Grey’s Anatomy fans need to get ready for a very familiar face on Thursdays. Season 13 will see the return of a character that hasn’t been in the show since Season 10.
Tessa Ferrer is reprising her role as Leah Murphy, who is best known as the intern who slept with Arizona Robbins. Unfortunately for Murphy, she wasn’t liked that much by the fans of the show, which may have contributed to the behind-the-scenes decision not to renew Ferrer’s contract for Season 11.
For those who need a little catching up or have forgotten the character altogether, Ferrer played one of Jo and Stephanie’s fellow interns, Leah. She was introduced into the show as the intern who was sleeping with Karev and got hung-up on him when he decided to stop talking to or calling her. She was known as “that intern,” and it was brought up when Jo and Stephanie both started dating their bosses.
Murphy was also central to a storyline involving a deeply debated topic of Jehovah’s Witnesses not accepting blood donations. While she argued that the patient needed a blood transfusion to save his life and didn’t understand how his parents could just leave him to die when he could be saved, the parents shared that it was their and their son’s religious belief that those who took blood from another person would have their souls condemned.
During Grey’s Anatomy Season 10, Leah started sleeping with Arizona, but Arizona called the relationship off when she believed there was a chance for her and Callie to get back together. Murphy was fired in the Season 10 finale, and Shonda Rhimes decided not to renew Ferrer’s contract. There was the possibility of Murphy returning as a guest character now and then, but nothing has come of that.
She wasn’t the only person to leave in Season 10. Her fellow intern Shane Ross also decided to leave—after actor Gaius Charles’ contract wasn’t renewed—to work with Cristina Yang, who was leaving for Geneva after being offered a position by former lover Preston Burke. However, she was the one who left with the better opportunity to return.
It looks like Rhimes has decided that time is now, and Ferrer has agreed to sign onto Grey’s Anatomy for Season 13. Right now, it isn’t completely clear just how long she will be in the show and how many episodes she will have this season. The Hollywood Reporter shares that her first episode will be on Thursday, October 27, titled “Roar,” and she will throw a number of the Grey Sloan Memorial doctors for a loop.
How she comes back isn’t clear, but there are plenty of promo photos that show her in scrubs and rumors that she will become a surgical intern again. Would the board really hire her back without Arizona knowing about it? Arizona is a member of the board, so it wouldn’t make that much sense. The only plausible explanation would be that Arizona allowed the board to make a few decisions without her being involved because she was out of the state at the time.
It does appear that Murphy is going to be brought in for Arizona’s new love interest. Arizona tried to fight for her marriage to Callie but failed. It is about time she let someone else in her life, and why not a person she has already shared a relationship with?
Jessica Capshaw, who plays Arizona, had hinted that Ferrer was returning. While discussing her character’s love life for Grey’s Anatomy Season 13, she reminded the interviewer that Arizona had had a couple of affairs while married to Callie. It wouldn’t be completely crazy for one of them to show up, and now here comes Murphy.
Grey’s Anatomy continues on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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