Season 11 of the hit ABC series has proved to be quite interesting. Not only have we watched Meredith’s (Ellen Pompeo) relationship with her half sister evolve, but the medical drama has also provided a new perspective on its characters by putting them under a microscope.
From the Callie-centric (Sara Ramirez) installment to a Maggie-focused (Kelly McCreary) interlude, “Grey’s Anatomy” is taking an episode-by-episode approach to give viewers an in-depth look of their favorite Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital employees. Now it’s Amelia’s (Caterina Scorsone) turn to step out from of her brother’s (Patrick Dempsey) shadow and into the spotlight when episode 7 airs Thursday, Nov. 13.
"I'm excited about it because I think we've been really gradual in introducing Amelia as a regular on ‘Grey's,’ " the “Private Practice” actress told TV Guide. "We've gotten some of the fun, funny aspects of her personality. She's a really straight-shooting, sarcastic and funny girl, but we haven't learned a lot about her backstory. And Amelia has such a deep, dark, tragic backstory. ... So, you're going to see the other side, kind of the well underneath the laughter, for Amelia."
Here’s a quick recap of Amelia’s past: She lost her fiancé (Wes Brown) to a drug overdose, her best friend committed suicide, she was pregnant with a baby that was anencephalic, and she is struggling with alcohol and drug addiction. So, yeah -- Scorsone is pretty on point when she calls Amelia's history dark and tragic. The only question is: How will “Grey’s” address Amelia’s past?
According to the actress, the series will segue into her story when someone from her past shows up in Seattle. “It’s not an ex-boyfriend,” Scorsone clarified. “But it is somebody who has access to all of her history.”
The actress continued to explain that this character will threaten the new, clean name Amelia has made for herself at Grey Sloan Memorial.
“The big focus in this episode is that she has worked so hard after the tragedies that she went through and after her relapse to rebuild her life with integrity and focus and generosity. ... And here, the dark parts of her life kind of come crashing back. For the last few episodes on ‘Grey's,’ she's been struggling to prove herself as worthy of the title of chief of neurosurgery, and this is just so potentially undermining to that. I think she feels this whole life she's built for herself here in Seattle [is] threatened.”
But if viewers think Amelia’s big, strong brother will come to her rescue -- think again. Scorsone dished that Derek will “drop the ball” when her character comes racing to him with her “totally exposing situation.”
“He's under a lot of pressure, and that's when people behave badly. In this case, it was visited upon his sister. But I think it kind of shows how far he's gotten from [his normal self]. He's not behaving his best,” she elaborated.
However, a silver lining from Derek’s meltdown will appear when Amelia is forced to cry on a new shoulder: Meredith’s.
“There's this really nice moment where Amelia, after going through so much shock -- at first the exposure and then her brother's reaction to what happens -- takes Meredith out and they have a lovely kind of sit-down where they talk about what's going on with Derek," she said. "And yeah, I think Amelia feels like Meredith's there for her in a way that her brother isn't in this moment, which is unusual. She always thought that her brother would be the one to go to, and in this case, Meredith is the shoulder for her to lean on.”
And that won’t be Amelia’s only co-worker to boost her back up. Richard (James Pickens Jr.), a fellow AA member, will be sought out by Amelia for help following the “big exposure,” and according to the actress, the scene where Richard gives her advice is one of her favorite moments in episode 7.
“She kind of goes to him. And he offers just such lovely, fatherly, chief wisdom. I know he's not the chief anymore, but it's just like old-school chief, dad wisdom for Amelia. She's falling apart, and he kind of puts her back together again,” she concluded.
What do you think Amelia’s big exposure will be? Sound off in the comments section below with your theories before “Grey’s Anatomy” airs episode 7 on Thursday, Nov. 13, at 8 p.m. EST.