Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Thursday’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Read at your own risk!
We told you not to be worried about Miranda Bailey!
Though Bailey (Chandra Wilson) was indeed in mortal jeopardy during Thursday’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, the stalwart doc survived a heart attack and even reconciled with husband Ben (Jason George) during the emotional hour that also shed light on Bailey’s backstory — 14 seasons in!
During the episode, Bailey checked in to a nearby hospital believing she was having a heart attack, but the doctors dismissed her as having anxiety — a story loosely inspired by the episode writer Elisabeth R. Finch’s real-life experience being diagnosed with cancer. For the record, Bailey did have a heart attack that wasn’t caught until Maggie (Kelly McCreary) and Webber (James Pickens Jr.) showed up. With Bailey on the mend, EW caught up with Wilson to get the scoop on what’s next:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Having seen the Station 19 pilot, I knew Bailey wasn’t going to die, and yet some of those flashback scenes started to freak me out during Thursday’s episode! Was there ever any worry on your part that Bailey wouldn’t survive?
CHANDRA WILSON: [Laughs] I was told that no, that we’re making a story point that this is a greater good kind of situation, where through watching Bailey’s situation, we get to learn more about ourselves as women and ourselves as anyone entering the healthcare arena as a patient, and how to advocate for yourself and how to pay attention to what’s going on with your body. I was okay!
Do you think going through this experience of having a heart attack will thaw the tension between Ben and Bailey?
One thing to say for sure was Ben and Bailey were never not together. What’s really important for this Ben and Bailey relationship — and we all feel this across the board — is that everything doesn’t have to be hunky dory all the time. It’s about how you work your way through it. Ben and Bailey have always chosen to take breaking up and divorce off the table; those things aren’t options, so the options that you have left is now what? Now what do we do? Is it that we sleep in separate places for minute before we come back together? What do we do in order to have that understanding that we can be a strong and stable couple and raise Tuck and everything we’re supposed to do? That was my long-winded way of saying that by the end, Bailey — through seeing herself and having a better understanding of herself through going through her own mental flashbacks of how she was brought up and the stresses that she’s gone through, and what the doctors are telling her — she feels like she’s in no position to tell someone that they can’t be the best of who they want to be, that they can’t fly and spread their things and do what they need to do in order to be happy, because life is too short. That’s what she comes away from this experience with: Life is just too short, so you have to be happy.
But what does that dynamic look like once Ben is on Station 19?
It’s not a night-and-day change. She’ll give her seal of approval the best way Miranda Bailey can, but she has agreed to be supportive, and she has agreed not to give her husband a hard time about finding himself and figuring out who he wants to be. She may not be great at it, but that’s her agreement. We’ll do some back-and-forth coming up for the last half of this season of Grey’s, between Station 19, me being there, and him being over at Grey’s.
There’s a competition for the award that will start to heat up at the hospital. What will we see for Bailey with that?
Bailey’s project gets revealed in the following episode, what she’s working on. But competition is a core part of her as a surgeon, so that’s the reason she relinquished being a judge, because she wants to be in the game; that’s why she gave it to Webber, who ended up passing it over to April Kepner. They all want to be in the game, so this is good for Bailey, because you can get bogged down with paperwork all day in an administrative position, but at the end of the day, she’s a surgeon, and she loves being right there at the forefront of things that are cutting edge, and things that she can put her name on. So she, yes, will have a project that she’s working on as well, which gets revealed in two more episodes.
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.