Good things can happen in 2020.
Join TV Fanatics Meaghan Frey, Berea Orange, Jasmine Blu, and Grey's Fanatic Jasmin Pettie as we discuss the premiere.
The premiere jumped right into the COVID-19 pandemic. Do you think Grey's Anatomy did a good job covering it?
Meaghan: I think they did a fantastic job. I was concerned that their approach would be too heavy-handed, but it came off as authentic for the situation and the characters.
After watching how other shows, like Chicago Med, handled it, I feel like Grey's is leading the pack. What also was really refreshing about their approach is that although COVID-19 was all around them, the cases focused on non-COVID medical issues.
Many TV viewers have expressed that they don't like that shows have incorporated the pandemic, so I think this allowed them to address a major issue facing the world, especially the healthcare community, while not drowning in it.
Jasmin: I completely agree with Meaghan. I, too, was nervous about how they were going to cover it. Would it be too dark? Would it be overdramatized? But I really feel that they struck the right balance.
It felt authentic to me. I have family members and friends who work in health care, and it’s a scary time. I think they represented the situation well.
Jasmine: I never thought about it from that perspective, Meaghan. I knew some people were grumbling about the show covering COVID-19, but I felt it was inevitable.
I expected a detailed, intense, exclusive focus on it. When you put it like that, the show has separated itself from the pack by acknowledging it while also maintaining other cases. It probably was a great approach that appealed to the audience that didn't want a heavy, dark ordeal.
I'm glad you guys made me look at it from that perspective.
DeLuca: Who died?
Berea: I was worried about this because I know a lot of viewers are looking for escapism in this upcoming TV season, but I think Grey’s did a great job. It was authentic. We got to see this from healthcare workers’ perspectives. And as Meaghan pointed out, it wasn’t just all COVID all the time.
On a scale of 1-10, how shocking was the Derek/Patrick Dempsey appearance at the end? What are your Dreamscape McDreamy predictions!
Meaghan: 1,000! I never in my wildest dreams expected Patrick Dempsey to grace our screens on Grey's ever again. The number of emotions I went through when they zoomed in on him, and it was ACTUAL Patrick Dempsey, not just recycled footage Patrick Dempsey, was out of this world.
I am still a mess over it. I think McDreamy has come to coax Meredith out of whatever limbo she is in, similar to how Ellis and the other ghosts of the past did after the drowning.
Krista Vernoff alluded to the fact that there will be more visitors coming to the beach, which makes me think that this issue with Mer isn't going away anytime soon. I am just hoping that McDreamy makes frequent stops at it.
Jasmin: Agreed! I was 100% shocked! I still am. I am at a loss for words.
I never thought we'd see him come back in the flesh ever again unless they were closing out the show, so I was surprised. I really thought they were faking us out, and it wasn't going to be him, or it was going to be stock footage, so when it was actually Patrick Dempsey, I was blown away.
I'm excited to see more beach visitors, more dream sequences, and more limbo and/or afterlife sequences. I'm here for it.
Jasmine: I DID NOT see that coming at all. It was the best-kept secret and biggest surprise in years! I fell off the couch!
I thought it was a stand-in or some CGI work too, but they kept on zooming in, and it was really him! I think that's what made a surprise, not seeing Derek but seeing Dempsey.
I do believe it's some life lesson that Mer needs right now, and he's there to advise her. I hope it's not something romance-related like giving his blessing, but I can see that being the case too.
Berea: OMG, this was a 10 for me. Honestly, I believed there was some bad blood between Patrick and the showrunners and/or Ellen after he left the show before his contract was up. Then Ellen said in an interview recently she hadn’t talked to him since he left.
I thought there was zero chance we’d see the actual Patrick again outside of flashbacks. Much like I didn’t think we’d see Katie Heigl again, but at this point, who knows?!
I was so excited about seeing him again. It’s only sad because we know he’s not back for good. After all, this isn’t Supernatural, and people who die on Grey’s stay dead. It gives me final season vibes, though. I always thought we’d see him again on a final season, and it worries me. Is Mer going to die for real this time?
Do you think Teddy and Owen can ever salvage their romantic relationship?
Meaghan: No, and that actually infuriates me. I rooted for Owen and Teddy so hard when she popped back into our lives before her pregnancy, and she had to go and ruin it all. Don't get me wrong; I don't think that Owen has any room to judge given his past, but I think the man needs a healthy relationship, and this isn't going to be it.
