Grey's Anatomy season 18 premiere

ABC/Richard Cartwright; Courtesy Everett Collection

When the show returns this fall, it’s bringing with it romance, medical chaos and a few familiar faces.

It doesn’t look a day older than 10, yet ABC’s long-running Grey’s Anatomy will return for its 18th (!) season on Thursday, September 30 (at 9/8c). And though speculation has swirled that the primetime soap is eyeing the finish line, there is no indication — at least as of yet — that this season will be its last. What we do know, however, is that the premiere will feature a crossover event with sister show Station 19 that will include “one hell of a return.” As for what else to expect… well, keep reading!

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Starting Off With a Bang

As seen in the preview below, the Station 19 crew can’t make its way to Grey Sloan Hospital via ambulance so the first-responders appear to be forced to transport their patient on foot. Elsewhere in the promo, Owen’s sister Megan (All My Children’s Becca, Abigail Spencer) is seen roaming the hospital halls while, in an outdoor setting, Teddy exclaims, “Oh my God!” And, of course, Meredith is back in action after her brush with COVID — and seemingly receiving ghostly advice from her mother, as Kate Burton reprises her role of Ellis.

Love will also be in the air when Grey’s Anatomy returns, as executive producer Meg Marinis previewed for our sister site TVLine. Owen and Teddy will be “starting the season stronger than ever,” she said. And considering that the embattled exes got re-engaged in Season 17’s finale, if there’s not a wedding in the premiere, one surely can’t be too far behind. Another couple whose union will be celebrated this year is that of newlyweds Maggie and Winston, who will be “very much in love” when they return from their honeymoon.

Things might not be as rosy for Linc and Amelia, however, considering she turned down his marriage proposal at the end of last season. All is not lost though, as Marinis explained to TVLine, “They’re going to have to figure it out because they still very much have love for each other. But he’s also very, very hurt.” But hey, at least he’ll have good friend Jo to lean on…

Is [Spoiler] a Goner?

As for cast changes Spencer’s Megan and Burton’s Ellis won’t be the only familiar faces returning for season 18. Kate Walsh is reprising her role of Addison, who hasn’t been seen on Grey’s Anatomy since 2007. Of course, she left for the spinoff Private Practice, where she continued to, ahem, play doctor. While it remains to be seen what kind of relationship Derek’s first wife has with his widow now, as first reported by Deadline, Meredith will meet a new character named David (played by Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist’s Peter Gallagher), who had ties to her mother. (Could Mer have yet another surprise sibling out there?)

As for the major return teased in the premiere promo, there’s speculation that it could be Martin Henderson’s Nathan, who was last seen in 2017 moving to Los Angeles with a resurrected Megan and her adopted son, Farouk. As TVLine pointed out, Riggs was left out of ABC’s new character description for Megan, which has her living on the West Coast with only her little boy. Could they be bringing Nathan back just to kill him off — either in flashbacks or as part of the premiere’s medical emergency?

GREY'S ANATOMY, Martin Henderson, 'The Me Nobody Knows', (Season 12, ep. 1206, aired Nov. 5, 2015). photo: Mitchell Haaseth / ©ABC / courtesy Everett Collection

The Doctors Are Out

While last season briefly welcomed back the late Derek (Patrick Dempsey), George (T.R Knight), Lexie (Chyler Leigh) and Mark (Eric Dane), it also said goodbye to a couple of characters. Those who won’t be returning for season 18 include Jesse Williams’ Jackson, Giacomo Gianniotti’s DeLuca (RIP) and Greg Germann’s Tom. Though showrunner Krista Vernoff told TVLine that “we plan to see Koracick again!”

What are you most looking forward to when Grey’s Anatomy returns? Tell us in the comments after looking at our photo gallery below of the 15 most successful daytime stars in primetime. Then, get your free daily soap-opera fix for all four daytime dramas delivered straight to your email inbox by signing up for Soaps.com’s newsletter.

Video: ABC/YouTube