Big changes are afoot on Grey's Anatomy.
E! News has your first look at the key art for season 16 (which premieres in one week!), and it shows Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) looking stunning, but at a bit of a crossroads, with a new tagline: "Where do we go from here?"
It's a good question, because when we last saw Meredith, she had just been fired from Grey Sloan Memorial for committing well-intentioned insurance fraud, and was turning herself in to the authorities to save her boyfriend, who she had just admitted to loving. These are the biggest consequences Meredith has ever faced, and the problems aren't going away any time soon, as EP Krista Vernoff promised us.
"I promise you we're not wrapping it up in one episode, but we're spanning some time," she says. "And we're sort of setting our foot forward on the new path for the season in the premiere, but the ramifications of last season play through this season."
In a way, this season is all about consequences.
"We talked about season 15 as the season of love, and we've been saying in the writers' room this year that it feels like the end of 15 was the end of the romantic comedy. Like if you think of season 15 as a romantic comedy movie—I often see romcoms and wonder what happened after that," she says. "Like often in a romcom a person chooses someone they love over someone else, but you don't play through the consequences. You don't get to see what happens after the happily ever after, and we've kind of been joking that season 16 is like the fallout from season 15."
"Like that's a fun, dramatic, romantic thing, but then there are consequences, and it feels like the early part of season 16 is about the consequences," Vernoff continues. "And so for Meredith and DeLuca, it's like they were in the puppy love stage and now there's pretty dramatic stuff happening her life, and that will test a new relationship."
Richard and Alex were also fired for their role in Meredith's insurance fraud, and Alex's wife Jo also just committed herself for extreme depression, while Teddy picked the father of her brand new child over her boyfriend, and Jackson's lost in the woods. There's basically a whole lot of "where do we go from here?" happening this season, so get ready!
Grey's Anatomy returns Thursday, September 26 at 8 p.m. on ABC.