One of the biggest questions heading into the second half of “Grey’s Anatomy” Season 14 and its firefighter spin-off is how Dr. Ben Warren (Jason George) and Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson)’s marriage will fare after Ben’s new career choice.
Before the “Grey’s” holiday hiatus, Ben finally told Bailey he applied to the Firefighter Academy, and, in George’s words, she is “not a fan.” Ben is motivated to join the Academy after saving Dr. Stephanie Edwards (Jerrika Hinton) from a hospital fire in the Season 13 finale. But Bailey, who’s still Chief of Surgery at Grey Sloan Memorial, doesn’t want her husband to be risking his life when she has plenty of other lives to worry about, and it’s causing a substantial rift in their marriage.
The status of their relationship was one of the main questions George had when he was first approached about the spin-off.
“Look, you know, television loves drama and at the end of the day, hates happy couples,” George told TheWrap in a recent interview. “And Ben and Bailey are a strong, grown-ass couple, and they solve their problems, no matter how mad they get at each other, they work through whatever the issue is.”
George said that the rarity of seeing a couple in it “for the long, long haul,” and because it is “more rare to see that with a couple of color,” Ben and Bailey’s relationship has become really important to him.
But, George said, “at the end of the day, good TV is about stressing that [relationship] out.” Ben and Bailey’s marriage has been stressed out before — we’re thinking of the time Bailey had to suspend Ben for cutting a patient open with a clipboard in an emergency — “but never before like this,” George said.
“Risking your life on a day to day thing, that goes into deal breaker territory,” George said. “So it was exciting to me, and at the same time, kind of stressful to me, for the same reasons it is to Ben and Bailey. So I think Bailey on the new show, she’s not one to hold her tongue. We still have yet to see how this new situation plays out in terms of their relationship, if their relationship can survive this new piece.”
“Grey’s Anatomy” returns to ABC on Thursday, Jan. 18.