Grey’s Anatomy returned on Thursday night and it was fine. Pretty run of the mill stuff for the show, which just kicked off its 17th season. A sad plotline about two teens who get hurt at a party and only one survives. A sad plotline with a happier ending about a human-trafficking victim being reunited with her family. A heartbroken doctor — Jo, who is sad because, remember, her loving husband Alex Karev, who promised he’d never leave her, in fact up and left her to reunite with Izzie, who turns out had secretly given birth to his children years ago and was raising them on a farm somewhere — gets drunk and tries to sleep with a hot colleague to get out of a rut. If you ignore the fact that the whole thing happens with masks on because Grey’s is operating in a COVID universe this season, it was all fairly typical.
Every trailer teasing the season kept promising a bombshell reveal. Something that would blow our minds. Which, well, after one hour and 50 minutes of television on Thursday night, still hadn’t arrived. That was until Meredith Grey, who appears to have caught coronavirus while working with patients, collapsed in the parking lot in the episode’s final scene. Nothing good happens when Meredith Grey is unconscious, lest we forget the hallway full of dead people (RIP, Doc! RIP, that nice guy from the bomb squad!) but this time is maybe an exception? Because unconscious Meredith finds herself walking on a palm-lined beach wearing linen and staring down the sand at none other than … her dead husband Derek Shepherd. (He is also wearing linen, obviously blue because eyes.)
Are we in for a season of Meredith and Derek having very loud ghost sex like that time Grey’s brought Denny back [checks notes] 17 times? “We all know 2020 has been a really long, ugly road, and we were so happy just to be able to film these scenes and know how much joy it was gonna bring people,” Ellen Pompeo, who plays Meredith, said on Jimmy Kimmel Live! after the episode aired. Joy? Joy? JOY?!?!?!?! I had only just gotten over Derek dying. Derek dying which brought us Penny which brought us that very awful plotline where Callie basically abandoned everything we thought we knew about her character to fight Arizona for custody of their daughter so Arizona could move across the country for Penny. Showrunner Krista Vernoff told Deadline that we can, in fact, expect more Derek scenes in coming episodes, so I’m excited to scream at my television this entire season. Which, honestly, isn’t really much different than what I’ve been doing since March so that’s oddly comforting.