“Grey’s Anatomy” might still be a few weeks away from airing its anticipated Season 12 premiere but fans of the hit ABC series have received something to help ease the pain of waiting for the return of their beloved scrub-sporting docs. On Tuesday, an image of Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) from the upcoming season of Shonda Rhimes’ medical drama was released, giving audiences an insight at what to expect from the newly widowed surgeon.
In the photo, Derek’s (Patrick Dempsey) wife is seen posing in a pair of pajamas with a confused look on her face. She’s starring at both Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) and Maggie (Kelly McCreary), who are standing in the foreground, facing their distressed sister. Although it’s uncertain why Mer is distraught (could she still be in mourning?), Rhimes did promise viewers that Season 12 of the long-running series would take a “much lighter tone” -- meaning we shouldn’t expect Mer to be distraught for long.
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“Because this is a lighter season, we found funny ways to tell what’s a very emotional story — more of a charming way to tell an emotional story, but it is still emotional," Rhimes revealed during the 2015 TCA summer press tour, explaining how she was going to twist the dark plot toward the light.
According to the showrunner, one of the side-splitting Season 12 storylines will focus on Mer’s new – and awkward – living arrangements. Rhimes told the Hollywood Reporter that Meredith would be moving out of the home that she shared with her late husband and moving back into her mother’s house, along with her sister-in-law and half-sister. That’s why the three can be seen in the photo together.
"Right now it's very funny. Those three women are very different and don't have very much in common, which is fantastic," the creator dished. "Meredith needs support right now and she is related to them so it's not the same as when she was living with Izzie (Katherine Heigl) and George (T.R. Knight) and liked them. She doesn't necessarily need to like them to love them and be in a house with them. It's a fascinating dynamic — it's family."
“Grey’s Anatomy” will return with its uplifting Season 12 premiere on Thursday, Sept. 24, at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.