Gray’s Anatomy made a gaping 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 Thursday night with a two-hour blockbuster premiere showing how medical professionals are directly fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and ended with a mind-boggling ending as promised. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) returned in what appeared to be a hallucination at the end of the season 17 premiere. Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) broke down at the end of the episode and stared at the beach only to hear Derek call her name a little further down in the sand. The preview of next week’s episode confirmed we couldn’t imagine seeing him there. While the Gray Sloan team investigates what broke Meredith down, she and Derek appear to be communicating in their limbo. This is not a dream, Derek Shepherd is back – for a while at least.

Elsewhere, the premiere spent a lot of time letting the audience know how Gray Sloan dealt with the pandemic in April 2020 as he looked back to tell us about the changes that have come about since our last visit to the doctors . Some of the storylines answered some burning questions, others key developments and of course the shock at the end of the episode. Here is everything you need to know before that cliffhanger got 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 case was with Teddy’s (Kim Raver) humiliating sex voicemail. In the flashbacks, Owen (Kevin McKidd) pretended not to know about Teddy and Tom (Greg Germann) until the perfect moment came for him to play Teddy’s voicemail. It was wild but deserved, and Teddy spent most of the episode being shunned by the rest of the hospital staff. Teddy tried her best to approach Owen at the end of the episode, but it doesn’t look like he’s in any mindset to forgive her anytime soon.

Meredith and DeLuca
The last time we saw 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 something was wrong in his head. The season 17 premiere confirmed what Station 19 said in Season 3: DeLuca suffers from Bi-Polar 2 disorder. In the current timeline, DeLuca sees a therapist and sleeps regularly, but it took another intervention and an emotional pause before DeLuca got the help he urgently needed. At the end of the premiere it was still unclear where they stood romantically. Obviously, he will be by her side, trying to figure out what’s going on with her after the breakdown.

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Jo and Jackson
We’d never expected to put the two together in a million years, but season 17 is apparently trying to make Jo (Camillia Luddington) and Jackson (Jesse Williams) one thing. In a desperate attempt to get over Alex (Justin Chambers), Jo Jackson built for no-string sex, or, as she put it, a “bridge” between the husband who had left her and a woman who was ready to join move on with their lives. Jackson actually said yes (because obviously) but Jo was sobbing drunk in his mouth instead of them getting to the Kenny G playlist that Jackson had curated for the occasion. After an uncomfortable morning after the tension, the two decided to forget about it and agreed to be friends. Is that what Pompeo was referring to when she teased that she has a new favorite couple this season? Yes, we don’t think the book closed this book yet, but it will 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 catastrophic hip replacement and showed up just in time to help Gray Sloan find a much-needed cleaning hack for her personal protective equipment (PPE). However, he and Catherine (Debbie Allen) still spent most of the premiere at odds with Richard. Catherine was still angry. Catherine did not stand up for him when he was fired from Gray Sloan late in season 15. Yes, this fight has started on for a long time. However, a few swear words from the right people led to a reconciliation between the two, and Catherine demoted Tom to make Richard Chief of Chiefs at Gray Sloan.

Amelia and Link
The couple will care for the Gray Shepherd brood, including the newborn, while they are on parental leave. They had sex at 10 p.m. to celebrate Link’s (Chris Carmack) birthday. Oh, and the baby’s name is Scout Derek Shepherd Lincoln.

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

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