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Every patient needs a hero

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By Debashine Thangevelo

With Eric Dane, Kim Raver and Chyler Leigh checking out in the last season of Grey’s Anatomy, several new characters scrub up for season nine. In the aftermath of the plane crash, Meredith Grey deals with the loss of her sister, Arizona adjusts after having had a leg amputated, and Callie’s relationship hits a rocky patch. Once again, Shonda Rhimes keeps us on tenterhooks… and has big plans for Camilla Luddington, writes Debashine Thangevelo.

RECAP ON THE CRASH-LANDING

If there is one thing series creator Shonda Rhimes does with aplomb, it is leaving viewers on the edge of their seats after taking them on an emotional roller-coaster ride: Meredith and Derek had to get past her ruining the entire Alzheimer trial, Cristina struggled to deal with Owen’s infidelity, while Lexie and Mark couldn’t deny their feelings for each other.

Season eight ended with Meredith, Derek, Christina, Mark, Lexie and Arizona on a plane to assist with a surgery in Boise. However, the plane crashed and it didn’t look as though everyone was going to make it out alive.

TEARFUL FAREWELL

Fans were in need of Prozac to deal with the exits of Eric Dane (Mark Sloan), Kim Raver (Teddy Altman) and Chyler Leigh (Lexie Grey). Little did they realise their exit would be so inescapably gut- wrenching. Tissues, anybody?

PLOTTING THE WAY FORWARD

AFTER eight seasons of the show, Rhimes needed to take the storyline forward, especially after the fifth-year interns make some career-changing decisions now that they are all fully qualified.

On some of the big storylines – aside from the fresh batch of faces – she told TVline.com: “I’m hopeful (Alex finds love with Jo). I started out this season being very specific and sure about that, and then really wanting to calibrate that for him. We’ve been watching the chemistry between them and building things.

“I didn’t want to jump into an immediate romance for him. He’s been the guy who sleeps with everybody and I didn’t want to see him do that. I felt like he needed a friend. We’ve been watching that build, and I don’t want to go too fast or too slow.”

As for whether Christina and Owen are able to pick up the pieces of their tattered lives, impacted upon by her aborting their baby, she commented: “Divorce has sort of freed them from feeling like they have to. It’s going to be complex. She’s a surgeon and a scientist first before she is anything else, and Owen has to deal with the fact that he is in love with somebody who is a genius, versus being in love with somebody who wants to have a family. That is going to be a complex thing for them. They’re going to have to really talk about it and figure it out.”

SCRUBBING IN

IT’S always exciting for viewers when new characters are introduced. Season nine sees several new faces – headed by Camilla Luddington as Dr Jo Wilson. TV buffs will remember her from Californication and True Blood and, rumour has it, there are plans to have her join the principle cast.

Other inclusions include Gaius Charles (Shane Ross), Tina Majorino (Heather Brooks), Jerrica Hinton (Stephanie Edwards) and Tesser Ferrer (Leah Murphy).

On her hinted-at romantic relationship with Alex, Luddington told TVline.com: “(Laughs) I think he really was in love with Izzie. Who knows where that could have gone? I think he would have stayed with her if (Katherine Heigl) didn’t leave. Since then, he’s been guarded with women. And when he has let his guard down, he’s been hurt. So I kind of get why he isn’t wanting a relationship. And why he’s sleeping with all the interns.”

As for becoming a season regular, she responded (rather diplomatically): “That is not something we will know until we know if Grey’s is officially picked up next season. I definitely think it will, but I would absolutely love to come back.”

TAKING OFF

This season starts with Arizona and Callie adjusting to life after Mark’s death as well as Arizona having one leg amputated. Derek has to rely on his sister donating a nerve to him before he is able to gain full control of his hand and it looks as though Meredith has a bun in the oven. Exciting new times and twists at Seattle Grace-Mercy West Hospital. It may be a bumpy ride at times… but the thrills offer a rush like no other medical drama can.

• Grey’s Anatomy is on M-Net (DStv channel 101) tonight at 7.30pm.

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