After a wedding, a baby and an explosive fight, the May 19 season finale of Grey’s Anatomy left nearly everyone in Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital with unresolved conflicts. Here are 10 things to expect when the ABC drama returns for its 13th season on Thursday, September 22:
1. There is no time jump
Despite the show’s tendency to play with time shifts, season 13 will pick up right after Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) brutally beat up Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti). "You see the aftermath of their fight causing a ripple effect across the entire hospital,” Camilla Luddington, who plays Jo Wilson, tells Us Weekly. "People take sides, there's confusion over what has actually happened and absolutely repercussions for the tornado of drama.”
"I was told all summer, don't change anything about your look, come back exactly the way you left,” Jason George tells Us. "And then when I got back for the table read, I found out they meant it. This is, like, minutes later.” George, 44, who stars as compassionate doctor Ben Warren, adds that viewers should definitely get a refresher before sitting down for the season 13 premiere. "I'm telling everyone you need to go back and watch the finale so you're up to speed,” he says. "You don't want to jump on a train already doing 70 miles an hour!”
2. The Riggs-Meredith-Maggie love triangle will heat up
After Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) revealed that she has feelings for Riggs (Martin Henderson) — a.k.a. the four-times-in-one-night stand of Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) — the drama will continue to play out between the half-sisters. "The writers are definitely having a lot of fun with that dynamic,” Henderson, 41, tells Us. "It's dramatic, funny and sad all at the same time. I think it will take a while to work itself out as not everything is being put out on the table by all of the characters. It's bound to get increasingly complicated."
3. The sisters’ relationship is still a work in progress
“Meredith has Maggie still helping with the kids, and they’re going to have an interesting dynamic this year based on the whole Nathan love triangle thing,” Caterina Scorsone, who plays passionate Amelia Shepherd, told The Hollywood Reporter. “Even though Amelia is moving out of the house, the sister dynamic is going to be central to her story line.”
4. Jo may not tell Alex that she’s married
After witnessing Alex’s violent outburst, Jo is hesitant to tell him that she is still wed to her abuser. "Jo feels like her past puts not only her, but Alex too, in an extremely dangerous position,” Luddington, 32, tells Us. “She was worried that if she told Alex, he would have a knee-jerk reaction and perhaps do something to make it worse for them both.” While the Californication alum doesn’t elaborate on details of what the outcome will be, she explains that the fight hit too close to home for Jo. "There's residual feelings about her own experience with physical violence in her home,” she says. “Now she's witnessing an assault again by someone she loves. Emotionally she’s in a very complicated place. She's torn.”
5. April and Jackson will — perhaps unsuccessfully— attempt to be a happy family
Following their divorce, April Kepner (Sarah Drew) and Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) now must co-parent their newborn. “They’re going to really try to do this in a healthy way,” creator Shonda Rhimes revealed to Entertainment Weekly. “Is that healthy way going to feel so healthy when they still have feelings for each other?”
6. The drama following Amelia and Owen’s wedding won’t involve the pair themselves
“Immediately on the tail of Amelia and Owen's wedding there’s big explosive drama that’s happening right away,” Scorsone told THR, noting that it doesn’t involve the couple. “On Grey’s Anatomy, it could be a literal explosion, but in this case, it’s emotionally explosive. It’s going to be a key story this year that a lot of people are going to be interested in.”
7. Jo’s ex could make an appearance
Luddington isn’t ruling out Jo’s ex reentering her life. ”That’s up to the writers to decide,” she tells Us. "However, Grey’s characters seem to have a hard time escaping their past.”
8. Meredith isn’t getting her fairy-tale ending — yet
"If Meredith Grey were 100 percent fully happy, the show would be over,” Rhimes said in May. "So maybe when the show ends, Meredith can be fully happy maybe. But if she is, we’re done. The journey would have to end for her. That would be it.”
9. Arizona will finally get a new love interest
After Callie (Sara Ramirez) left Seattle to be with Penny (Samantha Sloyan) in New York, her ex Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) will get her own romantic story as well. "I’m very excited to introduce a love interest for her,” Rhimes told EW. “And to get to tell a story with her that lets her be who she is, and to see who she is post the relationships that she’s had.”
10. The focus will be on the day-one characters
Despite the introduction to many new characters in the show’s 13 seasons, “There is going to be a lot of checking in with the original cast,” Scorsone tells THR. “We love them so much and there has been such a renaissance with the show that it's nice to focus on the core pieces that have been there since the very beginning."
Grey's Anatomy airs on ABC Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!