Chanel   09 22 2016   Comment?

Another doctor has vacated Grey Sloan Memorial, but when Grey’s Anatomy returns, Callie’s (Sara Ramirez) move to New York won’t be as devastatingly heartbreaking to the hospital as it was to the audience.

“It’s not this sense of loss,” executive producer Shonda Rhimes tells EW. “In our world, Callie still exists.”

But the move does provide the long-running drama a unique opportunity to shift the focus back to the four remaining original characters. “Meredith will always be the nucleus because she’s the voice, but to have the four originals still is pretty amazing,” Justin Chambers, who plays Alex, says of his fellow mainstays, including Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and Webber (James Pickens Jr.).

For Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), this season delves into the struggle of how to move forward. After facing the near-impossible task of healing in the wake of Derek’s death, “She’s in a place of What’s next?” Rhimes says. “How do you grow up from there? What are the next steps when you’re ready to step out on your own?” Part of that next step is navigating the murky waters of a love triangle with recent rebound Riggs (Martin Henderson) and Meredith’s half sister Maggie (Kelly McCreary) — though don’t expect a catfight. “What I love is that we’re not ever a show that’s about a guy coming between two women, because I really feel like that’s never interesting,” Rhimes says.