Owen Hunt was only briefly seen in this episode which made it difficult, again, to tell the direction in which his story will progress. We first saw him welcoming to the hospital Emma Marling, the Seattle Presbyterian physician he'd begun seeing. While they briefly discussed how she didn't want to trade on 'whatever this is' and wanted to be viewed by Grey Sloan Memorial's surgical staff as simply another professional interested in observing Arizona Robbins' surgery that day, the waters got a little murkier once Cristina Yang appeared. As Emma exited to surgery, Owen and Cristina briefly discussed the situation to which Cristina responded with humor laced with a bit of her own vulnerability. Cristina dismissed Owen's concern about it being weird for them, countering with her own somewhat unusual thought of whether it might be weird for Emma to work around his ex, a concept which was returned to later on in the episode with interesting results.
Cristina's main professional story involved performing an embolization on a previously inoperable cardiac patient who had presented in the ER with an injured ankle. After running through all of the treatment options currently known to assist with his deadly condition, the intern with whom Cristina was working suggested trying a neurological fixative. The patient and his wife agreed to the risky operation and seemed both amazed and disappointed when it was successful, since his continued good health would mean they couldn't rely on his life insurance to pay off the debts they'd run up since his diagnosis. It was in the context of this surgery in which Cristina and Emma interacted in a way that once again showed us Cristina's vulnerabilities. When Emma commented on the gutsiness of Cristina's surgical approach, wishing she could stay and watch, Cristina introduced herself to Emma, including that she was Owen's ex-wife. While the news seemed to briefly fluster Emma, it was more surprising to Cristina that the other woman didn't already know about her relationship with Owen.
It was telling that rather than feeling energized by performing a seemingly miraculous surgery, Cristina was more consumed by the absence of Owen in her life and the distance in her friendship with Meredith Grey. In a one-two punch near the end of the episode, Cristina stepped into the hall to find Owen and Emma in conversation. Cristina's sadness was evident as she turned away from the scene before her with a desolate expression on her face. As she escaped into the lounge she encountered a frosty Meredith going over her research proposal. Cristina tried to bridge the gap by expressing her frustrations to her friend about her day and how Owen was so happy with Emma that he didn't even tell her about his relationship with Cristina. Meredith dismissed her friend's feelings, citing her own perception that Cristina has not been there for her as she's returned to work, saying 'you don't have time for people who want things that you don't want.' While Meredith seemed to be referencing her own choice to balance work with family, the comment hit closer to home for Cristina who was clearly missing Owen. It remains to be seen whether Owen was successfully moving on as Cristina appeared to think he was as we saw so little of him in this episode. What remained certain here was that Cristina's regret of her decision to let him go has clouded her vision of what possible reasons Owen might have for not having told Emma about his relationship with Cristina.
Elsewhere in the hospital: Alex Karev struggled with his anger toward his recently reappeared father as Jo Wilson's urged him toward reestablishing that relationship; Richard Webber figured out how to still teach interns while he remained hospitalized; Derek Shepherd made a decision to step into research and away from surgery to help Meredith step more deeply into her professional life; Meredith faced choices about what research to delve into; Callie Torres continued to try to find herself in the wake of her separation from her wife Arizona Robbins; and Leah Murphy fell for Arizona after they shared a night together while Arizona vacillated between pushing her away and inviting her into her life.