Debbie Allen — who is currently directing an out-of-the-box episode of Grey's Anatomy that finds the Seattle Grace docs facing off against other hospitals on the baseball field — pops up onscreen in the October 13 episode as Dr. Catherine Avery, the mother of Jackson (Jesse Williams).
Like Jackson's grandfather, Catherine shares ties to Meredith's past. "She knows the history of this hospital and knew Meredith's mother, Ellis," says Debbie. "There is a bit of tension with Jackson about what mom is there to do."
No surprise there, considering mom's meaty mission is to perform a transplant on a guy diagnosed with cancer of the penis! "This episode will be talked about for a long time," assures Debbie, with a laugh. "The surgery scene was difficult. But it's not a laughing matter what's happening to this poor young man."