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Grey's Anatomy Is Keeping One New Cast Member Around As It Celebrates A Series First

E.R. Fightmaster in Grey's Anatomy
(Image credit: ABC)

Even though Grey’s Anatomy is in its 18th season, firsts just keep on happening. The ABC medical series is expanding its cast and making history while doing so. With Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith Grey splitting time between Seattle and Minnesota as she begins to research Parkinson’s to prepare for a big surgery, we’ll be seeing a lot more of the research team, especially the series’ first nonbinary doctor, played by E.R. Fightmaster.

The Shrill alum was first introduced in the October 14 episode, “Hotter Than Hell” as Dr. Kai Bartley. According to Deadline, E.R. Fightmaster is set to recur in Season 18, becoming Grey’s Anatomy’s very first nonbinary doctor. They will bond over medicine with Caterina Scorsone’s Amelia, who was very excited to be part of revolutionary research and surgery. 

E.R. Fightmaster portrayed Emily in Seasons 2 and 3 of Hulu’s Shrill and has also appeared in Work in Progress on Showtime, and Tales from the Closet. They also wrote, executive produced, starred in, and handled the music for the 2020 short Pathetic Woman. Grey’s Anatomy is only just the latest project for Fightmaster and hopefully just the beginning of even more long-awaited firsts for the long-running series. For their part, Fightmaster is clearly excited to be part of the Grey's Anatomy cast, as they celebrated the good news on Instagram to say: 

I am having so much fun

Meredith got an offer to do an experimental surgery to cure Parkinson’s in Minnesota. Wanting to be part of history but not wanting to leave Grey Sloan, she decided to split her time between the two. She has stepped back from the resident program, however, and left it in the hands of Richard once again. Minnesota is where we meet the research team, and in turn, Dr. Kai Bartley. Their dynamic with Amelia will be something to watch, as well as how the research goes during Season 18.

Season 18 of Grey’s Anatomy has already proven to be one to not miss, especially with the return of Kate Walsh of Dr. Addison Montgomery. The series also decided to move past the pandemic this season. It’s hard to tell just what will happen next on the series, since nothing is predictable, but seeing Meredith and Amelia in Minnesota from time to time to be part of historical surgical research is definitely something I’m looking forward to. E.R. Fightmaster will make Grey’s Anatomy even better and show that no matter how long a series has been on the air, there’s always time for a change.

New episodes of Grey’s Anatomy air on Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST on ABC, following new episodes of Station 19. Both shows return on November 11 with a big crossover event. Check out CinemaBlend’s 2021 fall TV guide to see what other shows to look out for!

Megan Behnke

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.