Grey's Anatomy's Kim Raver Opens Up About Her Character's Past Relationship with a Woman
"For Teddy, love is love," Kim Raver tells PEOPLE of her Grey's Anatomy character
Another Grey’s Anatomy episode, another reason to shed a few tears.
During Thursday’s episode of the ABC medical drama, titled “Love of My Life,” fans witnessed Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) take on a new relationship, saw Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) experience a terrifying turn of events, and got an inside look at Teddy Altman’s (Kim Raver) shocking past — including her relationship with the love of her life, a woman named Allison.
Teddy — along with Maggie and Dr. Hayes (Richard Flood) — ventured to Los Angeles to attend the L.A. Surgical Innovation Conference and ran into some old friends along the way.
After Teddy, who is engaged to Owen Hunt but having an affair with ex-boyfriend Tom Koracick, bumped into her old roommate Claire, the two caught up and began reminiscing about that one special person in both of their lives — Allison.
Between flashbacks, fans quickly learned that Teddy and Allison (who was Claire’s girlfriend at the time) were madly in love with each other and carrying on an affair, right under Claire’s nose.
“There’s so much about Teddy’s past that we don’t know,” Raver, 51, exclusively tells PEOPLE. “[The writers] set it up so well with those flashbacks in Iraq and with Megan and I wanted to know more about her. They came up with the storyline with Allison, which blew my mind. It was like that moment, oh my God, yes of course this makes so much sense.”
“Love is very real,” she adds. “It’s very complicated. It’s very messy. It’s very scary. What Teddy’s doing right now with the whole affair, I get that that’s really upsetting to fans. I think what’s interesting about it is it’s helping us understand the complexity of love and self love and so I feel like it’s really beautiful to see.”
While Teddy is still trying to figure out her personal life, Raver says she’s proud of who her character is and what she stands for.
“I don’t know [if Teddy is bisexual],” says Raver. “For Teddy, love is love. I just know that she loves who that person is and was. I just thought that was such an amazing move.”
“I think there’s going to have to be a lot of recovery in a way,” Raver explains. “I don’t think it gets wrapped up right away. I think there are a few explosions. What is it going to be like? What is the recovery going to be? Who is she going to end up with? What does that mean in the interim?”
During the episode, an apologetic Teddy admitted to Claire that she was wrong in hiding that part of her life.
“I met the father of my daughter in Afghanistan after Allison died (on 9/11) and he saved me from a grief so huge that I probably would’ve let it kill me,” Teddy told Claire. “For years, I loved him so much I felt guilty for loving him half as much as I loved Allison, guilty because he was with someone else, and guilty because maybe I wasn’t capable of letting someone love me fully. And Allison did love me, yes. But she loved you too, Claire. Allison was in love with the both of us. At the time, I didn’t believe it. I thought no one could love more than one person at once. I thought love couldn’t be divided like that. But now I do, I believe it. And I’m sorry for the lies, the betrayal. I was a bad friend and I was selfish and I never, ever meant to hurt you.”
Meanwhile, Richard was gearing up to present his PATH Pen, a surgical pen that can detect cancerous tissues, but found himself distracted.
During his presentation, Richard — who had spent the night and morning with his wife, Catherine, going over his speech — seemed disoriented with his thoughts. It was revealed that Catherine wasn’t actually there and that Richard had been hallucinating the entire time.
A few minutes into his speech, those who know him realized that something wasn’t right. A panicked Maggie ran onstage and escorted Richard, who seemed agitated, offstage.
He was then taken away on a gurney with Maggie by his side.
While it’s unknown what will happen with Richard, Raver says it’s “beautiful” the way his friends and family will support him.
Earlier this month, PEOPLE confirmed that Grey’s Anatomy had paused production over COVID-19 concerns.
“Out of an abundance of caution, production is postponed on Grey’s Anatomy effective immediately,” a letter sent from the showrunners to the cast and crew read. “We are going home now for at least two weeks and waiting to see how the coronavirus situation evolves.”
“This decision was made to ensure the health and safety of the whole cast and crew and the safety of our loved ones outside of work, and it was made in accordance with Mayor Garcetti’s suggestion that we not gather in groups of more than 50.”
“Stay safe, stay healthy, stay hydrated, stay home as much as possible, and wash your hands frequently. Please take care of yourselves and each other. As updates come in, we will keep you informed,” the letter read. “Thank you for all that you do!”
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Though it’s unclear for now how the season will end, Raver says the Grey’s family is working around the clock to ensure an eventful season finale.
“I think the Grey’s Anatomy family, they are work, everyone is working their hardest to kind of rally,” she shares. “Everyone in their department is working really hard to figure out what is best for our health and keeping everyone safe. How can we work from home? We shut down pretty quickly because I know that Shonda [Rhimes] and Krista [Vernoff] just felt that that’s really important to flatten the curve. I don’t think there’s been any decisions yet on what is going to be the finale. I know that everyone in Shondaland and Krista are working really hard to give the fans the best for the season finale.”
She adds, “All of us are kind of checking in with one another to see how everyone’s doing at home. Also, we’re sort of really a big family and checking in to make sure that the crew is okay.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays (9 p.m. ET) on ABC.