'Grey's Anatomy' Star on "Gut-Wrenching" Callie-Arizona Battle, Owen and Amelia's "Good Place"

Star Kevin McKidd, who directed Thursday's courtroom episode, talks with THR about the remaining three episodes of season 12.
Richard Cartwright/ABC
McKidd in action directing 'Grey's Anatomy'

The moment Grey's Anatomy fans had hoped would never occur has come arrived as Callie (Sara Ramirez) and ex-wife Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) have taken their custody battle for daughter Sofia to court. 

The episode, to hear director/co-star Kevin McKidd (Owen) tell it, promises to be an intense hour that is very different from the standard hospital drama that has made the Shondaland drama a hit for ABC. 

Here, McKidd talks with THR about what to expect from the episode, how Arizona and Callie's battle will divide the hospital and what's ahead for newly reunited couple Owen and Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) with only three episodes remaining in season 12.

You directed a lot of courtroom stuff in this episode as the custody fight between Arizona and Callie hits its peak. How was that different than what you've done before?

It was really intense. It's a wonderfully written stand-alone episode that feels like a separate movie as opposed to a traditional episode. It's a very intense episode, like a mini Kramer vs. Kramer. Most of the action takes place in the courtroom and we go back to the hospital sporadically. It's an intense episode where everyone's allegiance gets torn. Callie and Arizona are fighting over custody of Sofia and the lawyers call all of our regulars to testify and everyone has to pick a side. It puts everybody in a difficult, intense and emotional position. It's a very emotional, very adult-themed and heartbreaking episode.

Owen is testifying for Callie. How will that impact his relationship with Arizona? This is something that could divide the hospital.

It impacts everybody. Jessica and I haven't haven't had a scene together in maybe two seasons; our characters rarely cross paths. It's a very close-knit cast so it's gut-wrenching for everyone to have to pick a side but that's the way the laws work. In courtroom situations, there are really no winners — only degrees of loss. It's a bittersweet episode. The big question is who gets custody of Sofia and you find that out in a surprising way at the end of the episode. It's intense for all of us. Meredith and Richard have to testify and Penny does really well for Callie but then her cross-examination takes a bad turn. That's going to impact Callie and Penny's relationship in a very significant way.

How will the outcome of the custody fight change Callie and Arizona's relationship? Is there hope for them or is this the last nail in the couple's coffin?

The sad truth is that in these situations, you're dragged into becoming enemies and that's the case in this episode. I don't know if there's hope for them after. I don't know [if there's hope.] In the finale, there's an interesting growth spurt for them. They become enemies in a sense in this episode and they have to in order to protect themselves — and their lawyers are guiding them and they create animosity between opposing sides. But in the finale, there's a spark of something where they go from mortal enemies and the love that was between them resparks in quite an intriguing and surprising way. 

Amelia and Owen just agreed to really commit to their relationship. Where do they go from here? How will this time be different than their previous attempts?

They're pretty angst ridden and have been for quite some time. Owen, with the whole thing with his sister this season — he's ready to lay down the angst. This whole reminder of his sister has burned him out and he realizes that Nathan (Martin Henderson) isn't going anywhere. He realizes that opening up to Amelia is the only way forward and he has done that and that's what opens the door for her to come to him again. They're in a good place, finally. The angst will come back, I'm sure.

There's a lot of speculation that Owen's sister, Megan, is still alive. Is she?

It's an exciting conundrum. We're breaking story for the characters as if they're moving into the future as we go forward whereas in this story, we're breaking it as if it happened in the past — which is rare. So we're having to create a mythology. It's a big question mark. Maybe Owen will finally make his peace with it and maybe Nathan will, too, and that's going to bring them back together. But I don't think the answer to the question of what happened to Megan is going to be answered soon.

Stay tuned to THR's The Live Feed for more Grey's Anatomy coverage leading up to the season finale.

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