Grey’s Anatomy: Ranking the Ladies’ Happiness Levels

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Grey’s Anatomy‘s returned last Thursday after an incredibly dark and twisty eleventh season. Thankfully, Shonda Rhimes has promised viewers a much lighter twelfth season, with big changes ahead for the entire cast. In preparation of these changes, we’ve gone ahead and ranked the ladies of Grey’s Anatomy from the dark-and-twistiest to the bright-and-shiniest. We also have a few ideas about how things may pan out for each lady during Season 12.

9. Meredith Grey

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Meredith is the original Twisted Sister. She’s seen it all–she’s died and come back, and last season she made the difficult decision to take her husband McDreamy, Derek Shepherd, off life support. Season 12 picked up a couple months after the end of Season 11, over a year since Derek’s death, giving Meredith time to mourn, and now she even seemed optimistic in the season premiere. But Meredith’s trademark dark-and-twisty tendencies aren’t easy to forget and for that reason Meredith tops our list of dark-and-twisty ladies.

8. Amelia Shepherd

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Amelia struggled with the loss of her brother last season as well, but her propensity for the dark-and-twisty extends well into her past. We’ve seen her struggle with an addiction to prescription pills, which had caused Amelia to butt heads with everyone at the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Her on again, off again relationship with Owen Hunt was fraught with issues–Amelia struggled with sobriety, and Owen was her boss. While not quite as dark or twisty as her sister-in-law, Amelia comes as a close second.

7. April Kepner

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April used to be a bright-and-shiny stronghold, but after losing her baby to a rare bone disorder in Season 11, April’s taken a turn to the dark side. Her emotional and spiritual struggle with doing what was right for her unborn child put a huge strain on her relationship with her husband, Jackson Avery. After joining Owen Hunt as a trauma surgeon in the army, and then extending her tour of duty, her marriage is tenuous at best. Season 12 doesn’t seem to have brought any good news for April and Jackson, making us think that April might have a dark-and-twisty path ahead of her.

6. Callie Torres

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Callie loves hard and fast, and when she falls, it usually hurts. Her marriage with Arizona Robbins is over, and she can’t have any more children–something which Callie had wanted deeply. Callie’s relationship history is marred by infidelity (her marriage to George O’Malley ended after he cheated with Izzie Stevens) and death (Mark Sloan died following a plane crash). Still, Callie is a champion of love: in the Season 12 premiere she passionately defended two teenage girls who nearly died as they tried to be together in spite of their parents. Callie might yet claw her way out of the darkness.

5. Maggie Pierce

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Maggie is a Grey by blood, so she definitely has a tinge of the dark-and-twisty tendencies that her half-sister has perfected. Maggie has a tenuous relationship with her biological father, former chief of surgery Dr. Richard Webber, and Meredith didn’t exactly welcome Maggie with welcome arms either. However, through it all, Maggie has managed to prevail: she’s closer with Meredith now and she runs the cardio thoracic department. She falls somewhere in the middle between dark-and-twisty and bright-and-shiny–it all depends on how the chips fall in Season 12.

4. Stephanie Edwards

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Stephanie has had her share of ups and downs, but seems to be on the up and up as time goes on. Though she was jilted by Jackson Avery at April’s wedding, Stephanie bounced back and took control of her life, effectively telling Jackson she didn’t care about him any more. She’s taken responsibility for Miranda Bailey’s cavalier treatment of a patient with SCID, and was the voice of reason for Arizona Robbins in the premiere. Stephanie has firm control over her life, and isn’t taking any more nonsense. We can expect to see more great things from Stephanie, and maybe even skew toward bright-and-shiny end of the spectrum.

3. Arizon Robbins

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Arizona is aggressively upbeat almost all of the time and is a natural candidate for the bright-and-shiny classification. She has had her own dark-and-twisty periods: Arizona struggled for a long time with the loss of her leg, and her infidelity in her marriage with Callie. But Arizona always presses forward, she’s almost resoundingly optimistic in the face of opposition. Her fetal surgery fellowship wasn’t easy by any stretch–not least due to the loss of Dr. Herman–but Arizona discovered a lot about her talent and resilience. In the Season 12 premiere, Arizona attempted to move on from her failed marriage and looked for a new beginning (and a new roommate). Her optimism puts her firmly in the bright-and-shiny camp.

2. Jo Wilson

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While at first glance Jo looks like she might fall on the dark-and-twisty side of the fence, her arc has been on the up and up for some time now. Her troubled past has come back to haunt her a number of times during her time at the hospital, causing her to freeze up in the OR and to mistrust her colleagues and friends. Jo’s relationship with Alex Karev has been rocky too, but now that they are more stable and supportive of each other, Jo’s starting to shine. She’s more confident in her skills, and is really starting to come into her love of Ortho. We’re looking forward to seeing a brighter and shinier Jo in the coming season.

1. Miranda Bailey

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Miranda’s path has never been easy. She’s been through eleven seasons of ups and downs, and has managed to keep her head up through George’s death, a divorce, investigations into malpractice, and a struggle with OCD. Miranda is one of the hardest workers on the show and she suffers no fools. Though her aggressive personality can be misconstrued as harsh (she did, after all, earn the nickname “the Nazi”), Miranda cares deeply–almost to a fault–about her interns, colleagues, and patients. She loves her job and is always striving to do better, aim higher, and help more people. All that hard work is finally paying off in a big way: at the end of the Season 12 premiere, Miranda had finally been made Chief of Surgery. It won’t be easy, but we’re excited to see Miranda shine in this role.

Who’s your favourite Grey’s lady? What do you hope to see in Season 12? Sound off in the comments below!

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