Thursday night saw the Season 17 two-hour premiere of Grey’s Anatomy, and while there is that other story shock that has most fans talking (we won’t spoil it just in case), there is also a large segment of fans who have invested in the love story of Owen and Teddy, ever since her arrival in Season 6 episode nine aptly titled, “New History,” who had their hearts shattered.
Grey’s Anatomy Continues Teddy’s Unraveling
Since her debut oh so many seasons ago, Dr. Teddy Altman (Kim Raver) was portrayed as being heroic, a war veteran (like Owen) with integrity and honor — so much so that she swallowed her own feelings for her best friend so that he could be happy with the various women who always seemed to come first in his life. Last season saw Owen (Kevin McKidd) finally choose Teddy — and their fans rejoiced!
But since a happy couple is a boring couple, it wasn’t long before Grey’s Anatomy writers set about putting stumbling blocks before the couple. If you’re a Teddy fan, like this writer, it hasn’t been easy since last season’s 19th episode titled “Love of My Life,” upended everything we knew about the good doctor with the backward look at her life.
It revealed it was a woman named Allison Browne (Sherri Saum) who was the true love of Teddy’s life — not Owen as we were led to believe — something that had fans rooting for their union for years. It would have been bad enough that she kept this relationship a secret from Owen, especially after lying that she lost a sister named Allison. But she named their child after her lover lost on 9/11.
That makes it unseemly. That is a betrayal that will be extremely hard to get past. As hard as it may be for Owen to forgive her for turning to Tom (Greg Germann) and lying about it, never mind the utter humiliation of hearing them have sex in a butt dial voicemail she didn’t realize she had left, that seems mundane compared to her betrayal he’s yet to learn about.
Teddy is complicated and messy. Few shows do messy like this one. It helped to have Jo (Camilla Luddington) tell her off, causing Teddy to have the first of what we hope are many realizations that she’s prone to self-sabotage when she starts to feel happy because deep down, she doesn’t feel like she deserves it. After all, her affair with Allison was behind the back of Allison’s current girlfriend — Teddy’s best friend!
That also doesn’t put Teddy in a good light. Sure, her friend said she knew and forgave them long ago but that says more about her integrity — not Teddy’s. The writers have done everything to this character to make her unlikeable other than have her kick a puppy. Obviously, they are counting on actress Raver’s root-ability factor to salvage what they’ve done to her.
They may not be wrong, but it’s a big gamble. Viewers believed in Teddy for 10 seasons, only to be told with one episode she was basically a fraud. Soap fans don’t like that. Only time will tell if they can build this character back up to the point anyone will care if she reunites with Owen. Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC. Check your local listings for airtimes.