SPOILER ALERT: This story contains details about tonight’s two-hour 14th season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy on ABC, “Break Down the House” and “Get off on the Pain.”
Leave it to a mother, a sister, and a girlfriend to try and break up a marriage.
After Dr. Owen Hunt is cornered by all three over their concerns that Dr. Amelia Shephard (Caterina Scorsone) is in need of therapy, tonight’s back-to-back episodes, “Break Down the House” and “Get off on the Pain” left us in a stone-cold standstill: Amelia learns that she has a massive tumor.
And after Owen made a pass at BFF Teddy following the fam’s meddling in his marriage, he might want to think twice about leaving Amelia high and dry. Moments before tonight’s 14th series premiere about the Seattle hospital that refuses to burn down, Deadline caught up with the good doctor himself, Kevin McKidd, to sort through Dr. Owen’s emotional baggage.
In Episode 3, “Go Big or Go Home,” airing next Thursday, we’re bound to see Owen “stepping up the way someone must do when the person they love is in a medical dilemma,” teases McKidd.
“Amelia had this tumor go undiagnosed and it’s been affecting her choices and her personality. She probably had it when she asked Owen to marry her. When you roll the videotape back however many years, she asks, ‘Who have I been?’ and Owen asks the same emotions. It’s interesting to see where they end up. The tumor changes the game,” explains McKidd.
If you remember back to season 11, Amelia has had a previous entanglement with a brain tumor, but on the other side of the knife: When she pulled off a surgical feat and removed Dr. Nicole Herman’s (Geena Davis) tumor, leaving her blind. There was a moment when Amelia remarked to Arizona that Dr. Herman’s brain tumor scan was “spectacular.” Amelia’s is bigger, and cold shock is more akin to her reaction tonight than “spectacular.”
Days have elapsed between tonight’s episodes and the season 13 finale when Owen and Amelia picked up Megan (Abigail Spencer) in a gurney at the military base. And the fact that Amelia hasn’t stuck her head in to see how Owen’s missing sister is doing (despite the fact that she is a busy surgeon at Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital) simply offends the Hunt family. Loaded with their voices in his head, Owen confronts Amelia about what they have left that’s sacred: “When she basically says that she’s checked out of the relationship, Owen is completely lost, confused, and hurt, and doesn’t know what the marriage is anymore,” says McKidd Hence, his kiss with Teddy. But Owen should be the bigger and better guy with Amelia, come episode 3.
And though Owen has Amelia’s pain to contend with moving forward, there’s a greater emotional cavity that’s being filled by the return of his sister, Megan, who – speaking of cavities – gets a new abdomen thanks to Dr. Meredith’s groundbreaking surgery.
But seriously, the fact that Megan is alive for Owen fills a great void. Even though he wasn’t responsible for her disappearance, as an older brother, he felt he could have done something in the Army. “He’s played the role of feeling guilty about things, and what you realize is that it all stems back to the disappearance of his sister, and that guilt gets eased in upcoming episodes. Her return and irreverence helps him heal,” says McKidd, who directed tonight’s second hour, his 17th helming credit on Grey’s Anatomy. Debbie Allen helmed the first episode, “Break Down the House.” In total, the first two hours of tonight’s premiere took 18 days to shoot.
But, man, that Megan, she’s a firecracker. Even though, health-wise, she’s got bigger things to worry about, she promptly starts making waves from her hospital bed, getting into Owen’s head about Amelia and hooking Nathan, her former lover, away from Meredith.
So what’s next for Megan on the show? She’s a surgeon. Will she don scrubs and yell, “Hey, give me that scalpel!?” Not so, according to McKidd. While there’s a competitive streak between Owen and his younger sister, her focus isn’t about rolling up her sleeves at Grey-Sloan, but “reconnecting with her son and going back to Iraq. It will pencil out to be a satisfying conclusion,” says McKidd about Megan’s arc.
But, really, no pressure, Owen. If something happens to her, can you take care of her adopted child? While McKidd is mum about whether we’ll see Megan’s son in a future episode, should Owen be faced with the responsibility, he’ll take it on, no questions asked.
“Owen will do anything for his sister, he’ll throw himself off a bridge, he loves her so much,” explains McKidd.
And obviously we know that Megan can’t overstay her welcome on Grey’s Anatomy because actress Spencer has the second season of NBC/Sony’s Timeless she has to start filming.
And what of Teddy and Owen? After she keeps him in check after the kiss, McKidd says that the duo will maintain their boundaries as friends and controlling their emotions. For their relationship “is an interesting one, complicated as very close friends with an unrequited component. It’s fun to play that relationship, there’s always the pull and push between them,” says McKidd.
Currently, Grey’s Anatomy is in production on episode 7 this season.