Our relationship with Grey's Anatomy is longer than most of our relationships IRL. Over the last 15 years (300+ episodes!), the beloved medical drama has given us all the feels — and way more heartbreak than one could ask for. (Um, is anyone else still grappling with the loss of McDreamy? Denny? George?!)
The season 14 finale was no different. Wedding bells aside, it ended with a shocking reveal: Teddy Altman, the Interim Chief of Surgery, is pregnant with Owen's baby. What does that mean for Owen and Amelia? Oh, season 15 is already giving us the drama we crave.
The landmark 15th season is longer than usual.
Grey's Anatomy's 15th season is making history. First, there was . Then, it was revealed that the show is on track as the longest-running medical drama of all time. And that was before that they were adding 3 additional episodes at the end of the season, making 25 episodes total. This is only the third longest season in the show's history — season 2, for example, had 27 episodes.
Your favorite characters are still around.
The gang's all here (kind of)! Seattle staples Meredith Grey, Alex Karev, Miranda Bailey, Richard Webber, Owen Hunt, Jackson Avery, Amelia Shepherd, Jo Wilson, Maggie Pearce, and Andrew DeLuca are all back.
There are a few key character changes (some good, some bad).
Still crying over the departure of Dr. Arizona Robbins (played by Jessica Capshaw) and Dr. April Kepner (played by Sarah Drew)? Same. While some fans were quick to point fingers at Ellen Pompeo's record-breaking salary negotiations for the of these beloved characters, the decision ultimately came down to the writers — not business execs. "The only thing as constant on Grey's Anatomy as Ellen Pompeo is our penchant for reinvention. It is a part of our success and what keeps the show exciting. We love these actresses and we love these characters and it felt true and right creatively to wrap up their stories," executive producer Krista Vernoff wrote .
Teddy (played by Kim Raver) is back — as . The cardiothoracic surgeon returned to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital in season 14, where it was revealed that she was pregnant. In the fall finale, she finally told Owen that he is the father of her baby and before he had time to process the news, Amelia walked in. Talk about awkward.
There's also some fresh blood in Seattle. Enter Chris Carmack, the 37-year-old heartthrob who played Will Leton on CMT's Nashville. And get this: His nickname is "Ortho God." The new McDreamy/McSteamy, perhaps? Not too long after he made his debut, "Ortho God" (or more properly, Dr. Atticus Lincoln) found himself in a messy love triangle with Meredith and DeLuca. And people, while mesmerized by his blonde locks, don't think his nickname — or romance with Meredith — suits him:
Dr. Nico Kim, played by newcomer Alex Landi, also joined Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital this season. As the first-ever openly gay male surgeon on the show, Nico is already wrapped up in a workplace romance with Levi Schmitt a.k.a. Glasses.
James Pickens Jr. who plays Dr. Richard Webber back in September: "He (Dr. Nico Kim)catches the eye of one of the interns, and it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out." Very interesting, indeed.
There's still another new character who hasn't made their debut! Dirty Dancing actress Jennifer Grey is slated for a multi-episode arc this season. While details are sparse, there's buzz that . Regardless, it's a sweet moment for Grey: Her father Joel Grey starred as one of Izzie's patients in the season 6 episode, “New History.”
And one major character made a comeback.
THATCHER. GREY. IS. BACK. It's been seven years since we've seen — or even heard about — Meredith's dad, played by actor Jeff Perry. (IRL Perry was busy playing Cyrus Beene on Shonda Rhime's other TGIT hit, Scandal.) Just like the past, is complicated.
In case you need a refresh: Thatcher, who was once married to Meredith's mother Ellis, wasn't part of his daughter's life for nearly 20 years. He remarried and had two more children, Lexie and Molly Grey. With the help of his late wife Susan, Thatcher became more invested in Meredith's life as he got older and even sought her medical help for kidney stones and a liver transplant. This time, he's sick but the severity of his illness remains unclear.
Romance is dead for Meredith.
First came McDreamy, then came Nathan Riggs, and now well, it looks like Meredith Grey is trying to figure some things out for herself. "Meredith [is going to] have a new trajectory that is more focused on who she is as a single mother and surgeon — including her emotional investigation into a medical condition that is very close to her own family background and history," ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey told . Psst, she's talking about Meredith's father.
And no one's happier about this change of pace than Meredith herself: "Ellen has spoken very loudly about how she doesn’t want all of Meredith’s adventures to be romantic ones."
Or is it?
We all knew it was too good to be true. At the start of the season, Meredith and surgical resident Dr. Andrew DeLuca (played by) get it on. Grey's fans will remember that last season, DeLuca came on to Meredith and she said she wasn't interested at all. Looks like the times have changed.
But that was before "Ortho God" was brought into the picture. Now, Meredith is trying to figure out if she goes for a fun fling with "Ortho God" or something more serious with DeLuca. "Her dating adventure has boiled down to [that] triangle," Vernoff told . "The question this season is not 'Will Meredith Grey find love again,' but 'With whom will she find love?'"
Everyone else is still feeling the love.
This year's theme is "Season of Love." And the end of season 14 set it up nicely with Teddy's pregnancy reveal, and Alex and Jo's wedding.
This aligns with for the show's coming seasons: "There were a lot of people mad at each other and hurt by each other, and my goal was to bring in more joy and more light and more humor." We could use a little more humor — and a lot less heartbreak — in our lives, HBU?
Rumor has it that this will be Richard's final season (we wish we were kidding).
We apologize in advance: The internet is throwing around the idea that Richard Webber, the hospital's former Chief of Surgery, may not survive the entire season. Gulp.
Since season 14 had more of a rom-com feel, that something MAJOR is going to happen in the coming season. And the biggest shock would be one of the show's original characters dying. His alcohol addiction and frequent breakdowns don't help either.
Viewers, however, aren't having it:
Grey's isn't over.
As of right now, you can count one more season of the medical drama. Ellen's $20 million deal covered the 15th and 16th season of the show. So, that covers the show through 2020. After that, however? In an interview with , Ellen hinted that the show might be over for good after season 16: "I am really feeling like we have told the majority of the stories that we can tell, "she said. "It's about time that I mix it up. I'm definitely looking for a change."
We're still not sure how to feel about this. In the meantime, we'll just keep watching.
Grey's Anatomy returns on January 18 at 8 p.m. on .