WARNING: This story contains major spoilers from the season 14 premiere of Grey’s Anatomy. Read at your own risk!
Grey’s Anatomy returned for season 14 with a lighter two-hour season premiere that, at times, was actually quite hilarious. That is, until the very last beat of the episode when the show threw a serious curveball for a long-running character.
Though Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) was there to support Owen (Kevin McKidd) upon finding out Megan (Abigail Spencer) was alive in the finale, she was quick to return to work instead of being by his side in the season 14 premiere. In fact, she avoided him to the point where Megan said Owen was in a sham of a marriage.
When Owen tried to confront her, suggesting she may need therapy or some sort of medication, Amelia lashed out, sending Owen running into the arms of Teddy (Kim Raver) — quite literally. Owen and Teddy ended up kissing, a moment that was several seasons in the making. The closing minutes of the episode saw Amelia joining Carina DeLuca’s (Stefania Spampinato) study of brainwaves during a female orgasm, which is how they discover Amelia has a giant brain tumor. Twist!
Alas, Amelia will be keeping tight-lipped on this development. “He doesn’t know that the tumor exists,” McKidd tells EW. “It doesn’t take too long for him to find out, and he steps up as a husband should. Even if Amelia said certain things to him, and even if he’s obviously very conflicted and very much looking at the possibility that this marriage might not work, and they’re on different pages, he definitely steps up in the role as he should do.”
Amelia’s brain tumor calls into question a lot of the decisions she’s made over the years, possibly going back to her Private Practice days where she struggled with addiction and had a penchant for making impulsive decisions. “She hasn’t known for many, many years, and this tumor has been growing for a long, long, long time and has been affecting all her choices and all of her actions and nobody knew it, least of all her,” McKidd says. “So it’s a tough one for Owen because he’s left with dealing with this person who, going forward, if they manage to remove the tumor, could potentially have a very different personality to the one that he married. She has a lot of questions about, ‘Who actually will I be when this thing is taken away from me?’ So it’s going to impact everything.”
With that in mind, could the tumor actually be the thing that brings Owen and Amelia back together? “It could be, or it could be the thing that finally makes them realize that maybe they weren’t [meant to be],” McKidd says. “When you realize you’ve been with somebody that isn’t the same person you thought they were, at least in this situation there’s a real justification for that, so I think it’s going to make them wrestle with facts and really look at what their life has been for the last three to four years. It’s going to be a tricky path for them.”
Beside the brain tumor, the other thing that could stand in their way is Teddy. It remains to be seen whether Owen truly has feelings for his old friend or whether the kiss was born out of sadness for the state of his marriage. “I think it’s all things wrapped up,” McKidd says. “There’s always been unfinished business between Owen and Teddy. He’s very confused and lost. Amelia basically gives him permission in a very strange way. It’s almost as if she’s already left the marriage. That moment just happens out of that frenzy of despair with the way his marriage is going.”
Still, McKidd insists Teddy’s reluctance to move forward with Owen while he’s still married is a wake-up call for Owen. “He takes a wrong step and Teddy calls him on it, because she’s also not only somebody who has feelings for him too, but is also his best friend and doesn’t want him to go down that path,” McKidd says. “You could read it that Owen kisses her, but I directed the episode, so my intention was that they both kiss each other. She sets things straight right then and throws a bucket of cold water and slaps him across the face, in effect, with her words. He’s already woken up to that and realizes he needs to look at his life already, without him even finding out about the tumor.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Read our postmortem with Jessica Capshaw about Arizona’s new love interest here, and read our postmortem with Camilla Luddington about the Jo and Alex reunion here.