'Grey's Anatomy': Jackson Avery Returns After Sudden Leave of Absence

Grey's Anatomy welcomed back Jackson Avery to the hospital during the latest episode, who was met with a cold shoulder from his girlfriend Maggie Pierce after his sudden disappearance.

As Maggie and Casey (Alex Blue Davis) walked and discussed their latest patient, they were met by Jackson (Jesse Williams) who was returning to Grey Sloan Memorial for the first time since disappearing suddenly after a near-death experience.

"Welcome back Dr. Avery," Casey says. Jackson asks him to give them a minute.

"Wasn't sure if you were reading any of my texts," he says to Maggie, who seems flustered by her boyfriend's return. She says she got his message about coming back temporarily to operate on a new case but keeps walking.

"I know my trip was sudden. I know this is sudden. I just really miss you," he says. "I want us to catch up. Can I take you to dinner tonight?"

"Uh... look you have surgery. I have patients. We can catch up later," Maggie says before walking away.

Later, Jackson finds Alex (Justin Chambers) who wonders what he's doing back from his "vacation." He tells him about the exciting new case that brought him back to town and they agree to work together.

Jackson reveals he met the patient while on a hike in Oregon and the case inspired him to return to the hospital to treat his hereditary bone condition.

Cece, the matchmaker patient who is helping Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) find a new man, asks Maggie how she feels after Dr. Avery's return.

"Dr. Avery is here temporarily to do a complex surgery and then he's off again," she says.

"So, you're sad he's in town for such a short time?" Cece asks, which causes Maggie to avoid the subject and walk away.

Later, Maggie reveals that she's not angry that he left, but the sudden way he told her about it via a voicemail, and she wonders if he will ever return for good and if he still wants to be with her.

After discovering that his patient has cancer, Maggie inspired Jackson to figure out an innovative way to treat him while also keeping his body fully functional afterward.

Maggie returns to Cece for advice about the relationship, admitting she's mostly just mad at herself for choosing to worry about others over her own questions on life.

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That night, Jackson finds Maggie in the skills lab and asks for a kiss. She asks if he's leaving again but he says he's choosing to stay and wanting to be with her. She accepts the kiss, noting that she wants to prioritize her research from now on.

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.