Ellis is struggling to breathe as Cristina runs in and tells the nurse to page Burke. She can't, since he's already in surgery, but Ellis grabs her arm and instructs her to massage the artery. Cristina immediately lays her bed flat and massages Ellis' neck, urging her to hold on, and eventually her heartbeat stabilizes. She sits the bed back up and Ellis tells her curtly that she's good under pressure and will make a great surgeon. They stare for a moment, Cristina with her brow furrowed, and then in a rush spits questions at Ellis. "Will it get in my way? Can I have both? Can I be a great surgeon and have a life? Because there's this man. Who just asked me to marry him." Ellis rolls her eyes, and I just laugh because here's the woman she thought was better than her daughter having her own personal crisis. Cristina says it's none of her business, but she knows it didn't work with Mere's dad, and Ellis cuts her off to agree it's not her business. But something in it seems to work through the stone exterior, and she admits, "I didn't try hard enough." Cristina just nods and thanks her, relieved. Ellis seems very unfamiliar with admitting fault.
The Chief is sitting in the gallery with an oxygen mask watching the surgery. Meredith finds him and sits down, and he muses about the world moving on without you and being scared about being forgotten. He adds, "Your mother stopped for five years. And you became something." She grumbles that her mom only sees her as a disappointment, but Richard assures her, "In a perfect world she could say she was proud," and admits that the world and her mom are both not perfect. I find the whole backstory about him and Ellis so fascinating because I absolutely can't see the two of them together, and I wonder if or how she was different before the end of their affair that would have drawn him to her. Meredith tells him she knows Ellis would want to see him, but he tells her sadly, "The only thing your mother wants to hear from me is that I regret staying with Adele. It's the only gift I can give her. And I can't do it. That's not true." He seems so sad to admit it.