Last week's kiss between Cristina (Sandra Oh) and newcomer Jackson (Jesse Williams) provided an interesting romantic subplot on Grey's Anatomy. What will the aftermath be?
Williams talked with TV Guide about the potential Mercy West-Seattle Grace couplings and the return of Izzie (Katherine Heigl) on next week's episode. See what you think ...
Q: Jackson and Cristina kissed! What the ... ?
Jesse Williams: From the beginning when Jackson joined, he's immediately thrown into this direct competition with Cristina. We're on the same cases, battling for surgeries.
We've had a couple of run-ins. In this episode, she really takes charge and goes with her gut and I'm in a position to really admire her. We have similar character traits and watching her take the reins gets Jackson fired up. He's looking at her differently now.
He's seen a whole new side of Cristina that's so attractive. What also helped was that he had been boozing all night, but the attraction is real, and I think she kind of liked it.
Q: Yeah, she doesn't pull away right away. She kisses him back for a brief moment.
Jesse Williams: That would be Jackson's argument. We don't address it directly right away in the coming episodes. What we're doing is letting it hang there for a little bit and let the audience feel that tension and the moments between her and I going forward.
It's worth noting that right now Jackson doesn't know anything about Cristina and Owen (Kevin McKidd), so it's not an affront to Owen, it's just a man attracted to a woman.
Q: Are you worried that fans of Cristina and Owen are going to hate your character?
Jesse Williams: You're not supposed to like [the Mercy West residents] right off the jump. I view it as Jackson having to take his lumps. He's stepped into the enemy's territory and he welcomes that. It's a pretty relatable crime of passion.
We've all been attracted to somebody for all types of reasons. Sometimes you go for it and sometimes you get slapped on the nose for it. I think they'll forgive me.Q: How does this kiss affect the relationship between Cristina and Owen?
Jesse Williams: Surprisingly enough, I think it doesn't help or hurt.
They're both so strong-headed and so career-oriented that, good or bad, the work comes first. You don't see the residual effects immediately, and then it wells up and it'll explode at some point. We haven't come to that point yet.
Q: Kim Raver is coming in as Teddy, who was in the war with Owen. It seems like this is going to turn into a love quadrangle. How does that play out?
Jesse Williams: A lot of tension is mounting right now. Everybody is working together and a red flag has not been put in the sand yet. Nobody is laying claim and there isn't a big kerfuffle yet. It's a ticking time bomb. Who's going to make the first move? Who knows? Who doesn't know? Is it obvious? Was it really something or was it truly platonic? I've done a fair amount of scenes with Kim, but I don't know what's going to happen yet. Jackson is definitely paying attention with two ears to see what happens.
Q: Will people start to find out about the kiss? Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) is returning to the hospital and Cristina does tend to tell her everything.
Jesse Williams: It's kind of our secret. Going forward, that's the mystery of it. Cristina does always confide in Meredith, though. I don't know if Jackson's dodges a bullet or not.
Q: Cristina and Jackson will have to be around each other a lot still. How hard will that be for them?
Jesse Williams: There's so many things going on that when we are together, it's so work-related. We're clashing high speed on issues with patients. There will definitely be constant reminders and temptations. We're worried about prying eyes and who knows what and where, so it's something they keep with them. There's already been a bit of a banter between both of them, and this raises the stakes.
Q: Is Cristina his cardio God? Maybe his version of Dr. Burke (Isaiah Washington)?
Jesse Williams: It's not so much teacher-student because they're both residents and both pretty bad ass in their field, but I think it becomes more primal, just passionate attraction, more so than being about the work as much as about her style.
Q: How will this kiss affect Jackson's transition at Seattle Grace?
Jesse Williams: In retrospect, that weighs a bit on Jackson's mind. What have I done? I'm walking into a situation where I am the minority here and I just go head long into something that could potentially have backlash. Jackson has to deal with navigating that, carefully going forward and getting Cristina's take on this. I can say it gets addressed, words are spoken between the two as to how we're going to handle this.
Q: Jackson is not the only Mercy Wester who likes a Seattle Gracer. Reed (Nora Zehetner) and Alex (Justin Chambers) are developing a budding relationship. Are the Mercy Westers just home wreckers?
Jesse Williams: We are just a passionate people, the Mercy Westers. We know what we like and we take what we like. That's probably how we've gotten ahead. We don't know Izzie, we haven't watched [Izzie and Alex] grow for five years, we weren't there for their wedding, all we know is she's a snappy broad who just got fired for making a stupid mistake. Will some compassion grow from there? Sure. But Reed is on her own there, I'm not the one chasing a married person. I will defend her only to a point.
Q: What's the dynamic like once Izzie returns to the hospital in the November 12 episode?
Jesse Williams: I think everybody has a lot of unanswered questions for her. What the hell are you doing? What is your deal? Don't take us all down for this and disappear.
These are people that care about her, but on the outside, everybody is just concerned with what's going to happen with her now. Alex is the one that takes it the hardest.