It’s a good time to be a Grey’s Anatomy fan.
Last week’s season 17 premiere brought fans the biggest surprise we’ve had in years in the form of Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd, five whole years after his death. It was like a shot of adrenaline right when we needed it the most, even as the rest of the show—and even Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) herself, from the looks of it—is dealing with the effects of COVID-19.
The best part is that it sounds like the surprises are not over. In an interview with Deadline, showrunner Krista Vernoff was asked if Meredith’s mother Ellis (played by Kate Burton and who was originally named in the script to keep Dempsey a surprise) could show up on the beach eventually. Here’s what Vernoff said:
“I don’t know. I don’t know. You have to tune in and see who comes to the beach. It’ll be a joyful discovery.”
We don’t know about you, but to us that seems an awful lot like confirmation that Derek won’t be the only one we’ll see on that beach this season.
Now, this may be nothing or it may be something, but on IMDb, Dempsey is not the only former star of the series whose years on the show have been updated to include 2020. Burton, Sandra Oh, T.R. Knight, Sara Ramirez, Jessica Capshaw, Jerrika Hinton, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Loretta Devine and even Katherine Heigl all are allegedly appearing in some way in 2020, if you ask IMDb.
No one has an actual episode listed in 2020 other than Dempsey, and again, this might mean absolutely nothing at all, but it is giving us something fun to speculate about, especially considering that Meredith has been known to dream of dead or gone friends when she’s on the verge of death. Denny (Morgan) appeared to her when she was drowning alongside Kyle Chandler‘s bomb squad guy (whose IMDb has not been updated to include Grey’s Anatomy in 2020).
Notably missing from this list of potential returnees are Chyler Leigh, Eric Dane, Sarah Drew and Isaiah Washington, but the list does include Michael O’Neill, who played hospital shooter Gary Clark. It wouldn’t not make sense for the guy who almost killed Derek to show up on the beach, but it also wouldn’t make a lot of sense.
It would make the most sense, just given Meredith’s drowning dream, for her to only reunite with dead characters like Ellis, George (Knight), Lexie (Leigh), Mark (Dane) and Denny. But at the same time, when Callie (Ramirez) was nearly dying after her car accident, she dreamed a full hospital musical. Sense might not actually apply here. Anything could happen!
Anyway, we’ll have to wait to find out if any of this is legit or all just a ruse or glitch on the part of IMDb, but either way we’re having fun. In anticipation of somebody showing up on that beach along with Derek, catch up with all the former doctors of Grey’s Anatomy below!
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.
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