The beginning of #Crowen- Season 5 Review

Posted by on Aug 9, 2013 in Blogger: Guest Blogger, Cristina Yang, Kevin McKidd, Owners - Lisa & Liv, Reviews / Podcasts / Blogs, Sandra Oh, Season 5 | 5 comments

Thought you would enjoy our amazing friend’s review of  Crowen in Season Five. It is their beginning and this is dedicated to my best friend Lisa & also to the author of this review who chooses to remain a secret writer. I appreciate being able to  look through those Crowen glasses. I love how all you Crowen love your ship. As Dido sings- ” I will go down with this ship and I won’t put my hands up and surrender” Lets hope Shonda heard Lisa’s plea… Save them Shonda


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Once upon a time, there was season five of Grey’s Anatomy.

Yes, there was the intern fight club, the character of Sadie, Erica Hahn disappearing in a parking lot, and a little plotline known to many in the Grey’s fandom as well as many media outlets as ‘ghost sex’.

But it was also, for Crowen fans, an incredible season in terms of the stories for the pairing and the arc that made us invested in this couple in the first place. It wasn’t the type of story that was happy and shiny. It wasn’t a season where they were drama-free and happy every moment we saw them onscreen – not by a long shot. It was not a typical start to a relationship that we see on Grey’s: there was no meeting a hot woman/man in a bar, the first time they were in bed together, one of them was actually sleeping, and their struggles stemmed not from a third party or differences in personality but from something neither of them could control or eventually ignore. It was a season, however, that provided a well-written storyline that focused on drama that was organic, and that showed no matter how difficult the characters or pairing had it, that there was no doubt that the two of them loved one another and wanted to be together.

It was a season that encapsulated why Crowen fans fell in love with this couple and why we still root for them even though so much has changed for the characters since season 5.

Here are some of the most memorable Cristina and Owen moments from season 5. Because sometimes we all need to go back to the start to remember what we love about television characters and pairings and why we still root for them in spite of ourselves season after season.

1) The first kiss

Truth be told, there were many memorable moments for Cristina and Owen in Owen’s first episodes: he entered the series with a bang by traching a patient with a pen, he stapled his own leg from injuries from the car accident (with Cristina’s gleeful assistance), he went head to head with Derek about freezing his patient, and he came to Cristina’s rescue after she was karmically impaled by an icicle that never seemed to actually melt. Then there were the little moments between Cristina and Owen: the looks (aka eyesexing), the hints of chemistry and mutual intrigue, the reassurance and advice Owen gives Cristina to let her know that mistakes were how they learned, all of which lead up to their final, intense scene in the two part premiere.

As quickly as Owen Hunt entered her life, he was destined to leave it, as Owen explained to an eager Richard Webber in response to a job offer that he was due to return to Iraq after his brief leave home so he could finish his tour. Cristina looks a bit disappointed by the news, and both Cristina and Owen are initially subdued when Webber leaves them in the exam room. But that’s before Owen discards his gloves, closes the blinds, and turns around to give Cristina one hell of a goodbye kiss. And say what you want about the way this couple kisses-Cristina and Owen both look like they’re enjoying it every time. Cristina looks as though she’s losing herself in the spontaneous kiss until rationality catches up to her and she points out that she doesn’t even know him.

Owen just smiles at her: “So?”

And that was the moment where Crowen fans (or at least I personally) first lost their sanity to this pairing and the potential that these characters had together.

2) In the after

It shocks absolutely no one, except for possibly Cristina, when Owen reappears a few episodes later to take Webber up on his offer to become the trauma attending at Seattle Grace. Her shock quickly turns to dismay when Owen doesn’t remember her name, when he criticizes her technique in working on the pigs for the skills lab that he arranged, and when, after a day of her repairing the injuries and stabilizing the pigs, he orders her to put them down. When she presses him on not remembering her name, however, Owen finally speaks to her honestly and tells her something he hasn’t yet told anyone else: his entire unit was killed in the field in Iraq and he was discharged, which is why he came back to Seattle. The revelation is one that will prove to be an important component of their relationship and of their storyline throughout season 5, and it is the start of an intimacy between the two characters where they share things about themselves no one else in their lives know.

