Season 17 of Grey’s Anatomy was a lot to take in for many fans, especially those who have been watching since the beginning. The latest season of the ABC medical drama included many familiar faces of those who are no longer (fictionally) with us, including the surprising and long-awaited return from T.R. Knight as the beloved George O’Malley. The performance made fans everywhere emotional as George reunited with Meredith in her COVID-induced dream, and Grey’s Anatomy execs were clearly also enthused, to the point where they submitted Knight for awards consideration .
With Emmy Award season right around the corner, networks and studios are submitting their biggest and brightest talents to be considered as nominees for the prestigious ceremony. Multiple Grey’s Anatomy cast members are in the running for the Acting Drama categories, including Ellen Pompeo, Giacomo Gianniotti and Kim Raver. Alongside those, vying for noms in the Best Drama Guest Actor category, are Pompeo’s late on-screen husband Patrick Dempsey, who also made some beach-set appearances throughout the season, as well as T.R. Knight, according to Gold Derby.
T.R. Knight’s episode, "You’ll Never Walk Alone” marked his first appearance on Grey’s Anatomy since George’s tragic death in the Season 5 finale in 2009, in which he was shockingly revealed to have been hit by a bus after saving a stranger. The comatose Meredith caught up with her friend, with her and George reflecting on their lives. George inspired her to fight to stay alive because of her three children, whom he claimed to check up on even though he never met them in real life. The episode also brought Chandra Wilson's Bailey and James Pickens Jr.'s Richard onto the beach, and it was a beautiful moment shining a light on four of the original cast members. Not to mention how happy fans were to see Knight's George back on the show more than a decade after he was so heartbreakingly killed off.
Although official nominations have yet to be released, the fact that T.R. Knight's George remains a favorite of fans and cast/crew members after all these years is definitely meaningful, and speaks well his chances. With his incredible performance in the episode, it would be disappointing if he ends up not getting an official Emmy nomination, which would be only his second, with his first coming for Grey's in 2006. Hopefully this won’t be the last time fans see George O’Malley on Grey’s Anatomy, either, though maybe no more beaches in the future.
Meredith’s COVID beach fantasy began pretty early on in Season 17 after she collapsed in the parking lot. Derek’s return at the end of the season premiere left fans wanting more and it was only just the beginning of the dead returning. Not only did Derek and George return, but Meredith’s kid sister Lexi and Mark Sloan also made an appearance together following their deaths by plane crash in the Season 8 finale. While the various character returns made many fans worry that Season 17 would be the last, ABC ended up renewing the long-running series for a Season 18 just before the season finale aired.
While waiting to hear about all the big Emmy nominations, be sure to keep track of everything coming to the 2021 Summer TV schedule.