Grey’s Anatomy is doing the time warp again this Thursday with an episode that flashes back to Owen and Teddy’s stint as Army medics in Iraq. The intense hour promises to shed light on the duo’s pre-Seattle Grace relationship as well as the origin of Owen’s post-traumatic stress disorder. The guy at the center of all the drama, Kevin McKidd, took a few minutes out of his day to preview his big ep and reveal why Owen and Cristina’s main obstacle will “never go away.”
How much do we learn about Teddy and Owen in this episode?
Kevin McKidd: The episode’s more about Owen being triggered by something that’s happening at Seattle Grace, and it brings all these [emotions] back to the point that he feels like he’s almost back there. That’s what brings us to the flashbacks. But it definitely shows the audience what kind of friendship [Owen and Teddy] had and the tough [conditions] they worked in. It also explains one of the reasons why Owen has PTSD. It shows an incident, a very traumatic incident, that happened out in the desert that Owen is still healing from. That’s sort of the journey in the episode.
What is the trigger?
McKidd: It’s a medical thing. It’s a very interesting medical thing.
What is the fallout, if any, from these flashbacks for Cristina and Owen?
McKidd: I think what’s really interesting is that it sheds more light on Owen and Cristina’s day-to-day life as a couple and what sort of pressures they have to deal with. The churning up of this flashback definitely explains to the audience why they’re so intense as a couple. It shows the pressure that Owen’s living under and also the pressure Cristina has to deal with having a partner who has this pressure cooker inside his mind… You start to see some habits forming that maybe aren’t quite so healthy. And also, one of the main symptoms of PTSD is emotional detachment… not wanting to feel emotions so you numb your emotions and therefore become distant to the people that you’re closest to and in love with.
Rumor has it Teddy’s going to hook up with Mark. What impact will that have on the Cristina-Owen-Teddy triangle?
McKidd: I don’t know. It is very nebulous at the moment in the writer’s room. I think it’s a very complicated situation. They created this very complicated construct of a triangle that is more complicated than most triangles. All I’ll say is that there have been a lot of heated debates and differences of opinion about where this is headed and what this is going to be. Whatever it’s going to be, it’s going to be very revelatory before long. To me, it feels like the complication hasn’t disappeared.
But is it safe to say Owen and Cristina’s main obstacle will center on his PTSD?
McKidd: I think that definitely will come into play. And I’m really excited about that because I think that’s a very adult problem. I think many people and many wives and loved ones of veterans are dealing with, ”Where am I in this? I know this person has a problem, but what am I getting out of this? Where is my life now? And even when there is love, when there’s a problem like this, is that enough?” That’s a really interesting story, and that’s definitely the same for Cristina and Owen. It’s a thing that’s not going away. Like Dr. Wyatt said in the season premiere, it can get better, it’s a thing that can be handled and managed, but it’s something that never really goes away.