“My goal is to get Meredith [Ellen Pompeo] and Derek [Patrick Dempsey] together for good and let them try to figure out what it is to be in a relationship in the future,” Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes revealed to today. “And that is something that time off [during the writers’ strike] really gave me perspective on — whether or not we could actually do it, how we could do it, that it would be amazing to watch how that works.”

Rhimes had dinner with Dempsey and “we talked about all of this,” she reports. “As actors, they’re very invested in Derek and Meredith. Ellen and I are getting together Monday.”

Also coming up when Grey’s returns for five episodes on April 24: Lauren Stamile, who plays McDreamy’s latest potential love interest, Nurse Rose, will return for all five episodes; and Elizabeth Reaser, as Jane Doe, will be back for three.

When told of the Meredith-McDreamy news, costar TR Knight exclaimed, “Oh, wow, I didn’t know that! I guess Meredith and Derek are gonna smooch again!” But Knight is busy getting over a bad cold before heading back to work next week: “I got the crud that’s been going around,” he said as he drove home from a doctor’s appointment this evening. “It was like, Body is crashing, you’ve got a week and a half to be sick before work starts, so go.”