As the episode opened it was clear we were being set up for a season of reflection and change for the surgeons of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. When we first saw Chief of Surgery Owen Hunt his disheveled appearance made it clear he'd been at work all night, unable to sleep and, as a result, working on trauma cases. When April Kepner began to express concern about him, a nurse interrupted with news of a medivac on its way with a cardiac trauma case. Sleep deprived Owen spoke from his heart when he said 'page Yang' before regretfully catching himself with a wistful expression as he corrected himself and asked for the new cardio doc before going to the helipad.
April further expressed her concern to Jackson Avery about Owen's state of mind, saying 'he's dying inside' and that Jackson should put himself in Owen's position and think how he might feel if his love moved away. Jackson tried to get back to work while brushing off his wife's attempts to convince him to befriend their boss, a situation with which Jackson clearly felt uncomfortable. Her concern, however, showed up throughout the episode as a thread of comedy as first Jackson flummoxed Owen by asking him out for beers and we later saw Richard step into the OR and invite Owen over for either a game of Jenga or checkers.
Owen had also asked for Meredith Grey's assistance with their next trauma patient, which found them on the helipad, both showing some frayed emotional edges, as they battled for the patient's life amidst windy weather which sent the gurney they'd intended for their patient off the roof. When the gurney landed on a car in the parking lot it created two more trauma patients for which Owen enlisted the help of Callie Torres and Arizona Robbins. Once he was sure these new patients were in good hands, he set about diagnosing their cardio patient with Meredith's help.
While working together Owen and Meredith bonded over missing Cristina - talking about about how when Owen paged cardio he still expected Cristina to appear; while Meredith denigrated Maggie, their new cardio doc, with the ultimate Meredith put-down 'she's perky and chatty.' Meanwhile Owen and Meredith were forced to page Maggie when their patient went into cardiac shock, a situation which only incited further feuding between the two female surgeons. Owen ended up having to pull his Chief's authority when he told Meredith to stand down until their patient's cardiac symptoms were stabilized.
It wasn't until late in the episode, when it was Derek's turn to try to befriend Owen with out of character sports talk, that April's concern for their boss was brought out in the open. Owen quickly pushed aside the topic by expressing his opinion about the feud currently boiling between Derek and Meredith over work opportunities and living in different states as a result. Derek invoked Cristina's move to Zurich in his argument which Owen also brushed aside, telling Derek it's not the same thing and that Derek should talk to his wife instead of asking Owen out on dates. While both men hurried away from the conversation it seemed that these topics would appear again in future episodes.
While mention of Cristina did shore up my fan heart, I couldn't help but wonder at how the episode's outro might apply to her via Owen's continued storyline on the show. As the episode neared its end, Meredith spoke about how sometimes we have to get lost to find each other, that you can't always control it, the thing that will set you adrift, that all you can do is stand still, breathe, and take it in.
Elsewhere in the hospital: Meredith reflected on her mother and inserted herself in the middle of Alex Karev's relationship; Richard talked at an AA meeting about the possibility of finding out he has a daughter which Amelia Sheperd overheard as she attended the same meeting; Derek struggled with wanting to go to Washington DC for the presidential panel he's in charge of while dealing with being separated from his family; Callie and Arizona discussed the pros and cons of hiring a pregnancy surrogate; the residents continued their competition to work on cases; the new cardio doc struggled to find her place in the hospital hierarchy personally and professionally; Alex and Miranda Bailey competed for Cristina's seat on the board; Geena Davis guested as a fetal surgeon who offered Arizona a chance to apply for her fellowship; and Jackson returned the ring to Richard that he'd given to Catherine Avery which gave the two men the chance to talk about family.