Owen, I love you. I am sorry. I will do anything you say to fix this.Teddy
Jasmin: I agree. While I've never been a Teddy and Owen shipper because I'm not a fan of Owen as a character, I thought they were going to be endgame when she reappeared in Season 14. I actually thought at one point that she and Owen might ride off into the sunset and move to California to be closer to Megan. I was proven very wrong on that one.
Last season I was on Teddy's side as I love her with Tom and Owen treated Beth, Cristina, and Amelia horribly, and has always put Teddy second.
The premiere changed my mind completely. Teddy was so awful to Owen in the premiere I actually felt bad for the guy, which is no small feat. After the lies and her blatant refusal to come clean, I don't think there's any way to salvage their relationship.
Jasmine: I don't see how they can come back from any of this. I thought they would finally get their happy ending, and we could not focus on Owen's disastrous love life, but this is a mess. It was the lies for me!
I know many people aren't big Owen fans and that he also has been unfaithful before, but I was just so outdone by Teddy doubling down on her lies with such ease when he gave her so many chances, to be honest. To me, for me, that's unforgivable.
I'm not OK with you dying, Owen.Teddy
Berea: I concur with all of you. Honestly, how could they possibly come back from this? He asked her straight up to her face, and she continued to lie. And when he played the voicemail, the DRAMA! I was mad I didn’t have popcorn for it.
Owen has been terrible to the women in his life in the past. I rooted for Teddy and Tom over Owen; however, I felt so bad when she lied to his face.
Owen still tried to give her a chance, and then he reminded her that she didn’t tell Tom “no.” Teddy said she was marrying Owen as if it was an obligation that she had no choice. She didn't say an, “I don’t love you. I love Owen, and I want to be with him forever.” That had to be so hard for him to hear.
I have no idea how they can move past this. I am Team Cristina, so never in my life did I think I would ever feel bad for Owen, but that day has arrived.
DeLuca got closure with his human trafficking case, had another painful breakdown, got some help, and is now an attending. React!
Meaghan: I am probably in the minority, but I'm not a DeLuca fan. I think they have tried very hard to make him happen, and it is not working for me.
I saw a glimmer of hope last season for his character with his mental health storyline, but it feels like they rushed to resolve it this episode instead of letting it continue down its natural course. As long as he and Meredith stay just friends, I will tolerate him. If he makes a move to change that, though, all bets are off.
Jasmin: I agree with Meaghan completely. The majority of Grey's fans I've met and interacted with aren't a fan of his character either and would prefer it if they just wrote him off.
As you said, they've tried very hard over the last couple of seasons to make his character work on screen, and it's just not working. I'm glad that they wrapped up his mental health storyline because while I found it interesting in the beginning, I found the storyline upsetting and frustrating to watch about mid-way through.
I liked that they highlighted that he and Meredith were never friends or colleagues before them dating, which is one of the reasons that storyline didn't work for me. They had no reason to date, and it made no sense. The way I see it, Meredith dated him because she was lonely and missed sex, and he kept badgering her for a date.
From his side, I think the relationship was a rebound after Sam left, and based on what they've now established, was largely a symptom of his Bipolar Disorder that he is treating now. There's no way back from that, in my opinion, and so I'm glad we got closure on that storyline. I'm fine with them being friends or co-workers going forward, but if he tries to make a move in any way, I'm going to be pissed.
Jasmine: I like DeLuca, and I enjoy Giacomo Giannotti as an actor. I am a sucker for a storyline that covers mental illness and breaks the stigma.
I have not hidden how much I appreciated this storyline and how I wished it had more focus and development. I hope the storyline lingers; mental illness is a daily struggle, and I would like to see that continue to factor in DeLuca's storyline.
I'm also happy about him getting his dark blues. I wished he had gone into a different field. I always found it frustrating how he lost himself in Meredith, but we'll have to see where he goes from here.
Berea: I guess we’re split down the middle on this; I like DeLuca, too. I’ve loved this mental illness storyline with him. Giacomo has done SUCH a good job in it. I’m so glad the sex trafficking story came back too because I knew he was right, but it was just so sad no one would believe him because he was in a manic state.
I wish we could’ve spent more time on his mental health breakdown and the subsequent recovery. However, I know there was not much that could’ve been done about that given them having to end the season early due to COVID.
Now that Deluca is a resident, I’m looking forward to him getting more stories outside of his romance with Meredith. I honestly hope that is over. I want to see him back as Amelia’s Neuro protege. Maybe we could even revisit his feelings for Jo now that she’s free (we won’t even discuss what she did to move on).
Do you think Amelia and Link and Maggie and Winston will be the most successful couples this season?
Meaghan: Winston is incredibly sweet, and Maggie definitely deserves that, so I am happy. I'm just not sure how sustainable their relationship will be with the pandemic.
