Owen is choking the life out of Cristina! He’s trapped in some sort of nightmare triggered by the spinning blades of her ceiling fan. Cristina is frantically trying to break free but Owen is too strong. Callie hears the commotion and rushes into the room. Only then does Owen break his grip. Callie calls Meredith. The two of them care for Cristina. Owen can only pace and apologize over and over. Cristina hugs him and tells him it’s okay. Meredith and Callie are stunned. It’s not okay.
Derek shows up at Meredith's the next morning and wordlessly presents her with the engagement ring. Being perfectly honest, we weren’t blown away by this rather lackluster proposal. Derek could have at least shaved! Meredith turns him down, telling him, “Today’s about Izzie.”
Bailey tells Meredith, Cristina and Alex to be there for Izzie as her friends, not as doctors. But Izzie shoos them away. She wants them to work. They do. But they can’t stop thinking about their sick friend. George is especially hurting. He can’t believe he was the last to find out about Izzie’s illness. He asks Bailey for plenty of work that doesn’t involve Izzie.
Alex also keeps busy by making his “contribution” to Izzie’s frozen eggs. This course of action to increases the odds should they want to have kids someday. Alex confesses, “This isn’t how Izzie and I were supposed to make a baby.” We know, Alex. We know.
Owen has another scary episode on the hospital rooftop when a trauma case arrives via helicopter. The chopper blades (like the ceiling fan blades) elicit horrific memories from the war. Derek witnesses Owen’s meltdown and confronts him about his post-traumatic stress disorder. Owen refuses Derek’s help, but does try to break up with Cristina. This time she refuses him. She also ignores Meredith when she confronts her about Owen.
Arizona finds Callie in the chapel. Callie’s filled with guilt. For a year she “wished Izzie Stevens dead.” Now she’s praying for her to live. Callie wants a still-resentful George to pray for her, too. She says, “One time you loved her enough to ruin our marriage. I know that you care if she lives or dies.” We know he does, too.
Derek has some pre-surgery jitters. It looks like he’s going to bail but Meredith settles him down. They really do make a great team even as she turns down another half-hearted marriage proposal. As Izzie is put to sleep for her surgery, Derek says, “It’s a beautiful day to save lives.” Good to have you back, Dr. Shepherd.
Izzie comes through the surgery fine. Derek’s not celebrating though. He’s been turned down twice by Meredith. The Chief’s there with a pep talk. Meredith never doubted that Derek would save their friend’s life. She believes in him.
Meredith is ready to head home. Richard is waiting for her. He tells her she needs to take the next elevator. When the doors open, she sees why. A cleaned-up Derek stands in full McDreamy mode. He’s surrounded by X-rays, brain scans and other mementos of their life at Seattle Grace. Der shows Mer all the people she helped him save and delivers just about the best marriage proposal ever. Here it is, word for word:
"You got me into the OR. You put the rest of us to work because you've seen worse. You know we'll survive. You say you're dark and twisty, but that's not a weakness, it's a strength. It makes you who you are. I love you Meredith Grey, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you."
Anyone who knows Dr. Meredith Grey knows that her, “And I want to spend the rest of my life with you” response was a long time in the making. We think you’ll agree that some things are worth the wait.
Owen and Cristina make love for the first time, but soon after Cristina realizes that she can’t stay with Owen. She breaks up with him right then and there. Owen, realizing he really does need help, goes to Derek. Meredith shares her good news with Cristina while Cristina shares her bad news with Meredith. "I broke up with Owen," Cristina says. Meredith crawls into bed beside her, just as Alex does with a groggy Izzie. It could be a long recovery for her. But as we already said, some things are worth the wait.
Ring of Fire