Grey’s Anatomy season 19 predictions: our 5 biggest theories

Dr. Webber, Dr. Grey and new interns helping a patient at Grey Sloane in Grey's Anatomy season 19
James Pickens Jr, Ellen Pompeo and Adelaide Kane in Grey's Anatomy season 19 (Image credit: ABC/Liliane Lathan)

As Grey's Anatomy season 19 officially launches, fans are already formulating several theories about what may happen in the coming episodes, especially in light of the news that Ellen Pompeo will have a reduced role in the show. The Grey’s audience isn’t sure whether they should be preparing to say goodbye to Meredith Grey or simply see you later. 

Well, after hearing the online chatter, doing some research and using our own knowledge of the series, we’ve developed our own thoughts about what we imagine will happen in Grey’s Anatomy season 19. If you had a chance to read our season 18 finale predictions, you’ll know that we’re pretty good at reading producers so far. 

Here are our predictions. 

1. Meredith leaves Grey Sloan to go soul searching

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey in a black shirt thinking in Grey's Anatomy season 19

Ellen Pompeo, Grey's Anatomy (Image credit: ABC/Liliane Lathan)

Despite Ellen Pompeo only signing up for eight episodes this season due to her commitment to film an upcoming Hulu series, we don’t believe season 19 is not going to be Meredith’s farewell. For starters, Deadline (opens in new tab) recently reported that Pompeo confirmed that viewers will still feel her presence throughout the season as she’ll continue doing the voiceovers in the episodes. 

Furthermore, Pompeo mentioned that she’ll be back to star in the season 19 finale, and stated "we’ll see if we can keep it going" when speaking about her future on the show. Hear for yourself. 

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With all of that said, we’re making the bold prediction that to address Pompeo’s temporary absence on Grey’s that Meredith is going to leave to do some soul searching. In the season 18 finale, Richard (James Pickens Jr.) negatively compared Meredith to her mother and accused her of wanting to tear down the hospital after she unnecessarily took a risk that killed a patient. 

Although she’s been appointed interim chief of surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial, we think Richard’s words will weigh heavy on her, and with one bad surgery and a fatal outcome, everyone’s favorite doctor will go out in search of a new perspective in life. (Meredith taking a leave of absence wouldn’t be new in the Grey’s world, as viewers should recall when Derek quit the hospital in season 5) 

2. Addison stays on staff at the hospital just long enough for the residency program to get on its feet

Kate Walsh as Dr. Addison Montgomery smiling in Grey's Anatomy

Kate Walsh, Grey's Anatomy (Image credit: ABC)

By the end of season 18, Grey Sloan was a bit short-staffed. With Teddy (Kim Raver) and Owen (Kevin McKidd) on the run from the authorities, Miranda (Chandra Wilson) quitting and Richard taking a leave of absence, the hospital could use a few attendings. 

Enter Addison Montgomery. It was announced this summer (opens in new tab)that portrayer Kate Walsh will be back in season 19 on a recurring status. 

Since leaving Grey’s Anatomy as a series regular, Addison has popped up several times whenever Grey Sloan has needed help. While she usually comes to the aid of the hospital at the request of Richard, it was clear last season that she and Meredith are not at odds despite being in that sordid love triangle with Derek (Patrick Dempsey) years ago. We foresee Addison returning to help her former foe in her time of crisis, just until the hospital reestablishes a solid foundation.  

3. Owen faces trial and receives consequences

Kim Raver and Kevin McKidd as Teddy Altman and Own Hunt on Grey's Anatomy

Kim Raver and Kevin McKidd, Grey's Anatomy (Image credit: ABC/Liliane Lathan)

Given Kevin McKidd and Kim Raver are returning to Grey’s for season 19, the question that immediately comes to mind is how? How will writers address the fact that Owen and Teddy are on the run for the crimes he committed last season? 

Since we’re guessing, we’d venture to say that viewers will see a few episodes in which the couple is in a hiding out in a home compliments of one of their old military buddies. Eventually though, they’ll realize that life on the run is not good for their kids, and Owen will agree to turn himself into the police. 

Next, we believe Owen will find himself in the midst of a criminal court case as he attempts to clear his name. Longtime fans will remember that when Meredith was on trial for insurance fraud, she managed to beat the charges against her and return to medicine. We don’t think Owen will meet the same fate. 

While we don’t think he’ll be serving a long stint in prison, we do imagine his medical license will be temporarily suspended.  

4. Miranda reclaims her job 

Chandra Wilson as Dr. Bailey in an OR in Grey's Anatomy

Chandra Wilson, Grey's Anatomy (Image credit: ABC)

Having taken some time away from Grey Sloan, we think Miranda is ready to resume her duties as chief of surgery, and on her terms. Hospital personnel should beware. Gone are the days when attendings illegally medicated people off the books, when interns made knee-jerk decisions when treating patients and residents walked around the halls of the hospital as if they knew best. The new and improved Miranda will run a tighter ship with the mindset that her family is her family, and her employees are her employees. 

During her former tenure, the line between family and coworkers often blurred and that wound up not serving Miranda well in the long run. We think with a new mindset, she’ll continue to help the program rank back among one of the best in the country. What we can’t predict here is if her new approach will have some bad consequences for her relationship with her mentor Richard going forward.

5. The new crop of interns remind fans of season 1

Harry Shum Jr., Adelaide Kane and Midori Francis in Grey's Anatomy season 19

Harry Shum Jr., Adelaide Kane and Midori Francis in Grey's Anatomy season 19 (Image credit: ABC/Liliane Lathan)

Given the number of new hires to the Grey’s Anatomy cast (Alexis Floyd, Niko Terho, Midori Francis, Adelaide Kane and Harry Shum Jr.) and the fact they were all hired as interns, its clear show execs are trying to recapture some of that season 1 magic when those in the light blue scrubs were at the forefront. Although producers obviously know viewers tune into the drama to catch up with the series vets, WTW believes they’ll hope to pull some of the audience’s attention to the new crop of would-be surgeons.

By the way, we also foresee that somehow, Richard and Meredith make amends, Link (Chris Carmack) and Jo (Camilla Luddington) finally become a real couple and Winston (Anthony Hill) and Maggie (Kelly McCreary) see their relationship further derailed due to his Winston's mysterious and troubled brother. 

The new season of Grey’s Anatomy airs on Thursday, October 6, at 9 pm ET/PT on ABC. The episode becomes available to stream the next day over on Hulu.

Terrell Smith has a diverse writing background having penned material for a wide array of clients including the federal government and Bravo television personalities.  When he’s not writing as Terrell, he’s writing under his pseudonym Tavion Scott, creating scripts for his audio drama podcasts. Terrell is a huge fan of great storytelling when it comes to television and film. Some of his favorite shows include The CrownWandaVision, Abbot Elementary and Godfather of HarlemAnd a fun fact is he's completely dialed into the TLC 90 Day Fiancé universe.