Fan-Favorite ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Character Returns for Heartwarming Reunion

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Get your tissues ready because another beloved character has made an appearance at the beach and it was emotional; beware, spoilers ahead.

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Fans were beyond shocked when Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd) made a surprise return in the Grey’s Anatomy’s season 17 premiere, as well as the following episode. Apparently, there are many more surprises to come in this new season; last night’s surprise was the return of George O’Malley, played by T. R. Knight.

Knight was a series regular from season 1 to season 5. His character’s tragic ending left fans emotionally wrecked and he was missed as the show moved forward.

12 seasons later, fans are seeing George return to Meredith (played by Ellen Pompeo) in her dreams, while she is battling COVID-19. The two have multiple conversations throughout the episode on the beach, each one being deeper than the last. They discuss everything from George’s death to Meredith’s kids. It is bound to put a smile on any Grey’s Anatomy fans’ face.

An even sweeter moment was towards the end of the episode when we got a look at Meredith, George, Bailey (Chandra Wilson), and Webber (James Pickens Jr.) all sitting together on the beach.

When asked about that scene by Deadline, Knight said, “Even though we filmed this in the middle of October, I’m still trying to put into words how profound the experience was for me, so just hearing that made my eyes leak saltwater a little bit. When Krista first gave me the pages, Bailey was not in it yet, I think Richard was. And then I got the second round. It’s just hard for me to put into words, still, how meaningful it was.”

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The actor continued, “It was incredible, it was just an overwhelming feeling of love in that moment. We were apart from everybody quite a bit because that was a drone shot, and so it was just the four of us, and the sun was setting, and this big fly buzzing around our heads, and it filled me with just a lot of joy.”

He also shared who called to ask him to return and his reaction to it, explaining, “Ellen hinted at it first, but then Krista called, and we talked for an hour. Probably her ears were bleeding a little bit afterward, hopefully not too bad, but it was incredible. What was interesting is Krista, I hope you don’t mind me sharing this. Krista said at one point during our long conversation she thought that this might, if this might offer closure, and I was like oh, I think that’s already happened. What was interesting is something my husband, who is much smarter than me, and okay, granted that’s a low bar. We were talking about that idea of closure and he was saying that sometimes closure’s shutting a door, and sometimes it’s like revisiting a familiar room, and finding what brought you joy, and it just hit me.”

Pompeo was sure to share her love for the reunion, tweeting, “Fun Fact …I love TR Knight.”

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 PM ET on ABC. With such incredible surprises so early in the season, we are eager to see what else this season has in store for fans.