After the devastatingly tragic Season 6 finale, which saw Meredith's Post-it husband shot and near death, it's going to take a while for every doctor at Seattle Grace to get back on their feet, but none more so than Meredith — at least, that's what trauma counselor Andrew Perkins (James Tupper) thinks.
Perkins must clear each doctor before they can return to the OR, and Meredith is definitely not at the top of that list. "Meredith does get cleared eventually, but not right away; not without some frustrating episodes," Pompeo tells TVGuide.com. "She's got to pull out all the tricks and stops to try to get cleared."
"The role that they have given Meredith is to take care of everybody and to try to make sure that everybody else is OK," Pompeo continues. "She's the role of the caretaker, which, I guess, is her way of not dealing with her own thing."
Meredith will struggle with her fellow doctors being cleared, especially since she knows a certain few that shouldn't be holding a scalpel for a while.
So will this cause her to snap?
"I haven't seen that yet," says Pompeo of the first four scripts she's read. "I don't see a snap in Meredith. I think she's handling this a little bit better than the other people who are more on the verge. Lexie [Chyler Leigh] and Cristina [Sandra Oh] really, really need more critical attention."
"[Perkins] comes in and he's just clearing people and he doesn't really know them," she says. "Meredith feels like she knows them, and she really knows that they're not OK. She can see because she lives and breathes with them every day. He's coming in and clearing everybody because he thinks they're fine, and he doesn't think Meredith's fine. She's the one taking care of everybody!"
Grey's Anatomy returns Thursday, Sept. 23 at 9/8c on ABC.