SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 16 titled “Love of My Life.”
Thursday night’s episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” had Dr. Maggie Pierce in rare form, spontaneously engaging in a steamy hook-up at a medical conference with a former resident from her Boston days.
And Kelly McCreary, who has played the delightfully over-analytical wunderkind surgeon for six seasons, couldn’t be more thrilled. This considering the season Maggie has already had, which has included her break-up with Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams), a surgery gone terribly wrong (with a family member, no less) and a subsequent demotion.
“What excites me about Maggie running into this former colleague of hers is that having been broken down this season, it’s such a great opportunity for her to, like, really try and experience herself in a different way,” McCreary told Variety.
McCreary joined the cast of TV’s longest-running medical drama in 2014 and calls the experience of playing Maggie (who is also Meredith Grey’s half-sister) unparalleled.
“When I got Maggie Pierce, I really felt like I hit the jackpot. Prior to that, I was auditioning for a lot of, like, the ‘funny best friend’ or, you know, supporting parts who would get great moments here and there, and then would disappear,” said McCreary. “I also felt that tonally and the style of the show really enabled me to not just bring my own skills to bear but the whole of my humanity to bear into this character.”
She adds that the role comes at a time in television that is finally allowing more room for black women to take on richer, more nuanced roles.
“I hope that every week, Maggie is a reinforcement of the fact that [black women] belong in any space that we want to be in. We belong despite people’s efforts to keep people out or feel unworthy of being there,” she said.
But Maggie’s story this season — and those of the other doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial — will be cut short. ABC announced on Friday that the show’s 16th season will be truncated because of the coronavirus pandemic, with the season finale airing on April 9, its 21st episode (typically, “Grey’s Anatomy” airs 24 or 25 episodes per season).
McCreary herself said that she has been socially distancing and diving into other parts of her creative self. She recently discovered she’s particularly adept at cooking.
As for how she thinks Maggie would be faring right now?
“Honestly, I think Maggie would be living her best life right now. She thrives under pressure. She loves a challenge. It’s definitely a puzzle to figure out allocating resources, finding treatments and cures,” said McCreary, with a touch of lightheartedness. “I think she would absolutely be in her element right now.”