In this week's mid-season finale episode of Grey's Anatomy we saw people beginning to find their voices and facing the possible repercussions of not doing so as well. Given the cliffhanger element to many of the stories told in this episode, a path to conflict resolution was found in only one instance - blessedly in the previously ongoing enmity between Cristina Yang and Meredith Grey. Mostly, we were left wondering where hinted at conversations might lead once new episodes begin airing again in February.
Owen Hunt was again seen only fleetingly in this episode. (As a fan, I hope that's because there's a weighty story for him, ideally along with Cristina, in the second half of the season.) Owen again got to flex his Chief of Surgery pride this week as he sat alongside Cristina at a press conference lauding her pediatric surgery which was an integral part of the previous week's episode. He supported her halting delivery of her explanation of the surgery, which we later heard her tell Meredith had to do with her own surprise that the surgery had been successful and her inability to pinpoint what she had done to turn it around when it seemed as if the 3D-printed conduit might fail. Owen also supported Derek Shepherd's research advances as an opportunity to both help people and serve his country as Derek was being asked to support the President's initiative on brain mapping. Owen's other role in this episode was that of a sort of wedding cheerleader for fellow trauma surgeon April Kepner. In addition to encouraging April to enjoy her big day, he also worked to ensure that other staff maintained a schedule that would allow them to attend the wedding and support their colleague.
Cristina's emotional vocabulary increased in this episode as she wore the mantle of professional success with some hesitancy, feeling as if rather than displaying surgical skill she instead got lucky and saved her patient's life in the process. It grew evident that Cristina's resident Shane was skating on some very thin ice as he spoke for her at the press conference and refused to take a break from professional duties as she instructed him to do. His brash approach concerned and disturbed Cristina, pushing her to make it clear that whatever personal lines they had crossed during the previous episode would definitely not be happening again.
As Meredith's resentment reached a peak while the two friends were fitted for their bridesmaid's dresses for April's wedding, it seemed as if the gap between them was widening once again as Cristina stalked from the room in reaction to a caustic remark from Meredith. In a surprising turn, Cristina approached Meredith at the wedding and wove into the conversation both how happy she was for her friend to be balancing her home life with her career and also how difficult Cristina found being on her own and the vivid emotional impact of both Owen and Meredith on her life. Meredith seemed touched by her friend's honesty and admitted she was jealous of Cristina's success and wished she could step forward with her research as her friend had done.
While Cristina and Meredith were once again finding solid ground by using their words, Jackson Avery brought our old friend Mark Sloan back into our hearts by quoting his belief in the import of telling someone you love them, even if it might cause havoc in their life or your own, that love was ultimately what mattered. This point was driven home in many ways throughout this episode, most vividly for me in the opportunity that existed and will hopefully be acted upon in the significant look shared between Owen and Cristina during the initial stages of the wedding and Cristina's insistence that she has been changed for the better by having Owen in her life. (See, this is where my fan hope would again be brought into play for Owen and Cristina to have a weighty storyline together through the latter half of this season.)
Elsewhere in the hospital: Jackson stepped into the aisle during April's wedding and proclaimed his love for her; Derek received a call from the President during the wedding which will presumably impact his research plans and his promise to Meredith to support her research time needs; Miranda Bailey, who was cleared for surgery yet chose a research route for her patient, underscored her disappointment in her husband Ben's decision to return home rather than pursue his surgical residency; Alex Karev solidified his relationship with Jo Wilson while battling his conflicting emotions at his father's return into his life; Richard Webber was thankfully available to intercede when Shane disastrously took lead during Alex's father's heart surgery while the attendings were at April's wedding; Arizona Robbins admitted her weepy response to April's wedding was more to do with her concern that she, in her damaged, post-plane crash state, would never be enough for her wife Callie Torres; and Leah Murphy struggled to accept feeling deserted amidst her feelings for Arizona.