After her crushing loss, Cristina learned from Owen that several hospitals wanted her to come and present, including The Cleveland Clinic and The Klausman Institute in Zurich. Although her future plans were still up in the air, Cristina was confident that her next step involved getting through the upcoming board meeting, which was set up by Richard without Jackson’s knowledge. Richard called the meeting to discuss Dr. Russell’s resignation and Catherine’s confession. Although Russell declined to link his exit to Cristina’s Harper Avery Award snub, it was about the Harper Avery Award snub. It’s possible that the hospital could also lose doctors and money down the line, so the board members pleaded with Cristina to appeal the decision, but she insisted it was time for everyone to move on and get past it.
Once Cristina discharged her patients and their parents, she followed her own advice and decided to make the trip to Zurich. During the presentation on her conduits, she was surprised to hear – and eventually see – a familiar face appear in the audience: Dr. Preston Burke. Following her presentation, she’s surprised to learn that it was Burke’s idea to get her to present, considering he runs the state-of-the-art hospital and all. He offered to show her around, but she had to make a call first. Before he exits the room, he tells Cristina to say hello to Meredith for him. (Some things never change!) After Cristina leaves a frantic message on Meredith’s voicemail regarding her awkward encounter, Burke finds her outside and brings her a coffee. “It’s just coffee,” he said, just like old times. He says he has something special that he’s been working on and wants to show her. The two scrub in together and discuss Cristina’s Harper Avery snub. Although he won the award a while back, he rode that high for quite some time and eventually crashed – which is what landed him here. After some small talk, Burke unveils his latest work – a holographic heart.
Back at Grey Sloan Memorial, Jackson and April decided they wanted to have the baby. It should be a happy time for the pair, like Arizona and Callie, who aren’t even expecting yet but discussed baby names. April attempted the baby name conversation with Jackson at lunch, but Jackson stopped to yell at Richard for having a board meeting without him. Richard claimed the relationship between the Harper Avery Foundation and the hospital is “a doomed marriage,” so April believed he said that about their marriage, later using it as ammunition to scold Richard for his poor treatment of Jackson.
Speaking of poor behavior, Amelia’s fed up that Derek treats her like a “sorority girl” – or as Callie put it, “the village idiot,” but after they operated on conjoined twins, Derek proved his appreciation for his sister by including her in his clinical trial. He even supports her plan to potentially move to Seattle permanently.
Elsewhere, a tardy Jo gets overwhelmed picking up all of the remaining work, since most of her peers are assigned to the conjoined twin case. Without Alex there to bail her out, Jo dropped the ball - and even managed to get a catheter stuck in an elderly patient, forcing Owen to rush the woman to surgery. She handed Braden off to Stephanie, who figured out that Bailey must have administered the virus against the parents’ wishes.
Back in Zurich, Burke takes Cristina to see the hospital’s 49 printers, where she revealed her planned next steps to print a functional human heart. He advised her to do it in Zurich. She could even start tomorrow, if she wanted to. When they return to his office, Cristina thinks the whole set up is just a ploy for him to get her back. The truth is, Burke’s married now and has two kids. He’s happy. His wife and family are now his world. Although Burke doesn’t know Cristina anymore, she’d become everything he’d dream she’d be, so he wanted her to consider the offer.
Following a voicemail from Meredith, Cristina informed Burke she wouldn’t take the job offer. He blamed her choice on Meredith because she holds a grudge for how things went down between the pair in the past. Cristina assured him it wasn’t her. The truth is, she couldn’t work for him again. “I never wanted to work for you,” she said. “I wanted to be you.” The best thing for her was when he decided to walk away. Burke explained that the way he loved her was “consuming” and eventually he’d be the one chasing her, but his wife wanted to move to Milan so he shockingly asked Cristina to take over for him at the hospital. He’s leaving. It’s hers if she wanted it – and she wanted it. Once Cristina reunited with Meredith, she automatically knew Cristina was leaving.