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Grey's Anatomy: Can Cristina and Owen Make It Work?

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I've always been loyal to Grey's Anatomy. As we round out season eight, I've watched every week -- I pleaded for Meredith and Derek to end up together, cried when they killed off poor Denny and broke Izzie's heart and got mad when they killed off George. With the show renewed for a ninth season and widely publicized contract speculation for the show's original cast members, I find myself wondering where it's all going. How can they renew for a ninth season without a commitment from Ellen Pompeo? She is Grey.

There is Lexie of course, but she came long after and has been given, in my opinion, the back seat this season. How long are we going to watch her pine for Mark so openly to everyone, but say nothing to him? How long are we supposed to buy that Mark is in this great, happy relationship with a woman we've seen a total of two or three times? How long are we supposed to watch Alex Karev push people away before he finally softens himself to a woman besides Izzie, who is long gone and apparently never returning? If they bring him and Morgan together romantically, I think I will be disappointed. This storyline with Morgan and her baby has been an interesting and heart wrenching one as she struggles to make the right decisions for her very premature child. However, her constant anger, nagging and hostility towards Alex has actually made me like her a lot less and makes me hope we see less of her in the future. Maybe I'm in the minority with this and I'm OK with that.

However, the storyline that constantly nags at me and pulls at my heart strings this season is the constant upheaval of Cristina and Owen's relationship. They've been through so much in a seemingly short marriage: PTSD on two separate occasions, Henry's death on Cristina's operating table, Cristina's abortion and Owen's struggle with whether he can live with it or not -- and most recently her suspicion of him and his admitted infidelity.

I have to admit, I've been a big fan of Owen Hunt's character since he pulled the icicle out of Cristina in his first days at Seattle Grace. The fact that they made him a cheater really upset me. Owen has always been a sort of moral compass for the show, a cool head in a busy trauma room, greatly affected by both his time in the war and a sense of duty to his colleagues -- but things have started to shift. When he forced Cristina to operate on Henry unknowingly, I thought it was an interesting twist in his character, pushing the boundaries as the now chief of the hospital and putting his sense of duty above the resulting emotional needs of his wife -- but cheating? How can the couple come back from this?

Sandra Oh has impressed me since day one with her ability to embody Cristina. In eight seasons, this has never wavered. She is ruthless and brutal, unforgiving and stubborn but she can turn on a dime, tear up, show extreme vulnerability and emotion -- she is flawless. She is Cristina Yang.

Cristina has always known exactly who she is as a doctor, but now finds herself in unfamiliar territory -- can she comes to grips with being a wife who's been cheated on? If she hadn't suspected Owen, would he have told her? Can they work through it? Online fans seem to be split as to whether the couple should split or stay and honestly I'm not sure either. Always a fan of both characters, I like them together and want them to work it out, but this week's promo shows Owen out with some other woman and if it's what it appears in the promos, I will officially join the "break up" section and will no longer be a fan of Owen Hunt.

I'm intrigued by early descriptions of this season's finale though -- an opportunity to see the doctors we saw from the beginning branch out and explore options outside of Seattle Grace, however I hope they return. But how long can this show go on? When do we finally say goodbye to Grey's Anatomy?