TAKE CARE NOW
Crowen recap 10 x 22 “We are never ever getting back together”
So this was the much-anticipated or long-dreaded (depending on your perspective) episode of the return of Preston Burke to Grey’s Anatomy. There was much trepidation and anxiety among Crowen fans about what it would actually all mean for our beloved couple. Would she go back to him, even after he left her at the altar and failed to acknowledge her work when he won his Harper Avery award? To be honest, I was expecting something different and I was pretty glad it turned out the way it did. This episode was written by Joan Rater and directed by Rob Corn.
Cristina is headed to the stairs, when she meets Owen. He tells her that the Cleveland Clinic wants her to come and present. Cristina is skeptical, asking if the guy, who won the Harper Avery is too busy. He tells her that the loss does not define her. She replies “good” and that he should stop trying to get her to go somewhere to get over it. He adds that Zurich has been calling three times a day, wanting her to present there, too. He points out that this year has been about the conduit trial and he urges her to take the trip and to find out what she wants to do next. She says that she knows what she wants to do next and that is to get the board meeting over with.
They enter the conference room, where Arizona, Callie, Derek, Meredith and Webber are already waiting. Noticeably absent is the board chairman, Avery. When Cristina and Owen enter the room, Webber says that’s everybody and shuts the door. Callie asks about Avery. Webber replies that they can get started without him, a clear signal that he did not invite the young chairman. He says that he has asked Owen to share some news with them.
Owen says that Dr Russell has given notice and is leaving the hospital. Cristina is shocked since it is her boss, the head of cardio. Owen continues, saying that Russell assured him that it had nothing to do with the Harper Avery situation. Webber adds that it means that it had everything to do with the Harper Avery situation. Arizona is confused and asks what situation. Meredith informs her that no one from this hospital will ever win the award and that Catherine Avery had told Webber this. Owen says that Webber thinks they should appeal.
Cristina interjects that they mean that she should appeal and humiliate herself further. Webber tells her it is not about her. “This is about the hospital getting money for research and to attract more surgeons. We’re already losing top talent.”
Derek points out that Russell is a loss but he is no Cristina Yang. (Just a side thought. It must suck for Dr Russell that his subordinate, who is just a fellow, is considered more brilliant than he is.) Arizona adds that Cristina Yang can’t be Cristina Yang if we lose funding.
Callie points out glumly that the NIH funds winners – people with track records. People with Harper Averys, Meredith notes. Webber looks towards Cristina and asks if she is in (to appeal). She looks around, feeling suddenly pressured. She gets up and leaves, hurriedly. Owen is ready to chase after her but Meredith stops him and tells him that she will go. She catches up with Cristina at the elevator. They enter the elevator and Cristina presses the button. She says that she hates this because she doesn’t want to be reminded of the Harper Avery plus the hospital is in danger of losing grants. As the elevator closes, she points out the irony that being nominated for the award was going to cost her the grants. “Did everyone forget I put a printed conduit in a kid and it worked?”
Meredith points out that a bunch of guys in Zurich didn’t forget and they want her to come and speak about it. She tells her it is an hour of talking for five days in the Swiss Alps, she reminds Cristina, who immediately says that she is not running away. Meredith says that she knows that but Cristina says that is what everyone is going to think. Meredith tells her that the people at the hospital are angry for her and support her. Cristina says she understands that it was a business decision and she has moved on and that everyone else should, too. The elevator door opens and she leaves. She may have said that she has moved on but I don’t think that she really has.
She heads to the McNeils’ room (the family with the children with heart problems), where the mom is sitting, clutching a pillow. Sabine says that this is Frankie’s pillow and she just bit off the head of an orderly, who tried to remove the pillowcase . (Frankie is the middle child that died on the operating table in the previous episode). Cristina sits next to her and tells her that she is discharging the family as Link is on the transplant list and he could wait for a heart at home and Ivy is stable and could recover in her own bedroom. Sabine starts to cry and cannot imagine that they can finally go home. Cristina tells her that they have suffered an unimaginable loss and they have two children, who are alive and getting better. “Your family needs to heal and you can’t do that here.”
