Gray’s Anatomy Pulled Off a Jaw-Dropping Return within the Season 17 Premiere

(Warning: The following contains spoilers for the Season 17 premiere of Grey’s Anatomy. Read at your own risk!)

Grey’s Anatomy returned on Thursday evening with a two-hour blockbuster premiere that showcased how medical professionals are combatting the COVID-19 pandemic head on and as promised, ended with a jaw-dropping ending. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) returned at the very end of the Season 17 premiere in what appears to be a hallucination. Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) collapsed at the end of the episode and found herself staring out at the beach, only to hear Derek calling her name a ways down on the sand. The preview for next week’s episode confirmed that we were not imagining seeing him there. As the Grey Sloan team investigates what made Meredith collapse, it appears that she and Derek will be communing in her mental limbo. This is not a dream, Derek Shepherd is back — at least for a little while. 

Elsewhere, the premiere spent a lot of time catching the audience up with how Grey Sloan was dealing with the pandemic in April 2020 while flashing back to update us on what’s changed since we last saw the doctors. There were some burning questions answered in some storylines, major developments in others, and of course the episode-ending shocker. Here’s everything you need to know about what happened before that cliffhanger put us on the edge of our seats. 

Owen and Teddy
They really made people wait until the second hour of the premiere to find out what the fall out of Teddy’s (Kim Raver) humiliating sex voicemail was. In the flashbacks, Owen (Kevin McKidd) pretended not to know about Teddy and Tom (Greg Germann) until the perfect moment arrived for him to play Teddy’s voicemail back to her. It was savage, but deserved and Teddy spent most of the episode shunned by rest of the hospital staff. Teddy tried her best to appeal to Owen at the end of the episode, but it doesn’t look like he’s in any kind of mindset to forgive her any time soon.

Meredith and DeLuca 
The last we saw of Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti), DeLuca had miraculously figured out what was causing problems with Richard (James Pickens Jr.) and then admitted that there wasn’t something quite right going on in his head. The Season 17 premiere confirmed what Station 19 said in Season 3, DeLuca has Bi-Polar 2 disorder. In the current timeline, DeLuca is seeing a therapist and sleeping regularly, but it took another intervention and an emotional break for DeLuca to get the help he desperately needed. At the end of the premiere it was still unclear where they stand romantically. Obviously, he’ll be by her side trying to figure out what’s wrong with her following the collapse. 

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Jo and Jackson
Never in a million years did we expect to put these two together, but Season 17 is apparently trying to make Jo (Camillia Luddington) and Jackson (Jesse Williams) a thing. Jo, in a desperate attempt to get over Alex (Justin Chambers), hit up Jackson for some no-strings attached sex, or as she put it, to be the “bridge” between the husband that abandoned her and a woman ready to move on with her life. Jackson actually said yes (because obviously), but Jo ended up drunkenly sobbing into his mouth rather than them getting down to the Kenny G playlist Jackson had curated for the occasion. After some awkward morning after tension, the two decided to forget the whole thing and agreed to be friends. Is this who Pompeo was referring to when she teased that she has a new favorite couple this season? Yeah, we don’t think think the book has closed on this one yet, but it’s going to be a minute before we know how we feel about it. 

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Richard and Catherine
Richard is officially cobalt free after his disastrous hip replacement and showed up just in time to help Grey Sloan find a much needed cleaning hack for their personal protective equipment (PPE). However, he and Catherine (Debbie Allen) spent most of the premiere still at odds with Richard still angry Catherine didn’t stand up for him when he was fired from Grey Sloan at the end of Season 15. Yeah, this fight has been going on for a long time. However, some chiding by the right people lead to a reconciliation between these two and Catherine demoted Tom in order to make Richard the Chief of Chiefs at Grey Sloan.  

Amelia and Link
The pair are taking care of the Grey-Shepherd brood, including newborn while they are on parental leave. They had some 10 p.m. broadcast standards level sex to celebrate Link’s (Chris Carmack) birthday. Oh, and the baby’s name is Scout Derek Shepherd Lincoln. 

Grey’s Anatomy continues Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC. 

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