At the beginning of this week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, Cristina delivers her own voiceover. As in all important, life changing episodes, someone other than Meredith delivers the overarching opening monologue. It makes perfect sense that Cristina would speak for herself, as this episode is focused on her journey, one that is winding down after ten seasons of Grey‘s. This episode is Cristina’s own Sliding Doors, where she considers two parallel paths for herself. One where she bends to fit the life that Owen wants, and the other, where she stays true to her own dreams.
“Do you know who you are? Do you know what’s happened to you?” Cristina asks herself and us. “Do you want to live this way?”
Cristina and Shane are in surgery, repairing a man’s heart after a near fatal car accident. Cristina is totally geeked out because she is repairing a very delicate part of the patient heart she calls “The Black Mamba.” She explains if they make one mistake, then the patient is dead. She’s Cristina Yang though, and she doesn’t make mistakes. Derek comes in to consult and can see from the x-rays that the patient’s spine has been crushed and is impossible to repair. He will be paralyzed from the neck down.
After surgery, Cristina notifies the patient’s wife of his injuries. The wife, Elise, asks if he can breathe on his own. Cristina says no. Elise requests that her husband Jason be woken up and asked if he wants to continue life on the ventilator. She knows her husband well, and does not think that he would not want to live this way. She wants to give Jason the right to decline his treatment, so Cristina agrees to let her know when Jason regains consciousness.
Cristina walks in to the attending’s lounge and overhears Meredith and Alex talking about his relationship with Jo. He’s worried that because she doesn’t want to get married now, she never will. Meredith doesn’t think that marriage necessarily matters. I mean, she and Derek were married by Post -It note for years, so why stress? Cristina listens in.
Jason is awake and lucid, yet unable to talk. Cristina asks him the same questions she asks us in the beginning of the episode. “Do you know who you are? Do you know what’s happened to you?” She explains what happened to him and what will happen if the breathing vent is removed. He will die, and he understands that. Elise tells him she loves him and will stand by his decision. He requests that the vent be removed.
“All it takes is one person, one patient, one moment to change your life forever. It can change your perspective, color your thinking,” Cristina says via voiceover. For Cristina, it’s Jason who changes everything.
After her experience with Jason, Cristina looks particularly beat up as she walks into the main hallway. She sees Owen by the elevator banks. As she goes to him, she passes Jackson who proceeds to accidentally smash his hand in some equipment. She runs up to Owen and confesses that he is the love of her life, and iit would be stupid to throw away all this love. She wants to be with him forever and he agrees. So begins our journey into Cristina’s parallel lives.
Flash to the nearish future:
Cristina and Owen have a new home together and have managed to christen each room with their love. Owen feels the house is too big for just the two of them, so it’s off to the pound to find the perfect pup. Owen’s all about the labs and big, goofy dogs, but Cristina nixes all his picks. She sets her eyes on a mean little mutt, and it’s love (or at least simpatico) at first site.
A few weeks or maybe months later, Cristina and Shane are in a heart conduit surgery. Owen pops in to tell her about his surgery and they argue about who will let the dog out. The dog’s name is Mrs. Rodriguez, for reasons that defy logic but make perfect sense to Cristina. Alex fears for the longevity of Mrs. Rodriguez’s life with these two as pet parents.
At the Mer/Der Mansion, we skip ahead a year or so. We know this because little Zola is not so little anymore. Still adorable however. Meredith teases Cristina about loving the dog, and Cristina balks. She and the dog get each other. Neither of them wants to talk about their feelings and it’s the perfect arrangement. Meredith calls Mrs. R Cristina’s dog baby and Cristina winces.
It’s been two years since that fateful day, and the board has called a meeting. Jackson’s hand never fully healed correctly and the board has voted to pull him off of surgeries and stick him with an administrative role. Jackson is furious and crushed. After he storms out, Owen decides to tell the board something big.
At the Crowen residence, we find out that his big news is that Teddy (remember Teddy?!) has offered Owen a job running a military medical unit in Germany. When Cristina expresses her disapproval of the move for the two of them, Owen comes back at her saying that his wishes never come first. His dreams have to die because hers always come first. Mrs. R barks at them while they fight, and Owen points out that the dog only likes Cristina. Another day, another dream extinguished.
A year or so later, Shane and Cristina are at the hospital. He tells her about how one of their patients, little Jasper is now thriving and playing ice hockey. Cristina runs into a very pregnant April, who refers to Cristina as her belly buddy. Yes, you guessed it. Cristina is preggers.
Not long after, Cristina is in labor with Owen and Meredith by her side. She calls out, mid push, that this was a mistake. Owen flashes Meredith a concerned look, but Meredith diffuses it saying all women say that. However, since Cristina is her person, Meredith knows that she actually means it. The baby is born and Owen is thrilled. Cristina turns to Meredith and whispers that she really screwed this up.