Arizona: Shonda Rhimes is remaining purposefully vague on Arizona's fate, but she has said that the writers' focus is on doing what's best for the story and the show. She says that can be "really sometimes difficult to do that but it's also sometimes really gratifying." She adds that whatever happens to Arizona will "impact [Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez)] hugely. We're going to spend a lot of time with Callie this season, there's a lot of story to be told there." This has led many to worry about Arizona dying, though it's also very possible that she loses her leg, or perhaps struggles with recovering from her injury in other ways.
Meredith: It sounds like the crash will leave Meredith very angry. Ellen Pompeo says, "She's angry about all the stuff that happened, so she's teaching her interns and she's really mean to them." Oh yeah, did we mention she has interns? For their sakes, we hope Mer eventually works through the emotional impact of the crash. Shonda Rhimes has also called Meredith's reaction "surprising."
Derek: During the crash Derek's hand was injured, and it sounds like there's not a full recovery headed his way (at least not yet). While it sounds like he'll remain a doc, Shonda Rhimes says he'll have to tackle figuring out how to be a doctor "when you can’t do the thing you’re greatest at any more." In other words, who is he if he's not "the guy who operates"?
Cristina: Meanwhile, Shonda Rhimes has said Cristina's reaction to the crash will be "both expected and unexpected." The writers are "going to really follow" Cristina as she learns to "cope in the best way she knows how." And the crash might actually end up being a good thing for Owen (Kevin McKidd)/Cristina shippers, as Kevin McKidd says "the plane crash is pretty much going to press a big reset button on Cristina and Owen's priorities so it'll be interesting to see where they are at emotionally for each other when we start the next season."