***Warning! This article contains spoilers about the Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 premiere***
Grey’s Anatomy pulled off what many might argue is the biggest surprise in the show’s history for the Season 17.
Fans were left picking up their jaws from the floor after Patrick Dempsey made a return to the medical drama as the one and only Derek Shepherd.
Yep, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) reunited with McDreamy in a scene that some thought they would never see again on the show.
Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey back together was a sight for sore eyes (Picture: Instagram/ greysabc)
Showrunner Krista Vernoff revealed to Deadline that it had been her idea to bring back a dead character, but Ellen was the one who put Patrick’s name forward.
She explained: ‘It started as, how do we give people some escape. I had this imagining of a beach motif throughout the season, and I called Ellen, and I said, what if we bring back, I don’t know, some dead character that you could dream of on the beach, that would be so fun for the fans.
‘And she said, let’s get Patrick. Even in my most excitable dream life, that thought hadn’t occurred to me as an option, and there it was.’
The Grey’s Anatomy stars reconnect during lockdown and it led to Patrick’s return as McDreamy (Picture: Instagram/ greysabc)
Ellen explained how she got her co-star back on the show as she told the publication: ‘Patrick and I both have homes in Malibu, and we went for a hike one day… And the idea just struck me so I just said to him, would you ever consider coming and being a part of the storytelling this season?
‘I know that Patrick has his foundation in Maine where he helps cancer patients and cancer survivors, and that’s a huge effort of his, and I know that it’s important to him, also, to give people hope, and give people joy, and we wanted to bring something to this moment.’
Patrick, 54, admitted he was happy to return to a season in which the show was helping to spread the seriousness of the pandemic to viewers across the word.
The pair’s reunion was kept a secret for months before all was revealed in the Season 17 premiere (Picture: Instagram/ greysabc)
The actor explained: ‘I’ve been tracking what Grey’s had been doing with giving masks, and making sure that people had the right equipment, and it came from that place — OK, what can we do to make people feel better, to give some comfort in this time of uncertainty, and that’s how it began.
‘And it was really a wonderful experience to go back, to work with [director/Executive Producer] Debbie [Allen]. I think the whole atmosphere has changed, certainly working at the beach, and seeing everybody again was really a very healing process, and really rewarding, and a lot of fun.’
Fans believe even more stars will return in the new season (Picture: Instagram/ greysabc)
He continued: ‘And hopefully, that feeling translates, and the fans enjoy it. I know that they’ve been wanting us to get back together, and I think this will satisfy a lot of people, and surprise a lot of people, hopefully.’
Fans were definitely surprised by the appearance and the gang succeeded in their aim of lifting spirits amid the ongoing pandemic.
It was also confirmed that Patrick’s return would last for a few episodes, and now fans believe he might not be the only familiar face we see this season.
Grey’s Anatomy airs on Thursdays on ABC.
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