Throughout this rollercoaster of an episode we saw Owen Hunt and CristinaYang's arcs fiercely interwoven as they both faced what truly moving on would amount to as well as how it would feel, and also whether those steps forward were actually what they wanted as they both realized their connection remained at the forefront of each of their hearts and as easily accessible to them as it had always been.
In an early scene we saw Owen impetuously decide that maybe he'd lived in Derek Shepherd's trailer long enough as he suggested to Emma, the woman he'd been seeing, that maybe it was time they look for a bigger place to live together. This plan continued to move quickly as we saw Owen announce to Derek his intent to move out, an idea which took Cristina by surprise when she overheard Owen's words. While her initial reaction was stoic, we later saw a more emotional reaction from Cristina while she shared a few glasses of wine with Meredith Grey at her house, conveniently located very near Owen's current trailer abode.
Cristina seemed shaken by the idea that as much as she'd tried to let Owen go in an effort to let him find the happiness of a future she imagined he wanted with a home and a family, her heart struggled with the action of truly letting go. Saved from discussing the topic further with Meredith by Derek's early return home, Cristina exited quickly to, as it turned out, take a congratulatory bottle of wine to Owen who was home alone. As the two of them joked together and the ease of their bond reasserted itself, we saw Cristina and Owen's demeanors turn wistful as they discussed facets of their past together. In a moment of vulnerability we saw Owen reach over to take Cristina's hand and that one touch was all it took to put them gratefully once again into each others' arms.
The next day found Emma catching up with a flustered Owen at the hospital where she surprised him with an overabundance of information about her plans for the future, including how many children she wanted and how that would impact their housing search in terms of number of bedrooms and locations in appropriate school districts. While Owen assured her these concerns were reasonable things for them to discuss, he was reflective following their conversation.
Owen's introspective approach to all that was in front of him began to gather some speed when he happened upon Derek at the OR board. As Derek discussed his intent to be back on the surgical schedule following what he believed to be a failed attempt at working on the Presidential initiative on brain mapping, Derek's struggle seemed to illuminate Owen's own personal dilemma. As Derek commented on how right it had felt to focus on something challenging when he'd thought neurosurgery was all he'd previously wanted, Owen focused on Cristina's presence nearby as she focused on him too. The intensity of the looks they exchanged showed that even though our favorite pair were trying to move on to other versions of their lives, that both of them remained intensely aware of their connection.
In a neatly executed pair of moments, we saw Owen and Cristina in back to back scenes with others finding words to describe their personal dilemmas couched within workplace conversations. As Cristina exited to the lab, we heard Owen neatly describing how sometimes your standards change which could have doubled as either his response to whether or not to move on with Emma into a version of what he once thought his life would be, or his reaction to Derek's professional quandry. Next we saw Cristina discussing Meredith's reluctance to hand over her stalled research project to a bioengineer in order to reinvigorate it. As Cristina talked sweetly about how sometimes you have to step away from something to return to it with fresh eyes and it'll feel better than ever, like returning home she could have easily been talking research yet it seemed to be more about how right it felt to be back with Owen even for potentially just one night.
As the episode rolled toward its ending we wondered what Owen might do when Emma showed up to meet him at the end of the day. In a tumultuous twist we saw him break up with her, citing reasons many fans had long believed to be true, that what he wanted was a life shared with someone who shared his passions, someone who sounded an awful lot like Cristina Yang.
Elsewhere in the episode: The non-fraternization policy was not an immediate hit with the surgeons; Richard Webber set the residents to working together to save a cancer patient; Meredith and Derek found out that instead of being left off the President's initiative that they actually wanted him to be in charge of it; Alex Karev and Jo Wilson's relationship was a topic of discussion with the board regarding the new non-fraternization policy; Jackson Avery and April Kepner announced their marriage to their coworkers after treating a patient who struggled with a secret relationship; Miranda Bailey and her husband Ben bonded over treating a patient; Callie Torres cemented her bond with her wife Arizona Robbins by presenting her with a meaningful piece of jewelry; and the residents grew fractious and alternately bonded over Leah having admitted to being the one who lodged the complaint with Human Resources.