'Grey's Anatomy's' Chandra Wilson Teases a Rattled Bailey, 'Surprising' Finale
"There are some things that are just going to be out of the blue," the actress tells THR of the upcoming ninth season finale.
Miranda Bailey is about to hit a major obstacle in her otherwise glowing career on ABC's Grey's Anatomy.
After a string of patients Bailey (Chandra Wilson) treated are diagnosed with post-op infections -- two of whom died -- the good doc will find herself at the center of a Center for Disease Control investigation when the Shonda Rhimes medical drama returns Thursday.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Wilson to discuss the story line and how much viewers should be worried about Bailey's future at Grey Sloan Memorial as well as to get the scoop on the superstorm that arrives in the season nine finale.
The Hollywood Reporter: How will the CDC investigation impact Bailey? Knowing Bailey, we can't imagine she'd take it sitting down.
Chandra Wilson: She has sat down, that's the problem. The CDC has to come in and do their due diligence and get to the source of where the infection is coming from. From Bailey's point of view, that doesn't have anything to do with her. Why she would even be considered as a possibility to why something has gone wrong -- she has no understanding of that whatsoever. That affects the relationships she has with the rest of her colleagues. In her opinion, they're busy being board members as opposed to being her champion.
THR: Speaking of board members, Jackson (Jesse Williams) warns the staff to keep their distance. How will Bailey handle being shut out?
Wilson: She's not going to handle that at all; that's being incredibly disloyal. Their priorities are all in the wrong place. If this had happened to any of her other colleagues, she probably would have told them, "Sit down for a minute, let the investigation run its course and then get back to work and call it a day." But she can't take her own advice. The whole thing is very personal to her. She's one of a few of her colleagues that doesn't have a financial stake in the hospital. She has no job security and this really rattles her; the fact that she has to sit back and allow something to potentially affect her career.
THR: Which of the board members will support her in this? Who besides Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) is on her side?
Wilson: They all support her and are on her side, but unfortunately they have to do their job first: they have to carry their title first. She can't see where their support is because they have to put on the suit and be board members for Grey Sloan Memorial.
THR: As a result of this, could we see Bailey wind up with some sort of financial stake in the hospital?
Wilson: She thinks she has a certain amount of footing with the fact that she has the genome lab. That's really important, and there's great work that's being done there and it's value-added to the hospital. The bottom line is it's not the same thing as being an owner. That really does become clear to her and that loyalties are split because of this.
THR: Bailey has typically ruled the roost at the hospital. How will this investigation affect her self-confidence?
Wilson: She thought she ruled the roost (laughs). Bailey has an incredible ego, which is one of the things I like about her. This investigation has more of an affect on her ego than anything else. She's certainly grieved by the fact that her patients are the ones who have died. She always has a personal investment in her patients, especially because of her perfection as a surgeon. If something goes wrong in surgery, it's not because of something that she has done; it's whatever the circumstances are. It's her ego that is going to take the biggest hit in this whole situation.
THR: Ben (Jason George) is returning next week. How will he help support Bailey with the investigation and will BCB return?
Wilson: He'll try. She is Ms. Independent, and it's very difficult for her to call on anybody in order to be of help to her or even for her to admit that she needs help through a situation. Unfortunately, it becomes an uphill battle for him to even be her husband because it's beyond the realm of possibly that she could have done anything wrong. She can't understand why no one else is thinking that same way.
THR: The season finale will feature a superstorm. Will the storm force Bailey's reinstatement?
Wilson: The bottom line is everybody has to rally in order to still be at the hospital, and all the personal drama is there and that needs to be worked out in the midst of that. Therein lies the drama part that we get to add to the season finale. (Laughs.)
THR: Whose life will the superstorm most impact? We've heard there are major changes for everyone.
Wilson: As far as Bailey is concerned, it's really is about being able to separate the personal from professional, so that she can continue to be a good doctor and function in this environment that she's in. That's going to be incredibly hard for her. Everybody has their own story; we're not dependent on anyone else's story, so we have a lot of independent stories going on right now on the show that have some surprising endings in the finale. There are some things that are just going to be out of the blue.
THR: How would you compare this season's finale to last year's gut-wrenching plane crash episode?
Wilson: It certainly has the same intensity as far as the forward movement. Our finales are always about what's going to happen next and we do continue that. But no engines are falling off of anything (laughs). We don't have that happening! All our characters individually are going through a big journey. The forward momentum of our season finales will continue to be there.
THR: Will everyone survive? Will anyone die?
Wilson: It depends on what you mean survive! (Laughing.) There may be some spiritual death and things like that! But as far as I know we're all still standing right now.
THR: Obviously Bailey is still around for the finale. What's the likelihood we'll see her get fired? Sounds like she's still working when the superstorm arrives.
Wilson: I know that she doesn't feel like her career is safe, so it's about how much self-sabotage is Bailey going to get herself into -- not only in the season finale but whatever happens going forward in season 10 just because she holds grudges. It wouldn't be so much to see the CDC investigation but how she handles everything going forward that might jeopardize her career.
What do you think will happen to Bailey? Hit the comments below with your thoughts. Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.