Grey's Anatomy premiere recap: Meet the new staff of Grey Sloan Memorial

It's been six months since everyone we know walked out of Grey Sloan Memorial, leaving Meredith to figure out how she could single-handedly save the residency program. It seems there are two vital ingredients in this particular recipe. Throw enormous amounts of money toward state-of-the-art operating rooms and recruit attending surgeons who may have more moxie than stellar grades.

That means we have a brand new roster of names to learn this season. Rest assured, showrunners will do their best to ensure all principal interns hearken back to wacky antics from the original five. This includes, but is not limited to, sleeping with an attending, smack talking in the locker room, bestowing nicknames, and passing out on gurneys tucked away in a random deserted hallway.

You need to know that Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) is still the chief, but she insists on keeping the "interim" in her title. Everyone seems convinced that Bailey (Chandra Wilson) will one day return, yet all we get is five minutes of fabulous braids, painted nails, and a promise that she's not ready to come back.

GREY’S ANATOMY - “Everything has Changed” – After a long six months, Grey Sloan Memorial has reinstated its residency program. A group of talented and striving young interns has been recruited as the attending surgeons work to rebuild the program to its former glory. Meredith, still functioning as the interim chief, sees Nick for the first time since she rejected his offer to move to Minnesota. Meanwhile, Bailey tells Richard she is not ready to return to work; Levi works up the courage to break disappointing news to Jo, and things turn awkward when Link realizes he has met one of the interns already. With Amelia and Maggie’s help, the new doctors are thrown into their first day on the job dealing with injuries from a recent tornado on the season 19 premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy,” THURSDAY, OCT. 6 (9:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Liliane Lathan) HARRY SHUM JR., ADELAIDE KANE, MIDORI FRANCIS
GREY’S ANATOMY - “Everything has Changed” – After a long six months, Grey Sloan Memorial has reinstated its residency program. A group of talented and striving young interns has been recruited as the attending surgeons work to rebuild the program to its former glory. Meredith, still functioning as the interim chief, sees Nick for the first time since she rejected his offer to move to Minnesota. Meanwhile, Bailey tells Richard she is not ready to return to work; Levi works up the courage to break disappointing news to Jo, and things turn awkward when Link realizes he has met one of the interns already. With Amelia and Maggie’s help, the new doctors are thrown into their first day on the job dealing with injuries from a recent tornado on the season 19 premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy,” THURSDAY, OCT. 6 (9:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Liliane Lathan) HARRY SHUM JR., ADELAIDE KANE, MIDORI FRANCIS

Liliane Lathan/ABC New interns, played by Harry Shum Jr., Adelaide Kane, Midori Francis

Any resident from previous seasons have "moved on," yet Schmidt (Jake Borelli) somehow managed to keep a position at Grey Sloan by agreeing to work with Jo (Camilla Luddington) in OB. Guess what? He hates it. Schmidt leaves Jo to beg for the chief resident job, which he's granted. And Link (Chris Carmack) is the lucky guy who pulled a Derek Shepherd by sleeping with an intern.

Now that we are all caught up, it's time to meet the newbies, who are all eager to start their first day of residency. First, we have Benson "Blue" Kwan (Harry Shum Jr.), who is the one who likes to win. Next, there's Jules Millin (Adelaide Kane), who appears frail, but isn't afraid to cut on "real human flesh" or sleep with an attending. Mika Yasuda (Midori Francis) is the sarcastic one who dabbles in dark humor. Lucas Adams (Niko Terho) is lucky to be invited into the program, and Simone (Alexis Floyd) is the new Meredith. There will be a test at the end of this recap, so pay attention.

A tornado ripped through town, and a bus full of young adults was swept off the road and down a cliff. It's devastating news for sure, but when you're an intern, all you hear is "brain injury," and your natural response is to skip ahead to the organ donation part, where you're standing in the OR with a scalpel.

