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New Grey's Anatomy Trailer Teases Another Mystery Return In Meredith’s Life, But Who Is It?

Ellen Pompeo Meredith Grey Grey's Anatomy

We are mere days away from the Season 18 premiere of Grey’s Anatomy, making it quaint to think there was a point in time earlier this year that we didn’t even know if Meredith would survive COVID, or if the long-running ABC drama would even be renewed. But as we now prepare to move forward in anticipation of the crossover event between Grey’s Anatomy and the Season 5 premiere of Station 19, it looks like Meredith will be getting a visitor from her past. (Yes, another one.) But who will it be?

A new trailer for the Seattle medical/fire crossover event teases an action-packed two-hour block of television that includes an explosion and stolen rig on Station 19, to be followed by the return of Kate Burton's Ellis Grey commenting on Meredith surviving the unthinkable. But it’s not Meredith’s mother who’s being referenced when the trailer teases someone’s return to the surgeon's life in the hint-heavy line below:

Brace yourself for one heck of a return, where the biggest cliffhangers from last season will be answered. And someone from Meredith’s past comes back.

There are quite a few familiar faces returning to Grey’s Anatomy for Season 18, so we definitely have some ideas about who the trailer might be referring to. Could it be Addison Montgomery? Kate Walsh announced that she’ll be back in Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital this season, and Meredith's double-take in the trailer would be an appropriate reaction to seeing your dead husband’s ex-wife in the halls of your workplace.

Another likely option is Meredith’s former flame Nathan Riggs returning for Teddy and Owen’s wedding. Martin Henderson hasn’t been announced as one of the actors returning to Grey’s Anatomy, but Abigail Spencer will be there as Riggs’ on-screen love Megan. It was previously announced that Spencer will return for multiple episodes in Season 18, and while there was no mention of Henderson involved, Riggs' past with Owen and Teddy would almost certainly land him on the guest list for the wedding.

There’s also the chance that the someone from Meredith’s past being teased in the trailer is a character we viewers haven’t even met yet. Peter Gallagher is joining the cast of Grey’s Anatomy this season as Dr. Alan Hamilton. We don’t know much about his character, other than he knew Ellis Grey when she was alive, but just that bit makes it perfectly within reason that Meredith also knew him, potentially making Dr. Alan her blast from the past.

Beyond Meredith's history creeping up on her, the Grey's Anatomy and Station 19 promo promises to answer the cliffhangers from last season’s finales across both shows, from the romance between Vic and Theo on Station 19 to Link’s botched proposal to Amelia on Grey’s. You can check out the full trailer below and see for yourself!

So who do you think will be the first ghost from Meredith’s past to return in Season 18? Let us know your thoughts in the poll below, and find out when Grey’s Anatomy premieres on ABC at 9 p.m. ET, Thursday, September 30, as preceded by Station 19, whose Season 5 premiere begins at 8 p.m. ET. And be sure to check out our 2021 Fall TV Schedule so you don’t miss any of your favorite shows’ premieres.

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Heidi Venable

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.