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[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the “Crazy Love” episode of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy.]
The path toward happiness for Owen (Kevin McKidd) and Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) hit a major roadblock during Thursday’s Grey’s Anatomy, when the latter officially freaked out about getting too close.
“Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) definitely bursts her bubble a little bit and reminds her of her history and track record with tragic outcomes in the love department,” Scorsone tells The Hollywood Reporter. “That sends Amelia into a bit of an emotional tailspin.”
Despite the undeniable chemistry between them and the similar baggage they both carry, Amelia winds up calling things off despite Owen’s bid that they work things out. The decision comes after Meredith explains to Amelia that she promised Cristina that she’d look out after Owen — and following a particularly grueling day in the OR when Amelia blames herself for getting romantically entangled with Owen.
See more ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s’ Famous Departures
“Meredith’s feelings of doubt about Amelia and Owen’s relationship pulls the rug out from under Amelia in terms of her feelings about the relationship. She starts to rethink and reconsider what she’s doing. She gets scared that she’s going to end up down the same tragic path she’s gone down before — that she’s not invited to the happiness party that most people in love are invited to,” Scorsone says with a laugh. “Amelia’s fears are stoked, and she ends up reacting in a very fear-based way — acting out in a way that affects her relationship with Owen.”
As for where they go from here, Owen is committed to making this work while Amelia definitely has her concerns, refusing to discuss the issue at the hospital, and warning Meredith to back off since she has never had to go through losing a loved one.
“She calls it off, but I don’t know to what extent she really thinks he’s going to believe her,” Scorsone admits. “He initially does push for her to reconsider her view, and then he has a reaction, which is reasonable. He was going all in, and then she blocked the turnaround. He doesn’t know what happened with Amelia and Meredith and doesn’t know the extent of her fears and history. When she pulls a 180 on him … he doesn’t want to get burned again by somebody who doesn’t return the feelings and circles the emotional wagons. He does fight for it, but he has his own fears and self-protective mechanisms.”
The Private Practice alum notes that Owen’s behavior would make total sense given the character’s own checkered romantic history with Cristina (Sandra Oh).
“This is what happens when you have two really hurt people who come together — they’re going to have a long road trying to fight for the relationship, not against each other but against their own demons and fears,” she says.
McKidd, meanwhile, sees Owen as an “honorable” guy who isn’t afraid of commitment and fighting for what — and in this case, who — he wants, with Amelia’s retreat serving as a warning sign.
“It’s going to make Owen look at what this relationship may or may not be,” he says. “He goes to bat for the relationship because Amelia is obviously scared off a bit by what Meredith has to say. Some of the exchanges Owen and Amelia have can mutually hurt each other because it’s very exposing when you’re in that first flush of the relationship when you feel quite vulnerable; you’re not sure what the other person is feeling.”
The actor warns that such an about-face so early in the relationship could be challenging to recover from as it will create a distance for the now former couple.
“But there’s still an attraction, draw and pull toward each other,” he says. “It’s almost like their hearts are telling them they should be together, but their minds and their rational beings are saying for all these reasons they shouldn’t be together: ‘You’re damaged. I’m damaged. We’re both messed up. So we should leave it at that.’ There’s going to be a real tension between them about this question of whether they are going to move forward or not.”
For her part, Scorsone says that Amelia will also have to contend with an extra layer of complexity that comes when Meredith, her sister-in-law, supports Owen instead of her own family.
“Amelia feels marginalized, abandoned and judged,” Scorsone says. “Meredith hasn’t made too much of an effort to understand what Amelia has been through and where she’s coming from. She would have expected a bit of celebration from her sister-in-law about a potential new relationship. Amelia is so protective all the time and she’s expecting Meredith to be happy. When she reacts the way she does, Amelia is quite hurt and feels misunderstood. They do have a conversation about it where Amelia addresses how misunderstood she feels. Amelia has this hard shell and came out for a moment to be vulnerable and felt shot down, and we see her retreat angrily back into that shell again.”
Are you rooting for Owen and Amelia? Sound off in the comments section, below. Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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