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'Grey's Anatomy' Star Chandra Wilson Talks Bailey Under Investigation

'Grey's Anatomy' Star Chandra Wilson Talks Bailey Under Investigation

Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards

It wasn't a wonderful life for Dr. Miranda Bailey in the last episode of "Grey's Anatomy."

Let's review: Three of the bossy doctor's patients came down with infections. She assumed Leah the intern was to blame, of course. But everything changed in the last five minutes of "She's Killing Me," when the board informed Bailey that she was the common denominator. The board members wouldn't even let her tell a patient's family about their unexpected loss. Is this a career-ending mistake for the notoriously ego-driven doctor?

We tried our best to find out if and when Bailey will get to scrub in again and go back to saving lives when we talked to Chandra Wilson, who is quick to laugh, very much unlike the doctor she portrays. News flash: The wait isn't going to be pretty for anyone at Grey Sloan Memorial.

To see Bailey vulnerable at the end of the last episode is just crazy.

When she was seated -- Bailey had to have a seat! Bailey doesn't sit down for anybody, and for her to have to acquiesce and follow rules for a minute, that's not easy for her at all.

What's that like for you as an actress?

It's incredibly frightening. The theme that I kept at the forefront of my thoughts is, you can't possibly believe that I need to sit down. I think that's the largest problem that she's having with this investigation. She doesn't feel like anyone is being her champion. Where is the possibility that she did nothing wrong? Nobody is coming forward and saying, "We know that you're fine." There is doubt there, and that's unforgivable to someone like Miranda Bailey. It has a lot to do with ego. Her ego is not going to allow room for the fact that she could have done something wrong. And she doesn't want to hear that from anybody else, either.

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So, if Meredith turns around and asks her to be the godmother to her son, what do you think she will say?

Now, you know, that's something she would be flattered about, absolutely, but even with Meredith it's a conflicting time for Bailey, because all of these folks that were her babies, her colleagues, now they're her boss and she really doesn't know where she fits into this whole picture. There's no job security anymore, so it's kind of hard to be personal in the middle of being so vulnerable.

Some people think this might be all about the tools in the OR and not about Bailey.

Well, clearly that's what it has to be! [Laughs] There's something she understands, that she has to go through the procedures. And that's fine, but why does that have to constitute being grounded? If her colleagues were in her situation she would tell them to sit down, shut up, and let people do their thing, and then go back to work. But that's just not possible for her.

This is so true. What about Kepner? Do you think she has job security right now after sending off those supplies?

You know, she doesn't have anything to lose right now. She gets led by her heart all the time, so this one is a matter of who's gonna find out about that. But she ... yes, she is in this position where she hasn't passed her boards yet, and she's still learning and still naive, and this is just very Kepner of her, to help these guys out with supplies, like, whatever!

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Going forward, are we going to see you more often in a courtroom setting or in your scrubs in the OR?

I like the way you put that. We have to let the investigation run its course, which means that in this next episode, you won't see Bailey in her scrubs at all because she can't have anything to do with her patients right now. And that opens up a can of worms for Bailey's attitude. She doesn't have much patience for any of this, but we have to let it run its course and she has to make her journey to get back to being a doctor.

Watch a preview of this week's episode:

Who's going to be her primary whipping post throughout all of this?

Everybody. Everybody is to blame, even the janitors, the staff, whatever! They turned their backs on her.

Is she going to go through all the stages of grief?

She definitely goes through a process, mostly having to do with the fact that those patients were lost. Even though she preaches against getting personal with patients, she does it all the time, so she carries the guilt of that regardless of whose fault it is, whose fault it ends up being; whatever the conclusion of the CDC investigation is, those are still her patients. She doesn't take well to that at all because it goes against her being a perfectionist. This is not just something that happened in surgery, where somebody wasn't strong enough. Something went wrong. They got infections and they died.

She's gotta deal with herself and she's always had to and it's always been a problem, what's guided her relationships, and it's the same thing that comes into play in this kind of situation, where her expectation is that everybody will rally for her as opposed to the hospital coming first.

Everyone keeps declaring that they own this hospital.

Well, they have to make sure that they're doing the right thing. They don't get to just be doctors and friends. They have to be the board of directors, and, like I said, under normal circumstances that would be fine, but Bailey takes it all very personally.

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What's it like for you out in the world when there's a cliffhanger and a hiatus? Do people just go nuts?

I'm certainly used to it. People are really invested in their "Grey's" characters, and they'll say, "Wooh, something ain't right, girl. What's going on?" It's incredibly flattering to the show and to the actors to have people continue to be invested in the work.

Are you scared when you or your kids have to go to the hospital?

Um ... let me see. I've always been a person who has doctor and dentist appointments every year and makes sure that my kids do that. And, so, yeah, actually hospitals don't freak me out. I actually find them quite fascinating, how they work, how people function inside of them. I just take any time there as an opportunity to learn something.

"Grey's Anatomy" airs Thursdays at 9 PM on ABC.