[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from the season finale of Grey's Anatomy. Read at your own risk!]
Another year of Grey's Anatomy has come and gone and once again, Cristina (Sandra Oh) and Owen (Kevin McKidd) have parted ways. As the ninth season of the ABC medical drama drew to a close, the couple again faced the issue of having children. Cristina continues to hold her ground of not wanting to be a mother, while Owen's burgeoning relationship with a patient's son made him long for what could seemingly never be. Going about it in a more adult fashion, Cristina walked away from Owen, knowing that she'd never want to stand in the way of his happiness. But are the duo really done? TVGuide.com turned to McKidd to get his take and get scoop on Season 10:
How surprised were you when you found out that Cristina and Owen would be parting ways once again?
Kevin McKidd: Well, it's a different parting this time. There's no big drama to it, in a strange way. Cristina is one step ahead of Owen in that she suddenly realizes the guy she loves has this real need that even he's trying to push down and deny that he wants to have a family. She realizes that he's trying to live in denial of that thing about himself so he can be with her and she does a very adult and honorable thing by letting him off the hook. The surprising thing about it is how adult it is.
Do you think this is really the end of Cristina and Owen?
McKidd: I don't know, but I doubt it. I doubt it because whether they ever are together again, there's so much connection and history between them that they're always going to have some kind of relationship. It's almost like people who are parents, if they break up, they'll always be connected by that thing. Owen and Cristina have been through so much that those things will never go away. I know Owen is going to feel a lot of yearning and be heartbroken for quite some time. The sad fact is that Owen and Cristina are in a good place. I don't think it's the end for them, it's just another turn in their very complicated relationship. In a strange way, this is Cristina showing how much she cares for this guy
Cristina and Owen have had trouble working together before after breaking up. How do you think it will be different this time around?
McKidd: The way they split this time, Cristina seems to rationalize it. She finds her peace with it and that's different. Usually, in the times before, there's definitely been a sense of yearning from both of them for each other. It seemed like, in the finale, that Cristina is kind of OK with it. Owen isn't yet. That's going to be the big shift.
What was your conversation like with Sandra when you learned about this, given it could mean a cut-back on scenes between the two of you?
McKidd: I don't think it necessarily means that. I've heard very small rumblings about next season. Certainly, my understanding is that Cristina and Owen's connection is not, by any means, going to go away, it's just going to evolve into the next phase of their relationship. I don't feel like Sandra Oh or I relish the idea of doing less scenes together. My gut tells me that isn't going to happen because there's something about Cristina and Owen and the way these two dance around each other that's fun to play and hopefully good to watch. I just see it as an interesting twist in their journey.
Do you think Owen might finally try to move on and find someone else?
McKidd: I'm interested to see where they go now. What Cristina is doing here is that kind of thing where if you love somebody, you have to set them free. She doesn't want Owen to deny part of himself anymore to be with her, so whether that means another relationship or seeking out the idea of a family for Owen, that's more of what Cristina is releasing Owen into, as opposed to releasing him into looking for another woman. As we all know in this strange world, there are many ways to have a family. That was the emotional intention for Cristina doing what she does in the finale. But that last scene between them is very interesting because Owen is in the same place as her, but as couples always are, they're never fully on the same page. Cristina, in this case, is one beat ahead of Owen. He's in denial about his feelings about fatherhood because he loves her so much. He thinks he's able to put all this stuff away to be with this woman.
Owen has already considered fostering or adopting. Would he ever consider doing that on his own?
McKidd: Maybe. There's a lot of ideas floating around right now. Some of them could give a real potential for comedy. The key thing is that Owen's not quite there yet. Owen is left calling after her, but he doesn't, for the first time, run after her, so he stays put and the last image that we have is Owen on his own in this room with Cristina walking out, which I think is very telling emotionally about where they're at in the start of the new season. He knows deep down what she's saying to him is true. He's reluctantly going to have to accept it. It'll be interesting to see where Owen takes this because he's going to be heartbroken and pining for her, but also knowing that what she did was such a big gift that he has to act on it and see what the possibilities are for being a parent.
Richard's (James Pickens, Jr.) fate is left up in the air at the end of the finale. How would Owen deal with the possibility of Richard dying?
McKidd: If the worst case happened, he'd be heartbroken. I really don't know what he'd do. In honor of Richard, he would try and make the hospital the No. 1 hospital in the country again. Hopefully that's not going to happen, but we don't know. If there's a chance to save Richard, you're going to have every doctor at Grey Sloan Memorial clamoring over each other to get in that OR to save him.
Owen is going to have his hands full next season with so much personal drama going on at the hospital. What will the pressure be like for Owen next season as the Chief?
McKidd: It's going to be intense. He's definitely found his feet as the Chief. He took a lot of flak with the Pegasus stuff and the bankruptcy, which took a lot out of him. But I think he stepped up to it. He had a moment of weakness where he believed Pegasus is the thing that fixes them, but when he realized he was in bed with the wrong people, he stepped up. He's been through a lot and proven that he can be a good Chief in the hospital, so I hope he continues that. Obviously there are going to be challenges and it's going to be hard to corral all these doctors with all this personal drama. Maybe the fact that Owen isn't in a relationship at the start of the season might make him more of a mentor for a little bit, as opposed to having his own angst to deal with.
Do you hope Cristina and Owen get back together?
Grey's Anatomy returns this fall on ABC.