3) Single malt scotch

Cristina and Owen’s intimacy continues, even though it isn’t immediately apparent in their following interactions. Owen is still adjusting to life at Seattle Grace and how, per Callie, everyone is “all up in everyone else’s business” at the hospital. He is also trying to be professional in the midst of the residents vying to be the one chosen for the upcoming solo surgery. It becomes a losing battle when he finally snaps at the residents, including Cristina, who are fighting over his patient and accuses them of having no decency and no respect for the people they are working on as surgeons. Later, when Cristina approaches him in an on-call room (not for that!), Owen is no less angry about her previous behavior and questions whether or not she even knows the name of their patient. After watching Cristina for 5 seasons at this point, we viewers know that Cristina is far more than the surgery hungry resident Owen is seeing her as at this moment, but we also hear from Cristina for the very first time one of the driving forces behind her desire to be a cardio god: she was in a car crash with her father when she was nine years old and in spite of her efforts to save him, “her hands felt his heart stop beating”. She informs Owen that it is why she does what she does, and why she wins all of the contests, and “the patient’s name is Tom”. In this moment Owen seems to understand a little more about Cristina, and unlike Mark, who considers Cristina in this episode to be “cheap wine”, now thinks of her as a deep, complex and unique “single malt scotch”.

4) Wall kiss

In spite of the fact Cristina and Owen can’t seem to stay away from one another, Owen is still trying to distance himself from making any personal connections with anyone at Seattle Grace including Cristina. It takes a patient who also wasn’t able to connect, who made the choice to distance himself from the people around him, and who dies on the OR table to spur Owen to make his first attempt to connect – by kissing Cristina up against a wall outside of Joe’s Bar (remember Joe’s?). It’s raw, it’s rough, and it’s out of a desperate need to not be cut off from people in the wake of the RPG ambush that killed his unit, but it is an intense moment that draws them together briefly and forces Owen to wordlessly admit that he in fact does need someone. And that someone is Cristina.

5) I think you’re beautiful.

Things are awkward between Cristina and Owen in the wake of their intense kiss outside of Joe’s. And Cristina has had a pretty crappy day what with Intern-Fight-Club-gate and Meredith (in Cristina’s eyes) not having her back with the Chief. So Owen sitting on the steps to her apartment after her long day is not necessarily something she is prepared to deal with. But she sits next to him anyways after he declines her invitation to go together somewhere else or to go inside the apartment she shares with Callie and waits. Conversation isn’t really their strong suit, but at last Owen finally speaks and when he does, it’s simple yet powerful: he tells Cristina that he thinks that she’s beautiful. She doesn’t say a word, but they sneak looks at one another as they sit on those steps and for a moment after the long day and the awkwardness, they are content.

6) The vent

Cristina is having another bad day. She is out of the running for the solo surgery, she and Meredith are still fighting, and she has to have a conversation with Izzie about how great sex with Dead Denny is. Throughout the day, Owen tries to make it easier on her by telling her she should go with her gut when picking the resident to have the solo surgery, because it was what worked for him when he picked her both professional for the solo surgery and personally. By the end of her day, she can’t stand to watch the surgery she felt she had earned and walks out of the gallery, followed by Owen who is the only one to see her tears once she is away from the crowd of people. He takes her to the boiler room in the hospital basement: “Just wait.” The gust of air from the vents takes her by surprise and causes her to laugh and look happy for the first time that day. Owen is just as happy and they are both smiling when they seek to answer Cristina’s question of what else can happen on the vent. (The answer? Hot, passionate kissing.)

7) Owen’s best and worst surgery

Their first date? Not the most romantic in the history of Grey’s, but definitely one of the most memorable and intimate. (It’s entirely possible that Owen slipping the invitation to go on a date in between asking Cristina to give one of his patients an enema doomed the event from the start.) Not that that deters Cristina. She even goes so far as to take dating advice from Izzie: before their date, she perkily asks what Owen’s best surgery ever was before coming to her senses and quickly walking away.

