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Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 McDreamy cameo: Will Derek Shepherd return again to the ABC drama?

Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey
Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey together again in Malibu for Grey’s Anatomy. Pic. credit: @patrickdempsey/Instagram

Fans of Grey’s Anatomy were shocked to see Patrick Dempsey reprising his role as Derek Shepherd at the end of the Season 17 premiere episode. And while it may have seemed like a simple cameo, it turns out that McDreamy may not be finished with the ABC show that he left five years ago.

Consider the promo for the upcoming November 19 episode of Grey’s Anatomy called My Happy Ending,

Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) gasps for breath in a hospital bed after collapsing outside Grey Sloan Memorial in the previous episode.

Miranda (Chandra Wilson) watches over her during the 30-second clip before Meredith tells McWidow (Richard Flood) that she is afraid to fall asleep. She tells him if she does then she is afraid she will never wake up.

Merideth’s dream continues on Grey’s Anatomy

At that point, her dream continues. Meredith and Derek are back at the beach, standing far away from each other but well within eyesight.

“Derek, I miss you,” she shouts out across the sand as the ocean laps onto the shore.

“I know,” he shouts back.

Shortly after the Season 4 premiere of Station 19 and the two-hour crossover event with Grey’s Anatomy, Ellen Pompeo hit the talk show circuit.

She started by taking part in a Zoom chat with Jimmy Kimmel on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

After that, the medical drama’s star was featured on Good Morning America.On GMA, Ellen explained how Meredith surprised everyone as she ended up on that beach with her deceased husband.

She said that since the show could be coming to an end soon, the powers-that-be at Grey’s Anatomy talked about which characters they wanted to bring back from previous seasons. Of course, Patrick was at the top of her list.

Ellen recalled how she called up Patrick, and then took a hike with her former co-star in Malibu after the pandemic began. Both stars live in the same area of Los Angeles and so it was convenient for them to get together.

When they did, the two discussed a possible reunion.

“We have the opportunity to bring smiles to people’s faces during 2020, we have to do this,” she said.

Since Grey’s Anatomy has used the current storyline to honor healthcare workers on the frontlines of the pandemic, both stars knew fans of the show would appreciate having “something familiar to hang onto” if McDreamy was to reappear.

And it seems that she’s right. The jaw-dropping moment with McDreamy showing up on the beach definitely shocked and impressed fans.

Will Derek return to Grey’s Anatomy again in the future?

However, after watching, Grey’s Anatomy fans were left to wonder what caused Meredith to see Derek again.

Did she die? Was this simply a dream, one that gave her hope in the face of a personal crisis? What is going to happen to the title character going forward?

Time, and some good television, will tell.

Meanwhile, Ellen, Patrick, and showrunner Krista Vernoff spoke with Deadline about yet another possible appearance on Grey’s Anatomy for McDreamy and it seems that Dempsey is not opposed to filming more scenes.

“It was fun because I really love the message of what the dynamic is in this story. With everything that we’re dealing with right now…the reality of COVID and being in a pandemic, and all the lives that have been lost. Where are these souls going?”

Good question. Stay tuned.

Grey’s Anatomy airs on Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.

Jane Lasky


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