There's long running TV shows, and there's ABC's Grey's Anatomy. The medical drama is currently in the midst of its whopping 14th season on the network, and is showing no signs of slowing down. And with spinoff Station 19 helping to expand the show's fictional version of Seattle, it seems the possibilities for storytelling are infinite. Season 14 has already seen the return of Teddy Altman, and now it looks like another classic character from Grey's seasons past is making a long awaited reprisal. No, it's not Sandra Oh's Cristina, but OG supporting character Nurse Olivia.
Nurse Olivia, played by actress Sarah Utterback, was a recurring character in Grey's Anatomy's first few seasons. She ultimately appeared in a total of 18 episodes, having a sexual relationship with both George and Alex (and Sloan?) in the process. While she ended up fading into the background, Olivia made a brief reappearance in Season 6 before being laid off during the Seattle Grace Mercy West merger.
News of Olivia's return, which comes to us from EW, is sure to surprise the hardcore fans, who no doubt thought we'd never seen her on Grey's Anatomy again. She's returning to the hospital as a patient this time, and seems like she'll throw a bit of a wrench into Jo and Alex's love story.
After all, Olivia knew Alex back when his softer side hadn't really come out. He was a bit of an asshole in Grey's early seasons, with only Meredith and Izzie able to see past his hard exterior. Olivia might end up telling Jo about what her man used to be like, back when he was an arrogant intern with an attitude problem.
Grey's Anatomy bringing back Nurse Olivia may also give the show a chance to reflect on the short life of George O'Malley. George's death in Season 5 is still one of the show's most heartbreaking sequences, and he's a character that the fandom still adores. But now that so many characters have come and gone on the series, there's only a handful left who truly knew George. Olivia being back in the hospital could bring back some feelings for likes of Meredith, Bailey, and Webber.
Olivia isn't the only character to make a long awaited return, as this season also saw the return of Kim Raver's Teddy Altman. Bringing back these characters is no doubt the idea of showrunner Krista Vernoff, who was a writer during Grey's' earlier seasons. After being on the show for so long, these callbacks are a great way to keep the attention of those original fans, while also encouraging newcomers to go back and binge watch the classics.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC. In the meantime, check out our midseason premiere list to plan your next binge watch. Plus our Amazon premiere list and superhero premiere list to ensure you don't miss a single episode.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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