‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Chandra Wilson Says Meredith Grey’s Fate Is Still ‘Up in the Air’

As Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 continues, fans are growing increasingly worried about Meredith Grey’s (Ellen Pompeo) future. The character has experienced a number of near-death experiences. But now, viewers are wondering whether the current season will be her last. So what can everyone expect moving forward? According to Chandra Wilson (who plays Miranda Bailey), Meredith’s fate on Grey’s Anatomy has yet to be decided. 

What happened to Meredith Grey in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17?

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on 'Grey's Anatomy' Season 17
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | ABC

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It’s no surprise Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 decided to cover the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Back in July 2020, showrunner Krista Vernoff told Entertainment Weekly the ABC medical drama had a “responsibility” to tell the stories of healthcare workers. Then by the premiere, viewers watched the doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial tackle the pandemic. 

Meanwhile, Meredith tested positive for COVID-19. That said, the Shondaland series managed to create balance in their storytelling. At this point in the season, Meredith is fighting for her life. But she’s also been transported to a beach dream, where she’s already reunited with beloved characters like Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) and George O’Malley (T.R. Knight)

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In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Vernoff explained the decision to give Meredith COVID-19 in Grey’s Anatomy Season 17. 

“Last week we felt Meredith Grey’s pain as a doctor treating an early surge of COVID patients. This week we begin to experience what it is for her to be a COVID patient herself,” Vernoff said after the Nov. 19 episode. “Over 1,700 health care workers in the U.S. have died of COVID to date. Many thousands more have been infected. Health care workers are on the front lines of this crisis, living through a war for which they were not trained.”

She continued, “We saw an opportunity to dramatize and illuminate their plight through the incredibly well-loved and well-known character of Meredith Grey. Doctors and nurses are fighting for us and falling for us. The least we can do is wear a mask, socially distance and stay home whenever possible. Meredith has a real fight ahead of her. And … she has that beach. Darkness and light. It’s a powerful season.”

Chandra Wilson teases Meredith Grey’s future on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

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For now, Grey’s Anatomy fans are patiently waiting for the medical show to reveal Meredith’s fate. Given the circumstances, there is a real chance the character could die. But, of course, most viewers are hoping she pulls through. Even so, Wilson recently hinted the Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 team doesn’t know how Meredith’s current arc will end. 

“I’m not being evasive,” Wilson told Variety when asked about Meredith’s future. “Only because of how fluid the season is, I think we thought we were going some place. But now we’re going a different place, and I’m not sure where that place is. That one is up in the air because I honestly don’t know — and even if I did, I wouldn’t tell you.”

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The actor also revealed storylines for Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 depend on what happens with the pandemic. So it’s possible no one will know Meredith’s true fate for some time.

“Our arc has had to remain very fluid this season, based on even if we’re allowed to work at a certain point, depending on how our national numbers do,” Wilson said. “The relevance grows episode-by-episode. And I think it makes for an interesting journey for our writers right now to figure out where the arc goes because I think it’s about as fluid as the times are right now.”

As they say, nobody knows where they might end up. But no matter what happens to Meredith on Grey’s Anatomy Season 17, we do know the writers will deliver something extraordinary. So stay tuned.

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