Grey's Anatomy is off until three weeks from tonight, April 29. We're 19 episode into the current Season 6, with 24 slated for release in all. By our calculations, that leaves April 29, May 6, May 13, and the two-hour season finale game changer May 20.
It's been and up and down season, both for the characters we love and for the fans of ABC's long-running medical drama. Are you happy with where we stand? What surprises and developments do you think are in store for us come late April and May?
Below, we take a look back at some of the year's highs (and lows) so far and hit on some of the Grey's Anatomy spoilers going around regarding the remainder of the season ...
- Cast shakeups. T.R. Knight left before the season premiere, which was devoted to his character's death. Katherine Heigl returned, but then left, then came back, then left again for good. Ellen Pompeo has played a smaller role this year due to maternity leave. Kim Raver joined the cast. Mercy West residents have come, some may even stay. This isn't your older sister's Grey's Anatomy circa 2006 anymore. Is the cast better off now than when Season 6 began - or do you long for the olden days?
- The merger. Not an OMG, water cooler-worthy theme, but an appropriate one considering these economic times, and one that the show (mostly) managed to make interesting throughout the year, with the fallout still being felt by many.
- More crossovers. Bailey crossed over to Private Practice. Mark, after learning he had a daughter (hilariously named Sloan), took her to L.A. and hooked back up with Addison. Derek's sister was even cast ... on Private Practice. Do you enjoy that they keep doing crossover "events," or would you rather the shows stay separate?
- Gimmicks. From an episode told from 10 different perspectives ("I Saw What I Saw") to a flashback episode ("Time Warp"), the show has varied its format more this season. Fun ways to mix it up, or just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks?
- Character-centric episodes. Grey's Anatomy has always featured a diverse, talented ensemble cast, but this season has devoted the bulk of individual episodes to one in particular numerous times - Derek, Owen, and Arizona to name a few.
- Alex Karev. Many cast members deserve accolades, but if we were forced to pick just one standout performer this season, we'd call this the season of Justin Chambers, who has made his character has more multi-layered and compelling than ever before.
- The McBaby. Will one be made before the season ends? Pregnancy rumors are swirling, especially after last week's terrific episode, "Sympathy For the Parents."
- The hookup. There's a new fling coming up, involving one of the newcomers this season, and someone who's been around for a long while. Who could it be?
- The breakup. There's a high-profile split on the horizon too, stemming from a very serious issue that's not someone meeting a new love interest. Theories?
Game change. Shonda Rhimes really loves to talk up her finales, but when she promises a game-changer for every character, we can't help but wonder how.
What has been your favorite part of this season so far, and what have you liked least? How does it compare to past years, and what would you like to see in the remaining five episodes?