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Patrick Dempsey’s McDreamy makes a surprise return on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Hold on to your hearts Grey’s Anatomy fans, McDreamy is back to save 2020!

In a shocking albeit much-welcome surprise, actor Patrick Dempsey’s beloved Derek Shepherd, who was killed off the show in April 2015 much to fans’ dismay, made a dreamy (literally) return to Grey’s Anatomy in the last 30 seconds of the show’s season 17 premiere.

Lovingly called McDreamy in the show as well as by fans, Shepherd makes a return in his widow Meredith Grey’s (Ellen Pompeo) dream after she collapses in the parking lot of Grey Sloan Memorial. The two unite on a breezy beach where Grey shouts out to him that she misses him and he replies, “I know!”

This is the first time that Dempsey has made a return to the show, even in a dream sequence, since he left in 2015!

Talking to Deadline, showrunner Krista Vernoff, Dempsey and Pompeo shared how the idea to bring Shepherd back came about. While fans may worry about Grey’s wellbeing after seeing the short dream sequence, the masterminds behind the show assure that the return was actually meant as a means of escapism – to bring some joy to otherwise troubled times.

“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’,” shared Vernoff, adding that Pompeo then suggested Dempsey.

“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.”

Pompeo chimed in with the same sentiment. “There’s just so much darkness, and we knew that coming together would be a little ray of light. And so, I think we had the same idea, at the core, to want to help people and bring a smile to people’s faces,” she said, adding that Dempsey also loved the idea and they had a “ball filming it.”

Vernoff also confirmed, in no uncertain terms, that Dempsey will be returning for more scenes. When asked how long was he going to stick around for, she said, “It’s more than the one scene you saw and it was just joyful. I really want to echo that .”

So there you have it. That means we have more than just the last 30 seconds of the premiere to relish, and perhaps might even get hours worth of MerDer in the upcoming episodes!

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