On Thursday's episode, Owen and Nathan (Martin Henderson) reach a turning point in their relationship as they work together to deal with the fallout from a building collapse, which results in a big confession from Owen and maybe, just maybe, the beginnings of, dare we say, a friendship.
"I definitely think this week we're going to start to see that spark of a real chance at friendship. Which I really didn't think was ever going to happen," McKidd tells TVGuide.com. "I thought they were going to be enemies forevermore. I think we'll still clash in the medical area, because we're both very headstrong and very sort of dominant, medically. But I think their friendship is beginning to reemerge, and it's exciting."
The timing couldn't be better. With things looking like they may be falling apart between him and Amelia (Caterina Scorsone), it's clear Owen needs a shoulder to lean on. Will he be able to count on Riggs?
TVGuide.com chatted with McKidd about their new dynamic, the introduction of Owen's sister Megan last week, and whether there's hope for Owen and Amelia going forward.
TVGuide.com: Going back to last week's episode, what can you say about the role Megan plays in Owen's life, and the effect that will have on his relationship with Riggs going forward?
Kevin McKidd: Owen has carried a lot of guilt and anger and obviously this fear about the loss of his sister for many years. We saw in the episode that aired last week ... that she is the one that comes to him in these long overnight [surgeries], that is kind of the genie on his shoulder if you will. Basically his conscience. I think you can see from the relationship that he has with Megan that she's a wonderful person. No wonder he's upset and angry and devastated about what's happened, and he's unconsciously and maybe irrationally trying to put blame [on Riggs]. But she kind of let [Riggs] off the hook in that episode. She said, "Look, maybe you should stop beating him up over this." And really, the episode was constructed that really that was his own conscience telling himself that, embodied by his sister.
Talk about the dynamic we'll see between Owen and Nathan this week.
McKidd: We saw that episode a few weeks ago where Owen had the baby and Nathan came to help him and they changed the diaper. So, we're starting to very slowly see this thawing of that ice that Owen has towards Nathan. The truth is, they were best, best friends, and Owen was going to be Nathan's best man at his wedding. So, there's a lot of love there buried underneath all this resentment. And, as we all know in life, resentment and anger are the worst things for relationships. If you can chip away that resentment and deconstruct it, there is always a chance for a reconciliation. And I think that's what we're starting to see.
How do you feel about the two of them reconciling?
McKidd: It's very exciting, because it's weird for Martin and I. Martin is such a wonderful guy, and we get along so well. We've gotten along so well together since Day 1. And yet we have to play these enemies on screen. So it's kind of fun for both of us, I think, to sort of start to play the dynamic naturally between Kevin and Martin in Nathan and Owen. That's more where he and I sit. And I think it's a great thing.
What do you think we can expect from them going forward?
McKidd: Owen's going to start to confide in Nathan about his fears and concerns about what's going on with Amelia. Nathan isn't quite there yet with opening up to Owen about his relationship or sort of burgeoning relationship [with Meredith]. It'll be interesting to see where Owen stands on that, because he's very territorial over Meredith. He was friends with Derek, and he knows what Meredith's been through these last years. She's been through hell. It's going to be interesting when that comes out. That might be a wrinkle in the healing of Owen and Nathan.
Megan also pointed out that Owen is jealous of Meredith, and it's so clear that he desperately wants children. Is it a dealbreaker for him if he and Amelia can't agree on that? Can they move past this?
McKidd: I know Owen wants to. Owen loves her. He loves her in a very different way to Cristina, but as intensely. But it's kind of a nightmare situation for Owen. And listen, I get it from Amelia's perspective. All of her fears and concerns are very justified. But we've seen Owen for many seasons search for and pine for and wish to be a father and raise a family. It's been really his one life's goal, to fall in love and get married and have kids. And stupidly, when he was with Cristina, he didn't really have that conversation with her until after they got married, which is kind of his doing. He maybe learned from that mistake, so he made sure he had that conversation with Amelia before they committed to each other. So, now, the rules of the game have changed for him. And he's rightly concerned.
Do you think this is an issue they'll be able to come to an agreement on?
McKidd: I don't know. I think he's definitely going to try and win her over, but I think he's maybe getting a little tired of going, "What is going on in the universe? Is this some universal joke? I keep becoming deeply involved with people that turn out to potentially not want to have the same life that I want." He's getting tired of it. So, it's quite an existential thing for Owen, this situation. It's very distressing to him. ... I hope, because I love working with Caterina, I hope they can make it, but ... if Amelia and Owen fundamentally want different things, that's always hard to come back from in any relationship.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.