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Is Meredith Headed Toward Romance In Grey's Anatomy Season 18? Here's What The EP Says

Grey's Anatomy Meredith Grey looks serious.

Cormac Hayes and Meredith Grey look at each other.

Grey’s Anatomy returns for its 18th season this Thursday, and we all know the relationships are equally as important to the show as the medicine they’re practicing. Maggie and Winston have tied the knot; Teddy and Owen appear to be headed that way. Amelia and Link, meanwhile, are on life support. But what about Meredith Grey and Cormac Hayes? Could it finally be the time for Mermac? Ever since he arrived in Season 16 as a “gift” to Meredith from Cristina, Hayes has tip-toed toward taking things to the next level with Meredith. Surely it’s time these two got a proper date, right?

Well, not so fast. Coming off Meredith's harrowing COVID battle — and not to mention the tragic loss of former flame Andrew DeLuca — Grey’s Anatomy executive producer Meg Marinis told TV Line that romance might not be Dr. Grey's top priority when Season 18 premieres:

I don’t think she’s actively looking for it. Now, does that mean it won’t possibly find her? ... I wouldn’t say she’s actively looking for it, because she just got out of the COVID crisis, and her career and her family have always come first.

Not only did Meredith nearly die from her battle with COVID, but it’s important to remember that during all the time she spent unconscious in the hospital, she was hallucinating a beach reunion with her late husband, Derek Shepherd. The two even renewed their vows in a heart-wrenching beach ceremony before he left her again. Not to mention that Andrew DeLuca was murdered while Meredith was sick, and she actually saw him on the beach, too, leaving her to reunite with his late mother.

That’s a lot to process as you re-enter the conscious world. There was a time when Meredith looked like she was going to be in a love triangle with Hayes (a.k.a. McWidow) and DeLuca. And since Hayes’ presence at Grey-Sloan is due to Cristina sending him to Meredith, I don’t think we get out of this storyline until Mermac (oy with these nicknames already!) have at least had a proper date — not just sipping whiskey in the doctor’s lounge. So I think Meg Marinis’ clue about Meredith not looking for love but finding it anyway is likely what we’ll see this season.

And don’t forget, the executive producer pointed out that Hayes showed that he cared deeply for Meredith as she struggled with COVID. He even appeared to her on the beach as he was (in the real world) sitting at her bedside talking about her children:

We saw Hayes being more drawn to [Meredith] even as she was in a hospital bed all season.

New love might be a tall order for Meredith, as we already know she’s going to face quite a few people from her past. Her mother will continue to appear in one form or another, starting in the Season 18 premiere, as well as Dr. Alan Hamilton, someone from Ellis’ past. Kate Walsh will also return as Addison Montgomery, Derek’s ex-wife. There’s also the chance Meredith will see another former romantic interest in the form of Nathan Riggs. His longtime love, Megan, is confirmed to return to Grey’s — likely for Teddy and Owen’s wedding — and it would make sense for Riggs to be with her.

The fun starts Thursday, September 30, with Station 19 premiering at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, and Grey’s Anatomy following at 9 p.m. Check out our 2021 Fall TV Schedule to keep up with all of the upcoming premieres!

Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.