It seems Cristina has taken her own advice and is next seen at the airport, buying a round trip to Zurich. She, too, needs to heal from her loss and she needs to get away from the hospital. The Zurich people have put her up in a spectacular hotel room, with a balcony that has a view of the city skyline. She is leaving a voice mail message for Meredith and tells her that she has slept for about 24 hours and will be giving her talk in a few hours.
Meanwhile, back at the hospital, Owen orders resident Jo to put in a central line on his colectomy patient. Jo is the scut monkey for the day, since every other resident is involved in a massive surgery, involving the separation of conjoined twins. She says that she’ll do it.
Back in Zurich, Cristina is deep into a Q&A session in a darkened auditorium when a voice in the darkness says that he has a question. There is a flicker of recognition on Cristina’s face as she listens to the voice. A whole series of medical mumbo jumbo is exchanged between the two of them, until the person reveals himself under a light and it is Preston Burke, her former mentor, lover and fiance. Cristina catches herself and continues to answer calmly.
It is now after the lecture, where doctors are gathered around her, asking questions, while Burke waits in the background. One doctor tells her to that he would love to see her data from her initial patients to which she replies that his office has her email. He adds that Burke was right and that she would be able to teach them a thing or two. Burke smiles and says that she certainly will.
As everyone leaves, Burke approaches her and Cristina asks him if he was the one who did this. She adds that she thought it was someone named Weiss. Burke replies that Weiss is one of his staff and that he didn’t think she would respond to an invitation from him, given how the circumstances of their last interaction. Cristina replies, “Me in a white dress and you fleeing the state?” He tells her that a follow-up to that is delicate.
She demands to know why she is here. He replies that he wanted to talk to her about the unpublished details of her protocol. She responds that he brought her 6,000 miles just to discuss it. He tells her that this is his hospital and he gets to fly people 6,000 miles to ask questions. (Clearly, Burke has moved to the big times, if he can do this). She quietly packs up her stuff into her bag.
He tells her that he wants to show her what he is working on and that he has a surgery this afternoon and he would love to have her scrub in. He gives her an enquiring look. Cristina answers that she has to make a phone call. Burke tells her to go ahead and to tell Meredith he said hello. He obviously knows that she will be calling her twisted sister.
Back at the hospital, Owen joins Meredith, who is fiddling with her phone. Owen wants to know if it is Cristina on the other end. Meredith tells him it is a message and they keep missing each other. Owen wants to know if Cristina is having a good time. Meredith tells him that her speech went well. Then, the bombshell drops when Cristina says that Burke is there and he was the one who brought her there. Meredith is shocked and says, “Shut up.”
Owen wants to know what’s going on. Meredith lies to him and tells him that Cristina got a standing ovation. Owen chuckles, saying that he knew that the trip was going to be good for her. Poor Owen – he is so unaware of the drama going across in Switzerland.
Back in Switzerland, it seems that they have missed each other once again, as Cristina is listening to a message from Meredith, who wants to remind her that Burke cut away pieces of her and that his mama took her eyebrows. She is still listening to the message, when Burke appears with a coffee. “It’s just coffee,” he says. She takes it and he sits next to her.
She tells him that she is going as she didn’t want to miss her flight and she gets up. Burke tells her that he had Weiss put in another ticket for her. She is miffed as she tells him that his secret making of plans and shuttling her around on his schedule was manipulative. He tells her that he is sorry that she sees it that way. She asks him if he has been following her work. He counters, asking if she hadn’t been following his. She gives a slight smile because it is true.
He gets up and says that the surgery she is about to see is new and that he didn’t want to publish until he was sure he had what he thought he had. She asks him if he does, now. He tells her to come on and he will show her. He waits for her to follow him. She thinks for a bit, before she finally does.
They are now in the OR, where Cristina says skeptically, “A transcatheter aortic valve replacement? What is so special about that?”
Burke tells her that she will see. She sighs in reply. He tells her that she shouldn’t feel bad about losing the Harper Avery. She responds that it was easy for him to say since he won one. He says that is why he can say it and proceeds to tell her his experience after winning it.
“There was a high after I won and I rode it for a long time. And then there was a truly awful crash. The fear that my best work was behind me. And the pressure I put on myself was enormous. I had to get away so I came here. Started working quietly at first and then, I met a gentleman that made a billion in the European bond market. Wanted to put his name on something. He bankrolled this whole place. I brought in people from all over the world, just to study hearts.”
