The five characters who are first introduced in the series premiere, as surgical interns, are Meredith, the hardcore Karev, the insecure O'Malley, the cheerful Stevens, and the "no-nonsense" Yang. They are initially mentored by Bailey, a senior resident who becomes the hospital's Chief Resident, and later an attending general surgeon, in season six. The surgical program is initially headed by the Chief of Surgery, Webber, who has a pre-existing personal relationship with Meredith, having had an affair with her mother when she was a child. In Webber's employ are attendings Shepherd, dubbed 'McDreamy' by the residents, from New York and Burke, who specialize in neurosurgery and cardiothoracic surgery, respectively. Shepherd is introduced as Meredith's love interest, while Burke begins a relationship with Yang.
Introduced in the show's second season are obstetrician-gynecologist and neonatal surgeon, Montgomery, plastic surgeon Sloan, from New York, and orthopedic surgeon Torres. Montgomery is Shepherd's wife who arrives in Seattle seeking reconciliation with him, Sloan is Shepherd's former best friend, who aided the breakdown of his marriage by having an affair with Montgomery, while Torres is introduced as a love-interest, and eventual wife for O'Malley. The penultimate episode of season three introduces Lexie, Meredith's half-sister who unexpectedly decides to pursue her internship at Seattle Grace Hospital after her mother's sudden death, and begins an on-again, off-again relationship with Sloan. Burke and Yang, having been engaged, endeavor to plan their wedding, while Montgomery departs the show at the conclusion of the third season, relocating to California, seeking a new life. The season three finale sees Burke's exit from the show, after leaving Yang at the altar on their wedding day.
Meredith, Yang, Karev, and Stevens are all promoted to residents, in the season four premiere, while O'Malley is forced to repeat his internship year, following his failing of the intern exam. Subsequently, Torres and O'Malley divorce one another, due to him having a sexual affair with Stevens, initially concealing it from Torres. Early in the fourth season, cardiothoracic surgeon Hahn becomes Torres' love interest. During the fifth season, Hahn departs from the series, and O'Malley retakes his intern exam, passing, joining his fellow physicians as a resident. Two new characters are introduced: former United States Army trauma surgeon Hunt, and pediatric surgeon Robbins. Hunt becomes a love-interest for Yang, while Robbins becomes a love-interest for Torres. When Stevens is diagnosed with stage four metastatic melanoma, she and Karev wed one another at the conclusion of the fifth season. In addition, Meredith and Shepherd marry, with their vows written on a post-it note.
O'Malley dies in the premiere of the sixth season, due to injuries sustained while being dragged by a bus, and Stevens later departs following the breakdown of her relationship with Karev. Several new characters are introduced as Seattle Grace Hospital merges with Mercy West. Residents Kepner and Avery both transfer to Seattle Grace Hospital from Mercy West, and the latter entertains a brief relationship with Lexie, until she reunites with Sloan. Subsequently, Altman is introduced as the new Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery. In the season six finale, a deceased patient's grieving husband embarks on a shooting spree at the hospital, injuring Karev, Shepherd, and Hunt. In the shooting's emotional reverberations, Hunt and Yang abruptly marry, not wanting to risk separation. Torres and Robbins eventually wed, officiated by Bailey. Season eight sees Webber stepping down, with his job being allocated to Hunt. As the final year of residency for Meredith, Yang, Karev, Avery, and Kepner is coming to a close, the doctors are all planning to relocate to different hospitals to pursue their specialty careers. However, all plans are put on hold when several doctors from Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital are engaged in an aviation accident, which kills Lexie and endangers Meredith, Shepherd, Yang, Robbins, and Sloan. At the conclusion of the eighth season, Altman is fired by Hunt, and decides to pursue a career at the United States Army Medical Command (MEDCOM). In the season nine premiere, Sloan dies due to sustained injuries from the plane crash.
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Famous quotes containing the words characters and/or main:
“The first glance at History convinces us that the actions of men proceed from their needs, their passions, their characters and talents; and impresses us with the belief that such needs, passions and interests are the sole spring of actions.”
—Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (17701831)
“Men enter by force, drawn back like Jonah
into their fleshy mothers.
A woman is her mother.
Thats the main thing.”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)