Cristina?! George?! Ellen Pompeo Teases Returns to Come on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

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    Stock up on the wine and tissues, Grey’s Anatomy fans — Derek won’t be the only one visiting Meredith Grey as she battles coronavirus. Ellen Pompeo teased more returns to Grey’s Anatomy after the Thursday, November 19, episode of the ABC medical drama.

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    “If you really think about it … there’s a lot of people it could be,” the 51-year-old actress, who has played Meredith for 17 seasons, tweeted after the promo for the next episode revealed “another person from her past returns.”

    After one fan suggested that some characters “would not make sense,” including Meredith’s late dad, Thatcher (Jeff Perry), Pompeo replied, “In dreams, nothing makes sense.”

    Fans first saw Meredith reunite with Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) in a dream sequence during the season 17 premiere. During Thursday’s episode, Meredith tried to run to her late husband as he urged her that the sand on the beach they were standing on “isn’t real.”

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    After Meredith fell into the sand, he told her, “You love me. God knows I love you. I’ll be right here when you’re ready.”

    Viewers also learned during Thursday’s episode that Meredith is indeed battling COVID-19. In the promo for the Thursday, December 3, episode, Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) reveals that her sister-in-law’s condition is “not improving” and they “can’t wake her” up.

    When one viewer asked Pompeo if she could give a “hint” at who Meredith will see next on the beach, she responded, “Ummmmmm no.”

    Pompeo added, “That @ABCNetwork promo department are messing with y’all in a major way no? @GreysABC.”

    Grey’s Anatomy has said goodbye to several beloved characters since its 2005 premiere, including Kate Burton’s Ellis Grey in 2007, T.R. Knight’s George O’Malley in 2009, Chyler Leigh’s Lexie Grey in 2012, Eric Dane’s Mark Sloan in 2012 and Dempsey’s Derek in 2015. Other characters, including Cristina (Sandra Oh), Izzie (Katherine Heigl), Alex (Justin Chambers), Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) and April (Sarah Drew), are no longer on the show, but still alive.

    Showrunner Krista Vernoff previously revealed that it was Pompeo’s idea to bring back Dempsey after she pitched her the dream idea.

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    “There have been studies about how intense our dream life has been. In the pandemic, people are having really intense dreams because of the lockdown,” Vernoff told Deadline earlier this month. “We’re not getting enough stimulation, and so, it’s happening in our dreams. So, it started as that. It started as, how do we give people some escape. I had this imagining of a beach motif throughout the season, and I called Ellen, and I said, what if we bring back, I don’t know, some dead character that you could dream of on the beach, that would be so fun for the fans. And she said, ‘Let’s get Patrick.’ Even in my most excitable dream life, that thought hadn’t occurred to me as an option, and there it was.”

    When asked on Thursday how Pompeo would “define MerDer,” the actress concluded, “Duh … epic.”

    Grey’s Anatomy airs on ABC Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.

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