Courtesy of ABC.

October 24, 2022

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 19 Leaves Fans With Unanswered Questions and New Storylines

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The premiere of long-time running medical drama Grey’s Anatomy’s 19th season was a lighthearted episode that reminded many fans of the original series premiere in 2005. The new season featured many of the favorite cast members, as well as many new ones. While the premiere was a fun and lighthearted welcome to the season, it failed to show the aftermath of last season’s dramatic cliffhangers.

The end of Season 18 left viewers with a lot of unanswered questions. Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital’s residency program, which has been an important part of the show since the first season, was shut down due to staffing shortages at the hospital. Dr. Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) and Dr. Teddy Altman (Kim Raver) were forced to quit their jobs and run away after being caught in a medical malpractice scandal. Both incidents caused Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson), Grey-Sloan’s chief of surgery, to resign and leave the hospital in the hands of protagonist Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo).

Instead of starting the season right where the prior one left off like the show has done in past seasons, Season 19 takes place six months after the hospital had fallen to pieces. The residency program is back, and Owen and Teddy are allowed to work again. While it was nice to see the hospital and the characters in a better state, the plot failed to provide any information on what happened during the past six months in order to get there. It felt like the show left an entire storyline unfinished and moved on to the next.  

In a similar fashion to the first season, the show welcomed five new cast members to play Grey-Sloan’s new surgical interns: Benson Kwan (Harry Shum Jr.), Jules Millin (Adelaide Kane), Simone Griffith (Alexis Floyd), Lucas Adams (Niko Terho) and Mika Yasuda (Midori Francis). Just like the original set of interns in Season one, this group has their own unique characteristics that makes them fit for the job. Many of the new interns’ scenes resembled those of the original cast — for instance, one intern started a relationship with her boss and another was late on the first day. These were both mistakes made by Meredith Grey in the first episode.

While protagonist Dr. Grey played a large role in the season premiere, it is rumored that her days on the show are numbered and that fans will not be seeing much of her this season. She is supposed to only appear in eight episodes of the season, which worries audiences that have watched the show since the beginning and fallen in love with Dr. Grey’s character.

With Meredith Grey’s presence throughout the season in question, it seems like this season will largely focus on the plot of the new interns as they navigate through Grey-Sloan’s rigorous residency program. While this could be upsetting for some fans who want the show to focus more on the storylines of returning characters, it could also be an exciting restart for the show. After all, the show viewers fell in love with in Season one was centered around five surgical interns. Even if Meredith won’t be there all season, many other fan favorites seem to not be going anywhere. Dr. Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone), Dr. Jo Wilson (Camilla Ludington) and Dr. Levi Schmitt (Jake Borelli) were all a part of the Season 19 premiere.  

The show has been hinting at its end for quite some time, and with Ellen Pompeo’s smaller role this season, many fans are worried this could be it. However, no final decisions have been made, and the new cast members could be a way for the show to continue providing engaging storylines for viewers.

Ili Pecullan is a freshman in the College of Human Ecology. She can be reached at [email protected].