Amelia and Link are the ultimate Couple Goals at this point. For one, how incredible are they with their fantastic parenting? Not to mention they are comedic gold. After all of the negativity that bogged down their relationship last season, I am praying they get to continue to be this happy.
Jasmin: I love Maggie and Winston together! They are so cute. He is so sweet, and they feel like soulmates. My guess is that partway through the season, Winston will move to Seattle permanently.
I love Amelia and Link as well. After everything Amelia has been through, she deserves a happy, stable relationship and family. And as Meaghan said, they are freaking hilarious. I hope to continue to see more of that this season.
Jasmine: Amelia and Link are my favorite couple right now. Leave it to them to balance parenting a newborn with taking care of Mer's kids too. They're always great comedic relief, and holy hotness, let the record show that you CAN have some HOT AF sex scenes even with these new restrictions.
I still need to learn more about Winston, but I like him and Maggie together at the moment. She seems happy, and she deserves someone who can appreciate her. If Winston gives her that, then so be it.
Berea: Amelia and Link were my favorite part of last season until the unnecessary baby daddy drama. I love their scenes together. I was so shocked they named the baby after Derek (said no one ever).
I wouldn’t go as far as to say Winston is Maggie’s soulmate, as Jasmin did. It's literally only the second episode he’s been in, and the man is still a stranger to me. It honestly feels kind of fast for me for Maggie.
I do think, though, that he’ll be moving to Seattle soon, given Anthony Hill is now part of the main cast. If he’s a good guy who treats Maggie well --like Jackson before that disastrous camping trip-- then I’m all for it.
Jo and Jackson nearly hooking up: "WTF?" or "OMG, give me more?" Jo and Jackson nearly hooking up: "WTF?" or "OMG, give me more?"
Meaghan: I can't believe I am saying this, but please give me more! The writers have had difficulty giving Jackson a healthy relationship since he and April's demise.
He and Maggie didn't feel like the right fit for me. Vic seems great, but the crossover relationships aren't built to last (unless you are Ben and Bailey).
Jo and Jackson have good chemistry on a friendship level, and I could see it building to something more that is healing for both of them. Bonus points for the writers if they can actually use Jackson to make me like Jo.
Jasmin: I agree, which is wild because, before this, I was firmly in the heck no camp! When I saw fans speculating about this online before the show came back, I thought it was the dumbest idea ever.
One, because those two characters rarely have scenes together and aren’t that close. And two, Jackson has Harriet and is a single parent, and Jo was lukewarm on the idea of having kids. She only considered it because of her relationship with Alex.
That being said, after this episode, I could go for it. I liked the twist that she went to Jackson and asked him for a favor, and they were going to hook up and have a one night stand, and then Jo got drunk on the way over and wound up crying because she wasn’t ready.
I have a feeling that they’re going to have them go back to being friends for the time being and then pick that storyline up later when Jo’s had a chance to heal. If they build to it slowly, I could get behind it, which I never thought I'd say.
Jasmine: I always feel like I'll enjoy something, then the show does it in excess, and I regret liking it. I thought Jackson was a good friend to Jo during Season 16, but they never seemed close enough for a "let me use you for sex" thing. Callie and Mark, they are not.
It's "WTF" for me. Both of them need to be single right now. Jackson's love life felt so shallow last season that I hoped he would have a storyline with something of more substance. Jo, with the stuff with her mother, her depression, and Alex leaving her, I would like to see her continuing to work on herself and becoming more independent.
Jo: I need sex. I need sex. I need a sex favor, a sexual favor.
Jackson: Um, what?
Berea: Meghan and Jasmin, I can’t even look at you (virtually) right now! I am firmly in WTF territory. I never want to see this happen ever again.
In my opinion, if she had to be put with anyone again, it should be DeLuca or Station 19’s Jack. But also, what’s the rush? Cristina was single a whole season before Owen came along.
Also, Jackson’s relationship with Maggie seemed to be the most healthy one he’s had. In season 16, it felt like his character had a complete backslide in maturity with that shallow relationship with Vic. And now he’s just completely open to a potential hook up with Jo with no question?
At the very least, I would think he would pause the simple fact that Alex was probably his best male friend before he left. And yet, he has no second thoughts about sleeping with Alex’s ex-wife? It was just a strange encounter all around for me.
What are your predictions? What storylines are you looking forward to most?
Meaghan: So much hinges on whether the show ends this season. I wish they made a decision going into this season, so as a whole, it aimed at wrapping up the series if that is the intention. Who knows, though, maybe Krista and Ellen have made the decision but aren't revealing it yet.
