Every week we get closer and closer to Grey’s Anatomy season finale. This means every week we get closer to the final episode where we will bid our farewell to the incredible Sandra Oh and the fictional character of Dr. Cristina Yang. Grey’s Anatomy episode seventeen, titled “Do you know”, took us on a journey through the corridors of Dr. Yang’s mind. In a very Dr. Who way, we travelled in time with Dr. Yang. We travelled to two possible future scenarios for her and Owen Hunt. Through the entire episode Cristina’s narration was more like a chant that kept asking over and over again ‘Do you know who you are? Do you know what’s happened to you? Do you want to live this way?’
These were questions directed to a paralysed patient. Questions that made Dr. Yang pose them to herself. Simple medical questions for assessing a person’s brain condition that turned into existential ones for Dr. Yang. Questions, which answers made her mind wander around her future with Owen.
In this scenario the patient chooses to die. The event triggers Cristina to approach Owen in the hall and to declare her love to him. (Avery breaks his hand). They get together and follow the pattern of the married couples- buy a house, get a dog, children. However, in this possible future Cristina’s career sets back, her dream- The Harper- Avery Award goes into the hands of Dr. Shane Ross. In this possible future Dr. Yang is a very tired mother of one child and another one on his/her way. In this scenario Cristina sees herself as an unhappy and unsatisfied person, half a surgeon, a broken one who grieves the loss of her surgical dream in a rest room. And there is happy Owen who gets the children that he has been longing for.
In this scenario the patient chooses to live. The event triggers Cristina to approach Owen again, but this time she declares her love to surgery and indulges herself with a naked celebration with Owen. (Avery breaks his hand again). In this scenario Cristina and Owen are together, however Owen starts wanting kids again. Again Cristina stands up to her decision that she can’t give Owen more than she already has given him and her career is priority number one. So, the couple once again falls into the pattern of breaking up and getting back together. But this time the unsatisfied, the unhappy and the broken one is Owen who starts drinking heavily. As opposed to Owen there is the successful, prosperous surgeon Dr. Cristina Yang, a recipient of The Harper- Avery Award.
Dr. Robbins made a quick appearance in this possible scenario. Appearance that actually was the reason behind the emergency board meeting and the subsequent suspension of Dr. Hunt- he put a child’s life in danger and his liability as a doctor was questioned.
Cristina’s patient chose to die. In the hall she just stared at Owen weighting the possibility of whether to approach him or not. She wasn’t that much absorbed in her thoughts and she warned Avery about his hand in time. By the time Cristina made up her mind whether or not to head into Owen’s direction, Meredith popped up and took her away for a consult.
Both scenarios painted a very black and white future for Cristina and Owen as a couple- one of them has to give up a dream, one of them has to sacrifice, one of them is going to be unhappy and unfulfilled.
What’s next for Cristina’s personal and professional life remains to be seen. Until then let us ponder for a while over Dr. Yang’s wise words
“It only takes one person, one patient, one moment to change your life forever. To change your perspective, to colour your thinking, to force you to re-evaluate everything you think you know, to make yourself ask the toughest questions ‘Do you know who you are? Do you understand what has happened to you? Do you want to live this way?”