GREY’S ANATOMY - “Everything has Changed” – After a long six months, Grey Sloan Memorial has reinstated its residency program. A group of talented and striving young interns has been recruited as the attending surgeons work to rebuild the program to its former glory. Meredith, still functioning as the interim chief, sees Nick for the first time since she rejected his offer to move to Minnesota. Meanwhile, Bailey tells Richard she is not ready to return to work; Levi works up the courage to break disappointing news to Jo, and things turn awkward when Link realizes he has met one of the interns already. With Amelia and Maggie’s help, the new doctors are thrown into their first day on the job dealing with injuries from a recent tornado on the season 19 premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy,” THURSDAY, OCT. 6 (9:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Liliane Lathan) GREY'S ANATOMY
GREY’S ANATOMY - “Everything has Changed” – After a long six months, Grey Sloan Memorial has reinstated its residency program. A group of talented and striving young interns has been recruited as the attending surgeons work to rebuild the program to its former glory. Meredith, still functioning as the interim chief, sees Nick for the first time since she rejected his offer to move to Minnesota. Meanwhile, Bailey tells Richard she is not ready to return to work; Levi works up the courage to break disappointing news to Jo, and things turn awkward when Link realizes he has met one of the interns already. With Amelia and Maggie’s help, the new doctors are thrown into their first day on the job dealing with injuries from a recent tornado on the season 19 premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy,” THURSDAY, OCT. 6 (9:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Liliane Lathan) GREY'S ANATOMY

Liliane Lathan/ABC

Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) shuts that thinking down quickly. She reminds everyone that these people were alive yesterday, and today their families are waiting to hear if they are brain dead. Now, I'm not sure why all these patients are LITERALLY in the same room, but the visual of bed after bed of potential brain-dead people was sobering. To quote Simone, "This just got real."

One by one, Amelia checks, and Adams' patient is the first to be declared brain dead. His head nearly explodes when Amelia recommends he is gentle and caring when he shares with this young man's parents that their son has no brain activity.

That's right. Amelia teaches the residents how to break bad news to families on their first day. Four of the five take the long journey down the hall to have the worst conversation possible.

Jules' patient is a donor, and her day swings from devastating to exhilarating when she tells Maggie (Kelly McCreary) that she has a heart for her patient. What's better? She gets to scrub in! What's worse? The heart is not viable when they open the young man's chest. Even though Jules gets to sew up the chest, she then has to tell Maggie's patient he doesn't get a heart today. Talk about emotional whiplash.

Mika's patient was not declared brain dead, but the mother has difficulty believing her daughter will live. It makes sense due to the fact that not only are all the brain injuries in one place, but the families are all together in another room. This poor mother heard a handful of other families receive the heartbreaking news that their loved one would not survive. Our dark intern softens and promises that she will hope for the mother. And it works! Mika's patient wakes up, melting Mika's sarcastic heart.

With Amelia declaring eight organ donors brain dead, the line of doctors in the hallway with Igloos and dry ice is almost comical. Then you consider why they are all lingering, and you feel bad again. But thanks to hot doctor Nick (Scott Speedman), our favorite donor surgeon, we remember that forty other lives will be saved with these eight patients. It's wonderful and noble. If you don't have that perspective, you'll drown in sorrow.

Kwan and Adams welcome the advice and boldly ask Winston (Anthony Hill) if they can scrub in. Winston agrees, then casually talks about how Nick hasn't been around in six months. Maggie sees Nick in the hallway gabbing with her husband and immediately rushes to Meredith's office to report. She wants Meredith to go and speak to him because she loves him and has been sad for half a year.

Do it, Meredith. For the love of all things medical, BE WITH NICK.

Meredith abides, and it's hella awkward. It's as if she's never spoken to Nick before, but at least words are coming out of her mouth. She finally gets it together enough to ask if he will take on a triple organ transplant, which is a day-long surgery. She has to oversee the residents, and it would be a huge help.

My boy agrees, of course. I assume this is Meredith's way of flirting. Or offering an olive branch in the form of a miracle surgery.

Meredith and Nick leave to tell the Martinez family that their organs are coming, just as Simone comes streaking down the hallway, abruptly halting where Adams and Kwan stand. A mother is screaming at Dr. Shepherd, and she needs to know who had the patient by the last name of Collins.

Prepare yourselves for the worst news ever. Adams told the wrong mother that her son was brain dead. And now that son is about to be cut open, with three organs going to a family who has been waiting for years. It's a triple organ transplant, which will never come around again. We call this a huge, fat bummer.

