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‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Star Kevin McKidd Breaks Down the Season 14 Premiere

Spoiler alert: Do not read until you’ve watched the two-hour 14th season premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy,” titled “Break Down the House” and “Get Off on the Pain.”

“Grey’s Anatomy” returned for its 14th season with two back-to-back episodes that dropped a couple big bombshells on Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Not literal bombshells – though nobody would put that past the show! – but big story swings in the form of Megan Hunt (Abigail Spencer) returning from being presumed dead and Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) finding out she has a brain tumor.

With all these emotions swirling because of his sister’s return, Owen (Kevin McKidd) got a bit caught up in his feelings and tried to kiss his old flame, Teddy (Kim Raver), who rebuffed him because he’s married. Suffice to say, Owen has a lot going on right now.

McKidd talks with Variety about how Owen’s sister’s return will affect his struggle with guilt, what to expect from his marriage this season and just when Owen’s biggest concern will revert to professional woes.

Owen has had such a struggle with his own demons and PTSD, how does Megan’s return affect him in that way?

We’ll see in the next few episodes it brings up a lot of stuff, a lot of his own struggle with guilt. He’s struggled with guilt a lot over the years. It all comes back to the loss of his sister and his feelings of responsibility for that, and her arriving back is such a seismic shift for him, that he can finally release that guilt. We’re going to see him go through this cleansing process, in a sense, of his own soul, and his feelings of responsibility. It really shifts a lot for Owen – in many good ways – but also it makes him really look at his life from a bird’s-eye view. His sister, who knows him better than anyone, will help him shine a lot on where his life is headed and where his happiness should be, as only a sibling can, so it’s a really interesting time for the development of the character.

Megan tells Owen it’s OK that he stopped looking for her, but is it really OK, or do they have some repairing to do with their relationship?

There’s a really cool episode coming up where we really get into what happened around the time of her disappearance. There’s a lot of work that needs to be done in that relationship and with them individually. It’s a very redemptive time for both characters.

How will Megan’s return affect Owen’s relationship with Riggs?

It’s been really lovely, because [actor Martin Henderson] and I get on so well, we’re good friends. He’s such a nice guy and a really talented guy, so it’s been really fun to get to play, instead of this combative relationship, Martin and I get to play this real brotherly friendship, which is more true to who he and I are as people, so that’s been nice to work on that side of things with Owen and Riggs – to see that brotherly love come back.

Owen and Amelia were not in a great place before, and then he goes and kisses Teddy. Is Owen really in a good place to be with anyone right now?

Owen and Teddy’s relationship has always been a complicated one because they have this blurry line between this chemistry they have – this potential attraction – but also this deep love as friends. It’s a very blurred line for the two of them sometimes. And he has this woman that he’s married to and who he loves, and all these signals that he’s getting from her are, “I’m over this.” And Owen is coming to her with a genuine concern for Amelia, that there’s something up with her. But all he gets back from her is “I’m just over this.” And he’s really torn up inside and really in turmoil and really struggling and he reaches out for somebody. So we see Owen slip in this moment of deep despair, and Teddy calls him on it and kind of slaps him across the face with her words and says, “No, we’re not going to do this.” And quite rightly, she’s being a good friend in that moment. He’s really struggling and he probably isn’t in a fit state to be in anything right now. I think that moment is just him reaching out for some kind of comfort with such despair in his married life.

How does Amelia’s brain tumor complicate things further?

Owen doesn’t know about the tumor and he doesn’t find out for a bit. It’s interesting, because even before Owen finds out about the brain tumor, which will happen in the next few episodes, Teddy’s words after that kiss wake him up to the fact that he needs to look at his life. And it’s what his sister is saying to him throughout the episode, it’s what his mother is saying to him throughout the episode, but none of these people know that Amelia has a brain tumor, so he’s already in that space of “I really need to get some answers about what this marriage is or isn’t,” so when the tumor is revealed, of course he steps up to be by her side and absolutely goes, “Well, if you have a tumor, then that explains it and we have to fix this,” but on “Grey’s” it’s never as easy as that. It’s a very interesting time for the two of them.

Owen obviously has a lot on is plate this season with the women in his life, but what else will he have to juggle?

In the first couple episodes, he’s very much caring for Megan and then once all that stuff is worked through we’re going to see him get back to work and do the things he loves to do. These stories play out for quite a while, but we’re going to see him get back to work pretty soon. But yeah, Owen’s got enough on his plate right now, dealing with all this. It’s an interesting one because his marriage and Teddy and all these women back in his life are really making him assess everything, so that’s really the big arc for Owen in the first few episodes. But we’ll see him get back to the blood-and-guts trauma pretty soon.

“Grey’s Anatomy” is on ABC Thursdays at 8 p.m.

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