The thing about love on Grey’s Anatomy is that when one relationship ends, another is usually not too far off. Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) and Link (Chris Carmack) are going through a rough time after Amelia turned down Link’s marriage proposal (like, multiple times). But there may already be a new romance blossoming for Amelia with a brand-new Grey’s character. Dr. Kai Bartley (E.R. Fightmaster) is a new doctor in the Grey’s Anatomy orbit, and fans are hopeful they’re also a new love interest for Amelia.
Warning: Spoilers for Grey’s Anatomy Season 18, Episode 2 follow. In the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) summoned Amelia to Minnesota. Meredith was considering beginning Parkinson’s Disease research there, and she would want Amelia on her team if she were to accept the position. Amelia got on board pretty quickly, and her excitement about the project only intensified when she met Dr. Kai Bartley. Fans quickly learned that both Meredith and Amelia are familiar with Kai’s research, and Amelia in particular is a fan of them — actually, she seemed to be a fan of more than just Kai’s medical work. A few lingering shots between Amelia and Kai tipped fans off to some serious romantic potential between them. Fans took to Twitter to voice their passionate appreciation for this possible new couple.
Shondaland, the production company behind Grey’s Anatomy officially introduced Kai to fans with a tweet that said: “Dr. Kai Bartley's pronouns are they/them!! Please tweet accordingly.” Kai is played by actor E.R. Fightmaster, who also uses they/them pronouns just like their character. Audiences might recognize Fightmaster from previous roles on Shrill and on Work in Progress.
Grey’s Anatomy has danced around Amelia’s LGBTQ+ identity before, although viewers have never seen the character give herself a label. For example, in Season 16, Amelia talked about her attraction to Carina (Stefania Spampinato). But if Grey’s Anatomy actually goes through with an Amelia/Kai relationship, it’ll be the first time audiences see Amelia in a relationship with someone who’s not a man, which is something a lot of fans seem to crave.
By the end of the episode, Meredith agreed to sign on to the Parkinson's research, which means she’ll be flying to Minnesota once a week. Since Amelia’s a part of that research team, it looks like she’ll probably be making a few trips to Minnesota. too... and that means fans can probably look forward to some more Amelia and Kai moments ahead.
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.