Grey’s Anatomy’s Midseason Premiere Spoilers: Meredith Won’t Appear

After an explosive midseason finale, ABC's Grey’s Anatomy is returning Thursday, January 26, and will pick up right where the drama’s November 17 episode left off. But in true Grey’s fashion, viewers will have to wait for the answers to this season’s burning questions about Alex’s fate, Owen and Amelia’s relationship, and what exactly is going on with Jackson and April. Here are five things to expect in the winter premiere, "You Can Look (But You'd Better Not Touch.)”

Bailey, Arizona and Jo go to a maximum security women's prison to treat a violent, 16-year-old pregnant girl and her unborn baby, on the midseason premiere of
Miranda, Jo, and Arizona go to a maximum security women's prison to treat a violent 16-year-old pregnant girl and her unborn baby on the midseason premiere of 'Grey's Anatomy.' ABC/Byron Cohen

1. The episode will only have one storyline …

The hourlong story will follow Jo (Camilla Luddington), Miranda (Chandra Wilson) and Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) as they go to a prison to help a 16-year-old violent inmate deliver her child. "There are some funny moments and some scary moments and some really emotional moments,” Luddington told TVLine of the episode, which was filmed on the set of another TGIT favorite, Scandal. "It's interesting to see how they react in a place that isn't their usual [hospital] environment.” Added Capshaw to TV Guide: "It's truly kind of creepy at the same time as it's super-provocative and exciting.”

2. … which means many lead characters won’t appear

While the drama is known for time jumps and telling multiple characters’ stories at once, no other characters will even appear in the episode. This means viewers will have to wait at least another week to find out if Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) left Owen (Kevin McKidd), how Webber (James Pickens Jr.) will react to Eliza’s new position of power, and if Alex (Justin Chambers) will go to jail for beating up DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti).

3. All three women react very differently to the prisoner

In the sneak peek above, the teenage inmate, being restrained in handcuffs, tries to intimidate the doctors. “I don’t bite,” she says. “I mean, I have. But I can’t right now.” Jo ignores her comment, while Arizona tries to counter with being overly nice. The girl responds by telling Arizona that she talks like “unicorn and rainbows are about to shoot out of your ass.” Meanwhile, Miranda is nowhere to be found.

4. Alex’s future is still up in the air

No real answers are given to the biggest question of the season so far: Will Alex go to jail for beating up DeLuca? “There is mention of what's happening with Alex,” Luddington recently told Us Weekly and other reporters. “In the episode after it, all is revealed. Its fate is revealed.”

5. Someone is likely going to jail

In a recent promo for the episode, which appears to combine new footage with older clips from the season, Meredith says to someone off-camera, “Thirty years to life?” and the camera quickly flashes to Alex behind bars. While he is the only character currently at risk of going to jail, the chances he’d get a life sentence for fighting DeLuca seem unlikely, so a new crime may be introduced to the mix.

Watch a sneak peek of the episode in the clip above.

Grey’s Anatomy returns to ABC Thursday 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!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!