As any loyal Grey’s fan can attest, the ABC medical drama has seen many residents and doctors pass through the halls of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital over the years. Some leave never to return (#RIP, right?), but a specter of hope remains that those who weren’t killed off could one day come back. Well, get ready — a returning character may cameo in Grey’s Anatomy season 16 if showrunner Krista Vernoff has her way. Curious which familiar face might be re-joining the current cadre of medical professionals? Let’s examine a few context clues.
Vernoff teased the potential character return during a recent appearance at the TCA summer press tour, hinting to TVLine that the new season could have an extra special guest star. “I’m trying to get someone back,” she said, elaborating, “There’s someone I’m hoping will make an appearance this year, [but] it’s a real maybe. I’m trying.” And inquiring minds obviously need to know: Who is she talking about? Will she be able to get them? Will we be able to sleep until we know either way?
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Although she certainly played coy, Vernoff did drop a few possible clues worth reading into. First, she makes its seem as though the star who plays this character is very busy (it’s a real maybe). Then, in later comments at TCA about the upcoming season, she dubbed season 16 the “season of family.”
Right off the rip, we’re going to rule out a few major characters who’ve died and don’t seem right for a near-future flashback: George, Sloan and McDreamy. We can possibly whittle it down further by subtracting stars who’ve effectively said they don’t see their character returning — this would include Sandra Oh (Cristina Yang) and Katherine Heigl (Izzie Stevens).
This leaves us with a few past characters who stand out: Kate Walsh (Addison Montgomery), Jessica Capshaw (Arizona Robbins), Sarah Drew (April Kepner) and Sara Ramirez (Callie Torres). Addison would make sense because she’s sort-of family to Amelia, who is in a period of transition right now. Plus, it wouldn’t be the first time Addison has returned to consult on a case. Ramirez just revealed that she isn’t returning to Madam Secretary as a recurring character for the final season, so she may have the availability. Capshaw is kind of a toss-up, as her character is linked to Ramirez’s.
Our money is on Drew. April is one of the only former major characters we know didn’t leave Seattle, she shares a child with Jackson and she’s tight with her ex-mother-in-law Catherine Fox (who currently has cancer). Not to mention the fact that Jesse Williams, who plays Jackson, will reportedly have a limited role in the upcoming season.
Having said all of that, you know who we’d really love to see in a cameo? Jerrika Hinton! Dr. Stephanie Edwards left Grey Sloan in 2017. However, given she left the series alive right at the onset of the Station 19 crossover-character introduction, she could still pop up on Grey’s or the spin-off.