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How the 'Grey's Anatomy' Season 19 Premiere Serves as a Nod to Season 1

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officially started a new chapter with the season 19 premiere, introducing a new class of interns and navigating a slew of major changes at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital — from restarting the residency program to bringing Grey Sloan back to its glory days.In the lead-up to Thursday's opener, appropriately titled «Everything Has Changed,» the latest season of ABC's medical drama was being called a «rebirth» for the long-running franchise amid news that longtime leading lady (and the center of the universe) Ellen Pompeo was stepping back and only appearing in only eight episodes.

A combination of the old, along with the new. As the first episode unfurled, it was clear that was entering a new era as it harkened back to its storied past — more specifically season 1 — as it forged ahead on a different path.With Meredith at the helm of Grey Sloan as the permanent interim chief of surgery, the once bright-eyed intern everyone fell in love with in season 1 has risen to the very top, calling the shots and being tasked with rebuilding the hospital to what it once was after the fallout of last season.

Though her impending absence lords over the first episode, it's unclear the circumstances that will take her away from being as present as she has been over the last 18 seasons.Either way, as the new group of medical residents hit the ground running on a complicated case involving multiple organ donors and transplant surgeries and Meredith navigated the complicated waters of trying to get the gang back together following a mass doctor exodus last season, there were several key callbacks and scenes that felt familiar for fans who have been there since the beginning.

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