Owen Hunt traversed a complex mix of personal and professional this week. He was called on to evaluate trauma patients in the emergency room as well as to mediate a developing concern about how Miranda Bailey's anxiety was impacting her treatment of patients. Even amidst a busy work day, it was Owen's personal life that took center stage when a visit from Emma Marling, the woman he'd been seeing, elicited a suggestion from Meredith Grey that she cook Thanksgiving dinner in Meredith's under-utilized kitchen. Over the course of the day Owen spent time with Emma, helped with this unexpected party planning, and stepped into his continued connection with Cristina Yang in being sure that she was very specifically included in this holiday plan.
Likewise, Cristina Yang had a very eventful professional storyline in this episode as she continued to try to manage a challenging pediatric case with Alex Karev and her resident Shane Ross. We saw her go back to the treatment plan drawing board several times during this episode in an attempt to heal her gravely ill patient without needing to further utilize her friend Meredith's research technology. Amidst this professional balancing act we also gained insight into how isolated Cristina was feeling about her splintered connections with both Owen and Meredith. The loss of the former ease of each of those relationships weighed heavily on Cristina in this episode as she tried to appear calm on the surface even as she was floundering emotionally.
Owen and Cristina's scenes in this episode, bittersweet though they may have been, showed us how connected they still were even in this phase of trying to move on with their lives and how uneasy each of them was with that attempt. These scenes were engineered to show the viewers their complex reactions to dealing with each other while keeping each of them in the dark about the other's feelings. While Owen and Cristina tried to put on their game faces to step into being just friends, it seemed to wear on them both.
While we saw Cristina supportive of Owen's Thanksgiving plans with Emma, even joking about the amount of leftovers he'd have to consume, we also saw her wistful and sad reaction to seeing Owen and Emma together at the hospital. And for all of his talk in a recent episode about not being able to do complicated right now, Owen seemed to embrace that concept in the intense effort he exerted throughout the day trying to ensure Cristina was included in plans being made, being sure Emma and Meredith both would support including her in this holiday dinner.
Elsewhere in the hospital: the residents continued to help Richard Webber heal even as he grew frustrated with his health; April Kepner's awkward extension of a wedding invite to Jackson Avery's girlfriend lead to interesting conversations for Jackson with both Stephanie and April; Bailey's challenges to deal with what might be OCD were exacerbated by professional challenges from Owen and Meredith and personal challenges from her husband Ben; Callie Torres found herself the recipient of some unwelcome news about Arizona Robbins' sex life while they were separated; Leah Murphy tried to find herself in the wake of Arizona and Callie getting back together; Derek navigated both a breakthrough in his research and the increasingly hostile workplace reaction Meredith is having to Cristina.