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Grey's Anatomy: Meredith And Addison Just Gave Us An All-Time Great Scene With Kate Walsh's Return

Meredith and Addison on the elevator Grey's Anatomy screenshot
(Image credit: ABC)

Spoiler alert! This story discusses the Season 18 episode of Grey’s Anatomy “Hotter Than Hell,” so proceed with caution if you’re not caught up!

It was the comeback Grey’s Anatomy fans had been waiting for! Addison Montgomery strutted back into Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital with boss energy to spare, leaving the residents speechless as they tried to sort the facts from the rumors regarding Addison’s past in Seattle. “Hotter Than Hell” reunited Addison with Meredith — the woman who was screwing her husband all those years ago — and the two actresses delivered what will go down as one of the series' greatest elevator scenes. 

“Hotter Than Hell” showed Kate Walsh in all her Addison glory, performing a groundbreaking surgery, putting Richard Webber in his place and being an all-around general badass. But Addison’s tough exterior cracked at the end of the episode, as she boarded an elevator with Meredith post-surgery. Addison burst into tears, and we saw the grief she felt returning to the home of her ex-husband.

I thought coming back here to Seattle, to Grey-Sloan, that he’d be here. That I would be able to feel that he was still here. To the city that he loved, with the people that he loved, but he isn’t. And it’s real. He’s not here.

That Addison had this raw, vulnerable moment in front of Meredith was as fitting as it was painful. Addison had never experienced Seattle without Derek, but if anyone could understand her pain, it was Derek's widow. Fans were distraught, to say the least. 

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Addison said she shouldn’t be crying in front of Meredith, because Meredith was the one who went through it — losing her husband and the father of her children. But Meredith knew Addison still had a right to grieve, and a right to miss Derek. And she made Addison an offer that had some hearts melting and others just plain stopping.

Addison, he is here. And he’s in his children, and they are very real. And I would love for you to come and meet them.

Viewers lost their minds over Meredith’s offer for Addison to come meet Derek’s children. Like, can somebody call the Station 19 aid car for a wellness check on these fans? 

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And they didn’t even make us wait. After an equally lovely reunion between Addison and her former sister-in-law Amelia, the three surgeons went to the house where Derek’s three kids asked if Addison was a friend of their dad’s. That sound you heard when she answered that he called her "Addie" was hearts everywhere breaking into pieces. 

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“Addie” then joined the kids for ice cream as Meredith and Amelia silently watched them bond. Addison told the Shepherd kiddos that she was falling more in love with them “every stinking second,” and at that point, fans were just not okay.

We still don’t know how long Addison will be sticking around Grey-Sloan, but she was in the promo for next week’s episode, “With a Little Help From My Friends,” so we shall rest well in that knowledge. Grey’s Anatomy returns to ABC next Thursday at 9 p.m. ET. Be sure to check out our 2021 Fall TV Schedule for all of the upcoming premieres.

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.