Grey's Anatomy postmortem: Kevin McKidd on Owen's beef with Riggs
Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Thursday’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Read at your own risk!
Grey Sloan got another new doctor that one of our own hates!
After bringing in the woman who killed Derek Shepherd, the powers that be at Grey’s Anatomy have added Nathan Riggs (Martin Henderson) to the hospital payroll — and Owen (Kevin McKidd) is not happy about it. Why? Owen won’t even tell his ladyfriend Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) the reason. But we do know that these two both hailed from the Army and they share a past that torments Owen. To get insight, EW turned to McKidd:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Owen is pretty angry that Riggs has come to work at Grey Sloan. What’s his mindset right now?
KEVIN MCKIDD: It’s brought up a lot of stuff for Owen. It really triggers him. He’s not ready to talk about it, but something obviously dreadful and awful has happened between he and Riggs. We will find that out. I can’t tell you what that is, because that would spoil it. But it really triggers a lot of that dark[ness]. I love getting to play that. Owen’s at his best sometimes when he’s in his darkest and twistiest state. This definitely gets him there. It’s a big shot of the past that comes back to really ignite Owen.
He’s not being very rational at all, with good reason. Once it all comes out — and it’s going to take a while for the whole truth to come out — it’s understandable why Owen’s being this way. But it’s very mysterious. It’s cool to get to play this stuff because it’s a new piece of Owen’s past that we haven’t seen before. It’s obviously very personal, and it’s going to illuminate a lot about the character. I’m really excited about all that. It’s a cool way to help introduce the Nathan character.
Is there anything you can tease to the level of what we’re dealing with here?
All I’ll say is it’s life and death. It’s a life and death thing.
Is this something that Owen could’ve played a role in, and that’s what’s hurting him so much?
Maybe, but not definitely.
When will we actually get more information?
The audience will definitely get more information next week. We’re going to get more, but not all of it, and not the key elements to it. We’re going to get very enticing hints next week, and hints that people will be able to draw their own conclusions. The actual spelling out of what happens is going to be saved until we come back.
Will Owen’s contempt for Riggs culminate in a physical altercation between them?
The tension between them definitely gets to the point that there could be that, it could spill over into that. It’s hot enough that it could.
Why can’t Owen even turn to Amelia about this?
This is the way Owen deals with stuff when things are bad. He turns in on himself and shuts down. I don’t think it’s because he doesn’t trust her. It’s just purely that he’s hurting so much right now that he’s closed ranks on himself. It’s a very male thing to do, to completely clam up. It will come out when he’s ready for it to come out. Obviously it does some damage to him and Amelia, because she wants to help and he slams the door in her face essentially. He’s not being rational, he’s not really in his right mind. When he calms down, he and Amelia will reconnect.
What does their relationship look like moving forward?
It’s still this push and pull. Me and Caterina keep saying, “Wow, we’ve been dating for like three years now, and all we do is hold hands.” [Laughs] They’re the slowest going couple ever. There’s definitely going to be some movement with them, which I’m excited about. I know Caterina is. I like the fact that there really is this slow drawing of them together. They both have had a lot of damage in their pasts. I like the fact that it honors that for both the characters. I love working with her. She’s amazing. The chemistry works really well. We’re going to see a lot more of those two in the back half of the season.
April (Sarah Drew) really brought Riggs here, so is Owen going to confront her at all over this?
I think that’s a separate issue. I don’t think he feels any betrayal on Kepner’s part for doing that, because she innocently met him when she was over there. It’s just a coincidence that happens to backfire. I don’t think he’s built that way that he would be resentful toward her.
How does Owen feel about Maggie (Kelly McCreary) and Riggs working together?
They have some pretty fiery moments, because Riggs is coming into her territory as another cardiothoracic attending. That is threatening for her. That’s definitely igniting for them both. It’ll be interesting to see where that relationship leads, because they’re both at the top of their game. The truth is, it’s a vast hospital, and they need more than one cardiothoracic surgeon. There’s more than enough room for two, but I get, in those initial moments, why Maggie is quite threatened.
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Meredith. Alex. Bailey. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes' hospital melodrama.