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Spoilers ahead for the Season 16 premiere of Grey's Anatomy on ABC, called "Nothing Left to Cling To."
Grey's Anatomy closed Season 15 on a wild cliffhanger that saw three of the doctors fired from the hospital and another in jail for a crime he didn't commit. Meredith, Alex, and Webber were all fired after Bailey learned that they'd conspired to commit insurance fraud, and although it had been for the good cause of saving a life, Bailey considered it a fireable offense. The authorities also consider it a jail-able offense, so Deluca was left behind bars after lying that he did the deed, in order to protect Meredith. After the Season 16 premiere, it's clear she'll face some serious consequences, perhaps the loss of her medical license.
Meredith intended to come clean and get Deluca out of the clink, which is a step in the right direction for the upcoming happiness, and the Season 16 premiere revealed she did just that. Everything seemed almost anticlimactic, as her lawyer assured her that they could handle the paperwork and she could go home while she waited to find out what happened next. There was a tense moment in court when Meredith wouldn't say she was sorry for what she did, and it felt possible that the judge would decide on jail time rather than community service.
Her lawyer made an impassioned plea for the judge not to send Meredith -- a mother and doctor -- to jail, and it worked enough that Meredith wound up in a vest, picking up trash on the side of the road rather than sitting in a cell. The question that remained was whether she would lose her medical license for abusing her power to perform the surgery and commit insurance fraud.
As noble and well-meaning as her move was, it was illegal in the eyes of the law, and the episode ended without an answer one way or the other, but Meredith did get an email from the medical board saying that "they're going to pursue action" against Meredith's license, and that there will be a hearing. So, the episode didn't end on a high note for Meredith.
Now, given that the show is called Grey's Anatomy, stars Meredith Grey, and has spent 15 seasons already chronicling her journey to becoming a doctor, one would think that there's no way she would lose her medical license. After the events of the Season 16 premiere, I would argue that it's entirely possible, and I'm already wondering: should Meredith lose her medical license?
I'm not condemning Meredith for doing what she did to get herself in hot water. She wanted to save a life, and she was willing to risk a huge sacrifice if that's what it took. It was totally in character for Meredith to do whatever she could to help those who need help.
But this is Season 16 of Grey's Anatomy, and the show needs to shake itself up, and that should involve Meredith facing more consequences than just losing her job and getting community service. Losing her medical license would be something new, game-changing, and potentially character-changing for Meredith. Isn't that a good thing? Wouldn't this show a new side of Meredith, and force her to adapt to a future in which she couldn't be a doctor?
Let's face it: the hospital could survive without her. She's an exceptional surgeon, but the Grey's Anatomy ensemble is jam-packed with doctors. We could still get the medical drama part of Grey's Anatomy without having Grey actually working on any of the anatomy. So much of her life has been shaped by and revolves around her work with the hospital; maybe losing her job as well as losing her freedom to get a new job as a surgeon elsewhere would force her to expand her horizons.
All of this said, I'm not suggesting that Meredith should lose her medical license forever. I'm not heartless, and she only crossed the lines she crossed because it was the only way she could use her talents to save a live.
I can totally accept that, if Meredith does lose her license, it will either be for a set period of time, or the decision to take away her right to practice as a doctor will be revoked through a little bit of TV magic that convinces the medical board to restore her license. Grey's Anatomy isn't going away any time soon, and Meredith is surely going to be a doctor in the long run. Of course she is!
I just think Grey's Anatomy should give her more than just a slap on the wrist and take her license, because the story opportunities with Meredith no longer able to work as a surgeon at her hospital are endless and exciting. At least for a little bit! We can go back to the status quo after an arc of license-less Meredith living life a new way. She could probably handle it better than how Alex handled being fired.
Will the Grey's Anatomy medical board yank Meredith's license? Only time will tell. Find out when new episodes of Grey's Anatomy air Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. Plenty of other shows are returning and/or premiering in the not-too-distant future, and you can find your viewing options on our fall TV premiere guide. Don't forget to weigh in on our poll about what should happen to Meredith!