What ‘Grey’s Anatomy’s’ Camilla Luddington and Krista Vernoff Say About the Season 16 Premiere

ABC’s hit show Grey’s Anatomy closed out season 15 with its usual myriad of cliffhangers. With Jackson disappearing into the fog, Jo checking into a treatment facility, Andrew being led off in handcuffs after taking the rap for Meredith, prompting Meredith to say “I love you” for the first time since Derek died, only television’s longest-running medical drama in history can pull off all that in one series finale.

With fans itching for the season premiere, actress Camilla Luddington, who plays Jo Karev, and showrunner Krista Vernoff are giving a few hints on what to expect in the first episode of season 16.

“Grey’s Anatomy’s” Kelly McCreary and Kevin McKidd | Scott Everett White via Getty Images

Jolex in waiting

The end of season 15 followed Jo saying goodbye to Alex so she could admit herself in a treatment center to get the help she needs for her depression and all that she had been dealing with from her birth mother and her past. Fans of the ‘Jolex’ couple don’t want to wait for the series premiere to see the couple get back on track, tweeting Luddington for some tidbits in the meantime. While the actress couldn’t spill any secrets, she encouraged fans to watch when Grey’s returns.

“Any pics we can share right now would spoil the first ep soooo… sorry … you gotta tune in,” Luddington tweeted back to fans.

She went on provide a promising detail that viewers would not have to look past the first episode to see their favorite couple. “Good or bad there are absolutely #jolex scenes the 1st ep so tune in!” Luddington posted on Twitter.

A foggy finale

The last episode of season 15, appropriately titled “Jump Into The Fog,” also showed Jackson and Maggie stuck in their car on the road, unable to see due to a massive fog. Jackson decided to get out of the car to check out the scene and disappears. When asked by the Hollywood Reporter in May about the plot line, Vernoff said they wanted the audience to be held in suspense over the summer. “It was a creative decision. It was a cliffhanger. I want people to come back [in the fall] and talk all summer and wonder what happens to him.” Vernoff told the Hollywood Reporter. “What I love about act six of our finale is we gave ourselves so much to play with for next season on all the storylines.”

The series showrunner does confirm that the question of Jackson’s whereabouts will be addressed in the first episode. “What happened to Jackson in the fog is answered almost immediately in the premiere,” Vernoff said. “Everything has high stakes and high consequences and yet we are keeping alive the sense of humor, the sense of fun, the sense of joy that we’ve been doing the last couple of years.”

Other loose ends to tie up

Vernoff went on to say that many of the lingering cliffhangers from the season 15 finale will be brought to the forefront. “I don’t have a theme for the season but we are doing a really good job of paying off the finale from last season,” she told the Hollywood Reporter. “We are doing a direct pickup [from when the finale ended]. We are playing through the consequences of Meredith’s decision and playing through the consequences of Bailey’s decision, of Catherine’s decision, of Teddy and Owen’s decision. We didn’t do a reset; we already shook it up.”

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Viewers can also watch for more tie-ins with Grey’s spinoff show, Station 19, especially now that Vernoff is serving as showrunner on both series. ”There is an inter-show romance, which I am very excited by and which I think will be surprising. It’s exciting and it’s fresh. We’ve still got Ben (Jason George) and Bailey (Chandra Wilson) interacting between the two shows. And we’ve got first responders and doctors,” Vernoff said. “By its very nature, that is a cohesive world. The first responders are the first step to the medicine. We are trying to lean a little harder into the idea that we can expand the world of Grey’s Anatomy by expanding our understanding of how many highly trained hands a person has to move through to go from trauma and crisis to post-op.”

The premiere of Station 19 is yet to be announced. Watch the premiere of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy on September 26!