. That tells you that Mer is respecting Cristina’s need for space. Owen then basically asks Meredith in a way that makes it clear that he is asking it as a personal favour. In other words, ‘keep an eye on my wife because the pressure is getting to her and she may not cope with the patient; make sure she’s ok because I can’t do it myself right now’.

    Owen essentially asked Meredith to hover over Cristina.

    Not to make this comment a blog post of it’s own but I had a lot to say. And I like that over here, that is appreciated.

    Have a lovely day!

    • Aw, thanks, Taylor. It feels nice to be missed. 😉 I was too busy being in New York for a conference. (I know, poor me. Lol.)

      Yes, by all means, do disagree – slightly, completely, or anywhere in between! I love the discussion.

      I think you’re right, that a lot of Cristina anger stems from how much she loves Meredith. Her friendship with Meredith was really one of the first things that changed Cristina from the cold and clinical surgeon to the very much un-robotic person we see today.

      I like what you said about Cristina being a hero and how it came at a price. It really mirrors Owen’s PTSD storyline. Here he is, this veteran army surgeon who would save lives – in the middle of a warzone. If that’s not heroism, I don’t know what is. It just really cements these two as a couple even more.

      She should be celebrating. She performed an aortic repair on her own, without the guidance of a mentor. She saved Derek’s life with a gun pointed to her head – and she lived. But, as you said, she is stuck. And everyone else has (seemingly) moved on. She has the right to be angry.

      Meredith is definitely more equipped to handle trauma like this. She built a lot coping skills while growing up. And she overcame a very difficult childhood. It’s as she told Derek when the merger was going on, she gets calm when things are chaotic.

      You’re right, Meredith only goes to help Cristina because Owen asked her to. But I read her questioning Owen about it as her being hopeful that maybe Cristina wasn’t upset with her for some reason. Remember that earlier, Derek commented that things seemed frosty between them; and Meredith insisted that they were fine. And when Owen asked her to go help Cristina, she probably thought that Cristina had forgiven her for whatever she was angry with Meredith about. (By the way, I love that Owen asked.)

      I don’t think Owen asked Meredith to “hover,” per se. Because we’ve seen that his approach is more of a “give Cristina space” strategy. Meredith, to me, seemed to be babying her. As I said above, she provided the answers as though Cristina didn’t know what she was doing. And later, she calls Teddy to ask what they should be doing and conveys it to Cristina; except, Cristina’s already on it.

      [SPOILER] Also, in episode 10, it seems that Owen and Meredith are going to butt heads over how to best handle Cristina’s situation because Owen wants to give Cristina her space while Meredith wants to get Cristina back to work as soon as possible. I can’t wait to see this episode!

      Thanks again for taking the time to write out your thoughts. I really enjoyed reading it! Keep them coming! 🙂

  6. I’m glad you’re back. And I loved, loved this episode. Owen rocks as as teacher too. Seeing him going into the trenches with his doctors was inspirational. They have to respecthim for that, if nothing else. Again, I say. Owen deserved to win the million dollars. This training and his teaching ws bound to produce excellent doctors.

    Cristina’s progress is painfully, slow, but, at least, she’s making baby steps. Owen is so sweet by being protective of Cristina and giving her pep talks. You’ve gotta love this guy.

    Meredith and Owen should become closer this season. They, both, love Cristina. Hopefully- Owen can help Meredith realize what’s going on with Cristina’s anger.

    I am really liking April. She’s like leather and lace. Great episode.

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