This season’s Grey’s Anatomy plot has been steeped in the realities of the coronavirus pandemic, seeing main character Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) spend many episodes stuck between life and death as she battles the respiratory disease. Meredith's fight hasn’t been great for her co-workers and friends’ morale, but it did give us something we might not have ever been able to see otherwise: a reunion between her and her late husband, Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey).
While Meredith’s physical body lay sick in the ICU, her soul wandered the shores of a sunny beach, where she was able to reconnect with departed characters like George O’Malley (T.R. Knight), Mark Sloan (Eric Dane), and even her sister Lexie (Chyler Leigh). All of these chance encounters were huge for Grey’s fans, but none was more moving that Meredith’s time with Derek, who was also strolling along the beaches of the great beyond. Like her, Derek had also fought for his life in the hospital, but death doesn’t take Meredith this time around— she still has so much more to live for.
To the relief of her friends and family, Meredith finally woke up from her period of unconsciousness at the end of last week’s episode. It’s a good development — honestly, I was getting so tired of everyone crying and worrying about her — but it also means that we won’t be seeing Derek again anytime soon. Or does it?
In conversation with Variety, Dempsey revealed that another cameo from the deceased doctor isn’t exactly out of the cards. “Who knows?” he teased.”Never say never with this show, right?”
Dempsey’s right; pretty much anything is possible with Grey’s Anatomy. Maybe Derek will even link up with Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) or appear to Bailey (Chandra Wilson) in a fever dream. After all, this is the same show that has infinitely expanded its universe with new characters and inter-woven storylines through two different spin-offs (the since wrapped Private Practice and new TGIT staple Station 19) — if any show could give bring back a dead character multiple times, it’s this one.
Still, don't get greedy! We only got this extended cameo after six very long years without Derek's perfect hair and sparkly eyes. I say we count our blessings as we get them.
Grey's Anatomy airs every Thursday night on ABC.