The beginning of the next phase of healing post-plane crash and post-lawsuit created a tense environment at Seattle Grace/Mercy West
in this week's episode. Owen Hunt's announcement early in the day that a physician advisor was being brought in by hospital administration to help process the fiscal realities of their situation drew out a series of caustic and worried responses from the staff.
Owen's dual role this week as hospital ambassador for this advisor and also team captain for his staff showed us both his quiet strength and
his trauma surgeon resourcefulness. While showing the advisor around the hospital they discovered Arizona Robbins struggling to deal with what Owen quickly assessed to be phantom limb pain. He excused himself from his professional duties to assist his friend and in the process got a reminder from Arizona about how difficult it can be to adjust to change, even when some of it is positive change.
When Owen asked Arizona about her wife Callie Torres' response to her pain, given her training as an orthopedic surgeon, Arizona tearfully
shared why she hadn't yet told Callie about the severity of her symptoms. 'I have been her patient for so long and I am just starting to feel like a wife again and she needs me to. I cannot have this…I am finally getting my life back. 'With these words Owen was perhaps reminded of the difficulties he too faced in moving beyond enjoying his sweet reunion with Cristina Yang into having deeper conversations with her about their relationship. And yet in sharing his knowledge of the treatment options for phantom limb pain with Arizona he also perhaps learned that sharing our needs, giving voice to them with those we care about can net some good results.
This realization was especially important when one of the physician advisor's primary recommendations was the closure of the hospital's
emergency room. This controversial idea drew drastic responses from the staff once again, yet it seemed to galvanize them all at the same
time, potentially unifying a team which had felt disjointed just the day before. Their status as a Level One trauma center and their reluctance to give up that status sparked determined and thoughtful discussion for many of the surgeons.
Interspersed with the sometimes intense subject matter of this episode were some surprisingly light and satisfying moments: Derek
Shepherd's successful return to surgery; Meredith Grey's attempt to manage the hormonal surges of her pregnancy while dealing with an emergent patient case; Alex Karev and Cristina's efforts to provide supportive surgical care for an African orphan with a rare cardiac condition; April Kepner's attempt to school an intern, who happened to be dating Jackson Avery, on how to run the emergency room and in the process acquiring the attention of a flirty EMT; a calming reconnection for Callie and Arizona; a couple of bracing 'get over yourself' comments from Miranda Bailey; and a startling realization that the physician advisor trained as an intern with Richard Webber.