The wait is finally over, “Grey’s Anatomy” fans — OK, almost. After nearly two months on hiatus, the wildly popular medical drama is returning to ABC on Jan. 26, and it looks like big things are in store for the doctors at Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital.
When the show came to a temporary close in November 2017, viewers saw Alex (Justin Chambers) bracing for the worst as he prepared for a ruling in DeLuca’s (Giacomo Gianiotti) assault case against him. The pediatric surgeon was certain he would lose his medical license and be sent to jail. His nerves were on high throughout the episode, despite Meredith’s (Ellen Pompeo) repeated attempts to calm him down.
Meanwhile ex-girlfriend Jo (Camilla Luddington) was having a meltdown of her own. Amid chaos in the emergency room caused by a building collapse, she revealed to DeLuca — with whom she got close following his Season 12 brawl with Alex — that she had been summoned to provide a testimony in the case. She feared that taking the stand would force her to come clean about her true identity, which could potentially make it easier for her estranged husband to find her. Jo decided that she needed to come clean to Alex, but getting a moment alone wouldn’t be easy.
Alex made first contact with Jo. He caught her in a supply closet and apologized for the many nasty things he’d said to her the night he and DeLuca fought. Jo tried to have an honest moment with Alex, but wasn’t able to. She later caught him in the elevator, which has played host to many important moments in “Grey’s Anatomy” history. There Jo revealed the truth about her name, and why she changed it, to Alex for the first time. He was understanding and quickly grew concerned.
Fearing that his transgressions had put Jo in harm’s way, Alex made a brash decision. He decided that rather than go through with the hearing in the hopes of proving his innocence, he would accept a plea bargain that had been thrown his way. The deal would require that he agree to serve two years in jail for the crime. He ran it by Meredith before officially accepting the deal — naturally, she was completely opposed. In the final moments of the episode, Alex was shown sitting in what appeared to be a government building and was approached by a woman. It is unclear whether he will heed Meredith’s advice or go forward with his plan.
While we will just have to wait until Season 13 of “Grey’s Anatomy” returns to find out what Alex decided, some of what creator Shonda Rhimes has up her sleeve has already been revealed. Here’s what to expect from the “Grey’s Anatomy” winter premiere — titled "You Can Look (But You’d Better Not Touch)" — and beyond:
Jo Will Not Be Pregnant — At Least Not At This Point
In October, Ludington announced that she was expecting her first child. The actress shared the news in a post on Instagram, in which she wrote “baby arriving spring 2017” on a pumpkin. While she is now incredibly pregnant, Ludington says her pregnancy probably won’t be a part of her storyline, at least initially.
“As of right now, they’re definitely hiding it,” she said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “But we have many episodes to go, and we haven’t seen a good 10 or so of them, so who knows? There’s plenty of time to write it in if they feel like they want to write it in.”
Jo, Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) and Bailey (Chandra Wilson) Will Team Up
In that same interview, Luddington revealed that her character will join forces with Arizona and Bailey when Season 13 returns on Jan. 26. The trio will accept a complicated case inside a women’s prison, helping a teen girl who’s serving 20 years to life behind bars. The storyline will be the focus of the winter premiere and will center heavily on how each of the three doctors reacts to the situation.
“We are helping a 16-year-old, who is in for 20-to-life, give birth,” Luddington revealed. “What’s really exciting about the episode is seeing those three characters react very differently actually to an environment that is very different also from the hospital. The episode has so many great moments in it — there are moments where we’re laughing, we’re crying, there’s scary moments in the episode.”
We’ll Finally Find Out What Alex Decided
The answer to the cliffhanger in the “Grey’s Anatomy” winter finale will come during the episode after the winter premiere, according to Luddington. She did not reveal any further details about what he may have decided to do.
Jackson’s (Jesse Williams) Father Will Be Revealed
In all the years Williams has been on “Grey’s Anatomy,” viewers have never met his character’s father. Jackson’s mother, Catherine (Debbie Allen), plays a central role on the show, but is no longer married to his father for one reason or another. Sarah Drew, who plays April Kepner on “Grey’s Anatomy,” made the revealed to EW that her character’s ex-husband’s father is being added to the cast.
The reason for his appearance is unclear at this time, but Drew has promised that there’s a lot of Jackson-April drama to come. Drew could not reveal much, but promised an entire Season 13 episode focused on the pair as well as a “turning point” to come in their relationship.
“I can tease that there’s a real turning point that happens for the two of them,” she shared. “They’re forced to be in the same space working together with no distraction outside of the the norm, outside of anybody that they know, outside of any of the history. They’re going through something pretty big. They don’t start off in the best place when we find them on the journey.”
“Grey’s Anatomy” returns to ABC Thursday, Jan. 26 at 8 p.m. EST. For more of what’s to come click here.