Cristina is surprised that they don’t get government funding. Burke says that they don’t need it. He tells her that the patient has an irregularly shaped valve. She tells him that does not make it interesting. He knows he has to pull out all of the bells and whistles to impress her, as he pushes a button and a hologram of a heart appears. He tells her that is the patient’s heart, composed from pre-op scans. “Complete intra-operative visualization.”
He spins it around, pointing out that they can see all angles in real time and can even slice it to see the anatomy so they can assess the ramifications without any of the risk of blind entry. Cristina’s face lights up in delight and also from the glow of the hologram. He tells her that this is what he was waiting to publish but he wanted to get the kinks out first. They both spin the heart around. He asks her if it was worth sticking around for. She tells him it was. He replies that that he wants her to see the rest of the place.
It is now after surgery and he is taking her around the hospital. They are on a balcony, overlooking a room with many, many 3D printers. By comparison, Grey Sloan only has one printer, which she and Meredith have to share. She asks if all of the printers are his. He says there are 49 printers. They had 50 but one got buggy and they had to send it back. He then asks about the Phase 1 of her trial and wonders what is next. She replies that she doesn’t know and that everything……(is up in the air with the possibility that research funding could be cut off).
He asks if it is about the award, to which she replies that she doesn’t care. He tells her that she does or she should because it is an assessment from people who know that you are what you think you are. She replies that she knows that her work is valid. He says that he does, too. She tells him that she knows what’s next and it’s big. He figures out that she is afraid she can’t raise the support after she lost the award. He asks her what it was. Cristina wants to print a functional human heart. “A beating heart.”
Burke tells her to do it here and that she can start tomorrow. “All you have to do is say yes.” She stares at him in disbelief.
I know a lot of people were annoyed that those words came out of Burke’s mouth, since it was Owen who first uttered them, when he wanted them to get back together in Season 5. I think the choice of those words were deliberate and were chosen to lead the viewer in thinking that he was seducing her back into his life by offering her all of the high-tech toys.
Back at Grey Sloan, Owen is operating on his colectomy patient, when Jo bursts in the OR. Jo had been having trouble, removing a wire on Owen’s patient, earlier. She says she should have called him. Owen tells her she should have called someone. “Because you tried to remove the wire by yourself forcefully, you perforated the posterior all of the subclavian vein, causing her to bleed.”
He has been forced to perform an emergency venous repair and the patient’s colectomy has to be postponed. Jo replies that she was trying to handle everything, to which Owen tells her that she has made it worse.
Back in Zurich, Burke has taken Cristina to his very luxurious office. She looks around at the numerous awards he has received. He tells her to have a seat and he would order dinner. She says nothing, so he asks if she isn’t hungry. Cristina asks to confirm that he really wanted her to work there. He replies that is what he said. She makes a noise and he says that he no longer has the ability to interpret her noises. Still, she is very skeptical of his offer, asking him if it was some ploy to get her back into his life because she wasn’t interested. (Yes, Cristina, this is the question we are all asking and we are dying to know his answer).
Then, we find out that Burke is a married man with two daughters, as he turns around a picture of his wife, Edra and his daughters, Simone and Viviana. “Edra is the love of my life. She’s my world. My family is my world.” Cristina offers the perfunctory “that’s nice.” He tells her that he doesn’t want her but he didn’t mean it like it sounds. She goes to say that it is okay.
He says that Edra wants to be a mom, who trained as a surgeon but gave it up. She is at home and takes care of the kids and is supportive of his dreams. (Who does that sound like? Burke married someone like Emma or Beth). Cristina tells him that she is happy for him. He tells her that when they do what they do as fiercely as they do it, they need someone who is willing to stay at home and keep the home fires burning. “That’s the only way you and I are ever going to have someone.”
Cristina retorts that he doesn’t know her anymore and that she has moved on, too. Burke admits that it is true but he does know that she has become a magnificent surgeon. “You’ve become everything I dreamed you’d be. You should be in a place like this. You should consider it,” he urges. They look at each other.
Cristina is back in her hotel room, leaving another message for Meredith. “He has a family and a holographic heart. He wants to bankroll my research funding for printing a functional heart. He’s got like 49 printers and a bottomless pit of money and how the hell are you are not answering your phone right now? Everything I have ever wanted is here except he’s here. What the hell am I supposed to do? I mean what would you tell me to do.” She hangs up the phone and says, “Yeah.”
