Patrick Dempsey's surprise return to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ shocked fans

Grey's Anatomy took a shocking turn during its season 17 premier, when Patrick Dempsey made a surprise return to the beloved series. At the end of the episode, viewers watched as Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) collapsed in the parking lot after working a tough shift amid the ongoing pandemic. The screen then cut to a beach, where Derek Shepherd (Dempsey) can be heard calling out Meredith's name. As fans will know, Derek died during a 2015 episode of the ABC series. After the episode aired, Pompeo virtually appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live to address the fate of her character. While Pompeo couldn't say much, she did reveal that she was at work "yesterday," so, as Kimmel said to Pompeo, "Okay, good then you're alive." Pompeo, 51, went on to discuss the surprise ending, telling Kimmel it was "so fun" because they knew that people are going to freak out. "We were so happy just to be able to film these scenes and know how much joy it was going to bring people...we definitely had a ball."