If the show plans to end this season, I could see them going down the popular fan theory root that Mer has early onset Dementia. While it would be nice to see her get a happy ending, what ending would truly be happy for her at this point? Mer's story is the one I'm most invested in.
It has been a long time since Grey's gave her a truly compelling storyline. I also can't wait to see what old faces are going to pop up.
Krista said she wants to give fans those moments to bring joy to our lives. Could we see George on the beach? Might Alex and Izzie (actual Izzie, not just vague blonde Izzie shaped person) have a zoom session to check in on Mer? The possibilities are so exciting!
Jasmin: It does depend on whether they chose to end the show this season. I believe that is a strong possibility because of how they've set up the characters starting with last season and the fact that we've already had the surprise appearance of a previously departed original cast member.
Like Meaghan, I'm interested to see whether Meredith really has COVID or something else. Meredith's story is the one I'm the most invested in as well at this point.
My three favorite characters from this show are Meredith, Cristina, and Alex, and since Cristina and Alex got their happy endings, I'd love to see Meredith get one too. I am also hoping for a George beach cameo! I'd love to see Cristina, Alex, and Izzie pop in over Zoom!
Jasmine: Yeah, with the discussions about this being the last season and all of that, I would like to head in that direction toward the happy ending for Mer or just the perfect wrap-up for everyone.
I was in the minority with the premiere. I didn't think it was perfect, despite my enjoyment of it, but the final moments had me excited and eager to see what the rest of the season would look like, and I loved that after all of these years, Grey's can still make me excited and surprise me. The possibilities are endless right now, but I'm here for the ride.
I heard you got in an OR today. I'm jealous. I haven't touched a scalpel in weeks.Mer
Berea: Meredith is obviously sick, but I’m not sure we can say it’s dementia yet. Honestly, I no longer feel comfortable making predictions anymore. I’ve been so wrong the last year or so!
I was POSITIVE there was no way Jackson and Vic would be the inter show romance. I was positive there was no way Jo and Jackson would be together or even hookup. I didn’t think we would ever get new Merder content, and here we are. Usually, my predictions are pretty close to being spot-on, but I’ve been so wrong lately!
Meredith being on death’s door once again will be interesting, but how many times will she almost die before the reaper has had enough?
Jackson needs therapy before he dates anyone else. I need to know a little more about Winston before I fully support him. Stranger danger for now.
Let Amelink be happy. I wouldn’t be mad if we get a wedding soon, but I also want to learn more about Link outside of the kid cancer story.
Please give Glasses the strength to remove himself from toxic Nico. More Parker and Helm will always be my request. More Hayes and Meredith scenes, also. I’ll try not to think too much into him being the one to find her and being so afraid.
What was your favorite scene, quote, arc, or character from the premiere?
Meaghan: There is only one possible answer for me because nothing, and I mean nothing, could top the Derek moment for me. Derek was a death that greatly impacted the quality of the show and my enjoyment of it for years.
I didn't know how much I really missed him and Patrick until he was standing on the beach in all his peppered glory. Such a perfect shocking moment that actually paid off!
Jasmin: Nothing tops the reveal at the end with Patrick Dempsey. Nothing. I'm surprised they were able to keep that a secret. That must have been difficult, and they pulled it off in spectacular fashion.
Second, I loved all of the Bailey and Richard scenes. Richard had the best quotes of the night. His zingers were on point!
I loved seeing the intern from Pac North, who called Bailey an icon last season, checking temperatures. All of Meredith's scenes in the premiere were spectacular, and I'm excited to see where her storyline goes this season.
Jasmine: Derek takes the cake. But for the sake of diversity, I loved Tom breaking down and beating up the supply of booties. It was so visceral. I also loved Mer's moment in the supply room when DeLuca walked in and how she tried to compose herself.
And yes, I am STILL laughing at him telling that racist patient to piss off or suck it up. Perez is a treasure and an icon.
Patient: I don't want a Chinese doctor.
Perez: Oh. OK, then you're going to want to follow the green line to the parking lot, put your rude self back in the car, and hope that you don't go into anaphylactic shock.
Berea: Xander Perez is a gem, and we need more of him.
Derek is too easy an answer, so to think outside the box, my favorite part would have to be Maggie and Jackson yelling at Catherine and Richard to grow up and work things out with each other. They were too old to keep up their grudges with one another. AND I love Catherine giving Richard the Chief of Chiefs post. Webber will ALWAYS be our chief!
Over to you, Grey's Fanatics. Hit the comments below!
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.