What Is Grey's Anatomy Doing With Teddy?

Teddy in Grey's Anatomy's finale

Spoiler ahead for the season finale of Grey's Anatomy.

There are long running shows, and then there's Grey's Anatomy. ABC's massively successful medical drama just wrapped its whopping 16th season on the air, and is showing no signs of slowing down. While Season 16 ended earlier than originally planned, the finale had a ton of huge twists for Amelia, Richard, and Teddy. But its the latter doctor I'm most concerned about, because I have no clue what Grey's is doing with Teddy Altman right now.

Kim Raver's Teddy Altman debuted on Grey's Anatomy back in Season 6, although there were a few seasons where she was absent before returning in Season 14. She's been with us for a long time, so the fandom feels like we really know her, especially compared to newcomers like Link. But showrunner Krista Vernoff has thrown a bunch of seismic changes as Teddy, and she's basically unrecognizable at this point.

Season 16 started with Teddy as a new mother, panicking over her ability to keep her baby alive. This was relatable enough, and it was fun to see the extremely capable cardio surgeon in such an overwhelmed place. Her ongoing flirtation with Tom Koracick also continued, as well as her never-ending saga with Owen Hunt.

Clearly Tom and Teddy have a strong connection, and there's an ease that was never there with Owen. I did find the romantic triangle interesting, and I was actually on Koracick's team throughout most of the season. But in last three episodes, Teddy's characterization went off the deep end.

Things started getting crazy in the conference episode, which featured Richard Webber's public breakdown. Teddy ran into an old friend, and we were given a completely different backstory for the long-running Grey's Anatomy character. It turns out that Teddy was actually in a same-sex relationship affair ago, and was the "other woman" in a marriage between two women.

This was a bombshell revelation, as there's never been any indication of her queerness. What's more, it turns out that losing her lover during 9/11 is what ultimately inspired Teddy to join the Army. You'd think someone would have heard this backstory during her tie on Grey's Anatomy, including her various partners. But it turns out we didn't know Teddy as well as we'd thought.

Then there was the Season 16 finale, which was not a good episode for Kim Raver's character. Because she ends up once again cheating on Owen with Tom... on their WEDDING DAY. And to make things worse, she somehow accidentally calls Owen during the encounter and leave a voicemail full of sex noises. It's a truly grisly series of events, that is sure to ripple through Grey Sloan Memorial next season.

While Teddy's cheating plot line is obviously very dramatic and helps to spice up the story on Grey's Anatomy, it truly came out of left field. Characters have had affairs on the show before, but never in such a brazenly disrespectful manner. She slept Tom and then went home and put on a wedding dress. It just felt crazy and inorganic to me. And combine that with the surprising reveal about her sexuality, and Teddy is basically a stranger all over again. Where's Cristina when you need her?

Grey's Anatomy's 16th season was cut shortly, so fans will have to wait until the fall for any answers regarding Teddy Altman, and her cancelled wedding to Owen. In the meantime, check out our midseason premiere list to plan your next binge watch.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.