‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Krista Vernoff & Ellen Pompeo React After Season 17 Premiere Reveals

SPOILER ALERT: The story includes details about the Season 17 premiere of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy.

The two-hour Season 17 premiere of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy ended with a jaw-dropping moment five and a half years in the making. The series’ original male lead Patrick Dempsey made a return, with his character, Derek Shepherd, appearing in a beach dream sequence after Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith collapsed in the Grey Sloan parking lot. The reunion of Grey’s Anatomy’s all-time favorite couple was a joyous culmination of the premiere, which tackled the grim realities of the coronavirus pandemic. Following the end of the episode on the East Coast, Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff, Dempsey and Pompeo took to Instagram to address the big twist.

Read their posts below and check out Deadline’s exclusive Q&A with the trio, in which they share the back story of the big return and address burning questions from the premiere.

“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. 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. 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.’”

Something weird happened at the end of the episode

“It was so fun,” she said of bringing Dempsey’s McDreamy back to the show. “Because we know that people are gonna freak out, and 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. We definitely had a ball.”

RELATED: Ellen Pompeo, Debbie Allen, Krista Vernoff & Chandra Wilson Discuss The End Of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Dempsey left the show in 2015 after his iconic character was killed in a car crash.

Kimmel joked that the show had “dabbled with ‘Lost’ territory” with the surprise, to which Pompeo responded, “Seventeen seasons. We’ve dabbled in everything there is to dabble.”

“Not since McSteamy fractured his penis have seen anything this shocking on the show


A post shared by Krista Vernoff (@kristavernoff)


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