Season 17 might be a big one for Meredith and Maggie — and their love lives. Grey's Anatomy Season 17 has added two series regulars and moved another star over to spin-off Station 19 permanently. Anthony Hill (Dr. Winston Ndugu) and Richard Flood (Dr. Cormac Hayes) are now series regulars, TVLine reported on July 30. As for Stefania Spampinato (Dr. Carina DeLuca), she is moving over to be a series regular on Station 19 for Season 4. But, Grey's fans are probably more concerned with the full-time additions of Flood and Hill — and what it means for the romantic lives of Meredith and Maggie.
As Hayes, Flood made his Grey's debut in Season 16, after Cristina sent him as a potential hook up for Meredith. The Irish surgeon, aka McWidow, is a father of teenage boys and the head of Grey Sloan Memorial's pediatric surgery. Even though Meredith and Hayes didn't get along at first, she started to see a different side of him over the course of the season. Hayes also showed up at an interesting time following Meredith and DeLuca's romance. Despite MerLuca breaking up, Meredith was still part of DeLuca's life, especially during his struggles in Season 16. DeLuca was diagnosed with bipolar disorder on Station 19, and the last fans saw of him on Grey's, he and Meredith seemed very much still entangled. And now that Hayes is sticking around for good, things are only going to get more complicated.
"It feels like the perfect character for Meredith to ask herself the questions that many of us and many fans have been asking since 'MerLuca' became a thing," Grey's showrunner Krista Vernoff told TV Guide at the Television Critics Association winter tour in January, teasing the new love triangle. "Could this man ultimately be enough for Meredith? Is he enough of a grown-up, is he enough of an equal? You need someone to come in and play the role of 'grown-up equal' to ask that and answer that question."
Then there is Maggie and Winston, former colleagues who reconnected at a medical conference last season. And, yes, the sparks were undeniable. They ended up sleeping together, but, even more, Winston asked Maggie to move back to Boston to be with him, and offered to move to Seattle. "I mean, sometimes you just meet somebody and you know," Winston told Maggie. Seeing as Hill is taking on the role of Winston full-time next season, it looks like he's making the jump. Maggie's due for a little luck in love, so hopefully this means good things are ahead.
It's hard to say for certain what will happen between Meredith and Hayes or Maggie and Winston, especially since it's unclear when Grey's will begin filming for Season 17 due to the ongoing pandemic. One thing that is for certain is COVID-19 will "for sure" be incorporated into the new season, Vernoff confirmed in a July Television Academy panel. "There’s no way to be a long-running medical show and not do the medical story of our lifetimes," she said. "I feel like our show has an opportunity and a responsibility to tell some of those stories." Between the pandemic and Hill and Flood becoming series regulars, Grey's Season 17 is already shaping up to be one of the show's most dramatic yet.