For past few weeks, it has been difficult not to Nbe frustrated with Grey’s Anatomy. Obviously, the abrupt loss of Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) has been difficult. But, more than anything, the ABC drama has felt like it wans punishing all of its characters. Few Grey Sloan Memorial doctors have had it worse than fan-favorite Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone), a woman whose life has been haunted by tragedy for the last decade. At the beginning of Grey’s season 16, Amelia was finally granted a little bit of joy with new boyfriend Atticus “Linc” Lincoln (Chris Carmack) in the form of a pregnancy they were both excited about.
Then, Grey’s ruined all of that hope by questioning whether the father of Amelia’s unborn baby was actually her ex-husband Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd). It was painful to watch Amelia suffer through yet another life-ruining surprise.
At last, Thursday night’s “Life of Mars?” resolved Amelia’s big paternity mystery. Yet, a brand new Grey’s Anatomy crisis immediately took over in its wake. At least this one can't directly blow up Amelia’s delicate world.
It is official: Linc is the father of Amelia’s baby. The confirmation comes at the end of the “Mars,” when Linc has already told Amelia the biological specifics of her pregnancy no longer matter to him. “I don’t want to live without you,” Linc tells Amelia while standing on her doorstep in the pouring rain. Linc then monologues about how he only pushed Amelia away over the paternity twist because he was in “pain.” Now, Linc is over that pain and can recognize how much he loves Amelia — it’s a feeling so strong he was just trying to write her a love song in a storm.
“You make me want to be a parent. And I don’t give a crap whose baby it is,” Linc announces. “I fell in love you with you Amelia, and I fell in love with this baby. And that is what matters to me.”
When Amelia asks Linc if he really wants to raise the baby together — even if “he” isn’t his, suggesting the mom-to-be learned her child’s sex — Linc finally says he does. So Amelia kisses him and says, “I got the results. And he is yours.”
Amelia's baby isn’t Owen’s son. At last, the threat of Amelia and Owen being deeply connected for the rest of their lives is over. These two people who are disastrous for each other can permanently go their separate ways.
The beginning of “Mars” hints such a happy future is possible, when Amelia’s sister/sister-in-law Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) asks if Amelia has heard from Linc after their complicated “A Diagnosis” falling out. “If Linc can’t love me for me, no matter who the father is, we don’t have anything to talk about,” she responds. Now that Linc has confirmed he does love Amelia for Amelia, there are so many things to discuss.
The top of “Mars” also telegraphs the newest Grey’s romantic catastrophe ahead, which becomes so much worse by the end of the episode. In the cold open, we see Owen’s current, post-Amelia love interest Teddy Altman (Kim Raver) acting skittish while walking through the hospital with her fiancé. She pauses before getting into an elevator with both Owen and her ex-boyfriend Tom Koracick (Greg Germann). This is when you remember Teddy — in a panic over the confirmed possibility that Owen could be the father of Amelia’s baby — slept with Koracick in recent episode “Snowblind.” Owen doesn’t know.
In the first half of “Mars,” Teddy tells Owen that Amelia might be pregnant with his child. Teddy asks what that development could mean for their relationship and impending marriage. Owen stares in space with his mouth agape for a little too long, reigniting all of Teddy’s insecurities about Owen and Amelia. In “Snowblind,” just before Teddy sleeps with Koraciak, she tells her ex, “‘Maybe I’m afraid that [Owen will] always be in love with Amelia.” Owen’s indecisive response to the paternity news is Teddy’s worst nightmare.
So Teddy has sex with Koraciak again in the third act of “Mars,” turning a possible one-time mistake into a full-blown affair. But, by the end of the episode, an oblivious Owen tries to remedy his Amelia-related blunder with Teddy. Owen cooks his fiancée an elaborate dinner and promises he will choose her every day — no matter what happens with Amelia’s baby (he obviously hasn’t heard the paternity test results).
While the Owen-Amelia-Linc love triangle has seemingly been extinguished for good, it is clear the Owen-Teddy-Koracick mess will be a central piece of Grey’s Anatomy season 16's final lap. It’s possible one or more members of that love triangle will leave Grey Sloan by the 2020 season finale, or maybe Grey’s will be particularly cruel and keep everyone working within a six-yard radius of each other.
No matter what happens, Owen can no longer run back to Amelia anymore. For that, we should be thankful.