TV Show Review: Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 Episode 1

Ashley Bland, Writer

Grey’s Anatomy kicked off its 18th season on ABC September 30th, leaving fans quite disappointed at its failed season premiere. 


The season premiere’s goal was to try and portray a “post-pandemic world,” after showing the doctors dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic in season 17. Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital is slowly but surely returning back to normal, ditching the masks and getting back in the operating rooms. 


Fans — myself included, were very excited to see what Ellen Pompeo and Shonda Rhimes had in store for the latest and possibly final season of the longest running medical drama in TV history. With Dr Meredith Grey in her Covid-coma for the majority of last season, she has made a miraculous recovery and is now the Residency program director at the hospital, replacing Dr Richard Webber, as well as continuing her previous job as head of General surgery before the pandemic. I think this is a great job for Grey, being that her residency with her intern class was very crazy — interns cutting LVad wires, bombs in body cavities, shootings and plane crashes. I have no doubt that the current residents won’t make the same mistakes with her supervising and mentoring them. 


In the first episode of season 18, we learn that the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota has special plans for Grey — a state-of-the-art research lab, a new job, and a research library named after her mother, world renowned surgeon Ellis Grey. Lots of fans are worried that the surgeon at Mayo who made Meredith all these offers, Dr David Hamilton, would be successful in his attempt to whisk her away from Grey-Sloan. 


Personally I believe that since so much sentimental value is tied to these offers, plus the sentimental value the Mayo Clinic has to Grey’s Anatomy with Dr Cristina Yang briefly working there in season 9, Grey will seriously consider making the move to Minnesota. Dr Miranda Bailey, Chief of Surgery at Grey-Sloan, along with Webber, are very worried Meredith will accept the offer. This could be very bad for Grey-Sloan since they already lost so many surgeons during the pandemic, whether due to death like Andrew Deluca, or other opportunities like Jackson Avery and Tom Koracick. I was very sad to see these characters make their exit from the show, having grown to love them as the seasons went on, but every storyline has to have an ending. 


While having dinner with Hamilton and discussing the opportunities she was given, Grey spots a familiar face, Dr Nick Marsh. Marsh was introduced to the show in season 14 as a transplant surgeon who collapsed while retrieving a liver at Grey-Sloan. Marsh had received a kidney transplant just five weeks prior to the incident — quite ironic — and the cause of him collapsing was that there was a blood clot in his renal vein, cutting off blood flow to his new kidney. Grey actually operated on Marsh herself, him making a great recovery. 


Since Marsh was only in one episode prior to the season 18 premiere and wasn’t that significant in Grey’s career, not really a lot of people remembered him. I know I sure didn’t until I googled his name. Lots of fans felt that this guest appearance was overhyped, the promo for the first episode stating that a person from Grey’s past was returning. Myself and many others thought Sandra Oh was coming back as Yang, Sara Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw were coming back as Dr Callie Torres and Dr Arizona Robbins, as well as many more possible guest appearances. I was very disappointed when none of those highly-loved characters showed up on the screen that Thursday night. Fans genuinely did not remember Marsh considering he wasn’t a very significant patient, making this guest appearance a major flop for the show.


I think that although Marsh hasn’t been on the show for long, him becoming a recurring character could be good for his and Grey’s storylines. It was obvious that the two had chemistry and they flowed great together. Of course, it would never be as great as Grey and Dr Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd. 


When Grey tells Marsh that she was seeing someone, she backtracks. Her history with Dr Cormac Hayes has been a bit complicated being that she was in a coma for most of the time he was newly working at the hospital. Now that Grey is back at work, the two have dipped their toes in the dating pool, and have been seeing each other, but they stopped when Hayes’ son started having panic attacks about his father moving on from his deceased mother. Even though Grey and Marsh have good chemistry, I feel like Grey and Hayes would have even better chemistry together and flow better because they both understand what it feels like to lose a spouse. 


Moving on to what’s been going on back in Seattle at Grey-Sloan — interviews for replacements. With the loss of lots of doctors, replacements need to be made in order to keep the departments running. I was very sad about Jackson Avery leaving the show after twelve seasons, leaving his position as head of Plastic surgery open for someone else. The potential candidate for head of Plastics was Dr Michelle Lin, her applying for the position because of the nationwide physician shortage. 


I really like Lin, and am upset she turned down the opportunity to work at the hospital. I also felt she was the only bearable candidate for any of the positions they were trying to fill, all the other candidates being snobby and just not a good match. After having an emergency with fireworks blowing a patient’s face off, Lin got privileges from Bailey so she could operate and fix the man’s face. As she was working with different residents, she noticed they were a year behind in their residency education, prompting her to deny the job offer because she needs strong residents with great potential. Webber obviously took offense to that because he was the Residency director for a very long time, promising to get the residents into tip-top shape. I felt it was a shame Lin decided not to work at the hospital, leaving me wondering who would fill the head of Plastics position since Avery’s absence. 


Also in the agenda for the first episode: Dr Teddy Altman and Dr Owen Hunt’s wedding! Fans are split on whether they like them together, considering the love triangle there was between Hunt, Altman and Yang in seasons 6 and 7. Myself and many others do not like Hunt and Altman, much preferring Hunt and Yang. Hunt and Altman’s families gathered for the small and intimate wedding in a park, but the wedding was crashed by a bunch of cyclists crashing their bicycles. How unfortunate (note my sarcasm). At the end of the episode, Hunt’s sister Dr Megan Hunt suddenly announces she’s ordained to officiate the wedding, and the ceremony is instead held at Joe’s bar, one of the most infamous hangout spots in Grey’s history. Overall, no matter how much I dislike Hunt and Altman together, the ceremony was beautiful and I loved how it turned out, despite the interruptions by the bicycle crashes. 


And as for Dr Atticus Lincoln, aka “Link,” and Dr Amelia Shepherd, the two turn their son’s one year old checkup into relationship counseling. The two are currently in an argument about getting married. I personally think Link and Shepherd would be an amazing married couple, but it is clear Shepherd doesn’t think marriage is necessary, given her history with possible marriage in Grey’s Anatomy’s spinoff show “Private Practice.” All in all, Link and Shepherd are quite possibly one of the best couples in the most recent seasons, and I’m very excited and nervous to see where this relationship goes. 


Recently Dr Jo Wilson has taken up motherhood, fostering a newborn baby girl named Luna. In my opinion, I think the decision on Wilson fostering was very rushed and was compulsive. Her ex-husband Dr Alex Karev (who not to mention had the absolute worst character exit in TV history after having astronomical character development in his 16 seasons in the show) had just left her, and Wilson felt devastated. I think Wilson just wanted to fill the void that was left in her heart after Karev left to be with his previous wife Dr Izzie Stevens and their kids in Kansas, leading to Wilson fostering Luna. 


This new season so far has been a little underwhelming, in my opinion. Hopefully it will get better as it goes on.