6:03pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Grey's Anatomy': 11 Big Developments From the Season 11 Premiere
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the season 11 premiere of ABC's Grey's Anatomy, "I Must Have Lost it on the Wind."]
Grey's Anatomy returned for its 11th season Thursday to kick off its new slot as the anchor of ABC's #TGIT Shonda Rhimes block with an action-packed hour that opened the post-Sandra Oh chapter of the veteran medical drama.
The fast-paced episode set up friction between Meredith and half-sister Maggie, brought Amelia into the Grey family drama and set the stage for a season of conflict between the board as they look to replace Cristina's seat.
Here are the 11 biggest developments from the season premiere.
1. A flashback seems to reveal Ellis Grey giving birth to baby Maggie before she moved from Boston to Seattle.
2. Richard (James Pickens Jr.) retreats to AA to share the secret of his long-lost daughter, Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary). And Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) happens to be at the same meeting to learn his secret. Amelia also has a secret — one that she hasn't yet told big brother Derek (Patrick Dempsey).
3. Speaking of secrets, Maggie officially meets half sister Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), who has no idea that she's her half sister. To summarize Mer's feelings about her new colleague: "Pierce is no Yang, she's perky and chatty. I bet she likes cats." Dramaaaaaa! (And tequila!)
4. Bailey (Chandra Wilson) tells Alex (Justin Chambers) that Webber is recommending her for the board, but Alex tells Bailey — and Jackson — that Yang handed off her board seat to him. Bailey and Alex are both fuming, and Jackson (Jesse Williams) and Webber are trapped in the middle.
5. Jackson makes a weak plea to hang with Owen (Kevin McKidd), whom April (Sarah Drew) believes to be really missing Cristina. (And rightly so — we miss Cris, too.) The best part: Owen telling Derek to stop asking him out on dates. Zing!
6. Enter Geena Davis, who is trying to recruit Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) for her fellowship — and possibly flirting with her right in front of Callie (Sara Ramirez).
7. Mer and Der are still at an impasse about where home will be for their family: He still wants D.C., and she's dead set on staying in Seattle. She leans on Alex — effectively her new person, as he is the only remaining one of the group — and confides in him that she's unsure if her marriage can survive what's going on with Derek. Derek surprises her and reveals that he resigned from the brain-mapping initiative in D.C. and doesn't want to be apart from Meredith and their children. Mer tells Derek to call them back and says she never wanted him to dot his. "I chose you and the kids," he tells his disappointed wife.
8. Callie and Arizona seem to disagree about the idea of expanding their family via surrogacy. Arizona is in favor but Callie doesn't seem keen on the thought at all and suddenly seems less than enthused about adding another bundle of joy to their family. But just when Callie changes her mind, Arizona says she wants to go back to school instead of having a baby and take Dr. Herman up on her offer.
9. Maggie "thinks she hates" her sister, Meredith. And after figuring out that they're related, decides not to tell her that they're family. But it makes for a wonderful scene between Maggie and Webber, though she still has no idea that he is her biological father.
10. The board meets: It's majority vote to determine Yang's replacement, with Jackson suggesting Alex and Bailey duke it out to determine who gets it. Alex vows he won't screw it up and Bailey agrees to go head-to-head with him.
11. Catherine Avery returns Webber's engagement ring but it leads to a tender scene between Webber and dad-to-be Jackson. "It would have been really nice having you in the family," Jackson tells him.
What did you think of the Grey's premiere? Sound off in the comments below. Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.