Kate Burton is set to reprise her role as Ellis Grey in season 18.

Paging Dr. Sandy Cohen!

EW has confirmed that Peter Gallagher is joining Grey's Anatomy in season 18. The O.C. alum will play Dr. Alan Hamilton, who knew Ellis Grey (Kate Burton) back in the day and meets Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) in the season premiere.

Burton is also set to appear in season 18. She'll reprise her role as Meredith's tough but brilliant mother in multiple episodes. Burton is set to first appear in the season premiere.

There's no word yet on how Burton might appear, seeing as how Ellis died during the show's third season. But seeing as how season 17 introduced the idea of Meredith's oceanfront afterlife, a beach where she can interact with people she's lost, anything is possible. Although if the beach still exists, then the question becomes: Will Meredith still be battling COVID this season? Or perhaps Ellis will be featured another way entirely.

Peter Gallagher
Peter Gallagher
| Credit: Jim Spellman/WireImage

All we know is that The O.C. once made a joke about Neil Roberts (Michael Nouri) being bossed around by a short lady in Seattle, and now our heads hurt.

Grey's Anatomy returns for season 18 on Sept. 30.

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