After what feels like the longest hiatus ever, Grey's Anatomy will finally return with 12 straight episodes beginning Thursday (9/8c, ABC) until the show's season finale in May.
When last we left the doctors of Grey Sloan Memorial, Jackson interrupted April's wedding to Matthew to declare his love for her, much to the shock and dismay of Stephanie and pretty much everyone else in attendance. Meanwhile, back at the hospital, Shane boldly and stupidly decided to be a hot shot and take the lead on an emergency surgery to fix the heart of Alex's father, which did not go well. So, what's next? TVGuide.com hit the set to get the scoop on each of the docs:
Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo)
Trouble might be brewing in McParadise as Meredith will be dealing with Derek's desire to join POTUS' program, even though her hubby promised to take the backseat with work in order to let Meredith shine. But don't worry, Mer will have a fun night to look forward to.
Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey)
Will Derek join POTUS' team? That all depends on the White House vetting him first, where they'll uncover something Dr. Shepherd has been keeping secret for years. But what will happen to his project with Callie if he does work for the Prez?
Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh)
Cristina and Meredith are finally back to being friends! "It was really great to play a bump and a growth spurt in a long-term friendship," Oh says. "It's nice to see them back together again and having resolved those issues." But let's not forget that Oh will soon be leaving the show, so the real question is where that leaves Cristina and Owen — and Emma (Marguerite Moreau)!
Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd)
The Chief will have his hands full when the hospital must institute a new rule that forbids superiors from dating their subordinates. "It creates tension," McKidd says. "There are problems it creates for a lot of our couples, so there's a lot of comedy in people trying to sneak around it." Also, Owen's feelings about his future and family will be addressed in the second half of the season.
Alex Karev (Justin Chambers)
Alex will not be a happy camper when he returns to the hospital to learn Shane has all but mutilated his father (James Remar). "Alex is dealing with his father and whether he's going to live or not live," Chambers says. "Shane had taken over the surgery in a very unprofessional way, so that's where he's at. It's interesting to see Alex finally confront his father and all the issues they've had." That new rule will also affect Alex's relationship with Jo, who is still just a resident, but she might not be his resident for much longer.
Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington)
The hardened doc will get quite a surprise when it comes to her relationship with Alex in the show's return. "Immediately when we get right back, Jo is dealing with the aftermath of Alex and his dad and Stephanie," Luddington says. "She doesn't really know she should be paying more attention, like helping Stephanie as a friend or with Alex. She really hates Shane and hopes that he's done with the hospital and that he doesn't ever come back. She's upset about what he did in trying to be a big shot and she's done with him."
Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw)
Try as she might, Arizona isn't feeling quite whole these days, but that's mainly because of how Callie is treating her rather than the fact that she's missing a leg. "There's a lot wrong," Capshaw says. "I don't think she wanted to be perceived as damaged, and someone trying to constantly fix her made her feel more damaged, as opposed to someone who felt like she was on the mend. She's still truly super upset and that's where we get back to her and Callie." Setting aside how Callie and Arizona's relationship moves forward, look for Arizona to have one of those "terrible, awful, no good, very bad days" where everything just keeps getting piled on, Capshaw teases.
Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez)
Not only will Callie be facing more difficulties with the Calzona relationship, but with Derek possibly working for the White House, she could be left out in the cold when it comes to their brain mapping trial. Good thing she'll find a new protégé in a surprising place.
April Kepner (Sarah Drew)
It's the question of the midseason premiere: Does April choose Jackson or Matthew (Justin Bruening)? "We'll see very early on what decision she makes," Drew says and explains that the premiere will pick up pretty much right where we left off before jumping about three weeks ahead. Regardless of who she chooses, the tension will be thick once they all return to the hospital.
Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams)
"It's incredibly tense and there are going to be a lot of regrets either way," Williams says of April's choice. Williams also teases that Jackson will face new professional challenges in the coming episodes. "He is really going to have to find a balance between his personal relationships and his bias and the fact that the Avery Foundation runs everything, but he's very junior to some of the other attendings."
Stephanie Edwards (Jerrika Hinton)
No matter who April chooses, Stephanie will end up losing since her boyfriend has just professed his love for another woman. "She has just been humiliated in one of the worst public ways you can humiliate somebody," Hinton says. "The question isn't, 'Who does Jackson or April choose?' it's, 'How do you pick yourself up and put yourself back together when you've been crushed in such a public way in front of many of the people who are the most important at this phase of your life?' That's where Stephanie is; trying to put herself back together."
Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.)
The stalwart doc will attempt to pick up the pieces after Shane nearly kills Alex's father. "We left off with Shane having a meltdown and Richard goes in to right his ship and mentally get him back to a place of confidence," Pickens says. "There's a whole part about my birthday coming up. I'm given what I think is hints about retiring, and he's feeling a little shaky about that."
Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson)
When last we left Bailey, she was dealing with an OCD issue that brought her husband Ben back from his residency program in Los Angeles. The pair will quickly resolve their issues, with Ben staying a little close to home this time around — until Jason George presumably leaves for Mistresses.
Gaius Charles (Shane Ross)
After figuring out how to fudge his work hours so he pretty much never had to leave the hospital, Shane nearly killed Alex's father, imaging that he was trying to save Heather Brooks (Tina Majorino), the intern who he pretty much sent to her death. "We're going to have to see Shane deal with some of the consequences of his actions involving Karev's dad and really see him hanging the balance of whether or not he'll make it through the program or be asked to take a walk," Charles says.
Leah Murphy (Tessa Ferrer)
Leah was the casualty when Callie and Arizona decided to give their marriage another try, but whether she stands idly by remains to be seen. "Leah has just stifled her love for Arizona," Ferrer says. "She has this 'come back to reality' moment of clarity. She's not going to be insane. It's a huge growing experience. We're going to see how she deals with her feelings for Arizona. Is she going to actively be the aggressor and tell her how she feels and fight for her love? Or is she going to accept that she's chosen to be with Callie and stifle her feelings and we'll take that ride with her?"
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC. Are you excited for the show's return?