Grey's Anatomy: Shonda Rhimes on MerDer's 'Intense' Obstacles, Two Docs' 'Wonderful Journey' and More

Grey's Anatomy Spoilers

Camilla Luddington has a leg up on some East Coast weather forecasters, because her assessment of Grey’s Anatomy‘s upcoming run — “All storm. No calm.” — passes muster with the boss herself.

“I think that’s a lovely way of describing it,” Shonda Rhimes says of Luddington’s terse tease. “Good for her.”

Of course, as the ABC drama returns Thursday at 8/7c, the coldest front is swirling around Meredith and Derek’s home, in the wake of Dr. Shepherd accepting a D.C.-based job offer from the President of the United States — at Meredith’s urging-slash-taunting.

“That, for them, is a very dark moment,” Rhimes tells TVLine. “I said that this was ‘the season of Meredith,’ and she is very much going to be tested by what happens. This will be the first time she’s without Derek and Cristina, without any of those familiar supports, so this will be about her coming into her own, as a person and as a surgeon.”

Of course, in real life people do manage bicoastal relationships. But Grey’s won’t take the easy road by affording Drs. Grey and Shepherd frequent cross-country visits, or many on-camera phone/video chats. (As Rhimes told EW.com, “It’s highly possible that we might not see Derek for a while.”) Couple that with the marrieds’ ongoing issues and “their obstacles are very intense,” Rhimes warns. “Things are always difficult when people grow apart, Grey's Anatomy Spoilersand sometimes they don’t grow back together, which is always the worst. Meredith is having a very difficult time.”

MOMMA DRAMA | “Difficult” can’t begin to describe the dilemma on the horizon for Jackson and April, whose unborn child is presenting with osteogenesis imperfecta (a genetic, fragile bone disorder) — information of which only the Dad-to-be has accidentally become aware. “That’s a really powerful story,” Rhimes says. “Sarah Drew pitched it to us and I at first was like, ‘I don’t want to do this story. It’s going to break my heart,’ but she had such a really beautiful take on it.”

Namely, for Jackson, “who is a man of science,” and April, “a doctor filled with faith,” Rhimes notes, “it is going to be a very interesting struggle” — starting with how Jackson relays the dire diagnosis to his bride. “It is just painful to have to know it, to have to relay it, to have to deal with it,” Rhimes says, “and to have to figure out what to do next.”

SOMETHING ‘WONDERFUL’ | Jackson wasn’t the only Grey+SloanGrey's Anatomy Spoilers doc to get a shocking earful in the midseason finale. Arizona — having duped Dr. Herman’s medical records into her possession – learned from a consult with Amelia that her mentor’s brain tumor is not necessarily fatal. Of course, to share that news with Herman will require Arizona copping to her snooping. “It’s going to be really interesting watch what happens” on that front, Rhimes says, adding that as a result, “We definitely get more of Geena Davis” (as Dr. Herman). “Arizona and Dr. Herman end up having a wonderful journey together in this back half of the season.”

Speaking of Arizona and journeys, estranged wife Callie will be on one of her own, “trying to figure out who she is by herself,” Rhimes previews. “[Finding herself] was sort of her plan, and it’s very charming to watch her try to get back out there and see what it’s like — and how to figure out how to be a friend with Arizona.”Grey's Anatomy Spoilers

‘PERSON’ OF INTEREST | Grey’s being Grey’s, the back half of Season 11 won’t be all Sturm und Drang. On the romantic front, Owen and Amelia will grow closer, while Alex and Jo will continue to be tested by the latter’s increasing role as Meredith’s new “person” — though “not in a dark way or anything,” Rhimes makes clear. “I find a lot of humor and charm in watching Jo cope with the fact that Meredith is trying to be the middle spoon in their bed in a lot of ways. Her horror at that concept is kind of great.”

As for Alex, he finds his role in Mer’s life alternately “terrible” and “enviable.” “I think he kind of loves it,” Rhimes says, but as a surrogate for Cristina, “it’s not the same for Meredith!”

Want more scoop on Grey’s, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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34 Comments
  1. Sara says:

    So looking forward for the MerDer storyline!!!

