“Do You Know?” was a brilliant episode for season 10 of “Grey’s Anatomy” as Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) contemplated 2 possibilities for her future. Neither option left much hope for happiness when it comes to her on a gain, off again relationship With Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd). Episode 3x17 aired on ABC on Thursday, March 27.
The catalyst for her introspection ais a patient on whose heart Cristina has just performed a rare but life-saving surgery. Other injuries leave the patient paralyzed from the neck down and facing the decision of whether to live or die. Each time she asks the man if he wants her to remove the vent that allows him to breathe, he answers differently and she drifts into thoughts of what her life would be like if she stays with Owen but under very different circumstances
With Owen as wife and mother
The patients decides to pull the vent and be allowed to die. As she exits the patient’s room, Cristina sees Owen at the elevator, rushes over to him and says they are crazy to fight the feelings they have for one another. She loves him and they need to be together no matter what.
Flash forward and the couple remarries and moves into a huge house which they proceed to fill first with a dog, then with children. After delivering her first child, Cristina turns Meredith and says “I’ve made a terrible mistake.”
The nighttime crying and subsequent playground injury show Cristina going through the challenges of motherhood, carrying out her duties but not happy about it. She loves how happy Owen is playing with their kids but she is empty and unfulfilled. She is forced to turn over her research to Shane who goes on to win the Harper Avery that should have been hers.
After presenting the award to him, a graying Cristina locks herself in the bathroom and sobs her heart out over the life she let slip away from her.
With Owen as a lover and friend
In the alternate version, the patient opts to live and Cristina leaves his room exhilarated. When she sees Owen, she rushes to him and says they have to celebrate her achievement…naked.
They give their relationship another chance but on different terms. They never marry. In fact years later, Owen still lives in the trailer and Cristina still has a room in Karev’s house.
Cristina grows even more distant from patients, preferring to focus on her research. Owen watches as she grows colder and decides he wants more from their relationship. She is unwilling to give it and they continue the pattern of breaking up and reuniting over the years.
The night she wins her 4th Harper Avery, Owen doesn’t come to the ceremony. Finally, she realizes that she can’t keep doing this because they are both suffering. Owen is distancing himself from her. He is filling his time by working extra shifts and drinking heavily when he’s off duty.
Cristina is called away from her work because April who is running the ER is worried about Owen. He wants to sign in for a shift but is in no condition to work. He’s exhausted and drunk. He tells Cristina he can’t function because everywhere he turns, he sees her and he can’t have her. He begs her through tears to marry him and all she can do is silently hug him.
Both versions of her imagined future are equally wrenching as these two tortured souls struggle with their feelings for one another.
In the end, the patient actually chose to die. When Cristina left his room and began to approach Owen, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) popped up asking for a consuilt and diverting any conversation.
Will her concern for Owen’s ultimate happiness and her own sanity be the catalyst that drives Cristina away from Grey-Sloane Memorial? We have about 5 more episodes to figure that out.
“Grey’s Anatomy” airs on Thursdays, on ABC.
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