“Grey’s Anatomy” returns for its eighth season Thursday night. It’s hard to believe that eight years have passed since Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Cristina (Sandra Oh) began their residency at Seattle Grace, especially since in the show’s timeline they are beginning the fifth and final year of their residency. The two-hour premiere picks up five days after the seventh season finale, which ended with Derek (Patrick Demosey) leaving Meredith because she ruined his Alzheimer’s research project and Owen (Kevin McKidd) and Cristina at odds over how to handle her unplanned pregnancy. Can these relationships survive? Should they? Here are five things about the premiere that fans will be talking about on Friday morning.
The Beginning Scene Will Confuse You: The premiere’s opening scene may make you think you have accidentally changed the channel to another show. Don’t be fooled by the unfamiliar faces and set. You are watching “Grey’s.” Several minutes into the episode, the identity and purpose of the new characters will become clear.
Preview The Premiere:
Forget MerDer — It’s All About Chrisedith: Meredith and Cristina are the show’s true supercouple. Their friendship has never been stronger. They are housemates again. Meredith is able to set aside her own problems and help Cristina through one of the roughest times of her life. Meanwhile, their respective estranged husbands are building Derek’s dreamhouse with their bare hands. Seriously. Meredith and Derek’s separation complicates their plans to adopt a child. Professionally, Meredith is still suffering the consequences of her decision to violate research protocol last season. This looks like it’s going to be an agonizing season for MerDer shippers.
The Medical Emergency Will Give You Nightmares: The doctors of Seattle Grace have handled everything from patients who are rigged to explode to patients who have swallowed doll parts. The writers have managed to come up with a fresh medical scenario that would not be out of place in a horror movie. It’s one of the show’s biggest, most visually impressive scenes.The solution is gruesome and improbable. It will leave viewers wondering what they would do when faced with a similar dilemma.
Cristina and Owen Resolve Their Issues Realistically: The last time Cristina was faced with a pregnancy, it conveniently turned out to be ectopic. This time, the show is not copping out. There will be no deux en machina. Cristina and Owen’s brutal fight in last season’s finale laid out the issues: either Cristina has a child that she does not want or Owen loses a child that he very much wants. Will spending time with Meredith’s adorable baby change her mind about motherhood? Cristina assesses her options realistically and, faced with multiple imperfect options, makes a decision that will make some viewers happy and disappoint others. However, there is still no explanation for why Cristina did not get her tubes tied after her first unwanted pregnancy.
April Is No Bailey: It’s April’s first day as Chief Resident. The organized but unassertive surgeon finds the job more difficult than she expected. Says Sarah Drew, ““It’s pretty crazy. She’s incredibly organized. She’s worked her ass off to be prepared for this first day. And then she gets there and all of her preparation is totally unhelpful because no one is paying attention to what she has to say. She’s going to have an uphill battle trying to win people’s respect and have them take her seriously. She’s kind of frantic and in chaos for the first few episodes.”