Grey’s Anatomy: Has Patrick Dempsey returned to Grey’s Anatomy for good?

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Grey’s Anatomy season 17, episode one, premiered last night (Thursday, November 13) after more than one year of waiting. Fans were treated to a two-hour long premiere special, which was dedicated to the frontline workers. There was one huge moment in the episode fan’s did not see coming and fans are curious to know what will happen next. Patrick Dempsey reprised his role as Derek ‘McDreamy’ Sheperd but will he return to the long-running medical drama for good? Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.

Has Patrick Dempsey returned to Grey’s Anatomy for good?

Patrick Dempsey played the role of neurosurgeon Derek ‘McDreamy’ Sheperd in Grey’s Anatomy for 15 years.

He was part of the show’s original cast in 2005 and left in 2015, starring in 11 seasons of the medical drama.

He also played the role in the Grey’s spinoff Private Practice.

Sadly, his character was killed off in April 2015 and left fans heart broken across the world. 

However, Dempsey did not stay away from the show for too long and made a suprise guest appearance in the show’s season 17 premiere in a reunion fans did not see coming.

At the end of the first episode, an exhausted Meredith Grey (played by Ellen Pompeo) collpased in the car park of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.

In a dream sequence following her sudden collapse, Meredith imagined her and McDreamy spending time together on the beach.

Speaking to Deadline, Dempsey reflected: “It’s crazy how much time has passed, but it really was so comforting, and lovely, and inspiring to go back, and to work together, to see everybody.

“It really was so open, too, that was the thing, really, people were very, I think, vulnerable in a positive way, where we were all grateful to be there and to be together.”

When asked if he would be willing to return for future episodes, Dempsey said: “Yeah, it was fun, because I really love the message of what the dynamic is in this story.

“With everything that we’re dealing with right now, and certainly we have been distracted with the election, but we’re going to get back into the reality of COVID and being in a pandemic, and all the lives that have been lost.

“Where are these souls going? And I think that’s what attracted me to this storyline, I think it can be really helpful and healing to so many people.”

In a statement, showrunner Krisa Vernoff explained the reason for Dempsey’s return.

She said: ” 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

Why did Patrick Dempsey leave Grey’s Anatomy?

Sadly, Dempsey left the series in 2015 to focus on his family and his passion for auto-racing.

Speaking to People, Dempsey explained leaving Grey’s Anatomy was simply the end of a chapter.

He said: “I’m very grateful for Grey’s Anatomy. It’s given me the opportunity to do everything. But at the same time, there was a cost.

“I think after a certain period of time, no matter how much money you make, you want control out of your own schedule.”

He added: “It had been long enough. It was time for me to move on with other things and other interests.

“I probably should have moved on a couple of years earlier. I stayed a bit longer than I should have.”

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC

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