By James Hibberd
Updated December 05, 2011 at 04:54 PM EST
Credit: ABC

Guess who’s also returning to Grey’s Anatomy for a special appearance?

Kate Burton, who played Meredith’s Alzheimer’s-stricken mom, Ellis, in earlier seasons, will reprise her role for a special dreamscape episode that imagines all the ways her daughter’s life would be different if she was alive and well. And if the acclaimed surgeon mother is still in the game, what does that mean for her relationship with Chief Webber? Hmm…

Burton will join Private Practice’s Kate Walsh, who revealed via Twitter last week that she will return to Grey’s as well. In the dream, Meredith wonders what would have happened had the redheaded beauty stayed with Derek.

The episode will air in February and is titled “If/Then.”

Burton was nominated for two Emmys for her role on Grey’s. This will mark her first appearance on the show since season 3, when her character died. She’s also in another Shonda-verse project, playing the vice president in the Grey’s creator’s upcoming ABC political-drama soap Scandal. Could other ghosts from Grey’s past also show up in the hour? Perhaps, though we’re told Walsh is the only former series regular expected to make an appearance.

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Meredith. Alex. Bailey. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes' hospital melodrama.

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