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Kevin McKidd Says “Grey's Anatomy ”Premiere Is a Return to 'Almost Old School “Grey's”': 'It Packs Punch' (Exclusive)

McKidd tells PEOPLE the premiere of 'Grey's Anatomy' has "a lot of great comedy in it, but there's a lot of real pathos and some high-stakes drama"

Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage Kevin McKidd attends the Red Carpet of the 2nd Annual HCA TV Awards - Broadcast & Cable at The Beverly Hilton on August 13, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California.
Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage Kevin McKidd attends the Red Carpet of the 2nd Annual HCA TV Awards - Broadcast & Cable at The Beverly Hilton on August 13, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California.

The wait is nearly over for new episodes of Grey's Anatomy!

As fans may recall, the ABC medical drama left off in May with Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) attempting to save his wife Teddy Altman (Kim Raver) after she collapsed in the OR as Lucas Adams (Niko Terho) and Simone Griffin (Alexis Floyd) performed surgery on Sam Sutton (Sam Page) without an attending present.

McKidd, 50, tells PEOPLE that fans can expect the resolution of the cliffhangers to play out in “a very interesting and pretty surprising way” when Grey’s Anatomy returns.

Liliane Lathan/ABC Kim Raver and Kevin McKidd on "Grey's Anatomy"
Liliane Lathan/ABC Kim Raver and Kevin McKidd on "Grey's Anatomy"

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“[When] I think about this premiere episode I'm really proud of because it feels like a return to a very sort of almost old school Grey's, it feels like one of those classic episodes of Grey's Anatomy,” he shares. “And so, I remember [showrunner] Meg [Marinis] actually told me that Shonda Rhimes watched the final cut of the premiere, and she said to Meg, she said, ‘That's the show, that's the Grey's Anatomy I want to watch.’’

“It feels like this return to that kind of OG, kind of classic Grey's Anatomy episode, and there's a lot of great comedy in it, but there's a lot of real pathos and some high-stakes drama,” he adds.

McKidd teases that the return of the hit series, which enters its landmark 20th season on Thursday, “packs punch and it satisfies, it's a good wrap-up of the cliffhangers from season 19.”

Kevin McKidd
Kevin McKidd

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McKidd — who directed the season premiere — also reveals his reaction to learning about Teddy’s life-or-death cliffhanger at the end of last season.

“It was a shocker because there's nothing wrong with Teddy up until this day, and suddenly she starts to get this toothache and it's like this weird symptom,” he recalls. “And I think it's great to add that jeopardy into the relationship.”

The Rome alum adds that “it's good to mix them up and give them some life and death stakes” after things between the pair had been “pretty rosy” for a couple of seasons.

ABC Kim River and Kevin McKidd on "Grey's Anatomy"
ABC Kim River and Kevin McKidd on "Grey's Anatomy"

Related: Ellen Pompeo to Appear in at Least 4 Episodes of Grey's Anatomy Season 20

When asked the advice he would give his character Owen, McKidd notes that he would encourage him to see the bigger picture as navigates tough situations including Teddy’s medical emergency.

“Owen's always been quite hotheaded, and he's starting to mellow, he's started to sort of mellow on that a little bit, he used to kind of stomp around and shout a lot and have anger,” he explains. “So I would say to Owen probably, maybe take the long view on things, have a little perspective, don't be quite so reactive and ready to shout at people. I would give Owen that advice.”

“So he's always been very passionate about what he does, but he would sometimes err the side of being a little reactive,” he adds. “So I would say calm down, take a breath, Owen. Just take a step back and think about it.”

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Season 20 of Grey's Anatomy premieres Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.

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