This episode was all about transitions, how moving forward can take a lot of wading through what feels like rapidly setting cement as you carry the baggage of the past and its issues with you into new situations. And the frustrating thing about transitions is that even with the knowledge your past experiences bring you sometimes you have to just dive in, take that free-fall, even when you have no idea what might happen next or if the risk will be worth it.
The sale of Seattle Grace/Mercy West to Pegasus was rapidly approaching, yet it left many of the surgical staff feeling uneasy, including Owen Hunt. Not only was he still the hospital point person on the sale at the board's urging, he also continued to run interference with his staff as they adjusted, often quite poorly and vocally, to the changes inherent in readying the hospital for sale.
Owen stood strong, for the most part, under the weight of his professional responsibilities, yet his fraying nerves also showed themselves in his emotional reactivity as the pressure increased. Initially stymied by how to convince the nurses' union to stay on board at the hospital, he found himself incapable of breaching the brick wall of their protestations at the shifts in their workload and schedules the Pegasus deal would require of them. Owen's frustration was apparent as he worked through both finding calming words to reassure the nurses while also delivering bad news to Bailey about her request for an experimental procedure for one of her patients.
As workplace stresses mounted for Owen his sole solace remained his reunion with Cristina Yang, who made it clear in her words and actions in this episode that she is firmly in his corner. While they enjoyed sexy time together, Cristina also tried to convince Owen to set aside his workload at least temporarily, to let his mind rest and to get some sleep. The toll this situation was taking on Owen was clear as he seesawed almost manically between sharing sweet words with Cristina and checking text messages on his phone for updates on how the sale was proceeding.
The next day at work Cristina stayed the course, supporting Owen's efforts in every way she could. She admonished her interns to stay loyal to the hospital as there were people there working diligently to keep the doors open and they deserved support. And when Meredith Grey approached Cristina with the plan they'd begun devising to purchase the hospital, Cristina told Meredith to stop talking nonsense about planning to do something they were ill-equipped for and instead concentrate on having Owen's back. When she was further approached with more information about the plane crash survivors' attempt to purchase the hospital, Cristina swore she wouldn't lie to Owen as they were asking her to do. Instead, she sought him out to shore him up and to get a sense of whether he believed the sale was indeed a good thing for Seattle Grace/Mercy West.
As they spoke away from prying eyes, Owen's shoulders slumped as he admitted to Cristina he didn't believe the hospital and its staff would be better off with their new potential owners, but that he was feverishly working toward the sale as it was the only option they had. Owen's continuing guilt showed itself in his reaction when Cristina tried to suggest there were other options, other people willing to help him. Owen talked over her attempts to reach him, sadly reminding her that he was the one who put them on that plane, inferring quite plainly that he still blames himself for this situation and is bent on fixing it as a result.
When the timetable toward closing on the sale shortened unexpectedly, Cristina took that information to her fellow survivors and said they had to fix the situation, that they had to do it for Owen. The complex result was that Meredith, Derek Shepherd, Callie Torres, Arizona Robbins, and a reluctant Cristina all announced their resignation to the board in an effort to slow, or perhaps halt, the sale until they could make a counter offer. Unfortunately, Owen had to be left in the dark temporarily about their plans so as not to be blamed for their actions by the board. The shock on Owen's face was clear as their words sunk in. It was painful to hear Owen say he felt deserted while Cristina's only concern in the other room was wanting to explain to Owen what had happened.
Elsewhere in the hospital, Miranda Bailey found herself so hamstrung by restrictive procedures at the hospital that she considered quitting; Jackson Avery found himself in the unique position of giving dating advice to his friend and former girlfriend April Kepner; Alex Karev and Jo Wilson debated the pros and cons of workplace romances while caring for a newborn; Richard Webber found himself increasingly disappointed with the changes in the hospital; their physician advisor Alana Cahill found herself crumbling under the pressure of the sale; and Meredith, Derek, Callie, Arizona, and Cristina continued to plan to form a limited liability corporation to allow them to pool their resources so as to put in an offer to buy the hospital.