Back in Seattle, Owen interrupts a conversation between Meredith and Webber. He needs to speak to Webber, privately, since the senior doctor is in charge of resident education. When they are alone (or think they are alone), Webber says that this resident is not cut out to be a surgeon. Owen agrees, saying that either you are a surgeon or not. Jo overhears the conversation and knows that one of the residents is going to be cut. Seriously, guys, if you are going to have a conversation like this about getting rid of someone, it would be a wise idea to shut the door.
In Zurich, it is the next morning when Cristina knocks on Burke’s office door. Burke is Director of Cardiothoracic Surgery, by the way. She drops her bag on his couch. He asks if she spoke to Meredith. She answers that she has not and that she cannot take the job. Burke surmises that Meredith carries a grudge. Cristina tells him that it has nothing to do with Meredith or a grudge and that it is far from that simple. Burke says, “Really?”
She replies that he got her here and they had their fun and he should take no for an answer. Burke tells her that it doesn’t make sense.
Cristina finally lets him know how she feels about everything. “You think I want to work for you, again? I never wanted to work for you. I wanted to be you. The best thing that ever happened to me was you walking away from our wedding. It made me stand on my own two feet. I am better for it. You are better for it. So why bring me here? Why offer me a job you know I can’t resist? You’re gonna dangle the carrot and I’m supposed to chase it until you snatch it away. I don’t want the job.”
He asks if she is done. She gives him a hard look, then her face softens and her eyes look damp with tears. “Now, I am,” she tells him. Then, she goes to pick up her bag.
He tells her that he doesn’t want her to work for him. He makes an admission, “Us working together would destroy my marriage, my life.” He slams the door shut.
“The way I loved you was consuming and eventually, you hold the carrot and I’ll be chasing you. I have a family, now, a life that I want. I don’t want you to work for me,” he tells her. Cristina is confused, since he just offered her a job.
He tells her that he doesn’t want her to work for her. He wants her to take over for him as he is leaving. His wife, Edra’s parents are in Milan and she wants to move closer to them. He says his wife has made so many sacrifices for him and now, it is time for him to do the same. He wanted to leave for a while, now but he hadn’t been able to find anyone that he was willing to give the institute to, until now.
She can’t believe he is serious. “You’re offering me your hospital like you’re Willy Wonka and you’re handing me a chocolate factory.”
He gives back a clever reply, “Cheer up, Charlie.” Cristina still can’t believe that he is serious. He tells her that the place is hers, if she wants it.
We are now back in Seattle, where Meredith is meeting Cristina at the airport. Cristina comes off the escalator and hands her a box of chocolates and says that she ate some. With one look at Cristina’s face, Meredith knows immediately.
“You’re leaving,” she says. Cristina cannot deny it.
This episode brought up a myriad of differing emotions for me. Like many of you, I was a little worried about what the outcome of this episode would have been, especially in the context of Crowen. I was relieved when it was revealed that Burke was married with two children. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that I actually enjoyed this episode.
In addition, “Like a Virgin” was played as the background music for the Cristina/Burke scenes. Who remembers the significance of that? Remember in Season 4, when Cristina first found out that Burke had won the Harper Avery, she was terribly depressed and had volunteered to work on the cadavers. It was while she was working alongside Lexie Grey, that she sang that very same song, as she worked on her cadavers. Therefore, it was a callback to that time.
Burke also confessed that his love for Cristina was all-consuming. I am pretty sure that Owen would agree to that. He did say there is only one of her in the world.
The episode was not only about getting closure for Cristina in terms of the Burke/Cristina relationship but also sets up the new chapter for Cristina, as she leaves Grey Sloan.
Sandra Oh was named by TV Line as the Performer of the Week for this episode I would have to agree, especially that final Cristina/Burke scene when he asked her if she was done and she told him no. The changes in the expressions on her face in that moment were extraordinary. Just shows how talented she is.
Side note- we know that there has been a delay in posting 10.20 & 10.21 – we will attempt to get posted this week- real life has not allowed us much time to spend on the site, we appreciate Cinderoni very much and she is always on time with her reviews- thanks for the understanding, Lisa & Liv