We knew it was coming, folks, but Grey’s anatomy keeps the hits coming! In the November 19 episode titled “My Happy Ending,” Meredith encounters another person in her COVID-induced beach vision, and many fans suspected that Lexie Gray, Meredith’s younger half-sister, would be the next character to return. But to the surprise of many, it turned out that the returning character T.R. Knight’s lovable George O’Malley, whom Meredith met leaning against the railing of the beach lifeguard tower!
Like Patrick Dempsey, who started the potential returning characters parade in the season 17 premiere, Knight is one of the original cast members on Grey’s and a certified fan favorite ahead of its season five departure. George came to an end after jumping in front of a bus to rescue a stranger, and Knight stated that he would leave because he felt the character was “expired” after having less screen time .
In “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, George and Meredith stroll along the beach as she ponders her mortality. In previous episodes, Derek explained to her that nothing around her is real and that she cannot join him because she is still worried about her children. While Meredith ponders whether she and Derek’s children could carry on from her death, George explains how his death affected his mother. He tells her that if she leaves her family and everyone is waiting outside for her, she will hurt her. It seems like Meredith is about to wake up!
Before the episode aired on the East Coast, showrunner Krista Vernoff tweeted that she was “huge for so many reasons” and made a guest star appearance that “makes me cry with joy every time I watch her”. She is definitely not the only one with tears in her eyes! And after the episode, Knight posted a behind-the-scenes photo, similar to Dempsey and Pompeo’s selfies from the premiere. “George O’Malley will always claim my heart,” he wrote. “Thanks to Ellen, Chandra [Wilson], Jim, Krista and all the familiar faces to share your beautiful light once again. ”
In an interview with Vernoff revealed that Knight was the first return she thought of. “It occurred to me that Meredith was walking with her feet in the water with George. That was the first picture that came to mind and the joy that filled me when the picture came, I believe, is translated on the screen.” she said confessed. “I think we gave this moment of pure joy to millions of fans with it, and at the moment in our lives this pandemic of pure joy is rare and that is why I am so grateful to TR that she came and played and offered it to everyone because I think it makes sense.
Describing his return as a “wave after wave of happiness,” Knight noted that although after all this time he wondered how to get back into the game, he appreciated the way Vernoff was getting closer to his return. “What I loved about Krista’s love for George was that Meredith had this vision … of who George would be. George is a very complicated person and that made him an incredible pleasure, but Meredith sees the best of George : She sees his humor, his kindness, his generosity and in that brief moment that you see him it’s a great way to remember him, “he said. “… To be able to return to this world was … there is a better word than profound, and I will get there one day.
While some fans may be disappointed with the lack of Lexie Gray in today’s episode, you have hearts! There is evidence of it Grey’s will feature the return of several other beloved characters, including a possible recurrence of Cristina Yang herself! (Please, Sandra Oh, do it for the fans!) It’s still time for a Lexie return, though we’re not sure how long Meredith will stay in her current state. As a result, she becomes aware of what is going on in the outside world. In the end, Meredith, George, Webber, and Bailey – the latter two who visit Meredith in her hospital room – sit together on the rocks. (Yeah, I cried.)
We don’t think Meredith will die from the virus, but considering she once told James Corden that her dream finale would have all of the original cast members return, us should I wonder if Meredith is leaving the Gray Sloan Memorial anytime soon.