Owen further encouraged Cristina to take on one of the speaking opportunities in front of her as a way to regain her spirit and professional focus. Her initial disinterest in anything that would take her away from the work in front of her was shifted by a conversation with the mother of the cardiac pediatric patients she and Owen had been treating. Listening to this woman try to reimagine her life in the wake of the medical crises which had turned her family upside down provided Cristina the perspective shift she needed to think outside of her own box. While her trip to Zurich seemed, at first glance, personally relaxing and professionally edifying, things got complicated once Cristina learned the mysterious benefactor behind this all expenses paid trip to present her research findings was Preston Burke, her former teacher and fiancee.
However flustered and irritated Cristina was at finding out this news shifted considerably when it turned out Burke, who ran the cardiothoracic program at this expansive privately-funded Swiss hospital, wanted her to take over for him while he moved with his wife and family to another country. The question then was could she take on such a loaded opportunity to flex her research muscles to develop her next personal research challenge, moving beyond conduits to finding a way to print a fully functioning human heart?
Back in Seattle, Owen checked in with Meredith Grey for updates on Cristina's trip and continued to take seriously his Chief of Surgery duties. After finding out about resident Jo Wilson's mishandling of a procedure on one of his patients Owen stepped in to take over that patient's care while also giving some stern words to Jo regarding her workplace behavior. Later in the episode we also saw Owen and Richard draw together to discuss the poor behavior of an as yet unnamed resident whose work had disappointed them both and brought them to the conclusion that this resident wasn't surgeon material.
When Meredith picked Cristina up at the airport after her trip abroad, it appeared as if we might have seen glimmers of how Cristina would exit when her friend took in her appearance at the gate and said 'you're leaving, aren't you?' While many of us had anticipated such an outstanding medical opportunity might be how Cristina would leave Seattle, this option wouldn't have been anywhere on my personal list of professional destinations for her. It remained to be seen if Cristina would accept this challenging professional opportunity or not at the end of the episode.
Elsewhere in the hospital: Derek Shepherd brought his sister Amy into the operating room as a consulting surgeon for a pair of conjoined twins; Jackson and April Kepner continued to struggle with the impending shift in their marriage a child would bring; one of the residents deduced that the upswing in the condition of Miranda Bailey's immune-depressed patient was derived from her having administered her research enzyme to him even after his parents withdrew their consent; Alex Karev seemed to be enjoying his new gig in private practice; Callie Torres and Arizona Robbins teased each other about baby names; and the residents huddled at the bar after overhearing one of them might be on the edge of the professional cliff.