Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki
Grey's Anatomy Universe Wiki

Emma Marling is the Head of Maternal-Fetal Medicine at Seattle Presbyterian Hospital and Owen's ex-girlfriend.


Early Life[]

Emma grew up with sisters, which is why she was sure that she wanted to have two girls in the future, even though "they're hell" in junior high.

After she got employed at the Cleveland Clinic, Emma met a guy whom she married. When their marriage ended in a divorce, the situation became untenable and started to affect her work, which is why Emma decided to move. ("Two Against One")

Fundraising Gala[]

Following the super-storm that raged over Seattle, Seattle Presbyterian Hospital was in serious financial trouble, much like rival hospital, Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Emma pitched to the hospital board to have a fundraising gala in an effort to raise the necessary finances, but, unfortunately, they denied her request. Having been turned down, she decided to take part in Grey Sloan's fundraising gala, intending to "borrow" some of the donors.

As a man went to make a donation to hear the promised story, Emma approached Owen to tell him she'd like to hear the story, too. She complimented the party, and they started talking about the clowns. Emma told him she had been afraid that they wouldn't have anything to talk about, but was relieved that they did. As Owen saw Cristina having fun with a donor, he proposed having a drink with Emma. They were interrupted by Cristina, and Owen introduced them. Cristina then pushed Emma to go see a magician, and Emma took her drink and went to see "the magic".

Owen later overheard how Emma was talking to donors, stealing his story. Owen told her he had been watching her and that noticed that she was a thief, asking who she was. She revealed she was a maternal-fetal surgeon at Seattle Pres and that she used the gala to gather donations for her own hospital. She told him she was only borrowing his story, and thereby wasn't a thief. Owen asked her why she spent so much time talking to him when she was at the party to collect donations, and she confessed she found him a goodlooking man. She and Owen sticked together to listen to Jackson's speech, though Owen had to leave her when he had to take care of Ari Rocchi after she threw herself under the falling acrobat. 

At the end of the night, Emma went to Grey Sloan Memorial to talk to Owen. She interrupted Cristina and Owen's conversation and said she had worked up a good excuse, but when she was face to face with Owen, she completely blanked. Cristina noticed that Owen was charmed by her, and left the two of them alone so they could talk in private. ("Puttin' on the Ritz")

Starting a Relationship with Owen[]

Emma and Owen stayed in touch after the gala night, and she brought homemade banana bread to his work. He told Callie about it, who commented that it practically made her his girlfriend. ("I Bet It Stung")

Emma visited Grey Sloan Memorial again to observe one of Arizona's surgeries, about which Owen had called her. She commented to Owen that she hoped Arizona didn't know that they were dating, as she preferred to keep things professional at work. Owen assured her Arizona didn't, but he confessed that he did tell a couple of people and asked if he shouldn't have. Emma said it was okay, and they shook hands while she thanked him for having called her. As she left to go meet Arizona, she ran into Cristina, who asked Owen if it was "bring your girlfriend towork day". 

Leah introduced Emma to Arizona, who updated her on the patient. Arizona then asked Leah to show Emma where she could get scrubs, and so Leah did. In surgery, Emma tried to talk about the surgical electrothermal sealers, but Arizona and Alex had a conversation one night stands, Leah Murphy in particular.

After surgery, she accidentally left her phone in the scrub room and she met Cristina when she later returned to pick it up. She asked Cristina about her cutting edge approach, and she told Cristina she was impressed by her enormous balls. Emma said she wished she could stick around to watch her surgery, but Cristina then informed her that she was Owen's ex, which Emma didn't know. The situation got awkward, and she quickly left after having told Cristina she couldn't wait to hear how the surgery went. ("Map of You")

After finding out about Owen's past marriage through her conversation with Cristina, Emma decided that Owen wasn't ready yet for a new relationship yet as he hadn't told her himself. She told him to call her when he was ready, which he did on Halloween. He left her a message to tell her that, in contrast to his relationship with Cristina where everything was difficult, she was simple and easy. He realized that it sounded wrong and asked her to delete the message. He hung up, but apparently Emma had listened to his message as he was leaving it, as she immediately called him back. ("Thriller")

Job Interview[]

When an opening for maternal-fetal surgeon became available at Grey Sloan, Arizona thought of Emma first and pitched her to the board. They wanted one of them to sit down with Emma to interview her, and Callie was the chosen one. While Callie was eager to get to know Emma, Emma was informed by Arizona that Callie was her ex-wife. They met and after Owen introduced her to Callie, Emma and Callie entered a conference room for the interview.

In the interview, they looked over Emma's resume, which is impressive according to Callie. She revealed that she left Cleveland Clinic after a year because she was going through a divorce at the time. Callie was curious for details, and Emma told her some more. Callie asked her if it was hard for her to leave her city, which Emma found to be a difficult question to answer. When Callie asked Emma what her typical Saturday looks like, Emma said she had no problems with working in the weekends, but Callie was more wondering about what she did for fun. "What feeds your soul?" Callie asked, and Emma responded that she likes to read, to cook and to watch movies. Callie then asked if she had kids from her previous marriage, and when Emma said she hadn't, Callie wanted to know if she was interested in ever having kids. "I don't think you can legally ask me this in a job interview," Emma said, but she did answer the question by saying she imagines having two girls in the future, even though she knows girls are hell in junior high. When Callie wanted to ask some more questions, Owen came in to ask how the interview was going, and Emma turned her head to tell him it was going great, Callie made very enthusiastic signals to Owen. When Emma turned her head back towards Callie, Callie said in a neutral voice that they were making progress. 

