‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Complete Guide to Season 20 on ABC

Art for season 20 of Grey's Anatomy on ABC

Runaway brides, life-changing discoveries, and a flatline on a heart monitor. Sounds like the type of season finale Grey’s Anatomy fans have come to anticipate.

After almost a year hiatus, the five-time Emmy winning series returns Thursday, March 14 at 9:00 P.M. ET on ABC for its 20th season and fans are anxious for answers. With so much happening and a long break between seasons, it can be hard to remember where we left off. But don’t worry, we are here to recap all the key points ahead of the premiere. Not a DISH subscriber? Follow this link to find the best offer and subscribe to DISH today!


Where did we leave off?

The last five minutes of the season finale was a typical Grey’s ending, in that is was STRESSFUL. Not only is a patient in critical condition but so is Chief of Surgery, Teddy Altman (Kim Raver). During an emergency procedure, Teddy collapses leaving interns Yasuda, Adams, and Griffith (Midori Francis, Niko Terho and Alexis Floyd) to take matters into their own hands, because that always goes well. Meanwhile Owen (Kevin McKidd) races to the ER and enters a very grim scene; interns are frozen, there’s blood everywhere, and a flatline is sounding. But before we discover who it belongs to, the screen goes black and the episode ends.

But hey, at least Jo and Link finally admitted their feelings for one another right?


What do we know about the new class of surgical interns?

This class of interns is unlike any other we’ve seen (and not in a good way). Season 18 ended with Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital losing its accreditation and status as THE go to surgical residency program. Now the program is basically a career death sentence and we have an intern class full of “rejects”.

To put it simply, this new class of interns are extremely human. They represent the non-traditional paths and unseen challenges some people face on their road to becoming a doctor. They struggle with ADHD, burnout, and difficult family relationships (nope, I’m not talking about Meredith. Or Amelia. Or Maggie). Of course, we are going to have our standard drama and relationships – a dissertation could be written on the way Lucas looked at Simone in Season 19, Episode 9 – but the show seems to be taking a different approach that could be very appreciated.


What original castmembers are still on Grey’s Anatomy in 2024?

Of the 8 original cast members, only two remain; Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.). Both Bailey and Webber have expanded outside of their original positions but seem to have drastically different experiences. Bailey’s newfound passion project has landed her the prestigious Catherine Fox award, while Richard seems to be hanging on to his sobriety by a thread (as indicated by the drink in his hand the last time we saw him).

These are two pivotal characters who have basically raised all our favorite baby surgeons into the industry leaders we see today. What would Grey’s be without them? Do we even want to find out?


What happened to Meredith Grey?

Meredith’s departure was fueled by two things: her need to support Zola and her drive to cure Alzheimer’s. Seeing as the actress, Ellen Pompeo, and the character are so intertwined, it makes sense that Pompeo’s personal reasons for leaving the show mirror those of her character. In a February 2023 interview, Ellen cited a desire to “mix it up” as a driving factor in leaving the show along with spending more time with her family. But where does this leave Meredith Grey?

Right where she should be: moving on. We love Meredith and have joined her on this journey for the last 19 years. But there comes a time where all characters have to leave home and grow into something new. In Meredith’s case, it’s almost a relief. With all the trauma she has experienced in that hospital over the years (losing her mother, losing friends, losing her sister, and several near death experiences), Meredith deserves a fresh start. There are too many ghosts at Grey Sloan.


What characters are rumored to return this season?

Grey’s Anatomy has managed to continuously surprise audiences with huge guest appearances. Most notably is Season 17 where viewers were delighted (and heartbroken all over again) to see fan favorites who have passed like George O’Malley, Lexie Grey, and Derek Shepard during one of Meredith’s aforementioned near death experiences.

For characters still living, fans have high hopes based on a cute Valentine’s Day reel posted by Camilla Luddington, who plays Jo Wilson, featuring fan favorite Arizona Robbins (played by Jessica Capshaw). Considering Arizona is a renowned pediatric surgeon and Jo has a daughter with a complicated health history, we wouldn’t be surprised if we see Arizona coming to the aid of a friend this season.


Will this be the final season?

With everything that happened at the end of season 19, there are plenty of questions waiting to be answered in the season premiere. The biggest question however, is around the future of the show. According to show creator Shonda Rhimes, the show is nowhere near done! Like we alluded to earlier, this new group of interns has brought something new to the table in 2024. More importantly, it’s still fun. Grey’s has an avid fan base that is willing to ride this train to the last stop. It has become a staple of pop culture and is finding its footing again in terms of the characters and story. – Amani Chatterton