Okay, guys. It's July, which means it's time to take a moment to pause and look at what we know about Grey's Anatomy Season 9. More specifically, we want to look at what we know about which characters are and aren't coming back. Because although the entire cast is still on contract, the end of Season 8, Episode 24, "Flight" left many fates up in the air.
Here's the rundown.
April Kepner (Sarah Drew): Sarah told us that she is officially coming back next season. Despite April's boards failure, the writers will have to find a way to work her into the plot.
Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd): Owen is one of the few characters who is obviously safe: He is keeping his job at Seattle Grace-Mercy West and he wasn't in the plane crash. Plus, Kevin McKidd has chatted a lot about what he hopes to see for the character next season.
Miranda Bailey (Chanda Wilson): Like Owen, Bailey is safe and sound at Seattle Grace-Mercy West, and there are even spoilers about her plotline next season — namely that Jason George, who plays her hottie fiancee Ben, will still be around some of the time.
Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) and Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez): Although there hasn't been much Grey's talk from either actor, there's no reason to think Richard or Callie won't be back, since they are also in the special category of "employed by Seattle Grace-Mercy West and not in the crash."
Fate Up in the Air
Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), and Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh): Since these original cast members renewed their contracts for two seasons we seriously doubt Shonda will kill them off or permanently send them to a different hospital. Still, there's no confirmation that they'll definitely stick around.
Mark Sloan (Eric Dane) and Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw): We also don't really think Shonda will kill Mark or Arizona, but it's worth noting that these two were in the worst shape by far when Season 8 ended. There have been (very unsubstantiated) rumors that someone else might die in the Season 9 premiere. If that rumor does turn out to be true (hopefully not!) Mark and Arizona seem to be the most likely targets based on their injuries.
Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) and Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams): It's also worth noting that Alex and Jackson are both supposed to be leaving Seattle for greener pastures elsewhere. Will they end up sticking around? Probably, but we can't say for sure.
Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh): We don't even want to talk about this. We all know why she's not coming back. (*sob*)
Teddy Altman (Kim Raver): Shonda Rhimes confirmed that Teddy is indeed leaving Seattle Grace-Mercy West for good. (Though since she's alive, there's still a chance she might return as a guest star now and then.)
Miss Grey’s? Us too. Luckily the show will return to Thursdays at 9 p.m. with all-new episodes in the fall on ABC.
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