When Chyler Leigh decided to leave “Grey’s Anatomy” after season 8, the premiere of the very next season also featured the death of Eric Dane’s Mark. This meant that the two longtime loves would be with each other in another world, but it also sadly meant that the show was going to be without either one of them for the rest of its run.
Now, Shonda Rhimes is in a very similar position as a writer and producer in figuring out what to do with Cristina and Owen. Sandra Oh announced yesterday that she is leaving the ABC franchise after the upcoming 10th-season finale, largely just because she feels like her character needs to move on with her life. However, does this mean that Kevin McKidd is going to leave with her? Not exactly.
As a matter of fact, McKidd tells The Hollywood Reporter that he has no intention of leaving, and there is a certain amount of excitement for him to be moving into a new area of Owen’s life, and one that does not include a woman that he once felt was going to be with him forever:
“Everybody is at a different point in their life. I’m still getting a lot out of playing Owen Hunt. I’ve done half as much time on the show as Sandra. I still feel there’s stuff to open up and explore about Owen and to explore — when the time comes — the obvious grief he will be going through, which will be interesting to see what that brings up in his character and what the next phase of his life is going to be. In that respect, I’m still very excited about playing the role. In a way, I’m sad for Owen that he’s got such a big bombshell coming for himself; the love of his life — and I truly believe Cristina and Owen are the loves of each other’s lives — they’re going to be broken apart. It’s going to be a really great, fertile acting opportunity for me to get to play that, too. It’s funny: Pain is sometimes close to pleasure, and there’s a lot of pain here. But there will be pleasure again to explore that.”
Now, many of the other questions come in what some of the other actors are going to be interested in doing with some of their roles. Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey have a major decision to make, as does Justin Chambers (who does have a great new story with Jo) and Chandra Wilson. James Pickens Jr.’s future is unclear, thanks to whether or not Webber survives the premiere. These are the original cast members who face a negotiation period in the coming months, if they are interested in continuing their work on the show.