When the date does happen and Owen does finally show up – he’s late. And he’s drunk, because he’s nervous about not having been on a date in years. And he takes Cristina’s snipe that he take a shower to rid him of smelling like a distillery a bit too seriously when he hops into her shower with his clothes and shows on. Three strikes and it looks like Cristina is about to throw him out.

But then Owen finally, inexplicably decides that in Cristina’s shower is the time to answer her earlier question as to what his best surgery ever was: A surgery on a soldier with a blast injury in Iraq who had so many injuries and was bleeding out so severely that the only pressure that Owen could use to stem the bleeding was his own body. The soldier survived the surgery and was sent home, only to later end up killing himself. While Owen tells the story of his best and worst surgery, the look on Cristina’s face goes from annoyance to surprise to heartbreak and compassion, and all she can do once he is done speaking is kick off her own shoes before getting in the shower with him, stroking his face and holding it in her hands as she looks clearly at him.

Owen’s original plan for their date? To take Cristina to dinner and to the West Point Lighthouse to watch the Northern Lights. In spite of the failed first date, and in spite of the big problems Cristina now knows Owen has, she agrees to give him another chance and to go out with him anyways.

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8) The on-call room and “See me”

When Owen’s ex-fiancée comes to Seattle Grace with her father, she comes during a day when Cristina and Owen are actually having flirty, fun moments with one another. He tells Cristina that he likes the back of her neck, she suggestively informs him they are both on call that evening, and they walk down the hospital corridor together with their hands touching and very strange piano music in the background. When Owen sees Beth, however, a reminder of the past and the ‘before’ he was still struggling to come to terms with, he has a panic attack and flees from Cristina. She doesn’t let him leave that easily, however, and launches herself at him in order to wrap her arms around him and “relax his sympathetic nervous system”: aka, gives him a hug in order to calm him down. Later, we see Owen asleep on top of Cristina in an on-call room – not quite the dirty sex Meredith had concluded had taken place earlier in the episode. Meredith walks in on the scene and just smiles when Cristina informs her that she’s staying there with Owen.

It becomes clear later on, however, that Beth isn’t the only person Owen is trying to avoid now that he’s back in Seattle. Cristina finds out that, not only was Owen engaged before, but that he hasn’t seen his mother since he returned from Iraq. It causes some distance in between them until Owen finally tells Cristina that he calls his mother once a week, and that he can’t bear to see her yet in person because the son she knew is gone. He is afraid that his mother will look at him the same way that Beth does; like he’s not there, like he is a ghost. Cristina is the only one who sees him, and he begs her to see him then. She looks at him and they both know she does see who he is, even in the after.

9) 40 years

During a case where Cristina is pitted against an older doctor, Owen is privy yet again to her competitive side. The older doctor asks Cristina, after finally deciding it was time for her to stop cutting, what she will have when one day she will no longer be able to perform surgery and when she will no longer be a cardio god. At the end of the day when Cristina is having drinks with Owen at Joe’s, she gets her answer when Owen informs her that he wants to be around in 40 years with her.

10) Elevator Love Letter

For many fans this was the episode where Derek proposed to Meredith. For Crowen fans, this episode was a huge one for many different reasons and was composed of many memorable moments for the pairing.

The episode starts with Owen falling asleep next to Cristina in her bed. The viewers then see Cristina waking up to Owen choking her while he is still asleep. The act is a horrifying one that is a result of Owen’s untreated PTSD, an act that should never have happened in the first place and should never happen again, but one that occurred while Owen was asleep and stemmed from his PTSD. While Cristina recognizes that Owen didn’t do it intentionally, and even pushes Meredith aside so she can go reassure him that she is physically okay, Meredith and Callie are wary of the situation and of Owen throughout the episode and the rest of the season.

