9.14 The Face Of Change
Owen's story in this episode was once again that of tour guide and team leader. While he had little screen time this week, what we did see of him spoke volumes about the weight he continued to carry on his shoulders as we caught further glimpses of the cracks in his emotional facade.
We saw Owen wince as Callie Torres and Meredith Grey complained about their physician advisor's attempts to streamline patient care as a way to ready the hospital for sale. While extolling the virtues of Seattle Grace/Mercy West to potential buyers, Owen's weariness showed through his businesslike demeanor as he turned down Jackson Avery's request to admit an emergency patient. The trauma surgeon in Owen wanted to help the patient, yet he resignedly faced the fact that they are no longer a trauma center.
When it was discovered the patient had been brought to the hospital for treatment in disregard of his orders, Owen found himself in a conference room attempting to elicit details of the situation from his staff. His internal conflict and vulnerability shown through in his expressions as he listened to his staff explain why they had gone against his orders for the good of the patient and because it was the right thing to do.
The only respite in Owen's day was found in a quiet on-call room interlude with Cristina. After closing the door behind him, Owen allowed his weariness to show once again and yet he drew strength from Cristina's presence and his ability to express his day's frustration to her. In this scene we saw the only genuine smile on his face all day as Cristina reached for him and drew him to her. The satisfying comfort they each gained from their bond was clear as they held tight to each other.
Elsewhere in the hospital we saw an effort to rebrand SGMW pit Jackson and Alex Karev against each other in competition; April Kepner flirted with embarking on a relationship with an EMT; Callie and Richard Webber visited a local hospital owned by their potential buyers; Alex began to wonder about his friendship with intern Jo Wilson; a transgender couple faced both surgical and familial issues; Richard considered early retirement; Miranda Bailey further made her feelings known about the results of the lawsuit; and Callie proposed the crash survivors invest their court judgment in buying the hospital themselves.