'Grey's Anatomy's' Caterina Scorsone: Amelia is in 'Full Freak-Out Mode'

"She's stuck in a position that a lot of women wrestle with when considering marriage and kids," the actress tells THR.
"Grey's Anatomy's" Caterina Scorsone and Patrick Dempsey

Caterina Scorsone is back on ABC. The Private Practice alum made her return to Grey's Anatomy last week, reprising her role as Derek's (Patrick Dempsey) sister, Amelia, returning to Seattle to see if she's cut out for a family life after James (Matt Long) proposed.

Instead, the younger Shepherd learns that caring for two small children and a home is a bit overwhelming. So what's ahead for Amelia following her stark realization that she may not be cut out to be a wife and mother? The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Scorsone to discuss what's ahead for Amelia as well as what's going on at Seaside Wellness (RIP, Private Practice) and more.

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Amelia is back in Seattle -- and overwhelmed. Where does she go from here?

In the foreseeable future, which is until the end of the season, she's interacting with Derek and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and living at the Dream House for a little while. In the next episode, Derek taps her to be his co-surgeon on a complicated neurology case that involves conjoined twins. There are two brains and you need two neurosurgeons with perfect, perfect Shepherd hair (laughs). He calls Amelia in and she's at Grey Sloan Memorial with privileges.

James (Matt Long) has proposed to her and she's testing what family life may be like. Is that really why she's in Seattle? Might we see him at some point?

I don't know what will happen down the road. She is in Seattle in a very complicated situation. She fled to go visit the babies and get to know [baby] Bailey and visit Zola but she's in full freak out mode right now. She went from very tragic circumstances before meeting James to this whirlwind romance and not that long after a proposal with this guy who, in contrast to Amelia -- as he said on Private Practice --the worst thing that happened to him was having to put his Golden Retriever down. They definitely have very different histories and suddenly she's in a position where she's got to figure out if she's going to be able to be a wife and mother for this guy -- and if she's ready for that while balancing her career as a neurosurgeon when that is an area that gives her so much identity and so much sanity post-addiction. She's in Seattle fully freaking out and not sure who she is or what she needs to do to be a functional human in society. She's not sure if marrying James is the answer or if she should dive more fully into her career. She's stuck in a position that a lot of women wrestle with when considering marriage and kids.

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Might we get an update via Amelia about what's going on at Seaside Wellness?

She does bring up Seaside Wellness and what it's like working there as distinct from Grey Sloan Memorial and what the differences are. It's an interesting reflection and you're definitely confronted with some of the cultural differences between working in L.A. at a private practice by the ocean and working at Grey Sloan Memorial in a hospital with these guys.

Meredith will be making a life-changing decision in the finale. What kind of a role does Amelia have in that?

One of the things that the end of the season focuses on a lot is the balance between family life and work. As we know, Derek and Meredith have been fighting a ton about who is going to take responsibility of the kids and whose career is going to come first as they struggle to balance everything. Meredith has a huge decision to make involving her career and family and Amelia is part of that decision -- and part of that family. She's one more person that can potentially give them support in helping to balance those totally full-time worlds.

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How will might we see see Amelia bond with Meredith? The May 8 episode promises to explore "Amelia's true feelings about her time in Seattle." What can you tell us about that?

One of the interesting things about what's happening with Amelia and Meredith is that Amelia has been very close to Addision (Kate Walsh), who is Derek's ex-wife. Amelia hasn't really had a chance to get to know Meredith at all. Now that she's living in Seattle and hanging out with the kids and Derek, she and Meredith start to forge a real relationship since they're sisters now. We finally get to start building that relationship between those two women.

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What can you can tease about what we can except from Isaiah Washington's return?

I didn't have any story line with Isaiah in the episode. But I can say that as a fan of Grey's Anatomy, it's really exciting to see that story line come around again and to see how that played out because I was traumatized along with everyone else when he left Cristina at the altar. It's interesting now, years later, as Cristina's career has progressed and how she has progressed as a woman and had her ups and downs, had a marriage, what that relationship with Burke looks like to her. It is a really wonderful thing for her story line.

Is there a chance you could stick around next season?

There's always a chance in Shondaland. We'll keep our fingers crossed.

What are you looking forward to seeing? Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC. A special repeat of Burke's final Grey's episode airs at 8 p.m.

Email: Lesley.Goldberg@THR.com
Twitter: @Snoodit