Not to alarm you, but Grey’s Anatomy’s latest Instagram photos could mean trouble for your favorite characters — at least that’s the fear currently gripping the fandom. On Tuesday afternoon, the series began dropping portraits of the show’s doctors and offering no real context as to why. Is the series about to shake things up by announcing a new cast member? Or could it be hinting that one of its beloved doctors will be leaving soon? Let’s unpack this social media puzzler.
Grey’s posted the first photo of the series early Tuesday afternoon, captioning the photo of series star Jesse Williams with nothing but his character’s name: “Jackson Avery.” And really, what fan doesn’t appreciate a gratuitous glimpse of Dr. Avery? At this point, there seemed to be no cause for alarm.
Professional-style portraits of Teddy Altman (Kim Raver), Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone), Atticus Lincoln (Chris Carmack), Jo Karev (Camilla Luddington), Levi Schmitt (Jake Borelli), Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) and Maggie Pearce (Kelly McCreary) followed. By the time the ninth portrait of Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) was posted, fans starting to suspect something was up. “What’s goin on? I’m scared,” one wrote. By the 12th photo, Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson), a full-blown panic was starting to set in. Begged another fan, “This is scaring me STOPPPP and tell me what’s happening!?”
The portrait posts wrapped with photos of Alex Karev (Justin Chambers), Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) and, of course, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) — at which point fans were officially convinced Grey’s was trying to send a cryptic message involving the cast.
To be clear, Grey’s could simply be releasing the official season 16 cast photos. Although, why now? Why not ahead of the season or after the premiere? The timing feels too intentional here.
Many fans quickly picked up on the fact that Meredith’s portrait was posted last and that she didn’t have on scrubs like the other doctors, with some speculating this was due to the fact she’s currently not practicing medicine. But others pointed out that, if that was the case, Richard and Alex shouldn’t be wearing Grey Sloan scrubs since they no longer work there either. One fan commented in panic, “Why is she the only one who’s not in scrubs? Is she actually going to lose her license???” And, let’s face it, it’s definitely a possibility. She did just skip out on her community service so she could try to make peace with Miranda, meaning her upcoming hearing with the medical board might not go over so well.
Other fans suggested that maybe Grey’s planned to drop a new doctor’s portrait to finish the series with a surprise. It could be Shameless alum Richard Flood, whose Dr. Cormac Hayes will soon be filling Alex’s former role as Head of Pediatric Surgery at Grey Sloan. But if Grey’s is going to the trouble of building up so much suspense, wouldn’t they want to drop a real shocker?
For that reason, we hope one particular fan’s prediction comes true: “Waiting for Addison Montgomery!!!”