'Grey's Anatomy' Brings Back Fan Favorite for Return Appearance in Latest Episode

Grey's Anatomy is bringing back a fan-favorite character for a return appearance in the latest episode, and viewers are sure to be excited about it. According to TV Insider, Patrick Dempsey will be reprising his role as Dr. Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd on Thursday night's episode of the hit medical drama. Warning: This post contains Grey's Anatomy spoilers below.

Derek will turn up in a dream sequence of Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), who is currently unconscious and on a ventilator while fighting a Covid-19 infection. The fictional couple was a major romantic dynamic of Grey's Anatomy for years, eventually getting married. Dempsey exited the show in Season 11, with Derek being fatally injured in a car accident and Meredith having to make the painful choice to have him taken off life support. Clearly, a cameo by the character is a big deal, as there were very few options for pulling it off and it seems that showrunner Krista Vernoff found a perfect one.

There has been some debate lately over whether Grey's Anatomy will be renewed for another season, with Vernoff recently explaining that she is doing what she can to make the show's narrative work in the uncertainty. "I'm planning a season and a finale that could function as either a season finale or a series finale. I'm planning for both contingencies and it's hard and it's not ideal," she told THR. "It's not where I wish we were."

There had been talks of a new Grey's Anatomy spinoff — in addition to Station 19 — but Vernoff confirmed that the coronavirus pandemic shut that possibility down for now. "It's been so complicated and so difficult to come back to production during the pandemic," she stated. "We are on fumes. I don't really have creative space for imaginings of what might happen next year; I'm trying to get through this season."

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Vernoff continued, "Once I know if this is the final season or not, I can start to try to imagine other things. But trying to simultaneously plan for the end of the series and the end of the season — if it's not the end of the series — it's like breaking two shows. That's what I've got bandwidth for. That, Station 19 and [Vernoff's upcoming show] Rebel. That's enough." Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC