Meredith Grey, caretaker? Hard as that would have been to picture just a few years ago, that's what it looks like we can expect come September 23 at Seattle Grace.
The woman who puts the Grey in Grey's Anatomy is going to have "some frustrating episodes" when the ABC medical drama returns, Ellen Pompeo tells TV Guide.
After the devastating Season 6 finale, which saw Meredith's husband shot and near death, it's going to take a while for every doctor to get back on his or her feet.
None more so than Meredith, at least in the opinion of trauma counselor Andrew Perkins (James Tupper), who must clear each doctor before their return to the OR.
Meredith is definitely not at the top of that list. Why?
"Meredith does get cleared eventually, but not right away; not without some frustrating episodes," Pompeo says. "She's got to pull out all the stops to try to get cleared."
Meredith's new role will be interesting to watch. [Photo: ABC]
"The role that they have given Meredith is to take care of everybody and to try to make sure that everybody else is OK," the actress continues. "She's the role of the caretaker, which, I guess, is her way of not dealing with her own thing."
The original Grey will struggle with her fellow doctors being cleared, especially since she knows a certain few that she thinks shouldn't be holding a scalpel for a while.
Will this cause her to lose her cool?
"I haven't seen that yet," says Pompeo of the first four episodes. "I don't see a snap in Meredith. I think she's handling this a little bit better than the other people who are more on the verge. Lexie and Cristina really, really need more critical attention."
April (Sarah Drew) and Jackson (Jesse Williams), who move in with Meredith this season, will also get a pass back into surgery, a move Mer is not necessarily keen on.
"[Perkins] comes in and he's just clearing people and he doesn't really know them," she says. "Meredith feels like she knows them, and she really knows that they're not okay. She can see because she lives and breathes with them every day."
"He's coming in and clearing everybody because he thinks they're fine, and he doesn't think Meredith's fine. She's the one taking care of everybody!"