Grey's Anatomy's Kevin McKidd teases Owen's heartbreaking journey ahead
Owen Hunt is about to be put through the wringer.
At the close of Grey’s Anatomy season 13, it was revealed that Owen’s (Kevin McKidd) long presumed-dead sister Megan (Abigail Spencer) had not died, but had been held captive by militants over the last decade.
Though the reveal brought his estranged wife Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) back into his orbit, it looks like there’s still more trouble ahead for the couple in season 14 with the return of Teddy (Kim Raver), who previously pined for Owen. EW turned to McKidd to get the scoop on what’s next.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How is Owen handling Megan’s return? Is he suffering a little bit of guilt?
KEVIN MCKIDD: Yeah, that’s a thing that Owen has felt for a long time is the guilt. He dropped the ball on that day when his sister disappeared, so yeah, he definitely feels a lot of personal guilt, even though other things were at play. He as a protective brother is wracked with guilt, and it’s really cool in the first two episodes to see the state of mind Megan is in, how that plays out in connection to Owen’s guilt, and it’s kind of surprising and very funny and very moving what happens, because it’s very unexpected, shall we say, her frame of mind when she gets back from Iraq.
What kind of dynamic does he have with his sister now?
The big fear for Owen is that Megan is going to come back dark, twisted, tortured and haunted, and the writers have done a great job in going, “No, that isn’t necessarily what happened to Megan.” Like many people who were held prisoner and against their will assimilate after a certain period and they make the best of their situation and their captors become their community. So it speaks to Megan as a character that even through those 10 dark years that she managed to keep a light on inside her.
Does that take a weight off of Owen’s shoulders then?
Yeah, that’s one of the big things that I think the arc for Owen this year will be a shedding — Owen has lived in a place of feeling the weight of guilt and responsibility really from the moment I think of Megan’s disappearance, and that’s repeated itself. Owen has been a man who carries guilt and feels guilt very keenly, and to a certain point, it’s a thing that has defined him as a character and it’s been his limitation and the thing that’s held him back from really a full life.
Do you think the shared experience of getting Megan back might actually bring Owen and Riggs closer?
I do. I do. I think they’re already getting closer. A lot of the hatchets have been buried between the two of them. It’s going to be a process, as everything is, but I definitely think it’s going to create a lot more peace and harmony between those two characters for sure. And the truth is, Nathan and Owen were kind of brothers for many, many years, so I think Megan’s return and the healing of that is really key for their relationship.
Amelia really stepped up at the end of last season for Owen, so what does their relationship look like when the show returns?
It’s interesting, because Amelia, even though she steps up in the finale, is kind of in a very different place when Megan gets back, and quite a surprising place, and it causes a lot of issues for Owen and Amelia. It also causes issues for Owen’s family. Owen’s family all gather ’round in the first few episodes for Megan’s return, so they really witness the way Amelia’s handling this and they have a lot to say about it. Owen is not only having his own concerns, but his family are also raising up their hands and saying, “You know, there’s some issues here.” So it’s interesting to see, even though as you say, Amelia really was there for him in that darkest, darkest hour when it suddenly looks like Owen’s turned that corner and is emotionally on a bad track, it’s interesting to see Amelia’s presence and I think it does cause big challenges and it makes Owen question a lot.
Is that made even more complicated by Teddy’s return? What does their dynamic look like now?
You know, him and Teddy are best friends from years and years ago, so that plays out in a very fun way and a very kind of familiar way. I think it’s going to be great for the fans to see her back. I think the fans are going to get a huge kick out of seeing Teddy back in the hospital, and she’s still the badass that she always was and there’s still that connection between Owen and Teddy. So yeah, that definitely is a cool thing that plays out, and the fact that she makes that effort and comes halfway across the world to be by Owen’s side kind of speaks volumes about the depth of the feeling between those two people.
Is that something that Amelia will worry about?
Again, you would think she would, but she’s in this very particular place where her reaction to Teddy being back is something that I don’t think Owen expected or anyone expected, least of all the audience. The writing this year, I mean it’s always great, but Krista Vernoff coming in this year is really shaking up the show in a very fun, very interesting, surprising way.
Grey’s Anatomy returns Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.