Another former Grey's Anatomy star is set to return to the series in Season 17, leading more fans to wonder if this is the long-running ABC medical drama's final season. Sarah Drew will return as Dr. April Kepner in an upcoming episode, Deadline reported Friday. The news broke after another shocking death during Thursday's midseason premiere crossover with Station 19.
Drew, 40, joined Grey's Anatomy in Season 7 and last appeared in the Season 14 episode "All of Me." Her character, April, was introduced as an attending trauma surgeon at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital after it was merged with Mercy West Medical Center. She has a daughter with Dr. Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams). She got married to Matthew (Justin Bruening) and quit her job. The response to April was mixed at first, but she quickly became a fan-favorite.
It is not clear how April will come back to the Grey Sloan fold, but most of the returning stars this season have been appearing on Dr. Meredith Grey's (Ellen Pompeo) beach in her mind while she battles the coronavirus. Showrunner Krista Vernoff told Deadline on Thursday that "chances are good you'll see other people on the beach."
no it has to be the final season SURELY https://t.co/quWRLKWBQ2— 👑 (@eyesopens) March 12, 2021
Season 17 has already seen the returns of Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) and Dr. George O'Malley (T.R. Knight) have already appeared on Meredith's dream beach. In Thursday's episode, Dr. Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Giannotti) died and later appeared on the beach. Despite his death, DeLuca is expected to appear on the show again.prevnext
so they must really be ending huh https://t.co/2mhGVqjYnI— Captain Marvelous Thiiiiiings Praaaaise the Looord (@Phllp_Wnslw) March 12, 2021
"There was some discussion of bringing him back to the beach, but we all felt like his exit with his mom was so profound and so powerful," Vernoff told Deadline. "I cried harder watching that than I’ve cried watching anything on our show in years, and so, we didn’t want to see him come back to the beach. You will see him again. He does appear in more episodes this season, but I don’t want to spoil what those are."prevnext
i feel like they tryna end the show 🥺 I’m scared https://t.co/hGsNHx9ck8— courtney (@realitytvgirlxo) March 13, 2021
Grey's Anatomy's future is still up in the air. Vernoff recently told The Hollywood Reporter she is preparing a Season 17 finale that could work both as a season finale and series finale. "I'm planning for both contingencies and it's hard and it's not ideal. It's not where I wish we were," she explained. She said she told ABC executives she needs to know soon, just to make things easier to plan.prevnext
"I've told them [ABC executives] that I have to know before I'm making the finale what we're making," Vernoff told THR. "Because there are a couple of character threads that will change. I've got plans for both contingencies. Either there will be closure or I will build something in that allows me to have a bit of a cliffhanger and a thread for next season."prevnext
NOOOO STFU IM CRYING APRIL MY PRINCESS https://t.co/9tCyIgUKHO— ⁎ (@pruesbuffy) March 12, 2021
Ellen Pompeo also has more say than a typical star on the future of the show. She has been there since day one (alongside Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr.) and is also an executive producer on the show. During a recent stop on CBS Sunday Morning, Pompeo said they are "still trying to figure" out the show's future.prevnext
If she’s not coming back for Japril to be endgame ISTG SHONDA RHIMES😭😭😭 https://t.co/gcKckRizUT— Annmarie🌺 (@alohaimarie) March 12, 2021
Pompeo recently told Dax Shepard she would like to see the series end on top. She wants "to dip out sooner rather than later, at this point, having done what we've done, to leave when the show is still on top, is definitely a goal. I'm not trying to stay on the show forever," Pompeo said on Armchair Expert. "The truth is, if I get too aggravated and I'm no longer grateful there, I should not be there."prev