Grey's Anatomy is going back to basics in Season 13, focusing heavily on the remaining original series regulars, according to one star.
Kelly McCreary, who joined the cast in Season 11 as Meredith's (Ellen Pompeo) half-sister Maggie, tells TVGuide.com that creator Shonda Rhimes plans to take deep dives into the characters of Meredith, Alex (Justin Chambers), Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) in the upcoming season.
"After such a long period of time and so many new people coming in and out, they remain the foundational characters of the show," McCreary says. "We're gonna be spending some more time with them to check in with where they are. The way that we spent time with Meredith last season, exploring the major shift in her life, the loss of Derek, I think we can expect to see those doctors being explored where they are in this moment, all these years later, the changes that they've gone through."
Does that mean we'll get to catch up with other original characters — like, say, Izzie (Katherine Heigl) or Cristina (Sandra Oh)? There's no official word on whether Heigl or Oh will return to the show, but at least in Izzie's case, now would be a perfectly inconvenient time for her to pop back up into Alex's life. It's a safe bet that Alex's Season 13 storyline will revolve around the fallout from Jo's (Camilla Luddington) revelation that she's already married and has been living under an alias to hide from her abusive husband — not to mention that beatdown we saw Alex giving DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) in the Season 12 finale.
As for Meredith, Season 13 will find her and Maggie exploring their new sisterly dynamic now that newlywed Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) has moved out of the house, and the drama that ensues when Maggie finds out that Meredith and Riggs (Martin Henderson) are involved. Bailey will continue to represent the ups and downs of long-term relationships through her marriage to Ben (Jason George). Developments for Webber remain to be seen, but he's due up for a big, dramatic arc, and it's a safe bet that Rhimes will deliver.
Of course, this isn't to say that the newer characters won't get any of the spotlight. For starters, April (Sarah Drew) and Jackson (Jesse Williams) will learn how to co-parent while trying to figure out their own relationship, and Amelia and Owen (Kevin McKidd) have to navigate married life. But fans who have been with the show since Season 1 can expect to see the Grey's veterans front and center.
"One of the things I'm looking forward to most is the focus on ... those old, established relationships and those characters," McCreary says. "Those characters are so rich and they have so much meaning for our audience. I think it'll be wonderful to spend some more time with them."
Grey's Anatomy returns Thursday, Sept. 22 at 8/7c on ABC.