Grey's anatomy mashup meredith interns
Credit: ABC

It’s not a coincidence that the Season Premiere is titled “Everything Has Changed!” 

Over the past few years, Grey’s Anatomy has been in a rather weird position. Despite being one of the most popular shows on ABC’s lineup, it seems to exist in a perpetual state of near-cancellation. “Will this be the show’s final season?” everyone wonders as, despite great ratings, it occasionally stumbles creatively even as it deals with the question of whether leading lady Ellen Pompeo — whose Meredith puts the Grey in the title — will continue to appear.

Grey's Anatomy Richard Meredith

Richard and Meredith will have a whole new slew of interns over which to watch this season.

Credit: ABC

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While we’ve long argued that the show is an ensemble piece which could easily survive without Pompeo’s alter ego — and even suggested ways to make it happen — it’s unclear if ABC would feel the same way. Which is why this week’s episode, as well as those coming up during the entirety of Season 19 — are so incredibly crucial. With Pompeo vastly reducing her presence (Meredith will only appear in eight episodes), and the last crop of interns largely a bust thanks to poor writing which never really fleshed them out, it’s make-or-break time for the actors who comprise the staff of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.

If there’s good news, it’s that someone behind the scenes seems to realize that a refresh is needed. Last season’s finale saw the intern program being dismantled as the hospital underwent a seismic, chaotic shift. Like the show itself, the fate of the central institution was left up in the air. But you know what they say: Out with the old, in with the new. In this case, that means a whole slew of new interns who, unlike the last batch, promise to be more than background players.

More: Meet all the new Grey’s Anatomy interns

Elsewhere, Dr. Addison Montgomery (played to perfection by Kate Walsh) is confirmed to be returning for at least a few episodes this season. Is it wrong of us to hope that as Meredith fades into the background, Derek’s ex-wife becomes an ever-bigger presence?

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