Nurse Olivia's Return To 'Grey's Anatomy' Will Be A Blast From The Past For Longtime Fans
She hasn't been seen since Season 6, but according to Entertainment Weekly, Sarah Utterback will return to Grey's Anatomy for an upcoming episode, so buckle your seat belts. This is still early news, so there's no indication yet about what exactly is bringing Nurse Olivia Harper back to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. But in EW's first photo from the episode, the Grey's alum does appear to be in pretty heated conversation, so cross your fingers that this isn't the beginning of another syphilis outbreak.
Utterback isn’t wearing scrubs in the shot, which makes sense, because as any longtime fan will recall, Nurse Olivia was let go from Seattle Grace after seven years, in advance of the hospital's merger with Mercy West. And if it feels like forever ago that those old hospital names were being thrown around, it should. It's now been longer since Utterback was on the show — eight seasons — than the six seasons she actually spent on it.
So what better time for a comeback? The former nurse will be coming in with her son, according to EW, for an episode that's currently set to air on April 26. So fans don’t have too long to wait to find out what old Typhoid Mary has been up to in the years since her departure. One person who's probably more trepidatious than curious is Dr. Jo Wilson, played by Camilla Luddington, who appears in both promo shots with the Season 6 returnee. During her time on the show, Olivia was romantically linked with both T.R. Knight's George O'Malley and Justin Chambers' Alex Karev. The latter when he was supposed to be faithful to Katherine Heigl's Izzie Stevens.
Knight left the show in 2009, a full season before Utterback did, so he's not really in the picture now. (Although cross your fingers tightly and pray that that could change, because that's a reunion that would really get the people talking.) But Alex is still very much around and linked to Jo; the two have been on a real rollercoaster ride in recent seasons. And even aside from that relationship, the surgical resident has really been put through the wringer in her personal life by the long-dreaded arrival of her abusive ex-husband. (To whom she's actually still married, with a different name and a different history.)
She's got a lot going on, basically, so sure, what better moment to bring in an ex of Alex's to really get the party going? The only good news for Jo here is that Olivia has a son now, so she's presumably not trying to spark things up with her former flame again. But what will the former nurse be doing during the Season 14 episode? Perhaps she’s back to offer some words of wisdom or a prediction; one of the last things she said on the series when wondering if she’d lose her job was the omniscient line that "nurses are last to know and first to go."
She had a spidey sense then that she might be let go that very day — and she was — so it's plausible that she might have returned again with some words of warning or a few pearls of wisdom that she's hoping to drop on her former coworkers. It's really anyone's game at this point. When you've built out a world as complicated and vast as the one Shonda Rhimes has turned Grey's Anatomy into over 14 seasons, there are endless combinations of people and plot lines to try out.
And even when someone's been away from the show for almost a decade, this is just a reminder straight from Shondaland HQ, to never, never count anybody out.