6 ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Storylines Affected by the Planned Season 17 Time Jump

Grey's Anatomy Storylines Time Jump
ABC/Gilles Mingasson (2); ABC/Raymond Liu

Grey’s Anatomy is going to be including the coronavirus in its upcoming 17th season, and the latest details reveal that in doing so, the premiere will pick up “a month and a half into full COVID.”

While production shut down on Season 16 four episodes early, the finale did leave a few storylines up in the air. What we see next from at least some of them will be affected by this time jump, whether it’s how it plays out onscreen, like for the relationships of Drs. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Teddy Altman (Kim Raver), or what we’ll now have to learn via flashbacks or in conversations, like Drs. Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) and Atticus “Link” Lincoln (Chris Carmack) naming their baby.

Scroll down for the storylines we expect to play out a bit differently in Season 17.

Grey’s Anatomy, Season 17, Fall 2020, ABC

Grey's Anatomy Storylines Time Jump Teddy Love Triangle Wedding
Gilles Mingasson/ABC

Teddy's love triangle and wedding

As Season 16 came to an end, Teddy and Dr. Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) were about to get married … until he learned of her affair with ex-boyfriend Dr. Tom Koracick (Greg Germann) via a voicemail she accidentally left him. He postponed the ceremony, ostensibly for work, but with Grey’s now picking up a month and a half later, Teddy will have to already know that Owen knows about Tom and the immediate fallout of that will have happened off-screen.

But how will quarantining and taking care of patients at the hospital affect the doctors? Will Teddy and Owen be living together with the kids? Will one be quarantining separately for the rest of the family’s health and safety? Will there be some personal revelations as a result of what’s happening in the world? Could personal relationships have been put on hold by the time we catch up to the doctors in the premiere? We likely won’t be able to determine what’s happened based on rings (or lack thereof), considering the doctors will be wearing PPE (personal protective equipment) at the hospital.

Grey's Anatomy Storylines Time Jump Meredith Love Triangle
ABC/Gilles Mingasson

Meredith's love triangle

Meredith and Dr. Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) hit a rough patch in Season 16, and at the end of the finale, his mental health was more important than their relationship status. But the hospital’s new doctor, Cormac Hayes (Richard Flood), was also set up as a potential love interest for Meredith after Cristina sent him to her as a gift.

Flood has been promoted to series regular for Season 17, suggesting that there could be a full-blown love triangle coming. But with the time jump and the coronavirus storyline, chances are that what each doctor is doing to help and where they’re quarantining will be a factor in where we find the relationships in the premiere. Are Meredith and Hayes able to stay with their kids? Is DeLuca with Meredith or perhaps with his sister, Dr. Carina DeLuca (Stefania Spampinato, now a series regular on Station 19)? That may depend on the next storyline…

Grey's Anatomy Storylines Time Jump DeLuca Mental Health
ABC/Gilles Mingasson

DeLucas's diagnosis

The spinoff saw Carina telling her girlfriend, firefighter Maya Bishop (Danielle Savre), “my dad has bipolar I, and my sweet baby brother has inherited it.” Over on Grey’s, he hadn’t received a diagnosis yet, and Carina had only suspected the reason for his recent behavior.

We’ll likely skip even more of that storyline, including what happened when Meredith took him home at the end of the finale, by picking up a month and half later. Sure, there could be some flashbacks, but those would be to provide context for what we see play out in the present-day scenes.

Grey's Anatomy Storylines Time Jump Amelia Link Parents Baby
ABC/Gilles Mingasson

Amelia and Link as new parents

In the finale, Amelia gave birth to her and Link’s son, but his name wasn’t revealed. With the month and a half jump, that boy is going to already have a name, so we’ll miss out on that conversation onscreen (and a flashback after it’s revealed probably won’t be the same), as well as the days following them bringing him home from the hospital.

Grey's Anatomy Storylines Time Jump Maggie New Romance
ABC/Raymond Liu

Maggie's probable new romance

Last season, Dr. Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) reconnected with Dr. Winston Ndugu at a medical conference, and after that one episode, Anthony Hill has been upped to series regular for Season 17. That suggests that Winston does in fact make the move to Seattle that he’d said he would. Their (potential) relationship had taken a backseat when her father, Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.), fell ill and everyone worked together to determine his diagnosis.

With the time jump, we could possibly see Winston already in Seattle, instead of watching his arrival and what that means for him and Maggie play out onscreen in the beginning. Could they already be together when we see them for the first time in the premiere?

Grey's Anatomy Storylines Time Jump Richard Catherine Relationship Future
ABC/Jessica Brooks

Richard and Catherine's future

Richard and Dr. Catherine Fox’s (Debbie Allen) marriage fell apart (making for a very awkward dinner) last season, but as he began his recovery from cobalt poisoning (as a result of a hip replacement), she had had a change of heart. The only problem is he hadn’t. But just like his medical crisis led to her thinking about their future, might the coronavirus pandemic do the same for either of them?