Grey's Anatomy -- And They Lived Unhappily Ever After
Cristina Really Sells Owen Short
A patient comes into the ER and Cristina manages to save his life, only problem is his spinal cord is damaged and he has to rely on machines to help him to breathe. His wife feels her husband will have no quality of life and knows he would prefer to die with dignity, so they wake the man up so he can make a choice to live or die.
When he decides to die, Cristina imagines she goes to Owen and tells him she loves him and they remarry. At the time you don't realize or get that this is the choice Cristina feels would be like choosing death. We flash forward in time and Owen has gotten a job opportunity that would force them to move away from Seattle and Cristina accuses him of never supporting or helping her career, it's always about his career. Yeah, whatever, Cristina. Apparently she cops a deal with Owen [taking place off-camera] that if he turns down the career opportunity and stays in Seattle she'll pop out a kid for him.
While Cristina is in labor, she keeps saying this is a mistake to have the baby, and Meredith tries to shut her up so Owen won't hear. After the baby is born, she doesn't even want to take care of it. Then one day when she's got the kid in the park, she turns away to talk to Ross on the phone and the kid falls and gets hurt. She feels so guilty she lets Ross do a surgery that was hers and it leads him to prestige and winning the Harper-Avery Award. Cristina pops out another kid and has to present the award to Ross, afterwards she cries in the bathroom stall completely miserable in the choice she made.
In Cristina's other fantasy the patient decides to live and Cristina feels that's the right choice for him. Again we have a bit of pathos in this in that what Cristina thinks is the right choice for the man is actually the wrong and he's completely miserable. So does that mean Cristina's belief that this life is the right choice for her is really the wrong choice? She does get the prestige as a doctor she hungers for but she doesn't seem that happy in this life, either.
In this reality Cristina and Owen continue to be bed buddies but that's all she'll let it be. She also is a cold fish when it comes to her patients. When the patient that had to choose to live or die comes back in the hospital she won't give the dude the time of day or his wife, either. All she cares about is the patient of the moment.
Cristina finally decides her and Owen's bed buddy relationship finally needs to end because Owen is becoming a drunk over it. So she cuts him off, he continues to drink and puts patients lives in danger to the point he's about to be fired from the hospital, while Cristina is being presented with the prestigious Harper-Avery Award by Ross.
So Cristina believes if she continues to mess around with Owen she's ultimately going to destroy him. And she may have a point. Owen was happy with Emma until Cristina's late night booty call and then Owen was no longer happy with Emma and dumped her and wants to start up with Cristina, again. But can Cristina really stay away from Owen as long as they work in the same hospital? Is this how they'll pave Sandra Oh's exit from the show. That she'll go to a different hospital so she and Owen can really finally be over?
In reality the patient does decide to die and Cristina sees Owen and is about to go to him when first Jackson and then Meredith prevent her from doing so, as Cristina watches Owen get on the elevator and disappear from sight.
I really think she was selling Owen short in the fantasy she considered akin to choosing death. Her accusation that Owen is never supportive of her career seems entirely bogus. After all, it was Owen who brought Teddy to the hospital to further Cristina's career. And then the whole popping out a kid so Owen wouldn't want to take a job in another country was just really low. And she doesn't think Owen would be able to tell she was miserable. And if she's so miserable with one kid, why would she pop out another?
Then there's her other fantasy that if they continue to be bed buddies, Owen will become a drunk that will end up putting patients lives at risk and ultimately be fired from the hospital? Seriously, Cristina, did Owen become a drunk when you dumped him last season? No, he met someone new and started a new life that you ruined with your midnight booty call.
I do think Owen and her medical career are the two loves of Cristina's life and in this case she can't have them both, so she has to choose which one she wants more. I think it's pretty obvious she'll choose medicine over Owen, but I don't think she'll ever be completely happy and that every day of her life she'll miss being with Owen.
What I do wonder is if one day when Cristina reaches the nadir of her career if she won't realize she made the wrong choice. You can't forget that hidden message in Cristina's belief about the patient making the right choice to live when it's really the wrong choice. Cristina also thinks choosing medicine is the right choice, but she may learn way too late when it's too late to go back that what she thought was the right choice was really the wrong choice.
In short, the Harper-Avery Award is nice but it's cold comfort when you try to cuddle up to it in bed at night. And when you lay in a bed dying all the Harper-Avery Award will get you is dying alone.