Grey's Anatomy recap: 'Support System'
Owen recounts the details of his one-night stand to his distraught wife Cristina
You can ask all the questions you want — but that doesn’t mean you’re going to like the answers you’ll get. That’s exactly what happened to Cristina during this week’s new episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “Support System,” which found the doctor grilling her husband about the one-night stand he had. “I want to know every detail,” Cristina told Owen, as the two of them holed up in their apartment — they told everyone at Seattle Grace they had the “flu” — to try to hash out what was happening between them. “You want to fix this? I want to know what happened.”
Well, she — and we — found out. Here’s what went down in a nutshell: After he and Cristina had quit their couples therapy in the aftermath of the abortion, Owen met a woman in the hospital who was connected to a case. After a day of saving the friend of said woman — Owen claims he couldn’t even remember her name — he grabbed a drink with her. They drank a lot, and then they walked out of the bar together, and she pleaded with him to kiss her. But I’m married, he explained. She didn’t care. “So kiss me anyway. So…kiss me anyway.” She said that several times.
After hearing all of this, Cristina blew out of control and flung herself on the couple’s bed, rather understandably. Then she locked herself in the bathroom, and just as Owen was about to break down the door to get to her, she opened it and he went careening into the bathroom, which caused Cristina to go into a hysterical fit of laughter. “I am supposed to be studying for my boards, the most important exam of my life,” she said to him, “and I’m locked in a bathroom crying because of a boy!” It alternately seems silly and not silly, when you really think about it.
NEXT: Owen tells Cristina: “I’ll always be in love with you”
Later, when she’d calmed down, Cristina was convinced that the whole thing would have been easier if Owen had actually fallen in love instead of had a one-night stand. “It would have been clear and clean,” she said. “You would be leaving me for her.” But then she landed on why he had truly slept with someone else: Owen had wanted to hurt her, after she aborted their baby at the end of last season. “You wanted to hurt me back,” she said. And he didn’t refute that. “Oh my God, you wanted to hurt me back.” Somehow, after all that, it was decided that Owen would leave. “I’ll always be in love with you,” Owen said, just before walking out the door. “You’re the love of my life. I will never love another woman.” Cristina’s response: “You don’t even remember her name.”
Meredith, of course, was the only person who had contact with Cristina during this time. She called and checked in on how she was doing with the “flu,” even though she knew that there was much more happening. And she called again: “I just wanna stay on the phone with you,” Meredith told Cristina, “until you wanna hang up.” Who doesn’t want someone to say that to them? Eventually, too — right at the end of the episode — Cristina emerged from her hole and showed up at Meredith’s house to study for her boards with the rest of the fifth-year residents.
And that’s where Meredith’s voiceover-message-of-the-week came into play. “The human body is made up of systems that keep it alive. There’s the one that keeps you breathing, and the one that keeps you standing,” Meredith said, as Seattle Grace patients from the episode were shown. “The one that makes you hungry, and the one that makes you happy. They’re all connected. Take a piece out and everything else falls apart. It’s only when our support systems look like they might fail us that you realize how much we depended on them all along.” And, naturally, cut to the reunion of Cristina and Meredith, the only couple from Seattle Grace that seems to truly endure sometimes.
NEXT: Other things happened: Sloan was chief for a day! Webbed defied him! Callie, Arizona, Bailey, and Altman had a ladies night!
Truly, the bulk of the episode — the most important part of the episode, at least — was the revelations between Cristina and Owen and her eventual return to the friendly bosom of her “person” Meredith. But other things did happen, too! For instance, the boards were consuming all the fifth-year residents. So much so, in fact, that they concocted a silly plot to enlist Lexie and her photographic memory to study case files — ones that were locked away in the depths of Seattle Grace — so that she could quiz them over the details of them later. Meredith, meanwhile, began something of a study group for everyone, dubbing it the “Grey Method,” after her current mentor Callie Torres deemed her ready to take on her boards.
Sloan, meanwhile, was acting as chief for the day, while Owen was out “sick.” (Supposedly, Owen had asked for Webber or Derek to fill in, but Sloan had somehow secretly taken on the task.) Sloan’s M.O. seemed to be to create problems for everyone, although he couched it as wanting everyone to be their best. “Excellence is not an act,” he had written in a memo to the attendings, “not a habit.” He made Derek figure out alternative ways to save a boy with juvenile arthritis — and eventually, Derek rose to the challenge. “Voilá!” Sloan told Derek. “You rose.” And then he brought it back to accolades for himself: “Am I a fantastic leader or what?” Figures.
Sloan’s chief-ing also affected a former chief of Seattle Grace, Webber, who was insisting on replacing his patient’s small intestine, large intestine, stomach, pancreas, and liver with all of those organs from a donor. The problem: The liver from the donor had a mark or lesion or tumor — or something — on it, according to the scans. Even though Sloan told Webber they’d have to reject the part, Webber went ahead with the surgery, to Sloan’s chagrin. The former chief told the acting chief that he was too focused on perfection, and that he needed to back off. “It won’t be pretty, but it will work and it will keep my patient alive,” Webber said. “Stand down, Chief Sloan, stand down.” And what do you know? It worked. Funny how that happens sometimes.
The last big thread of the evening was the Ladies Night that Callie and Arizona had promised to do with the still-grieving Altman. They somehow roped Bailey into the mix, despite her initial refusal and later cancellation, and ended up at their house with Chinese food, a few bottles of wine, and movies including Dirty Dancing and Beaches. The grumbling by Callie, Arizona, and Bailey seems to make little sense, really — those are the ingredients for a perfect night in my book.
What’d you all think of “Support System”? What do you think the future is for Cristina and Owen? Were you into the idea of Sloan as the chief? How long before Altman can smile for most of an entire episode?
Tanner on Twitter: @EWTanStransky