‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17: Why Winston and Maggie Will Be Your New Favorite Couple

Long before the Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 premiere, Ellen Pompeo called Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) and Winston Ndugu (Anthony Hill) her new favorite couple — but will they live up to the title? It’s certainly looking that way. Recently, McCreary and Hill teased Maggie and Winston’s incredibly sweet storyline when Grey’s Anatomy returns.

How did Maggie Pierce and Winston Ndugu meet on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?

Maggie and Winston actually met before Grey’s Anatomy Season 16. Winston was Maggie’s resident at Tufts. Then in the episode titled “Love of My Life,” the couple reconnected at a medical conference in LA. 

Much to Maggie’s surprise, Winston admitted he had a crush on her while they were colleagues. So the pair seized the day and eventually hooked up. But the sparks between Maggie and Winston were so much more than just a one-time fling. The surgeons connected on a deeper level, particularly because they both lost family members to cancer. 

Meanwhile, Winston made it clear he wanted to continue a relationship with Maggie. At one point, he even offered to move to Seattle from Boston. But ultimately, the romance was put on hold. Then in August 2020, Grey’s Anatomy made Hill a series regular, which means fans will see more from Winston and Maggie moving forward.

Anthony Hill and Kelly McCreary tease Maggie and Winston’s romance on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17

In case you didn’t know, Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 will address the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. So with Maggie in Seattle and Winston in Boston, the couple will experience a long-distance relationship. 

“The romance is, right from the start, a long-distance romance due to COVID-19 and the protocols that are in place around the world, especially for doctors,” Hill told Entertainment Tonight in November 2020. “Maggie and Winston are having a relationship that’s playing out virtually.”

The actor also hinted at a few challenges ahead. “The dating world and getting to know somebody romantically, that’s tough,” Hill said. “It’s a tough hurdle, and I think that it needs to be highlighted a little bit.”

Even so, McCreary suggested the challenges presented in the Maggie-Winston relationship will resonate with Grey’s Anatomy fans. 

“I think that one [of the] many challenges that we’ve all been facing during this time is a need for connection,” McCreary said. “There is so much confusion and fear and people feel terribly vulnerable right now, and no one really wants to be alone when they are feeling that way.”

She continued, “What you get to see with Maggie and Winston is how much their moments together are like a refuge. They’re healing, even though they can’t be together, because that’s what we’re all going through right now. We’re like, ‘Oh my god, I just want to talk to somebody and if seeing your face on a screen is as close as I can get, I’ll take it.’”

Will Maggie and Winston end up together beyond ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17?

Given Hill’s new series regular status, Grey’s Anatomy fans might be expecting Maggie and Winston’s romance to last. But are they endgame material? In an interview with E! News, McCreary didn’t exactly confirm whether the couple ends up together. However, the actor revealed the change is good for Maggie, especially when you consider the character’s messy breakup with Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams). 

“I think the change will be good for me,” McCreary said. “You know, the other way wasn’t working before so anything would be better, honestly.”

Then when speaking with TVLine, McCreary explained how Maggie’s relationship with Jackson actually prepared her for Winston.

“I think that the Jackson relationship was a real breakthrough… for her to finally be able to acknowledge, ‘I don’t know why I’m with somebody who doesn’t like me,’” she said. “To me, [it was] the end of a pattern. [With Winston,] she’s allowed herself to be open and not to carry the baggage of that last relationship.”

Meanwhile, Hill teased the Maggie-Winston romance will be the highlight of Grey’s Anatomy Season 17. “When they do interact on these devices, it is the best moment of their days, to be completely honest,” he said. 

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