GREY’S ANATOMY - “Everything has Changed” – After a long six months, Grey Sloan Memorial has reinstated its residency program. A group of talented and striving young interns has been recruited as the attending surgeons work to rebuild the program to its former glory. Meredith, still functioning as the interim chief, sees Nick for the first time since she rejected his offer to move to Minnesota. Meanwhile, Bailey tells Richard she is not ready to return to work; Levi works up the courage to break disappointing news to Jo, and things turn awkward when Link realizes he has met one of the interns already. With Amelia and Maggie’s help, the new doctors are thrown into their first day on the job dealing with injuries from a recent tornado on the season 19 premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy,” THURSDAY, OCT. 6 (9:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Liliane Lathan) ELLEN POMPEO
GREY’S ANATOMY - “Everything has Changed” – After a long six months, Grey Sloan Memorial has reinstated its residency program. A group of talented and striving young interns has been recruited as the attending surgeons work to rebuild the program to its former glory. Meredith, still functioning as the interim chief, sees Nick for the first time since she rejected his offer to move to Minnesota. Meanwhile, Bailey tells Richard she is not ready to return to work; Levi works up the courage to break disappointing news to Jo, and things turn awkward when Link realizes he has met one of the interns already. With Amelia and Maggie’s help, the new doctors are thrown into their first day on the job dealing with injuries from a recent tornado on the season 19 premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy,” THURSDAY, OCT. 6 (9:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Liliane Lathan) ELLEN POMPEO

Liliane Lathan/ABC

Adams runs to stop the surgery, is berated by Meredith, and receives the wrath of Mrs. Collins. She wants their family doctor to run all the tests again to ensure that her son is, in fact, brain dead. P.S.: This is not good news for the Martinez family because they needed those organs yesterday for the matriarch Sarah.

Simone is on the scene since no one trusts Adams anymore. Simone utilizes a wheelchair to help get the elderly family doctor from point A to point B in record time, and he does confirm Amelia's diagnosis. Simone delivers the bad news to the correct Mrs. Collins, and she weeps. Kwan steps in to give the woman some comfort. His brother died, and his organs were donated. He thinks about those families daily, which gives his brother's death a purpose.

The woman consents, Simone tears up after hearing Kwan's story, and we all roll our eyes when Kwan confesses that he doesn't have a brother. He just wanted the woman to feel better. To the operating room!

It's a big deal, and everyone is excited to see Nick perform the triple organ transplant. Kwan and Simone are allowed inside to watch. And Nick invites Adams as well. To Nick's point, if they haven't fired him yet, here's a chance to learn from his mistake. Adams scrubs in, joins his fellow interns in line, and utters, "It's a great day to save lives."

GREY’S ANATOMY - “Everything has Changed” – After a long six months, Grey Sloan Memorial has reinstated its residency program. A group of talented and striving young interns has been recruited as the attending surgeons work to rebuild the program to its former glory. Meredith, still functioning as the interim chief, sees Nick for the first time since she rejected his offer to move to Minnesota. Meanwhile, Bailey tells Richard she is not ready to return to work; Levi works up the courage to break disappointing news to Jo, and things turn awkward when Link realizes he has met one of the interns already. With Amelia and Maggie’s help, the new doctors are thrown into their first day on the job dealing with injuries from a recent tornado on the season 19 premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy,” THURSDAY, OCT. 6 (9:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Liliane Lathan) GREY’S ANATOMY
GREY’S ANATOMY - “Everything has Changed” – After a long six months, Grey Sloan Memorial has reinstated its residency program. A group of talented and striving young interns has been recruited as the attending surgeons work to rebuild the program to its former glory. Meredith, still functioning as the interim chief, sees Nick for the first time since she rejected his offer to move to Minnesota. Meanwhile, Bailey tells Richard she is not ready to return to work; Levi works up the courage to break disappointing news to Jo, and things turn awkward when Link realizes he has met one of the interns already. With Amelia and Maggie’s help, the new doctors are thrown into their first day on the job dealing with injuries from a recent tornado on the season 19 premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy,” THURSDAY, OCT. 6 (9:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (ABC/Liliane Lathan) GREY’S ANATOMY

Liliane Lathan/ABC

Cut to Meredith and Amelia watching overhead. They just heard this young man say the exact same phrase Derek used to say in the OR. It turns out it's not a coincidence. Lucas Adams is Derek and Amelia's nephew. He's a hot mess. He doesn't follow instructions. He's the black sheep of the family.

Just like Amelia.

After an entire day, Sarah lives! Her surgery is a success, and Meredith thinks Nick should be the residency director. Nick is the best teacher she knows, and if he agrees, he will be in Seattle full-time.

But before he can say yes, Teddy (Kim Raver) and Owen (Kevin McKidd) come strolling back into Meredith's office, happy to start working immediately. After spending a quarter of a million dollars on legal fees, Owen can practice medicine again! As long as he has a babysitter watching over him for the next six months.

I'm sure Nick and Meredith's family could have handled all the medical needs of Grey Sloan, but great! Let's bring back Teddy and Owen! And now that twenty years have passed, it's good to see the next generation of Shepherds hitting the scene. Are Alex and Izzie's kids grown enough to intern yet? What about Bailey's oldest? Surely he's almost there, right? I say bring them on!

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