Now that Cristina has rekindled her relationship with ex-husband Owen (Kevin McKidd), she'll be faced with two very different possibilities for her future. Does she return to life with the man she loves even if it means someday sacrificing her beliefs? Or does Owen give up what he's always wanted when it comes to family? "They call it the Sliding Doors episode," Oh tells TVGuide.com from the set of the ABC medical drama, referencing the 1998 Gwyneth Paltrow movie about a woman whose life goes in two drastically different directions depending on if she misses her train or not.
"It explores different avenues of Cristina and Owen's relationship if it went forward into the future," McKidd says. "A patient makes Cristina's character drift off into possible scenarios of where they're going to end up because they keep coming back to each other. It jumps over periods of time, so it's nonlinear."
The special episode gives both sides of the fandom — those who want to see Cristina and Owen together and those who don't — a chance to see their wish come true, but that doesn't mean it will work out in either camp's favor. "It leaves a third option, which is hopefully the end of the show," Oh says. "When one way doesn't work and another way doesn't work, a third new thing has to be born. At least that's how I take it."
"Hopefully it will give people a sense of closure with not getting to see where that end point of Cristina and Owen would be," McKidd adds.
The Cristina-and-Owen-centric episode gave Oh and McKidd at least one more chance to explore these characters on a deeper level together before her farewell. "Earlier on in the season, Kevin and I were both wondering, 'What are they going to do? We're running out of time, so what is it going to be?!'" Oh says. "Then, Episode 17 came along, and I thought, 'Brilliant.' It was really emotional, actually. I feel so grateful as an actor. You spend 10 years with this one character and actually really being able to grow a character who's had considerable and large changes in their life, and it's coming to an end. Then you get to go into another universe and keep on growing— the universe that we just can't explore at this time. It's amazing."
"It was really fun to have a really heavy Cristina-Owen episode, though that's made me feel sadder because it's reminded me how great their chemistry is," McKidd says, a sentiment that likely echoes the thoughts of every Grey's Anatomy fan.
Will you be sad to see Oh go? Are you excited to see the Sliding Doors episode? Hit the comments!
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.