Grey’s Anatomy- “Do You Know” (S10E17)
In this week’s episode, the question “do you know who you are” is the pervasive theme as we explore the possible storylines of Cristina Yang’s future at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. As many know, Sandra Oh will be leaving at the end of this season and this episode seems to be an attempt at tying up some of the loose knots and questions that fans may have been wondering about, particularly in regards to her relationship with Owen Hunt.
As Cristina operates on a patient who was in a car crash, her voiceover states that it only takes one person, one patient, one moment to change your life. Throughout the course of this episode, we see what this one patient could mean for Cristina and the choices ahead of her. Cristina and Shane work to save the patient, saving his heart, only to be told by Derek that the patient is paralyzed from the neck down.
As they tell the patient’s wife, she asks to bring her husband out of sedation in order to ask how he would like his care to proceed; if he would like to live this way or die. While Cristina talks to the patient, she watches Owen outside the room, her focus wavering. Cristina agrees to bring him out of sedation in order to ask him what he would like to do.
In the first scenario we see, the patient is woken from sedation and told of his condition. When Cristina asks him if he would like her to remove his ventilator, which is keeping him alive, he nods yes. Upset about managing to perform an amazing procedure to save her patient, and still losing him, Cristina speaks to Owen. She tells him “you and I are throwing so much away; we should be together”. She professes her love for him and they kiss.
As they story progresses, we see their lives in the future; a house and a dog. Cristina still continues her research but with the added responsibility for their dog. She has Shane close on the patient while she leaves early to take the dog out. Presumably several years down the line (as we see an older Zola in the frame), Meredith gives Cristina some old baby clothing for the dog, named “Mrs.Rodriguez”. Cristina says the dog gets the shakes, and Meredith tells her that she has a dog-baby. The board convenes around an issue regarding Jackson, who smashed his hand and has since been unable to operate. As the board tells him he is still not cleared for surgery, Hunt makes an announcement regarding him and Cristina. They return back to their house and argue about the announcement, Cristina clearly upset by a decision Hunt has made. He tells her that running the entire military division with Teddy in Germany is his next big step, but she asks about her trial and the life they have built in Seattle. They argue and the same issue comes up that is a constant in their relationship, “the terms under which we are together, your dreams die”.
Further down the line, we see Cristina at the hospital, looking extremely pregnant. She tells Shane to handle the follow-up with one of her research patients because she is ready to go home, and then bumps into a very pregnant April. In what I would consider some of the most depressing and distressing scenes about Cristina’s future, she goes into labor saying “this is a mistake”. As we see, Cristina obviously loves her child, but this isn’t a future she ever wanted for herself. Cristina and Meredith talk at Bailey’s seventh birthday (Meredith’s son), and Cristina is pregnant again. She tells Meredith that she is tired and that she feels like she is just sleepwalking, but she looks at Owen and says “look how happy he is”. In the final scene of this particular flash-forward, Cristina prepares for the “Harper Avery Award”, but we soon see that she is presenting it to Shane, not receiving the award herself.
Having played out that storyline, we move onto another possibility. Again, Cristina asks her MVC patient if he would like to have his ventilator removed and he shakes his head “no”. He chooses to live, and Cristina approaches Owen with a different mind-set, instead asking him to come over to her place to celebrate with her. She doesn’t profess her love for him instead they continue in the way that this time forces Hunt to give up his dreams. She asks him if he is okay with it, and he says “I’m good, I am”. The next scene shows how quickly that fails, as they argue and Owen asks her to “reopen the conversation” but she tells him she was clear.
Cristina talks to Meredith and tells her that her and Owen are really over, that they can’t keep falling back together. At the hospital, Cristina’s MVC patient is admitted to Derek and Callie’s research program, which has progressed immensely. While working on the research trial, he collapses and Hunt goes to get Cristina at the request of the patient’s wife. Cristina tells Owen that she is too busy and Shane can’t do her work for her because she is close to a break through. This upsets Owen, as she continually chooses her own work and her own dreams despite his own needs.
As Hunt speaks to the patient’s wife, she reveals that when her husband was asked if he wanted to live, he only said “yes” because he was looking at her. She reveals how she wanted a child but she will never have one now, to which Hunt says he completely understands, and she kisses him. Cristina finds him later in the bar and asks him to go home but he tells her “I don’t have a home”. Cristina sleeps over at Meredith’s again and tells Mer that her and Owen broke up again. Meredith tells her she will help her keep from going back to Owen.
The next time we see Owen, he’s in a bed at the hospital, drunk. Stephanie tells Cristina that he tried to start a shift and only agreed to lay down in a bed if they got Cristina for him. Cristina tells him it has to stop and he says “I love you. I see you every day and I can’t have you, so how am I supposed to keep doing this when every time I turn around, I see your face.” He begs her to marry him and tells her that they never should have ended things.
Cristina prepares for what seemingly looks like a wedding. Cristina checks her watch and asks “how can he be late for this?” Meredith responds by saying she will try to find him, and then we see Owen at the hospital working in the E.R. As his patient starts to seize while getting a scan, Arizona asks him why he didn’t screen her for allergies to the contrast dye, to which he says he ordered it, but then stops and wonders if he really did. Arizona asks to call a board meeting immediately as they run a breathalyzer test on Owen. As the board convenes to discuss Owen, they decide to terminate him immediately.
Shane enters the dressing room and apologizes to Cristina for being late and says “shall we do this”. As we see, she isn’t getting married but instead Shane is presenting a Harper Avery Award to Cristina. She gives her speech asking “do you know who you are? Do you understand what has happened to you? Do you want to live this way?”
This scenario ends and we see Cristina asking her patient one more time if he would like her to remove his vent. He looks at his wife and then back at her, nodding “yes”. This time however, instead of Cristina approaching Owen, Meredith stops her and asks her for help with a patient.
The episode was a melancholy goodbye to the possibility of Owen and Cristina being together, and after having seen both outcomes, neither one is a good option. With the season winding down, we’re getting some answers to the questions we might have about Christina’s future. While this episode itself was one of the more depressing episodes of this season (particularly watching Cristina give up dreams), it gives us hope that Cristina will instead choose to leave Seattle Grace amicably, rather than die in an emotional season finale. We never know though, with the hints of motor vehicle crashes and “hit and run” mentioned in this episode, anything is game for the season finale and the goodbye to Cristina Yang.
Tune in next Thursday, April 3rd at 9/8c for the next episode “You Be Illin”.
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