Post Mortems

Grey's EP Krista Vernoff on Abruptly Hitting Pause on Teddy-Centric Love Triangle: 'I Feel Badly for Kim Raver'

Grey's Anatomy

Though it left us with a helluva cliffhanger, Grey’s Anatomy’s Owen/Teddy/Tom triangle was not supposed to come to the abrupt halt that it did in last week’s makeshift finale. The revelation of Teddy’s dalliance with Tom — and Owen’s subsequent no-show at his and his fiancée’s wedding — were setting the stage for a dramatic and twisty (and now scrapped) final four episodes.

“That [triangle] was very prevalent in the back half of this season, and certainly prevalent in what was going to be the next four scripts,” showrunner Krista Vernoff says of the ill-fated, un-produced final string of Season 16 episodes, which were scrapped due to the COVID-19 crisis. “I feel a little badly for [Teddy’s portrayer] Kim Raver that we had to end the story where we did, because I feel like she is going to absorb a lot of fan hate all summer.”

Such a potentially harsh reception would be partly attributed to the fact that, as Vernoff muses, infidelity stories on TV seldom focus on the female point of view. “I think it’s really, really rare that women get to cheat and still be redeemable human beings — we do not see that depicted often on television,” she maintains. “But Teddy is such a rich, long-standing character that it’s hard to just totally hate her.”

Vernoff admits that she doesn’t know which man Teddy will ultimately choose. “All three of them feel like whole, rich and conflicted human beings,” she shares. “My empathy and sympathy changes from week to week and scene to scene. I think it’s a really beautiful story, and I don’t know where it ends.”

In fact, the coronavirus shutdown may lead Vernoff to reevaluate her original plans for the love-struck trio. Reveals the EP: “I have a feeling that taking three or four months off between [the new ‘finale’] and the [Season 17 premiere] will probably lead us to change some of what we had planned.”