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Grey's Anatomy: How Kate Walsh's Addison Return Changes Up Jo's World, According To Camilla Luddington

Camilla Luddington as Jo Wilson in Grey's Anatomy press shot.
(Image credit: ABC Press)

Jo Wilson has gone through quite the transformation on Grey’s Anatomy. After Alex left her to reunite with Izzie Stevens, Jo struggled to find her place — romantically, medically and otherwise — but the end of Season 17 gave her direction in a pretty significant way. She “chose joy,” adopting a baby girl and changing her specialty to obstetrics and gynecology. So when Kate Walsh announced that she was returning to Grey-Sloan Memorial as Addison Montgomery, it was the hope among fans that Jo might end up as a protégé of the neonatal goddess. And Camilla Luddington herself makes it sounds possible that fans could get their wish.

In a recent interview with ET, Camilla Luddington talked about what it was like having Kate Walsh back on set, saying “everyone geeked out” when they saw her at the table read. It sounds like both the actress and her character are still bringing the boss energy, and Jo will be trying to soak in as much as possible from Addison. In her words:

She is back and it is kind of like she's never left before. I feel like her presence in scenes is that she kind of owns the hospital. I am like, 'Oh my god, it is Addison.' But I think we can say that she is working on a really amazing case that Jo is desperate to get in on. It's always possible there is drama.

Drama? On Grey’s Anatomy? I’d certainly hope so! Let’s not forget that way back in Season 3, Addison slept with Jo’s now-ex-husband Alex Karev. I know in a show like this, it seems like everybody sleeps with everybody at some point, but it still might be interesting if that part of their shared past comes to light, considering he's no longer around. Addison and Alex were never serious romantically, and he really learned a lot from her in a professional capacity, as it was her guidance that led him to change his specialty from plastic surgery to pediatrics. Perhaps Jo following a similar path will be meaningfully symbolic, or maybe it'll lead to something more problematic.

Jo will be going through Addison's return as a new mother — and a single mother — which certainly could prove to have its overwhelming moments. Camilla Luddington said Jo will be depending on her BFF Link as she basically starts her career from scratch.

A couple of things are happening for her. She has a new baby so she is dealing with a single-working mom and not having much help and I think that that is really good for... she is leaning on Link for advice, which is her bestie, on how to do this and then what you are going to see that is kind of fun, which it didn't even really occur to me until this season is that she is back to being an intern. She is back to square one so she is doing scut and I feel like that energy in the early seasons of her being an intern and making mistakes and running around is back again for her so it has been really fun to play.

The wait is almost over, as Season 18 of Grey’s Anatomy premieres Thursday, September 30 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. Grey’s will be the second half of a Seattle crossover event that begins with Station 19’s Season 5 premiere at 8 p.m. ET. Be sure to check out our 2021 Fall TV Schedule for more upcoming premiere dates.

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.