Nobody knows where they might end up, as the old Grey’s Anatomy theme song goes, but we do have scoop on where the Seattle surgeons are headed when the show returns September 30.
Season 17 ended with Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) rebounding from COVID-19, Maggie (Kelly McCreary) and Winston (Anthony Hill) marrying on the beach, Owen (Kevin McKidd) proposing to Teddy (Kim Raver) to great success, and Link (Chris Carmack) proposing to Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) to dismal failure. And when Season 18 starts, we’ll get a few blasts from the past, including one long-awaited return. Spoilers ahead!
Kate Walsh is finally returning as Addison Montgomery
Walsh played Addison, Derek’s ex-wife, for Seasons 2 and 3 before taking the character to Private Practice, the first Grey’s spinoff. She popped up occasionally on Grey’s since then, but we haven’t seen the neonatal surgeon since Private Practice ended in 2013. Now, however, the actress is returning to Grey’s for multiple episodes.
Kate Burton will reprise her role as Ellis Grey
Meredith’s mom—who’s also Maggie’s biological mother—died in Season 3, but the legendary surgeon has reappeared on the show many times since, via flashbacks, dreams, recordings, and alternate realities. The promo for the series premiere shows Ellis talking to her daughter, perhaps from the same extended-care facility where she was being treated for Alzheimer’s in Season 1. “You’ve survived the unthinkable,” she says. “What are you going to do, Meredith?”
Peter Gallagher has a major arc in the season
Abigail Spencer will play Megan Hunt again
Last seen on Grey’s in Season 5, Spencer returns to play Megan Hunt, Owen’s sister, Teddy’s Army buddy, and Meredith’s former patient. When we last saw her, Megan was still living in Los Angeles with her fiancé, Meredith’s ex Nathan Riggs (Martin Henderson).
The series’ regular cast remains the same
Season 17 saw the surprise death of Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) on a Station 19 crossover and the exits of docs Tom Koracick (Greg Germann) and Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams), but we’re happy to say there haven’t been any staff shakeups since then.
We’ll get more of Alex Landi, Jaicy Elliot, Sylvia Kwan, Zaiver Sinnett, Robert I. Mesa, and Melissa DuPrey
The recurring actors have posted selfies from the Season 18 set on Instagram, including the one below, so we know we can expect more of their respective characters: the doctors Nico Kim, Taryn Helm, Mabel Tseng, Zander Perez, James Chee, and Sara Ortiz.
— Grey’s Anatomy (@GreysABC) September 8, 2021
The season premiere will mark a crossover event and “one hell of a return”
ABC’s promo for Grey’s Anatomy’s September 30 return calls it a “Crossover Premiere Event” that starts with Station 19’s season premiere (8/7c) in which a stolen fire engine gets T-boned by a truck.
The promo announcer tells us to brace ourselves for “one hell of a return,” which might mean another cast member is coming back. We see Owen and Teddy shocked about something at what appears to be the couple’s wedding. We also see Owen, still in his dress shirt, bringing someone out of an ambulance at Grey Sloan. And we see Megan at the hospital, looking stressed.
Does all of that mean—gasp—that it’s Nathan on Owen’s gurney? We’ll find out soon!
Grey’s Anatomy, Season 18 Premiere, Thursday, September 30, 9/8c, ABC