  2. lana says:

    I’m gonna be a mess after watching the japril storyline ç__ç

  3. Lea says:

    Please give Jo and Alex a decent storyline already! Why do they have to make their entire storyline this season about Meredith? I mean, look what a huge and meaningful storyline Jackson and April are getting. This really seems a bit unfair.

  4. jacjones says:

    It makes me sad to see what a train wreck this once-great show has become. Patrick Dempsey and Sandra Oh were the reasons I originally started watching. Now Christina is gone and Derek continues to be more and more marginalized (in ways that can’t be wholly attributed to Patrick Dempsey’s personal situation). It’s time to put this show to rest once and for all.

    • anon says:

      I actually Meredith is stronger without Derek but that’s my opinion.

    • Debra says:

      It makes you think: Does life imitate art or does art imitate life?

      • Portia says:

        I was just thinking this. Dempsey puts his racing career first, over his wife and kids. He has said he acts to pay his racing bills so between Greys and racing he spends more time away from his home, kids, and wife. Now Derek wants DC more than anything. It’s definitely life imitating art.

  5. GreyShepherd says:

    Excited to see Meredith be her own person, about time they focus on her career.. and for Meredith and Derek’s intense journey! I hope we’ll see them be stronger than ever at the end. Loving their intense, dark storyline this season!

    • Lauren says:

      I think you can learn to be your own person and grow stronger with out being a complete cold hearted b*tch… like her mother… who… as we all know… drove everyone away… including her daughter… and was utterly alone.

      Her craziness in the last episode turned me off so much, that I am not at all excited to see her “grow stronger and find herself.” This is one, long time viewer, literally over a decade of my life committed to this show, that wont rushing to watch the upcoming shows.

  6. Kar says:

    Meredith told Derek to go, yelled at him too. Why is she having a terrible time? Cause now she actually has to parent her kids instead of drinking at Alexs 24/7?

    • Tia says:

      Because he told her the job in DC that he gave up is everything for him? And he throw that in her face over and over.

    • RUCookie says:

      over exagerate much? It was no where near 24/7. People need friends. And Derek hasn’t been a friend at all this season. He was blaming her. He needed to go to DC.

    • Linda says:

      Maybe because he promised her he would take a back seat in his career to take care of the kids until they were teens for the sake of Meredith’s career and at first opportunity he dropped the hot potato, reasoning that his thingy was more important than hers. More important than his promise and his kids.

  7. Gina says:

    FINALLY THE WAIT IS ALMOST OVER. it’s has been a loooooong hiatus, Thank God for netflix & Grey’s Antomy.

    Finally we have some Merder drama. Can’t wait to see how Mer is going to deal with everything without Derek.

    The Japril baby drama, I think is going to be heartbreaking to watch.

    Calzona: It’s going to be heartbreaking to see them maybe date other people but I can’t wait to see how they’re going to find their way back to each other because I still believe they’re MFEO.

    Amelia and Owen together, I love it.

  8. Jared says:

    I think they both are at fault. I was on team Meredith at first but now I see Derek’s side. She needs to stop pushing him away and he needs to stop throwing D.C in her face.The Japril storyline is heart breaking and I applaud both Shonda Rhimes and Sarah Drew for giving us such a beautiful storyline. I think something big is gonna happen for Jo and Alex. I don’t know good or bad but I feel something coming. Can’t wait for tomorrow!

  9. nitemar says:

    I don’t mind if Arizona and Callie never got back together as a couple, they had become too toxic together., now, I ‘d love to watch Callie with a guy again, she was more interesting and SEXier. I believe Arizona may decide leaving with Dr Herman and could serve as one of the season cliffhangers. And a PLEA to Shonda, please, don’t kill Japril’s baby! Mer is the sun!

  10. Brenda says:

    So because Shonda wants Mer to grow more, we don’t get to see Derek for awhile? I thought she was all whole and healed.

    • Sara says:

      Patrick Dempsey might have asked for some time off with everything happening in his personal life, so they might put it in the storyline.. though I wish he won’t be missing too many episodes.

