The middle of season seven saw most of the staff at Seattle Grace/Mercy West finding ways to move past the shooting which occurred at the hospital at the end of the previous season. Some had regained their stability and were ready to take chances to enjoy life again, as Miranda Bailey did upon finding herself on the receiving end of some serious flirting from Eli, an attractive nurse.
Others found themselves turning both a professional and personal corner as Alex Karev did upon both committing himself more strongly to pediatric surgery as his future specialty and putting in an appearance back home for his brother's commitment hearing.
And yet still others found themselves sinking fast under the weight of fighting their feelings about the shooting, as did Cristina Yang who now faced the fallout of having left her hard-won residency behind and, as a result, experienced a disconcerting lack of structure in her life. Meanwhile, her husband Owen Hunt found his frustration level rising as he struggled with how to help Cristina regain herself.
Running out of ways to channel the energy formerly harnessed by her surgical endeavors, Cristina was at a loss for how to fill her days. Owen watched his wife spin through attempts at decorating their new home and throwing a house-warming party followed by a disastrous run at bartending which left him saddened by the loss of Cristina's formerly energetic demeanor. However, as Derek warned Owen when he arrived after a long night of surgery to pick up Cristina who was drunk at Joe's Bar, "it's not as bad as it looks."
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Yet as few people would have expected, distance from her career allowed Cristina the perspective to realize she no longer held onto the pain of the shooting and the resultant fear which had left her feeling unmoored. With that realization came the understanding that even without the mantle of her professional identity she still possessed a fierce attachment to her life and to her marriage which gave her the basis to believe she could start again.
And one of Meredith's midseason voiceovers described both Cristina's journey back to participating actively in her life, as well as how their friends and colleagues at Seattle Grace would also soon be fully reengaged: 'For others the healing happens gradually, and it's not until months or even years later that you realize you don't hurt anymore. So the challenge after any surgery is to be patient. But if you can make it through the first weeks and months, if you believe that healing is possible, then you can get your life back. But that's a big if.'
After a morning spent intimately enjoying each others' company in their new home, Owen commented to Cristina that she looked different, 'you seem better,' he said with a hopeful look on his face. Cristina reached for her husband's hand and assured him, 'I feel better.' Her plans for the day consisted of nothing more complicated than exploring Seattle, something she'd never made time to do before. And yet that exploration caused her to be ironically in the wrong place at the right time as Cristina stumbled upon a campus shooting, victims of which needed medical attention. Many of those patients ended up at Seattle Grace Hospital, including one which Cristina stepped in to help.
In a poignant moment of solidarity, the staff gathered in an OR gallery to watch Teddy and Cristina complete the day's final surgery. The irony was lost on no one that a man with a gun had recently taken their sense of safety from them yet watching their colleagues operate on the campus shooter reminded them how they had all gotten through the day together.
Cristina displayed emotional depth in the process of reconnecting to her professional aspirations. Having experienced up close the toll fear can take on one's life and also the stability one can attain by reaching out to and being supported by a loving spouse, she shared the compassion she gained from those experiences with both colleagues and patients. As Cristina said to a patient afraid to risk the life she knew with her family via a surgery that seemed overwhelming, 'I know it's scary and it can go wrong sometimes but you could have 20 more years. You could go to this baby's wedding. Are you sure you want to give that up? If you walk out of here right now you could have a few months, maybe a year but you'll always be wondering when you're going to go. And your family, they'd always be watching you terrified. Don't give up on yourself. Let us help you.'
At the same time, Owen continued to display further signs of healing for himself as shown in his ability to be all-in with his marriage to Cristina while also facing his military past head on. Owen both matter-of-factly treated a Mid East dignitary alongside his colleagues and provided insight to a patient intent on securing online fame through dangerous physical stunts. When asked if the fractured wrist and dislocated hips the patient experienced was the worst case Owen had seen he replied drily that it wasn't and gave the patient much-needed perspective on the stupidity of his physical blunders. 'Well, that guy, he threw himself in front of a grenade to save six other soldiers. He didn't launch himself into a brick wall so the internet could laugh at him.'
All of the changes in these relationships presaged how thin the lines always are between personal and professional at Seattle Grace and ushered in the need for all involved to reach for the hand of their partner and clasp it tightly as they stepped into the final few episodes of the season.
Link back to part 1
review written by Ella1967 (many thanks once again to Ella1967 for doing this review we look forward to part 3)
Screencaps : the home of Nutty
Video : By Coforever1