After the interview, Arizona told Emma that Callie loved her. Emma said that Callie was thorough but very nice, and asked how long they'd been divorced. Arizona said that they weren't, just separated, and Emma noticed she still had the ring on her finger. She remarked that she was obviously seeing other people though, and Arizona said they were. Emma apologized for being so personal, and said that the job interview was more intimate than most rectal exams. "We don't do things like this at Seattle Pres," Emma said, and Arizona then suggested to take the job, as the employees of Grey Sloan Memorial do way too personal on a daily basis. 

That night, Emma waited for Owen outside the hospital. Owen told her that everyone loves her, but Emma said she couldn't work at the hospital. She complimented the people working with him, but she thought that they were his people, who loved and cared about him. Emma said she didn't want to work with her husband again, because if she and Owen would break up, everyone at the hospital would choose him and she would just be the bitch who broke his heart. Owen asked if she was planning on breaking his heart, and she told him she wasn't. He then tried to get her to take the job, but she said she couldn't. She told him not to break her heart either and walked off. ("Two Against One")

Cooking a Thanksgiving Dinner[]

While at GSM to prepare a grant proposal to fund her research, Emma was visited by several of the GSM doctors. One of them was Meredith, who tasted a muffin and, when learning that Emma had made them herself, said she wanted the leftovers if Emma was cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Emma and Owen realized they hadn't made plans for Thanksgiving and Meredith offered Emma the chance to cook at her house, because her kitchen is larger than Owen's and Emma's apartment was being painted. Throughout the course of the day, several others ended up being invited to the dinner, including Cristina. Emma said it was okay with her because Owen had told her he was over her. ("Somebody That I Used to Know")

April and Matthew's Wedding[]

Emma attended April and Matthew's failed wedding with Owen. ("Get Up, Stand Up")

Moving Plans and Breakup[]

After dating for several months, Owen and Emma talked about his living situation. He suggested that they move in together and she accepted. However, before they had a chance to choose a place, he cheated on her with Cristina. He broke up with her, but didn't tell her about the cheating. ("You've Got to Hide Your Love Away")



Owen Hunt[]

Emma seemed to take somewhat of an interest in Owen at the fundraising gala, where she complimented his looks, and later that night, she came to the hospital just to talk to him. ("Puttin' on the Ritz") After the evening she kept seeing him and even sent him homemade banana bread for work, which caused his colleagues to name her his girlfriend. ("I Bet It Stung")

By the time she came to the hospital to observe a surgery, Emma and Owen were dating. During her visit, she also met Cristina and found out from her about Owen and Cristina's past, which made her realize that Owen wasn't ready to date just yet. ("Map of You") She said goodbye to Owen, telling him to call her when he was ready to move on, and after some struggle and pondering, he did. ("Thriller")

Some time later, Emma was offered a job at Grey Sloan, but she turned down the offer, not wanting to risk working at the same place with Owen and being left out if something were to happen between them. ("Two Against One")

When things between them got serious, Owen and Emma discussed getting a place together. However, later that same day, Cristina came to the trailer drunk and she and Owen slept together. Owen broke up with Emma the next day, saying they wanted different things, but leaving out that he had cheated on her. ("You've Got to Hide Your Love Away")


Arizona Robbins[]

Ever since Emma came to the hospital to observe one of Arizona's teratoma surgeries, she and Arizona formed a good professional relationship. When a position of a maternal-fetal surgeon became available at Grey Sloan Memorial, Arizona immediately thought of Emma and pitched her to the board. Arizona really liked her and wanted her to take the job, though Emma eventually decided not to. ("Two Against One")


Dr. Emma Marling is the head maternal-fetal surgeon at Seattle Presbyterian Hospital, where she started researching minimally invasive in utero teratomas. Dr. Marling was an attending for a year before she was promoted to run the department. Prior to working at Seattle Presbyterian, Dr. Marling was an attending at the Cleveland Clinic, focusing on congenital heart disorders, for a year and spent time at University of Washington Medical Center.

When a maternal-fetal surgeon opening became available at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, Dr. Marling was recommended by head pediatric surgeon Dr. Arizona Robbins. After she interviewed with the board, represented by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Callie Torres, Dr. Marling was offered the position; unfortunately, she declined the offer as she didn't like the idea of working at the same place with Dr. Owen Hunt.

Notes and Trivia[]

  • Dr. Marling makes a voice-only appearance near the end of Thriller.
  • Alex told Arizona he thinks Emma is a good-looking woman.
  • She has a German Shepherd mix named Lila.[1]
  • She enjoys reading, cooking, and watching movies.[2]
  • She hates camping.[3]



Episode Stills[]