Last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy saw the historic debut of Dr. Lauren Riley, the first deaf doctor portrayed on a network primetime series. Played by Shoshannah Stern, who's also deaf in real-life, fans loved seeing her in the role, and bring some much-needed representation to the long-running medical drama. Though some viewers went a little deeper down the rabbit hole and wondered how her character could factor into the Grey's spinoff series, Station 19.
Dr. Riley is Jack’s sister.February 14, 2020
Other bold theories along those lines were quick to surface. "I'm predicting that Dr. Lauren Riley is the blonde foster girl from Station 19," predicted another user. A third wondered if "Jack and Dr. Riley cross paths or even hook up?"
While some enjoyed how (or if) Riley would factor into Station 19, especially considering that Jack Gibson (Grey Damon) was separated from his siblings who grew up in foster care, others expressed their general disdain for the inter-connectedness of the two series.
"If I have to watch another Station 19 crossover episode I’m going to lose it," tweeted one viewer, who added, "Let me enjoy Grey's." Another chimed in with "I have no idea what's going on unless I watch Station 19 first it's annoying." Still another complained about the "mix/match" episodes between the two shows, but also added, "You're lucky I want to watch Riley and her success next week."
Stern, who also created and stars in the Sundance TV series This Close, said that it was important for her to portray Riley accurately in the context of the show.
"It was most important to me that Riley was the best at what she did because, not in spite, of the fact that she’s deaf," Stern explained in an interview with Variety. "It was also important that being deaf isn’t something that defines Riley, it just adds a unique layer to her. I loved how it was executed on the page, too, because Riley does eventually kind of touch on how her being deaf has actually helped her be as good as she is, but she’s kind of an enigma in that you never really know what she’s thinking or why she’s saying what she is."
The firefighter drama Station 19 started off its Season 3 premiere as part of a giant two-hour crossover with Grey's Anatomy back in January, which picked up after that show's devastating cliffhanger in the fall finale.