Grey’s Anatomy (Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV) has its name for one very big reason – Meredith Grey. The character, whose name is a nod to the medical text Gray’s Anatomy, has been the central force throughout all 13 seasons of the medical drama. Characters have come and gone, either willingly or through a number of dramatic and sometimes creative deaths (RIP Kyle Chandler’s bomb handler), but the constant has always been Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith.
Of course, Meredith isn’t the only OG doctor. Alex Karev, Richard Webber, and Miranda Bailey have all been healing patients, losing patients, and sometimes sleeping with patients since viewers were first introduced to the series. Other characters have been added to the cast over the years and remain central to the Grey’s narrative, including Arizona, Amelia, Owen, April, Jackson and most recently, Maggie. But then there are the residents, who, like in an actual hospital, take a backseat to their attendings.
Over the past few seasons, we’ve gotten to know the residents mostly through their relationships with central characters, like Ben with Miranda, Jo with Alex, and DeLuca with Maggie. Stephanie, the second coming of Cristina Yang, has also participated in her own attending-related affair with Jackson (long live Japril), but she’s been the one character in the soon-to-be graduating class that has had enough character development to stand on her own. It’s time Stephanie graduates to the A-list attendings plot-line rather than the B plots she’s been receiving.
On this week’s episode, Stephanie and Alex operated on a young boy with a brain tumor, a move they made illegally, even after his parents refused treatment on religious grounds. While the story-line could have easily focused solely on Alex, who was clearly putting himself in danger of being arrested again, it was Stephanie and her sincere commitment to treat the patient that made the biggest impact on what was a pretty eventful episode (so much sex talk, even for Grey’s Anatomy).
This week’s episode acted as reminder of Stephanie’s intense and dramatic history, including dealing with a devastating disease as a child and losing her musician boyfriend, played by Wilmer Valderama. To be considered a main character on Grey’s, having a traumatic or sordid background is a must, and Stephanie fits the bill. She’s also one of the few characters whose story-line doesn’t rely on another character to develop.
At this point, Amelia and Owen’s relationship has ended more times than we can count, Maggie has made her peace with Meredith and Riggs, Jackson and April are pretty much back together, and Arizona and Minnick’s relationship is out in the open. It’s time to stop rehashing the same storylines and start focusing on new characters to build up.
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV.