History is repeating itself on Grey’s Anatomy this season. The Season 19 premiere was filled with callbacks to vintage Grey’s Anatomy, like the plot point about an intern sleeping with her attending right before her first day (à la Mer and Der) and the scene with interns commiserating in the hallway on an unused hospital bed. But the biggest callback came in human form, thanks to new intern Lucas, who’s actually Derek’s nephew. Here’s your intro to the actor who plays Lucas, Niko Terho, who’s definitely going to be a big part of the next generation of Grey’s Anatomy.
For most of the Season 19 premiere episode, Lucas seemed like just another intern — albeit a kind of arrogant one who made a major mistake by mixing up patients’ families and delivering the wrong news to the wrong parent. He did his best to right that wrong, so he still got to scrub in on a surgery, which is where he uttered Derek’s famous line: “It’s a beautiful day to save lives.” That’s when Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) revealed that Lucas is Derek’s nephew, and he idolized his uncle.
But although Lucas was Derek’s No. 1 fan, Meredith said she thinks he actually takes after his other surgeon relative, Amelia. Grey’s Anatomy always shines when it explores messy family dynamics, so you know Lucas’s intro to the series is gonna make for some juicy storylines.
Terho is new to Grey’s Anatomy, but he’s actually worked with one of his castmates before. His breakout role was in the 2020 Freeform movie The Thing About Harry, which he starred in alongside Jake Borelli, who plays Schmitt on Grey’s Anatomy.
Before he began acting, Terho was recruited to play soccer in England at age 15. When he was 18, he moved to New York to study acting at William Esper Studio, in part inspired by his mother. “My mom was an actress and she used to teach children how to act in our backyard,” Terho told Pop Culturist about his childhood growing up in Barbados with a Bajan mom and a Finnish dad. “I’ve always wanted to be an actor; I can’t remember a time when I didn’t. I’ve always been obsessed with movies.”
Terho seems to be thrilled to have joined the cast of Grey’s Anatomy. “For me, every day going on to set — I liken it to going to Disney World when you're first a kid and stepping into the kingdom,” he told Deadline. With a role as important as Derek’s nephew, fans can probably get used to seeing Terho in that kingdom for a long time.
Season 19 of Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.