Be careful what you wish for!
Cristina (Sandra Oh) learned that the hard way during Grey's Anatomy's 200th episode, when, after she pushed Owen (Kevin McKidd) to move on, he did — with fellow doctor Emma (Shameless' Marguerite Moreau). With Oh's exit the series at the end of the season, does this really spell the beginning of the end for Cristina and Owen? TVGuide.com caught up with McKidd to get the scoop:
Can Cristina and Owen really stay away from each other?
Kevin McKidd: It's going to be interesting this season to see how they navigate that. Cristina's being supportive of him meeting someone else. In theory, it sounds great. ... What will happen when it's ... in practice will be interesting to see if Cristina still feels the same way. Even though she's been the one cheerleading that chorus ... it's going to be a very interesting moment when she realizes maybe he's taken her advice at last.
This is an epic romance. Even if things did work out with Emma, is there a part of Owen that is always going to be tied to Cristina?
McKidd: I imagine. It doesn't seem to me that it would be easy for Owen to be with anyone else — really be with them — while Cristina is still at the hospital. It's been a huge part of his life, and she is the love of his life. That's going to be an interesting complication to play with because I don't think he will ever be fully in with somebody else until Cristina decides she's going to remove herself from this place. Then, there's going to be some major fallout from Owen when that happens, because they're co-dependent. They need each other.
How will their working relationship change?
McKidd: I'm sure at some point there will be some fireworks. ... [But] their working relationship should hopefully continue. They'll always disagree. When they were together, they would disagree on medical stuff. It's an interesting time because the dynamic of their relationship is really drifting. It's not the same. Cristina is really headed toward something big medically. I think that her being away from her relationship with Owen will free her up to be more innovative. I would like to think Owen would support her in that.
This is the first time the breakup really seems permanent. What do you hope to see for Owen now that he's free, so to speak?
McKidd: I'd like to see him embrace even more his relationships with other doctors. He's always been Cristina's person, and it gives him a chance to develop other relationships. He has relationships with Callie (Sara Ramirez) and Derek (Patrick Dempsey), but [I'd like] for him and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) to maybe heal. There's always been an abrasive quality between him and Meredith. Hopefully that can thaw a little bit and become a warmer relationship, because she always had Cristina's back.
He's had a really rough year last year as the Chief. He's going to develop a strong relationship with Callie. What happens with Callie and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) mirrors what happened a couple of seasons ago with Cristina and Owen. Callie really needs someone right now. I think it will take a while for him to open up to the idea that there has to be a life beyond Cristina. He has to do that because she's leaving. I've talked to the writers a little bit about seeing the fun side of Owen trying to date. We all know how awkward and painful the dating world can be, and there could be some fun in that.
Before Sandra's exit, do you hope for some closure between Cristina and Owen?
McKidd: I'm hoping for it really. There are loads of ideas kicking around. I said to Sandra that she should leave and go off and do her thing and I end up in some disastrous relationship. [Then] she comes back when the show eventually ends in however many years time and saves Owen from this hellish marriage he's found himself in. As far as closure between them, I think maybe not. Maybe it's going to be left with a dot-dot-dot. Maybe it's more fun in a way to leave them without a full stop at the end of the sentence. That feels more organic to me than having real closure, because I would imagine they're not going to kill Cristina and she is still a living character in the world that can show up at any time. ... In a way, I think it's good not to have closure for them. For Cristina, things have never been tied up with a nice bow. So that's how it should end. Maybe with some sense of peace, but certainly not with an, "OK, we're good. I'll send you a postcard."
How do you think Owen has grown from when he first came to Seattle?
McKidd: Owen was alright when he showed up. He was put together, and then he went away for three episodes and came back and all that terrible sh-- had happened to him and he was messed up. So we got to see Owen in the primary episode as the guy he probably is closer to now. His arc these last five years have been getting slowly back to the guy he was when we first met him. But he's older and he's wiser and he's still impetuous. But he has to run a hospital, so he can't be foolhardy anymore. I'd like to see more of that side of him, more of that fiery side. ... I think it's a nice message to see that these guys can come back from these war zones with terrible afflictions, but they can push through them and not only survive them, but have success on top of that and excel in their field.
Do you have hope for Cristina and Owen?
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.