I have to give the Grey’s Anatomy showrunners huge props for keeping the return of Derek Shepherd a secret. In this day and age, cameras are everywhere, and somehow, they managed to keep his appearance a secret from the fans.

His smile and his hair is everything I remember. Sure his McDreamy-ness is literal, but it’s still exciting to hear him shout her name. I just wish they weren’t social distancing. No matter how hard she tries, Meredith just can’t reach Derek. He explains to her that the kids block their reunion.

Cut to Meredith barking orders at any medical staff who comes near as she isolates in a room dedicated to COVID patients. It’s been four days since she passed out in the parking lot, and Dr. Grey is only content when she visits her dead husband in her coronavirus dreams. 

Maggie is still struggling with the reality of how many of her patients die on a daily basis. Koracick is stuck teaching the new crop of interns who arrived early to help out with the pandemic. Jo is about to deliver a baby who is miraculously attached to her mother’s liver. And Link is excited to be back at the hospital working on saving the hand of a sex therapist. 

But everyone is still focused on Meredith. Since Maggie can’t care for her sister, she corners Teddy in a darkened corner of the stairwell and makes her promise she will not mix her personal life with business. Teddy promises she is good (do we believe her?) and works with DeLuca to find other alternatives. 

Meanwhile, Maggie tag teams virtually with Amelia to convince Meredith that she needs to change her power of attorney. When they fail, the big guns are brought in. Bailey insists that Alex Karev is not an ideal candidate since he lives half a nation away. She should choose someone local. Since Amelia can’t decide what’s for dinner and Maggie doesn’t know when it’s time for someone to die, Meredith gives that lovely responsibility to the man who practically raised her. And Richard is honored to accept. 

Richard is also a rock star teacher. Koracick has zero people skills, and his ability to help the interns adjust is nonexistent. He ignores one guy who is devastated by the number of deaths the hospital records in one day. He doesn’t prepare the group with proper PPE instructions, and Owen chastises them. And one woman he calls Mama Ortiz ripped him a new one when he wanted to discharge a patient and send her back to a nursing home riddled with COVID cases. 

Side note: Mama Ortiz and Koracick are totally hooking up in the future. I’m calling it.

Koracick barges into Richard’s office and admits that he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He passes off the teaching duties to Richard and then runs into Teddy. Apparently, they haven’t spoken since the day she accidentally recorded their tryst. Koracick is heartbroken. Why? Because he still loves her but needs space. And you can’t really get that when you’re stuck in a hospital during a pandemic. 

Unless, of course, you are diagnosed with COVID. Owen breaks the news, rolls his eyes at the sight of his almost-wife, and demands Koracick leave the premises immediately. 

In more joyful news, the liver baby makes it, and so does her mom! Link saves the therapist’s hand so he can continue “doing what he does with his hands.” Then he takes a page from the therapist’s book and listens to Amelia break down in the back yard. When he asks what she needs, Amelia drops her robe and cocks an eyebrow. Link can’t do anything about what’s happening in front of him, per se, but who says sex can’t occur six feet apart? 

During the closing monologue, we find Meredith once again on the beach with Derek. Just when you think she’s about to reach him, she trips and falls flat on her face in the sand. He laughs, and all is right with the world. He tells Meredith that he will be right here when she’s ready. 

Which begs the question: Are we being set up for an Ellen Pompeo exit from Grey’s Anatomy? Does this feel like a series end? Or did they bring back Patrick Dempsey to a viewing audience who could use a little joy in life, too? 

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Grey's Anatomy

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

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