Warning: This article includes spoilers for Grey's Anatomy season 16, episode 3.
Relationships are rarely good for long on Grey's Anatomy. Sooner or later something comes along to break them up, which is exactly what Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) is experiencing now that his friend Gemma (Jasmine Guy) is on Grey's Anatomy. Viewers first met her last season when she was a Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital patient, but her role has been expanded for season 16.
In her first appearance on the show, Gemma came into the hospital after tripping and impaling herself on her high heel. It soon was revealed that the incident occurred when Gemma had been drinking. She fell off the wagon after the death of her AA sponsor Ollie (Mary Kay Place), who was also Richard's sponsor. After Richard patched Gemma's wound up, the two bonded over how much they missed Ollie, and how their sobriety had been a struggle since her passing. But that wasn't to be the last time Richard or viewers would encounter Gemma.
In the Oct. 10 episode, it was revealed that Gemma works in the billing department at Pac North Hospital, which is where Richard works now too. The two of them bumped into each other in the hall and later agreed to grab dinner together. Ordinarily, this would be no big deal. But Richard has been on the rocks with his wife Catherine (Debbie Allen) of late, and he may be lonely enough to cheat on her with Gemma.
Richard and Catherine's falling out began when Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) fired him for knowing about Meredith Grey's (Ellen Pompeo) insurance fraud and not reporting it. Catherine was there for the firing and stood by and let it happen without defending her husband. Richard was then forced to take a job making doctor house calls via an app. It was a complete time suck, and furthered the divide in their relationship. "My husband is working for an app," Catherine lamented to Bailey. "He's making house calls like it's 1965. He leaves the house before I wake, he goes to sleep at night before I get home, and if our paths happen to cross in the daytime, he avoids eye contact. That's what standing by you cost me. My marriage."
During Thursday's Oct. 10 episode, Richard was moved by a patient reconnecting with her family and so he decided to call Catherine — perhaps in an attempt to mend fences. But Catherine didn't answer, and, moments later, Gemma showed up to ask him to dinner. Richard accepted, and this won't be the last meal they share, either. The synopsis for the Oct. 24 episode says, "Richard and Gemma grab breakfast together and things go awry." Yikes.
Deadline reported that Gemma "will have a key recurring role opposite" Richard this season, which means that this potential threat to his marriage isn't going anywhere any time soon. Maybe Gemma is just being friendly, or maybe she wants more, but this is dangerous territory for Richard. He cheated before on his previous wife Adele (Loretta Devine) when he had a relationship with Meredith's mom. He may be about to repeat history with Gemma, and that can't possibly end well for him and Catherine.