On Thursday’s midseason finale, titled “You Haven’t Done Nothin’,” the assault case against Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) -- and the realistic possibility that he may be headed behind bars -- prompts him to make a decision about his future at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital that could change the landscape.
“In classic Grey’s fashion, there will be a cliffhanger that will potentially change a character’s life forever,” star Jason George, who plays Ben Warren on the ABC medical soap, tells ET. “Mainly Karev. He’s looking at serious, serious problems that aren’t normal doctor problems. He’s in court with a serious ‘We’re not going to see you for a while’ problem.”
“One of the things I loved about Grey’s is they’re not afraid to let their characters be jerks,” he adds. “They don’t always have to be shiny, happy, likable people -- especially Karev, who is the poster boy for that.”
George’s character was one of the only Grey’s doctors to question the entire situation before the truth behind Karev and Andrew DeLuca’s (Giacomo Giannotti) violent fight eventually came out, resulting in Karev’s current legal limbo.
That’s not the only problem in the hospital, though. With Miranda Bailey’s (Chandra Wilson) leniency in handling recent conflicts finally brought to question, the introduction of Eliza Minnick (Marika Dominczyk), a consultant watching the docs’ every move, begins to cause waves -- most notably for Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.).
“One thing leads to another thing and it’s challenging everyone’s situation,” George says, giving his take on why Eliza’s presence is a mixed bag. “While the surgeons aren’t necessarily crazy about it [because she’s] challenging how they teach, all of the attendings love it because that means we get to get our hands dirty and get in there earlier. We’re all gangbusters for it but we can’t make our bosses too angry. It puts everyone in a weird political situation because the politics at work are getting tight.”
As with the Karev vs. DeLuca debacle, Eliza becomes another catalyst for splitting up Grey Sloan when it desperately needs unity. “That’s another situation where it divides up and splits up [the hospital],” George says. “Everyone on the show decides [which side they’re on].”
While things may be tense at the workplace, at home Ben and Miranda have been holding down the fort for married couples on TV.
“I’m very proud to be playing a working, talented together couple and a black couple on top of that, which is even more rare in television,” George says. “[The writers] make sure it’s not easy. Like any couple, you're going to have the same fight again and again, especially these two because they work together.”
One promise the couple has made -- to keep church and state separate -- will be threatened in the fall finale.
“They’re trying to make this thing work and even that, they may have to go to the drawing board again and find a new way to make it work,” George says of possible discord. “Trying to keep the professional and the personal separate may not be the way to go.”
“Bailey brought in Eliza and that could be good for Ben, but she’s got doctors fighting her. It puts her in a situation where she needs information about what people are saying behind closed doors and that puts Ben in a weird situation,” he hints. “They keep coming back to these same situations that are just impossible.”
Though Ben seems to have moved past his suspension after going rogue and performing fatal, ill-equipped surgeries, tension still lingers among some of the Grey Sloan doctors. “Ben’s actions still impact Bailey in a negative way,” George admits. “I don’t think that blind spot is ever going to go completely away and Ben’s going to be working that off for a long time, and Bailey’s going to have to find ways to work around it.”
Prior to Grey’s, George co-starred with Martin Henderson in Shonda Rhimes’ short-lived medical drama Off the Map. At the moment, Ben doesn’t have a pivotal storyline with Henderson’s Grey’s character, Nathan Riggs, something he hopes changes soon.
“I would love for Kevin McKidd and Martin Henderson and I to get together and do something,” George says, adding of Henderson: “We haven’t had that much of an opportunity to have stuff together or to really interconnect with each other, but all that stuff comes in time. I have no doubt that they’ll get there.”
“Caterina is holed up underneath babies. We have seen photos. We’ve all shot emails and called. But she’s exactly where she should be, which is taking care of that bundle,” George says with a chuckle. “Camilla, it’s so funny, we were talking lists of stuff she’s gotta get. I was telling her I will get her a list from my wife when we had ours of the stuff that she really needs and the stuff she doesn’t need.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs its fall finale Thursday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.