Grey's Anatomy Introduces First Deaf Doctor, Who Brings 'Volatile Shift' To Meredith And DeLuca

Grey's Anatomy Shoshannah Stern Dr. Riley ABC

(Image credit: Raymond Liu / ABC)

Grey’s Anatomy will be introducing its first deaf doctor in the episode "Save the Last Dance for Me," with Supernatural’s Shoshannah Stern popping by to guest-star as Dr. Riley. The character will be bringing a “volatile shift” to Meredith and DeLuca’s relationship after she arrives, too. For those who do not think DeLuca is “the one” for Meredith in a post-McDreamy world, this may be heartening news.

Shoshannah Stern’s Dr. Riley will be coming in to consult on the mysterious case involving the character played by Suits’ Sarah Rafferty. As Grey’s Anatomy fans know, Rafferty’s Suzanne was admitted for a routine procedure, only to end up hospitalized. Her case has perplexed the staff at Grey Sloan, and that's where Stern’s Dr. Riley comes in, as a diagnostician.

The personalities that she encounters upon arriving causes RIley to make her way through a lot of interpersonal issues. After all, Grey’s Anatomy is as much about its characters (and their romances and other complications) as it is its medical mysteries.

When asked about the egos in play, as well as what Riley’s relationship with DeLuca and Meredith is going to be like, Shoshannah Stern told TV Guide:

While all of them certainly have very healthy egos, I think they have different sorts. DeLuca's comes from his need to prove himself because he's tired of [being] seen as less than. Meredith's, well, I mean, she's Meredith Grey, so she's entitled! Riley's is a different one than we might have seen before because I think it comes from her constantly being underestimated. So, she has much less of an investment in what other people think or say about her. But I think what both DeLuca and Meredith don't realize is just how keenly she observes things. It's going to be revealed just how much she actually picks up on, and she's not going to be afraid to pull what she knows out of her bag of tricks. That's going to lead to a dramatic, even volatile shift in the dynamic between the three [of] them as it currently exists. I think the audience might not see it coming. I certainly didn't!

There are a lot of angles to sift through here! Shoshannah Stern indicated that Riley is going to utilize her heightened skills of observation when it comes to DeLuca and Meredith, and that all of it will end up leading to a large shift in Meredith, DeLuca, and Riley’s dynamic. Not that Riley has a dynamic with anyone just yet.

Shoshanna Stern's own sense of surprise over the storyline implies it's going to be a shocker for everyone. Or at least it seems like it could be one to me! Is this good news for non-fans of the “MerLuca” pairing? Will this shake-up just impact them professionally? Grey’s Anatomy’s mystery case seems to be the source of the ensuing drama, so time will tell.

Fans are used to witnessing the push and pull between the show’s various couplings. It will be interesting to learn how Riley’s introduction to the MerLuca relationship changes things. The good news for fans of DeLuca is that despite some momentary fear, his portrayer (Giacomo Gianniotti) was not referencing Grey’s Anatomy in a recent spate of social media posts that had fans nervous.

So regardless of what happens between Riley, Meredith and DeLuca, Giacomo Gianniotti should be around to handle the aftermath. In more good news, fans will not have to wait long for Shoshannah Stern to spring into action as Riley and learn what happens between her, Meredith, and DeLuca.

Riley’s arc begins in the February 13 installment of Grey’s Anatomy. Will she, Meredith, and DeLuca be able to solve the medical mystery afflicting Sarah Rafferty’s Suzanne? Stay tuned!

Her character and Sam Winchester may not be getting a rom-com ending on the long-running show. However, their relationship is set to “evolve.” A warmer relationship update than what Grey’s Anatomy’s Meredith and DeLuca may have just got. For now, the mystery is what this “volatile shift” entails between Riley, Meredith, and DeLuca. There is one way to find out!

New episodes of Grey’s Anatomy are airing this winter on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. A timeslot that puts it airing right after its spinoff series, Station 19. You can currently watch past seasons of Grey’s Anatomy via Netflix alongside 2020 content.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.