WARNING: Spoilers ahead for the most recent episode of Grey's Anatomy, so look away unless you already have a permanent spot on Meredith's dream beach!
Grey's Anatomy is still serving up surprises and a lot of drama in Season 17, as Meredith continues to battle the virus, along with hundreds of other patients at Grey Sloan Memorial. Of course, as we know well by now, Mer has at least been able to retreat to a lovely place in her mind, her dream beach, where she's been meeting with several people from her past who have been long gone. We were already spoiled on the fact that her sister, Lexie, was coming back, but there was a surprise guest in the most recent episode in the form of Eric Dane's Mark Sloan, and now we know how he felt about his big return with Chyler Leigh.
Eric Dane's Mark and Chyler Leigh's Lexie have both been gone from Grey's Anatomy for quite some time, with Mark dying in the Season 9 premiere, after Lexie met her fate in the Season 8 finale. The couple had quite a romance, and a very sad end, so while it was lovely for fans to get a (sorta) happy conclusion for Mark and Lexie this season, it turns out that it was also a good time for Dane. As he told The Hollywood Reporter:
It feels like I never left. It was very comfortable and very easy, and it was so nice to see a lot of the same faces with the crew. It's a role that always fit for me, like one of those great old t-shirts. And it was just like putting the t-shirt back on and hanging out on a beach for a couple days, and catching up with some old friends.
Awww! This is much like the responses given by other long-gone cast members as they brought back their dearly departed characters for Mer's dream beach virus fever dream visits. Fans have also been treated to Patrick Dempsey's Derek and T.R. Knight's George, two other characters who were shockingly killed off during the show's run. Considering how difficult things often were behind the scenes on Grey's Anatomy during the early years, it's very good to hear that everyone was so pleased about returning to the drama and being able to reunite with some old friends on set.
This is especially true, because fans are absolutely loving seeing all of these formerly very important characters again, as the future of Grey's Anatomy is still up in the air. Things are in such a state of flux, that showrunner Krista Vernoff has admitted that she and her team of writers have no clear picture of whether or not the show will go on for Season 18, and are planning the last half of this season so that the last episode can work as a series finale, if need be. On top of that, viewers will also see the return of a beloved character who actually didn't die, April, when actress Sarah Drew brings her back at some point this season.
In the end, Mark and Lexie were able to convince Meredith to continue fighting, even though she enjoyed being on her dream beach and visiting with (mostly) lost family and friends. In the hospital, Owen and Richard took her off of the ventilator, and she was able to begin breathing on her own. About being a part of the impactful storyline, Eric Dane said:
It's a pretty poignant moment. I would think anybody speaking to anybody beyond the grave would probably provide the same advice. You get one lap in life, it's very important that you live every day to the fullest. You keep both feet in today, you stay present. And you're there for your loved ones.
Now that Meredith's breathing on her own, we don't know how much of her dream beach we'll see, but we can probably count on a lot of good shockers to come in the rest of Grey's Anatomy Season 17, either way.