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Grey's Anatomy Reveals Reason For Kate Walsh's Return As Addison, And Fans Can't Control Themselves

Screenshot of Addison Montgomery on Grey's Anatomy
(Image credit: ABC)

Spoiler alert! This story contains spoilers for the Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 episode “Some Kind of Tomorrow,” as well as the teaser for next week’s episode, “Hotter Than Hell.”

Meredith Grey made a pretty huge decision at the end of the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “Some Kind of Tomorrow,” as she agreed to join Dr. Hamilton’s team in Minnesota with the goal of curing Parkinson’s. But the new job isn’t the only thing about to shake up Meredith’s world, as we learned Kate Walsh will make her highly anticipated return to Grey-Sloan next week(!) as Addison Montgomery — and she’s asking for Meredith. [Record scratch.] The teaser and sneak peek for Season 18's third episode also gave viewers details on what exactly is bringing Derek Shepherd’s ex-wife back to Seattle.

The sneak peek for “Hotter Than Hell” showed Richard trying to rush Addison to finish her surgery on a transplant patient after the hospital's air conditioning system went down, putting her patient at risk of infection. Addison told him the patient had been waiting for months for the transplant, and she was going to finish. When pushed to work faster, Addison said in order to do that, she’d need to find a surgeon as talented as her, telling Richard, “Get me Meredith Grey.”

That transplant could be Addison’s reason for returning to Seattle — as Camilla Luddington previously revealed Addison's time in Seattle would involve an “amazing case” — but it looks like she’s also going to get in on the new resident training. The official synopsis for “Hotter Than Hell” says Addison “attempts to help Richard teach the newest crop of residents.” The promo even includes an epic callback to Addison’s Season 1 introduction in her meeting with the new surgeons.

I’m Addison Montgomery. You must be the group that’s been screwing up the program.

Back in Season 1, Addison Montgomery walked into then-Seattle Grace and introduced herself to Meredith by calling her “the women who’s been screwing my husband.” Reviving that moment for Season 18 is pure mastery, and fans were quick to catch on.

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Viewers waited impatiently for Addison’s return through the first two episodes of Season 18. When Kate Walsh announced that she’d be returning to Grey’s Anatomy, there were no details about what brought her character back or how long she would stay, so our nerves were understandably frazzled. Now that there’s a confirmed return date, fans have completely lost their minds, taking to Twitter to react to the news.

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Addison Montgomery stopped being a regular part of Grey’s Anatomy at the end of Season 3, when her character moved to Los Angeles and her journey was chronicled in the spinoff Private Practice. So if you need a refresher on who Addison is and what she’s about, Twitter’s got you covered. (Speakers on.) 

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Richard told Bailey he had big ideas for shaking up the residency program, and if Addison is involved, that’s definitely pretty huge. You can check out the preview for the next ep below!

Grey’s Anatomy — and Kate Walsh — will return to ABC next Thursday at 9 p.m. ET following Station 19. Be sure to check out our 2021 Fall TV Schedule for all of the upcoming premieres that will be sadly lacking in all things Addison.

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.