'Grey's Anatomy' Premiere Had The Biggest Twist Ending In The Show's Run

Be warned—major spoilers from the season premiere of Grey's Anatomy are about be discussed.

On Thursday (November 13), Grey's Anatomy returned for its 17th season. The return of the long-running medical drama has been making headlines for months now as the creators revealed Grey Sloane Memorial would be tackling the COVID-19 pandemic. While fans were curious to see how the show would handle the pandemic, nobody could have guesses what showrunner Krista Vernoff had planned.

In the episode, Meredith Grey falls ill and passes out in a parking lot. She wakes up in a dream-like world on a beach where her late husband Derek Shepard is waiting for her. Unsurprisingly, Patrick Dempsey's surprise return had jaws dropping across the country. The best part? He'll be back for more episodes.

Vernoff expected fans' disbelief over Dempsey's return and releases a statement confirming he's really back shortly after the episode aired. "The most important task we had this season was to honor the reality of this global pandemic and the impact it's having—particularly on healthcare workers," she began. "Along with that 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," Vernoff continued. "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 Frontline healthcare 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.'"

The only downside of Meredith and Derek's reunion? It means trouble for Meredith back at Grey Sloane Memorial. Though it hasn't been confirmed yet, it looks like Meredith may have contracted COVID-19. We'll have to tune in next week to find out.

Photo: Grey's Anatomy