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The Best Character Development Storylines in Grey’s Anatomy

Grey’s Anatomy is one of the most popular shows that has ever graced our TV screens. Throughout the 17 seasons of Greys, there have been countless tragedies and heartbreaks, as well as some beautiful love stories and heartwarming episodes. One of the best things that has come of out the lengthy duration of Greys is the character development storylines that have shaped so many of our favorite characters. There are three storylines that I particularly love throughout the entirety of the show and I’m about to share them all with you. DISCLAIMER: if you’re currently watching Grey’s Anatomy or aren’t completely caught up to season 17, beware of spoilers!

After watching the finale of season one, it’s pretty clear that the arrival of Addison Montgomery was meant to mess with every viewers’ emotions in an indescribable way. When she was first introduced, fans were shocked and a little annoyed at her showing up. It made sense as to why she showed up and started to mess with Derek’s relationship, but it threw so many of us off. After learning about the real reason Derek left New York and what happened in their marriage, it’s safe to say that she wasn’t the most likeable character. I initially didn’t like Addison because of what she had done to Derek in the past, but throughout her three seasons on the show, she became a really likeable character. We start to understand that Addison is truly a soft and sweet character who dreams of having kids with a man that she loves someday. She also stands up for herself and puts her patients first in the OR, which is something that makes her stand out as a badass and strong woman. Throughout her time on the show, Addison grows and becomes close with many characters, making her a character that has a really great story line. She also tries to make up with Derek and asks for forgiveness. She truly apologizes for her actions back in New York, which allows Derek to see past them and forgive her. Addison becomes a strong and independent woman throughout the show, which is really admirable.

Another character development storyline that I love throughout Grey’s Anatomy is that of April Kepner. April enters the show in the beginning of season six, amidst the merger between Seattle Grace and Mercy West. In her first season, she’s not the most likeable character because of her tendency to suck up to people of authority and throw people under the bus for small mistakes. She also got on my nerves in the finale of season six (if you know, you know), where she ran in on Derek’s encounter with Gary Clark, ending in tragedy that could have been completely avoided. After season six, her character started to grow on me, as I started to understand a little bit more about her and why she is the way that she is. April’s character grows throughout the entirety of the show, and I honestly believe that the send-off she received at the end of season 14 was perfect for her. After living through many hardships and horrible events like losing her first son and having a huge crisis of faith, she finally understands herself at the end of her time on the show. She is then able to give back to everyone that helped her out along the way. April’s character proves to be incredibly strong, and she leaves the show happier than ever. Even though April’s story didn’t end with Jackson by her side, the actress that plays April was confirmed to be returning to Greys in season 17, so, at this point, you never know what could happen.

Lastly and, most importantly in my opinion, we have to talk about Alex Karev. A member of MAGIC and one of the interns in Meredith’s year, he started off the show as a rude intern with attitude problems and a snappy mouth. Throughout the show we got to see Alex’s soft side, which was brought out by Izzie Stevens, and watched his love for his friends begin to grow. We watched him mature as a person and a doctor by learning to care for others in ways he had never done before. Going through tragedy from a young age, Alex grew to forgive the people that caused him pain and become an incredibly kind and soft person, as well as a compassionate pediatric surgeon. He became Meredith’s “person” and was there for her after her best friend moved away and her husband died. The only thing I don’t love about Alex was his choice to go back to Izzie after being madly in love with Jo Wilson for five years. He completely abandons Jo and returns to Izzie, who left him in season six, which is something that in my opinion completely goes against everything he grew into throughout the entirety of the show.

All in all, Grey’s Anatomy’s longstanding position on TV has allowed many characters to come and go but also really develop as people. There are so many heartwarming episodes and also some real tragedies, and if you haven’t watched Grey’s Anatomy yet, I definitely recommend you give it a try. It’s awesome getting to know most of the characters and watching them grow based on their experiences throughout the show. You can watch Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix up until season 16.

Alexandra Winter

Wilfrid Laurier '23

Alex is in her third year of kinesiology at Wilfrid Laurier University and is also minoring in psychology. She has been a writer for Her Campus for a year now. Her hobbies include playing sports, listening to Harry Styles music, and rewatching Grey's Anatomy over and over again. She also loves reading! She has a twin sister and 3 amazing pets who she loves very much.
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