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Owen tries to strangle Cristina on ‘Grey's’

Choke on it: Snoozing beside Owen turned dangerous for Cristina when McArmy woke up in the middle of a nightmare and tried to choke her. He apologized profusely, and Cristina was quick to forgive. Later, as Owen watched a helicopter’s blades, he began having flashbacks. Derek tried to persuade Owen to get treatment for post-traumatic stress, but Owen wouldn’t — he simply had sex with Cristin
/ Source: msnbc.com contributor

Choke on it: Snoozing beside Owen turned dangerous for Cristina when McArmy woke up in the middle of a nightmare and tried to choke her. He apologized profusely, and Cristina was quick to forgive. Later, as Owen watched a helicopter’s blades, he began having flashbacks. Derek tried to persuade Owen to get treatment for post-traumatic stress, but Owen wouldn’t — he simply had sex with Cristina instead. Later, though, she confessed that she was afraid to fall asleep with him and they sadly broke up. But at least he finally went to Derek for help.

That’s what friends are for: Derek struggled with nerves before Izzie’s surgery, his first since his mountain-man trailer exile. When it came time to operate, he balked, wanting Meredith to agree to marry him first. Showing a rare modicum of sense, she refused, and he sucked it up and performed the surgery. Happily, success keeping Izzie alive inspired Derek to shave off his self-pity beard. Later, he decorated the elevator with mementos of past surgeries he’s worked on with Meredith (romantic!) and proposed again, and this time, she said yes.

Meanwhile, Izzie’s friends spent the day awkwardly avoiding her cancer room. George’s pain over Izzie’s failure to confide in him was the hardest to break through. It took a talking-to from Callie, of all people, to get him to wait with the others — including sweetly concerned interns — for her surgery to be over. Once Izzie came through safely, Bailey barked at her friends to do a better job in the future.

Baby steps: Part of Izzie’s treatment included harvesting healthy eggs before radiation started. The Chief told Alex on the sly that frozen eggs keep better when they’ve been fertilized, and Alex took the hint and offered to make a donation — without Izzie’s knowledge — that might be used to fertilize a harvested egg for use in the future. Had Alex and Izzie really been at the baby-planning stage?

As it turned out, Alex struggled, as the prospect of creating frozen embryos drove it home to him that Izzie would probably die, and as he struggled with the guilt of not having urged her to get treatment when she first reported Dead Denny. Ultimately, he provided the sample (delivering it to the Chief, during … lunch?), but its fate remains unclear.

Priorities, people: As an elderly patient of Mark’s slowly died, her apparently callous relatives rolled their eyes wondering if she’d die soon enough for them to make their flights home. But it turned out that “Aunt Joyce” had been hospitalized near death over and over for three years, and they were simply exhausted. In a lovely touch, Joyce explained that she didn’t resent them at all. She was grateful for their presence, simply because “people are better than no people.” When she finally died, they genuinely grieved, despite their atrocious hospital etiquette. As usual, his patient’s death became useful in Alex’s personal life, encouraging him to support Izzie and get others to do the same.

Linda Holmes is a writer in Washington, D.C.