It may seem like a morbid thought to have going into the new Grey’s Anatomy spin-off, but any fan of the parent series can recognize that stable or present parenting was not a common occurrence for the staff of Seattle Grace Hospital. In fact, it’s a rarity that anyone on the show has more than one parent to fall back on, if they have any at all.
Series creator Shonda Rhimes hints at the intent behind this in a 2006 interview with Jet magazine. “I really wanted to do a show about people who spend so much time at work that their personal life plays out there,” Rhimes explains. That leaves little room for external personal affairs, meaning cutting down parental dramas was almost a necessity. While not everyone is without a father or mother figure, it is rare. With Rhimes also working on the Station 19 spin-off, it’s not unthinkable that the cast of characters, including lead Andy Herrera (Jaina Lee Ortiz), will have their own tragedy surrounding their parents or lack thereof.
In Grey’s Anatomy, title character and leading lady Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) didn’t know her father as he left when she was young, but her mother, Ellis Grey, did have a three-season run. During the 17th episode of the third season, “Some Kind of Miracle,” Ellis, who was once a talented surgeon, passes away of Alzheimer’s.
As for Andy Herrera of Station 19, her story starts when her father, the current captain of Station 19, is injured and has to step down. As a child, Andy lived with her father at the firehouse, indicating that her mother had died or left early on. It’s a character arc that mimics that of Meredith Grey’s, instead replacing the matriarchal role model for a fatherly one.
Considering the trend in the Grey’s Anatomy universe, it’s unlikely that Herrera’s father will survive the life of the series if he even makes it out of the first season still breathing. Station 19 airs at 9 pm EST on March 22, 2018, and can be seen on ABC or the ABC app.