Cristina initially refuses to walk away from Owen and his problems that she refers to war wounds, but at the end of the episode, it appears that Owen is going to be the one to break off their relationship. He asks to hold her one last time, but before either of them can walk away, the moment that Crowen fans were waiting 19 freaking episodes for finally happened in one of Cristina and Owen’s most intimate, passionate and intense scenes to date – the first time they had sex. The emotional aspect is just as intense as the physical in this scene (in both the aired scene and the unaired, uncut scene, because that’s how intimate it was) and it is very clear that in spite of the severity of Owen’s PTSD that they want to be with one another.

But Cristina can’t sleep in his arms once they are lying in bed together, and she is in tears at the end of the episode alone in her own bed while Owen finally goes to get help for his PTSD.

11) Take care now

In the wake of the choking incident and Cristina breaking up with Owen, Owen has started to go to therapy. He and Cristina are starting to interact again, at least professionally, and he even tells her to ‘take care now!’ as he sees her in passing. This new attitude grates on Cristina, even more so when Owen takes it upon himself to teach George and mentor him while she is mostly ignored on a trauma case, and it causes her to confront Owen outside of the hospital. Owen counters that he is treating her just like he would anyone else. Cristina is angry and hurt and unleashes it by shoving Owen and questioning whether he’s happy now, if he is just a ‘choke ‘em and forget ‘em kind of guy’. Owen reluctantly shows Cristina a piece of paper on which there are a list of three word sentences that he and Dr. Wyatt came up with, so that he could have something to say to Cristina besides the three words that he really wants to say to her, because it would be cruel to say the words to her. He is trying to let her off the hook and make things right.

Cristina can’t look at him as she whispers ‘take care now’ and walks away, and her admission of those three words leave Owen stunned outside of the hospital.

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12) Season 5 finale

In the episode prior to the finale, Cristina goes with Owen to see his mother for the first time since he came back from Iraq. As a result, Owen has finally had a full night’s sleep without nightmares. He credits Cristina for him being able to sleep since she convinced him and went with him to go see his mother. He feels that he could be a better man for her, and if she lets him, he could be a better man with her. Cristina looks happy but apprehensive, and he asks her to think about it before kissing her and leaving her to her thoughts.

It takes a conversation with Meredith, and seeing firsthand how therapy has changed her friend, that leads Cristina to go to the vent and talk to Owen, and tell him that she loves him in fit and starts until she finally says that she can’t breathe without him. Owen, who for the first time in many episodes looks thrilled and happy, promises that all Cristina has to do is meet him halfway and say yes.

In their final scene of season 5, after seeing Izzie overcome yet another obstacle in her diagnosis with cancer, Cristina finally goes to Owen and is the one to kiss him this time before she tells him ‘yes’. And out of four season finales up until this point in the series, Cristina and Owen are left smiling at one another and happy before all hell breaks loose in other parts of the hospital.

In season 5, Crowen fans saw Cristina and Owen understand one another without words. We watched Cristina be there for Owen during his PTSD and we watched him come to understand why she pushes herself to be the surgeon she wants to be and be there when her and Meredith were fighting. We watched them fight to be together and struggle through their issues and have glimmers of promise and happiness together. And whatever has happened since and whatever happens for Crowen in the future, season 5 was the start of what their fans consider to be a rich, complex pairing who, in spite of everything and everyone telling us otherwise, are meant to be.

Thanks again “L” for writing this amazing review of Season 5 and the beginning of Crowens love story. Lets see what Season 10 brings… What do you think? Tell us below

Stay Grey

Lisa & Liv



  1. to me, CrOwen in S5 is the most beautiful story , without words,CO’s first kiss, 2nd kiss in the vent, see me,take care now, S5 is my fav, forever and ever

    • @vanessa_tw, yeah, it was amazing. It’s… I mean, it’s so realistic what they did with the story, that something incredibly passionate still wasn’t “meant to be” in the end, but man it’s depressing!

  2. This is so beautifully written.

  3. Love the Crowen love. I need them back!

  4. I really really hope CrOwen story in Season 10 will be the same as Season 5