A year ago, I decided to take a ride on the rollercoaster that's "Grey's Anatomy." After binge-watching the first six seasons, I realized the show had been missing from my life.

The romance, births, deaths, heartbreaks, disasters, and the consistently great writing and acting are the reasons why this show remains a constant on TV. Even as some plot lines have been irrelevant (I'll never get over Izzie resuscitating a deer on her first day as a resident in Season 4, or Bailey's OCD storyline in Season 10), I've become a loyal fan.

On Sept. 22, "Grey's Anatomy" premiered its 13th season and 270th episode. This season appears to be a continuation of the big question applied to Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) last season: "What's next?" Only this time, it's been extended to the other three originals: Alex Karev (Justin Chambers), Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.), and Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson). At the end of last season, Meredith began a sexy, secret romance with fellow doctor Nathan Riggs (Martin Henderson), only to discover that her half-sister Maggie (Kelly McCreary) has a crush on Riggs.

Season 12 was the first without Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), who died at the end of Season 11. Derek's death came as a surprise and shocked fans; for a while, people were unsure of how the show would go on without the love of Meredith's . However, the season has been cited as a "renaissance" for the series: great episodes with solid storytelling, renewed interest in the series, and high ratings and reviews. In a way, Dempsey's absence has breathed new life into the show. So when ABC announced in March that they had renewed "Grey's Anatomy" for a 13th season, I was excited to see what was next.

The first couple of episodes have shown Meredith trying really hard to avoid telling Maggie that she's also crushing on Riggs, to the point she tells Riggs to reject Maggie if she asks him out. Instead of being dramatic and sad, these love-triangle scenes are hilarious. But they also show Meredith coming closer to moving forward post-Derek. Even though she will always consider him her one true love, maybe there is romance out there. And seeing as though Riggs has also lost a girlfriend he loved (ironically, Owen's sister), these two seem meant for each other.

Things aren't going so well for Alex. In last season's finale, we saw him beating Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti); he walked in on DeLuca on top of Jo (Camilla Luddington), his colleague and girlfriend, and assumed DeLuca was assaulting her. What Alex didn't know was that DeLuca was simply getting Jo to safety after she got drunk and revealed to him her biggest secret. The reason why she rejected Alex's marriage proposals (not once, but twice) is because she's still legally married to a man who abused her. She ran away and changed her name, and is afraid to tell Alex. It's still unclear on when (and if) she'll even tell him. He beat DeLuca so badly that he had to be admitted to Grey-Sloan in order to receive surgery to avoid losing his eyesight; in addition, DeLuca pressed charges. And now, Alex has been charged with 2nd degree felony assault and could possibly lose his medical license, as well as go to prison. Bailey wants to fire him but feels a sense of loyalty since he was one of her interns; as punishment, he has been temporarily banned from surgery and is now working in the clinic (raise your hand if you completely forgot the clinic exists). What a mess.

In other news, Jackson (Jesse Williams) and April (Sarah Drew) are adjusting to the new normal as they raise their baby girl as a divorced couple. Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) is figuring out how to navigate pediatrics without her person, Alex, by her side in the O.R. It has been confirmed by Shonda Rhimes that Arizona will receive a new love interest this season, so "Grey's" fans should look out for that. Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) and Owen (Kevin McKidd) are enjoying the married life, and I'm excited to see what's next for them. This season is also the first since season two to not feature Dr. Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez), who departed to New York at the end of last season to be with her girlfriend, Penny (Samantha Sloyan). However, Rhimes has made it clear that the door is always open for Ramirez to return to the show.

Season 13 is only a couple of episodes underway, but it's clear that the series is showing no signs of letting up. The actors are currently inking new contracts, and Jessica Capshaw has confirmed that her deal runs through Season 14 if the show is renewed. While at some point "Grey's" will have to end, it's looking like ABC wants to keep the show on through at least 2018, which would mean a definite Season 14 and possibly a Season 15. And why wouldn't they? Season 13's viewership is so far pretty stellar: the premiere episode drew in 8.75 millions (with a total of 12.32 million viewers after live and 7-day ratings were calculated), the second episode had 8.41 million viewers (with a total of 12.13 million viewers after live and 7-day ratings were calculated) the third episode had 8.08 million viewers, and the fourth episode had 7.80 million viewers. For a show that has been on the air for almost 12 years, that's incredible.

"Grey's Anatomy" isn't just a show – it's a lifestyle, a religion, a phenomenon and a game-changer.

"Grey's Anatomy" airs Thursdays on ABC.

Watch the promo for the Oct. 20 episode below:

Reach Staff Reporter Adrianne Ramsey here.