‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Did Teddy’s Romance with Owen Ruin Her Character?

One of Grey’s Anatomy’s most talked-about couples is the pairing of Teddy Altman and Owen Hunt. Their love story has been a rocky one throughout the years, and it didn’t get any less so in season 17. While the two culminated this season with something of a happy ending (at least for now), it did lead some fans of the show to wonder: has Teddy’s romance with Owen ruined her character? 

Teddy sitting in bed with Owen inserting an IV in her arm on Grey's Anatomy
Kim Raver as Teddy Kevin McKidd as Owen | Ron Batzdorff/Getty Images

What ‘Grey’s’ fans think about Teddy’s romance with Owen

Grey’s fans discussed Teddy on Reddit. One fan thought that Teddy’s relationship with Owen totally derailed her as a character, stating: 

“I fully believe Teddy would’ve been a much better character if she weren’t in love with Owen.”

Teddy and Owen met when they were both surgeons in the U.S. Army. Before they end up in a relationship together, Owen “buys” Teddy as a “present” for Cristina, referring to her as a “cardio goddess.” Despite this, Teddy is actually surprised that Cristina is Owen’s girlfriend as this catches her off guard. Teddy tells Owen that she’s in love with him, but he tells her at the time he’s in love with Cristina. The two eventually end up together. 

According to The Sun, Teddy and Owen later break up in a rather embarrassing fashion. Hours before she is to marry Owen, Teddy hooks up with her ex, Tom. While she is in the act, she accidentally calls Owen and leaves a voicemail exposing the whole affair.

Owen breaks it off after hearing the voicemail blared over the OR for all the other surgeons to hear. By the end of season 17, however, the couple has patched things up and are now engaged … yet again. 

Did Teddy’s romance with Owen ruin her character? 

One of the issues with Teddy and Owen’s characters is that they’re so closely intertwined. Teddy hasn’t had much of a chance to develop on her own. Owen brought her into the hospital, and she’s defined herself in many ways by her relationship with him. She was in love with him when they met and tried for many years to get into a relationship with him. 

Teddy then made a mistake in the form of her tryst with Tom. Even though this was detrimental to Owen, it still tied her to his character. It’s tough to say what Teddy would do if she wasn’t in a relationship with Owen, but the character may have been given more room for development in a way that wasn’t totally focused on their relationship. 

Teddy’s future on the show

As of right now heading into season 18, the characters are engaged. But will they stay happy for long? They’ve had a tumultuous run on the show, so it seems like fans can expect something bad to happen at some point to disrupt their blissful reunion. 

In an interview with ShondaLand, Kim McRaver, the actor who plays Teddy, commented on the cheating angle and what it meant for the character. According to her, it exposed Teddy’s flaws as well as her path to redemption: 

“Look, I know the fans are really upset, and I’m really upset at Teddy, but I think that this is quintessential Shonda and Krista. Like I was saying: We’re human, we’re flawed. And I love getting to show how we navigate through our imperfections. And, in a way, we show redemption too.”

It appears as if the show has redeemed her with the couple’s current reconciliation. But after defining herself by her relationship with Owen for years, is it time for Teddy to get a new narrative arc? While fans are captivated by her relationship, it may be time for her to either move on or focus on something new so that the character doesn’t get stale. 

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