As everyone struggled to process the situation and move forward, they found there was no one right or simple response to such pain. Some people will themselves to believe they can simply ignore their way past the pain; others shift into overdrive and fight in reaction to that pain, and yet others' instinct is to run, thinking their best chance of survival is to try to outmaneuver their pain. And while everyone's path through pain is singular, we all eventually find growth through our experiences. We also learn that life moves on around us and that sometimes too is painful even as it helps propel us forward.
Owen went into chief-mode, doing everything he could and then some as Chief of Surgery to make things right for those who were injured in the crash and to help those around him mourn the loss of Lexie Grey and Mark Sloan who didn't survive their injuries. Cristina went inward, after doing what she could to keep her colleagues alive while they awaited rescue in the woods. She was hospitalized for a lengthy period of time as she slipped into a reactive psychosis in her attempt to deal with the painful event.
As the first few episodes progressed, we saw Owen and Cristina step onto individual paths to deal with the painful results of the crash amidst their fractured marriage and trying to find ways to move forward. Owen remained in Seattle, trying to keep the hospital's surgical service focused on the business of saving lives while processing their crash-related injuries and grief while Cristina fled to Minnesota and the promise of a rigorous fellowship at the Mayo Clinic to avoid processing the painful associations which Seattle brought to mind.
At the same time, we saw a full circle of sorts for the remaining original interns who started out on the show in its first season. Having all attained the medical milestone of passing their licensing board exams, Alex Karev, Meredith Grey, and Cristina all began stepping into putting their training to the test as teachers and fellows. Meredith coped by presenting a seemingly emotionless exterior and earned herself the nickname 'Medusa' from her interns; Alex found himself drawn romantically to a couple of the new interns while preparing to exit Seattle for a prestigious fellowship at Johns Hopkins; and Cristina appeared brittle and fragile as she kept everything about her new opportunity in Minnesota on the surface, focusing on surgery as a way to obscure her deeper emotional state.
Some new staff members appeared in the form of a fresh crop of interns who acted and worked as their teachers had before them, jockeying for the best surgeries and the most hours in the operating room. Their naïveté regarding the practice of medicine ...