[Warning: The below contains major spoilers for the Grey’s Anatomy Season 19 premiere, “Everything Has Changed.”]
For only the second time in its entire history, Grey’s Anatomy began a season with a class of trainees as series regular characters. And seeing these interns suspended in the tunnels of Gray Sloan — lounging on discarded stretchers, munching on junk food, and talking trash to each other — gave us a glimpse into the MAGIC of the ABC show’s original intern class. “Everything Has Changed” premieres in the October 6 season 19, as the Taylor Swift-inspired episode title attests, and we dare say that has changed for the better.
The episode picks up six months after the season 18 finale – and just a day after the tornado of Station 19is the first. As maintenance crews clean up fallen branches and other debris around the hospital, new interns rush to get ready for their first day at the hospital. And one of those interns, Jules Millin (Adelaide Kane), fired a Gray – realizing, after bumping into Link (Chris Carmack) in the hospital, that she had “accidentally slept with an assistant already”.
Link spends the episode trying to get his relationship HR paperwork in order, only to have Millin tell him that they don’t have a relationship and never will, so all his frenzy was in vain. On the plus side, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) tells Link that she’s “in no position” to judge him for sleeping with a co-worker. “I recommend that you stay away from elevators for the foreseeable future,” she says.
Meredith, now the acting, possibly permanent chief of surgery, brings the new interns into the operating room and gives a different speech than we’ve seen Richard (James Pickens Jr.) give to interns so many times before. . “We didn’t choose you for your grades; we have chosen you for your fight,” she tells the new recruits. That’s because these interns are “at the bottom of the barrel,” as Bailey (Chandra Wilson) observes as she walks in for a preview of the reopened residency program. But when Maggie (Kelly McCreary) asks if she’s back, Bailey raises her freshly manicured nails and says, “Looks like I’m back?
Bailey tells Richard that he opened the residency program six months before he should have and, even worse, he got “rejections” for the intern class. But Richard argues his “carefully cultivated group” has stories, heart and empathy.
But their argument is interrupted by Levi (Jake Borelli), who begs to be chief resident of the surgery program. He managed to stay at Gray Sloan by joining OB/GYN residency and promising Jo (Camilla Luddington) that he wouldn’t jump ship once the surgical program reopened. But he hated OB/GYN…and he hates knowing now that vaginas can stretch to twice their original size and can lift 30 pounds. So yeah, now he’s aiming for chief resident. “I’ll be the vagina of the program, if you let me,” he told Richard.
Luckily for Levi, Mer likes the idea of Levi as Chief Resident. Unfortunately for Levi, Jo no longer talks to him.
(Oh, and speaking of Jo, she ordered black scrubs for the OB/GYN team, since women’s bodies are now a battleground in America and pink is a “peacetime” color. )
As a result of the tornado, Amelia now has 14 brain-dead patients who were torn from a crashed bus, and she asks the interns to identify which of those patients are viable organ donors. Mika Yasuda (Midori Francis), one of the new interns, offends Amelia with an “organ-palooza” joke, but it’s also Yasuda who asks the mother of one of the patients who aren’t overweight. to keep hope. And it is Yasuda who announces the good news to the mother when the teenager wakes up.
Other interns don’t have such uplifting first days on the job. Lucas Adams (Niko Terho), for example, tells the wrong mother that her son, Liam, is brain dead. And Liam’s real mother is pissed at the incompetence on display. She’s so pissed off, in fact, that she has her family doctor verify that her son is brain dead. It wouldn’t be a problem ordinarily, but Mer is waiting for Liam’s organs for a three-organ transplant for a grandmother named Sarah. And if Liam codes, that means Sarah’s organ match in a million is banned. Undone by his mistake, Adams descends into a “spiral of shame”…and vomits into a trash can.
Benson Kwan (Harry Shum Jr.), a fellow intern, sympathizes with Liam’s mother, telling her how much it helped him through his grief at losing his brother when he thought of all the donees of organs that his brother’s death would save. Moved by his speech, Liam’s mother gives the go-ahead for organ donation…and it’s only then that Kwan confides to fellow intern Simone Griffith (Alexis Floyd) that he never had a brother. .
Dozens of transplant surgeons line up at Gray Sloan to retrieve organs from other bus victims, and yes, Nick (Scott Speedman) is one of those surgeons. Mer walks up to him – very shyly, as they haven’t spoken since she told him to go back to Minnesota – and asks if he would do Sarah’s three-organ transplant, as she can’t. not disappear in an operating room for 25 hours the first. day of the residency program.
Nick agrees, and later he and Meredith finally catch up. Mer says she called Nick after he fired him that night six months ago, and Nick says he heard her, but he wanted her to do more. So no, they’re not exactly back in romantic terms yet. But he also doesn’t say when she offers him the residency director program, calling him “the best teacher” she knows. (Uh, what’s Bailey and Richard? Chopped liver?)
And in other work-related news, Owen (Kevin McKidd) and Teddy (Kim Raver) return, having gone on the loose in the Season 18 finale when Owen’s mercy killings came to light. Teddy tells Mer that their $1,700-an-hour attorney had all charges against Owen dropped, and that Owen has had his medical license suspended and must be supervised for six months. Even so, Owen seems to be in good spirits, which is more than we can say about Teddy.
In twists and turns at the end of the episode, we learn how two of the trainees have Gray Sloan in their blood. The first comes during Sarah’s transplant surgery, when Adams observes that it’s “a great day to save lives.” Watching from the gallery, Amelia remarks to Mer how Adams has always idolized Derek. It turns out that Adams is one of Amelia and Derek’s nephews – and while Amelia loves him, she’s not sure he’s cutting it in the surgical schedule. But Mer trusts him, especially because she knows what has become of another black sheep of the Shepherd family. “Is that why he drives me crazy?” Amelia asks Mer. “It’s me.”
Later, outside the hospital, Richard finds Griffith pulling himself together after being overwhelmed in Sarah’s recovery room. And that’s when she reveals that her mother died during childbirth in Gray Sloan. “I haven’t been here since the birth of my mother who was killed somewhere in one of these rooms,” she told Richard. She says she always imagined the walls to be beige, and it was disappointing and disorienting to see the blue walls. But Richard points out that his premonition was correct; they only painted the walls blue a few years ago. Hey, let’s go for a fresh start!
Grey’s AnatomyThursdays, 9/8c, ABC