Grey's Anatomy Season Premiere Scoop: Five Days Later ...

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The summer hiatus seems like an eternity for fans, but the characters of Grey's Anatomy will pick up much sooner, according to shot-caller Shonda Rhimes.

When Grey’s Anatomy opens its eighth season September 22, only five days will have passed since the Season 7 finale and MerDer’s emotional falling out.

“We only pick up five days after the finale ended,” Rhimes tells TV Line, adding that, “[Story-wise] we pick up pretty much where we left off [in Season 7].”

Still the Best

That means Derek and Meredith are far from resolving this major marital crisis, which has been complicated tenfold by baby Zola's introduction into their lives.

“Meredith and Derek have a lot of things to work out,” Rhimes says.

Things are complicated on every level because, “They have a personal relationship, they have a parenting relationship, and they have a work relationship.”

Elsewhere, Cristina has yet to act on her decision re: pregnancy.

“Five days later and she still hasn’t gone and done it - why hasn’t she and what’s going on with her?” Rhimes muses, then adds this intriguing teaser.

“The old Cristina would’ve had the abortion [already].”

Does that mean she'll back off and actually have the baby, to Owen's delight? Or will she follow through with the controversial decision before our eyes?

Either way, we'll find out soon: “By the end of the season premiere she has made her decision,” Rhimes says, “and it’s pretty set in stone what’s going to happen.”

What do you think she'll do? Will Derek and Meredith reconcile? Sound off on these Grey's Anatomy Season 8 spoilers and all other topics below ...

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

MEREDITH: "You don't get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done! All the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cares? I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I'm all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don't get to call me a whore."
DEREK: "This thing with us is finished. It's over."
MEREDITH: "Finally."
DEREK: "Yeah, it's done."
MEREDITH: "It is done."

Lexie: [narrating] Grief may be a thing we all have in common, but it looks different on everyone.
Mark: It isn't just death we have to grieve. It's life. It's loss. It's change.
Alex: And when we wonder why it has to suck so much sometimes, has to hurt so bad. The thing we gotta try to remember is that it can turn on a dime.
Izzie: That's how you stay alive. When it hurts so much you can't breathe, that's how you survive.
Derek: By remembering that one day, somehow, impossibly, you won't feel this way. It won't hurt this much.
Bailey: Grief comes in its own time for everyone, in its own way.
Owen: So the best we can do, the best anyone can do, is try for honesty.
Meredith: The really crappy thing, the very worst part of grief is that you can't control it.
Arizona: The best we can do is try to let ourselves feel it when it comes.
Callie: And let it go when we can.
Meredith: The very worst part is that the minute you think you're past it, it starts all over again.
Cristina: And always, every time, it takes your breath away.
Meredith: There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us, but there are always five.
Alex: Denial.
Derek: Anger.
Bailey: Bargaining.
Lexie: Depression.
Richard: Acceptance.