'Grey's Anatomy': Will Lexie's Return Bring Back This Late Character?

Season 17 of Grey's Anatomy has been full of ghosts. As star Ellen Pompeo's Meredith Grey has been in a coma due to COVID, she has been visited on her "mind beach" by important characters from earlier seasons who met classic Grey's fates. George O'Malley (T.R. Knight), Andrew Deluca (Giacomo Gianniotti), and Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) have all had their emotional moments with Meredith, and in the preview for the April 1 episode teased the "return" of fan-favorite Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh).

When fans had a meltdown over the Grey sister reunion, the speculation immediately began that Lexie's love interest, Mark Sloan (Eric Dane), would also appear on Meredith's mind beach. Lexie died in the eighth season finale plane crash, and Mark succumbed to his injuries in the ninth season premiere. The on-again-off-again couple was one of the most beloved in the show's entire run, with their tragic end fueling fan devotion for the long run.

Now, the idea that Mark could return to Grey's alongside Lexie isn't completely out of the blue. Showrunner Krista Vernoff has teased unexpected returns all season. She was asked specifically about Mark's return by Variety, and she replied "You can ask, but I can't answer!" She also told Deadline in early March 2021 after Deluca's death that "I would say, chances are good you'll see other people on the beach." Now, this could just be a reference to Lexie, but a particularly cryptic Twitter exchange between Dane and Pompeo could be a hint to Mark's return.

"Yo [Ellen Pompeo] how you folks holding up?" Dane tweeted on May 16, 2020. Pompeo replied, "We are doing well [Eric Dane] miss you!" Simple enough, former colleagues touching base during a global pandemic. However, Dane's response could be a hint that a beach reunion onscreen is on the way: "Let's go for a walk - I'll find you." Either way, this episode is sure to be an emotional rollercoaster. You can tune in for Grey's Anatomy on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC or stream it the next day on Hulu.

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