      • aph1976 says:

        I agree tht the show may have given Patrick Dempsey some time off for him to deal with his personal life and his racing career and it fits with the story they want to tell with Derek and Meredith at the same time.Plus having Meredith apart from Derek for a bit could be good for her character as she juggles her kids and her career.I’m also sure we’ll see Derek in March or April even if it’s not in Seattle.Plus Meredith and Derek could be part of the season finale as their marriage reaches a critical point.

    • dancingzebra says:

      Get real. Patrick Dempsey wants to race more and is getting a divorce. He himself he’d rather be racing so the DC storyline for Derek allows Dempsey to get in a big racing season which HE signed up for. He also is getting a divorce so I’m guessing he needs to at least try and spend some time at home with his kids and setting up a new household. You can’t blame this on Shonda and Meredith.

  11. Sabrina says:

    Great scoop. I can’t wait for the next episode. I hope that Derek is not completely gone for too many episodes as he’s one of my favourite characters.

  12. abz says:

    Shonda should’ve stuck with her instincts and not listened to Sarah Drew. Why can’t there be one birth on this show without any sort of drama?
    Hoping to see more Meredith/Callie and Meredith/Alex bonding.
    Really wish they’d be able to do even some sort of Skype call with Cristina at some point in the future.

  13. TVNerd says:

    Here is my prediction of ABC 2015-16:

    Monday: 8 pm: DWTS 2 hours
    10 pm: Runner or Of Kings & Prophets

    Tues: 8 pm: Agents of Shield
    9 pm: Quantico
    10 pm: Castle

    Wed: 8 pm: The Goldbergs
    8:30 pm: Fresh of the Boat or Chev & Bev
    9 pm: Modern Family
    9:30 pm: Blackish
    10 pm: Broad Squad or Mix

    Thurs: 8 pm: Greys (Flesh and Blood during Midseason Break)
    9 pm: Scandal (Flesh and Blood during Midseason Break)
    10 pm: How to get Away with Murder/The Catch Midseason

    Fri: 8 pm: Last Man Standing (Final Season 13 eps) Replaced with Beyond the Tank midseason
    8: 30 pm: The Middle (Final season 13 eps)
    9 pm: Shark Tank
    10 pm: 20/20

    Sun: 8 pm: Once upon a Time
    9 pm: Nashville (May be Final Season and Midseason New Show)
    10 pm: Revenge (Final Season 13 eps) Replaced with Secrets & Lies Midseason

  14. bo'smom says:

    Alex is an original cast member, can’t he have a happy story? (That doesn’t include Meredith!)

  15. Kelly says:

    Please do not pair up Owen with Amelia. Are you kidding me? I do not see her screen appeal as anything other than MerDer’s fam and occasionally as comic relief. Owen needs much more soft femininity, affection and refinement. He’s already run the gamut with crude and robotic Christina. Give him a woman who IS emotionally available and mature. Not another fixer-upper. For the love of everything ginger and Scottish! Please!

  16. Elaine Agarro says:

    I still like the show. Because it portrays things that actually happen these days, in marriage, friendships, and other relationships. I dont like though the many characters who died, there can be creative ways of doing it without destroying a good story.
    Meredith needs growing up.

  17. nancy says:

    Yeah I’m out. After finally put them together after 4 years of back and forth, THIS is what we get? A divorce? Yeah hell NO. I’m out Shonda. thanks for nothing.

  18. Nirava Seastar says:

    I’m really upset with Merideth and how she handled this whole situation. She sabotaged her marriage and now MerDer might be over, and no Derek on Grey’s? Don’t like it , and don’t get it.

  19. Joanne banks says:

    Been watch since this series began. As always used dvd to record when working. On jan 29tj when season 11 picked up my direct tv. Recorded but nothing. I even went to on demand no find. Love to see the full episode. Help.

  20. Prudence McGillicutty says:

    I’ve watched Grey’s from the beginning. If Mer & Der split for good I’m done. Meredith & Derrick give the country hope that relationships can actually last in this busy, complicated world we live in.
    Where is this coming from anyway? I saw Patrick Dempsey interviewed at the end of last season and he said we’re so blessed to have that show, I guess we’ll keep making them as long as people keep watching them.

  21. irma says:

    I think Alex and Meredith will end up together