Will Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) finally get her happily ever after? Though her beloved DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) remains in the pokey after taking the fall for her insurance fraud, Grey’s Anatomy executive producer Krista Vernoff is committed to keeping their romance alive in the new season that kicks off tonight on ABC.

“Life comes with a lot of ‘happy endings’ that are followed by real-life complexities,” Vernoff tells EW. “Meredith was fired and we left DeLuca in jail. The ‘I love you’ is a beautiful silver lining on a complicated chapter in Meredith’s life.” Unfortunately, Vernoff is maddeningly noncommittal about the possibility of another Seattle wedding. “You never know,” she teases.

Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC

One couple who seem far from walking down the aisle are Jackson (Jesse Williams) and Maggie (Kelly McCreary), who are on the rocks after a heated fight in the woods during the season 15 finale. In the meantime, more players from Station 19 may show up at Grey Sloan (and vice versa) to create more of a shared Shondaland universe; expect a few tentpole crossover episodes this season.

And now that Teddy (Kim Raver) is finally with Owen (Kevin McKidd), we’ll see her try to navigate a brokenhearted ex (Greg Germann’s Koracick) while juggling her job, newborn, and new living quarters (that’ll be a surprise in the premiere).

“I think Koracick really loves Teddy, and it’s messy — but it’s a good, complicated messy,” says Raver, referring to both the on- and off-camera antics. “It’s so real. I have a gorgeous baby actress and she’s pooping in her diaper while I’m doing the scene. I could smell it! All I could say was ‘What’s my line?’”

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

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