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[Warning: This story contains spoilers from Thursday’s “One Step Too Far” episode.]
Grey’s Anatomy‘s Cristina and Owen continue to face one obstacle after another this season as the married couple continues to deal with fallout from her abortion.
On Thursday’s “One Step Too Far” episode, Cristina (Sandra Oh) confronted Nurse Emily (Summer Glau) and, after demanding that she stop sleeping with her husband, learned that despite some poorly timed functional touching and a flirty demeanor, the colleagues weren’t having an affair after all.
However, things took a turn for the worse after a jealous and insecure Cristina questions whether Owen (Kevin McKidd) still loves her and learned the harsh truth — that while he didn’t cheat on her with Emily, he did still cheat on her.
“There’s a great debate there for what the dynamic is, with what Cristina has done to this marriage and her choice and what Owen’s choice is and his behavior,” co-star Patrick Dempsey (Derek) told The Hollywood Reporterduring a recent set visit. “There’s a really interesting conversation to be had because of those choices: How do you move on? How does that change the dynamic of the relationship? If you can really dive into that — there’s two betrayals, very big ones. I don’t know how they sustain that relationship.”
While Derek and Meredith have been equally tested on the ABC medical drama — she tried to kill herself and tampered with his Alzheimer’s clinical trial, he dated a nurse while they were split up and lied about his marriage to Addison (Kate Walsh) — Dempsey questions whether or not Cristina and Owen have what it takes to push through the aftermath of an affair.
“I don’t know how you come back from that kind of betrayal,” he says. “Certainly if you’re married, the notion of the next step would be to have children and if that’s been taken away, I would find it very hard for Owen to stay in that relationship.”
While McKidd warns there are tough times ahead, he remains optimistic for the beleaguered couple. “I think they’re meant for each other,” he says. “I hold out faith in Cristina and Owen, even though they go to the darkest places out of all the couples on the show.”
“It’s going to get worse but it’s going to get better soon,” McKidd warns.
The actor, who will participate with fellow cast members in Sunday’s UCLA live Grey’s Anatomy musical fundraiser, notes that the “odd couple” just seems to work despite each of them being deeply flawed.
“Within the first week of meeting her he almost strangled her to death; that’s not a good starting point for any relationship,” he says, recalling the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder he struggled with when the duo first connected.
With tension continuing to reach epic proportions in Owen’s marriage and with Teddy still shutting him out after his role in Henry’s death, McKidd notes he wouldn’t be surprised to see Owen’s PTSD return.
“His life is in so much turmoil right now that I wouldn’t be surprised if something like that came back,” he says. “He’s got a handle on it right now … but I wouldn’t be surprised if some symptoms flare up at some point because of what’s going on in his personal and professional life.”
And while it appears that the dark will continue to get darker in the immediate future, McKidd remains ever optimistic about Owen being able to bounce back and rebuild from a year that has seen his marriage and career pushed to the brink. “I think he’s going to definitely get on his way to that and that rebuilding will happen as we go into the next season as well.”
What do you think about Owen’s betrayal? Do you think the couple has what it takes to make it? Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.
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