[Beware, spoilers ahead]
In the 17th season premiere of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ the show brought back an original cast member from earlier seasons. The episode ended with Dr. Meredith Grey, played by Ellen Pompeo, lying unconscious in the parking lot of the hospital. Dr. Grey then sees a vision of her late husband, Dr. Derek Shepherd. The Dr. Shepherd character, played by Patrick Dempsey, was killed off during the finale of season 11.
The showrunner, Krista Vernoff, said this about the new season, “We had to come up with creative ways to allow our show to still be fun and romantic and provide some escapism. Enter Patrick Dempsey. The beach motif — which will continue beyond the premiere — provided a way for us to live outside the pandemic even for a little while here and there. And Derek’s return provided pure joy for us, for Meredith, and for the fans. Season 17 has been a herculean effort by our cast, our crew, our writers, and our partners at Disney and ABC — and we are proud of it. But our effort is nothing compared to the work of our front-line health care workers to whom this season is dedicated. We hope our show inspires you to wear your masks to protect them and each other. As Derek Shepherd would say, ‘It’s a beautiful day to save lives.’”