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Grey’s Anatomy Season Premiere Pulled Off Legit Meredith Shocker With New(ish) Love Interest

Meredith Grey smiles
(Image credit: ABC)

Spoiler alert! This story contains spoilers for the Season 18 premiere, “Here Comes the Sun.”

ABC told us someone from Meredith Grey's past would return for the Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 premiere, and of all the actors we knew would be making an appearance, wow, we did not see this one coming. (Or at least I didn't, and if you say you did, I'm eyeing you suspiciously.) We saw Ellis Grey haunting Meredith’s dreams. Megan showed up for Teddy and Owen’s wedding (broken up with Riggs, at that). Addison Montgomery was nowhere to be seen, and while David Hamilton was technically someone from Meredith’s past as a former associate of her mother’s, he wasn’t the big reveal either.

Scott Speedman returned to the Grey's-verse as Dr. Nick Marsh, who ran into Meredith while she was out to dinner with David Hamilton, who was trying to woo her to come work in Minnesota (complete with an already-personalized lab). Despite Dr. Marsh only appearing in one other episode of Grey’s Anatomy, many fans recognized the Felicity and Animal Kingdom vet immediately and voiced their surprise on Twitter. 

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But wait, just who is “Hot Transplant Surgeon”? Back in the Season 14 episode “One Day Like This,” Dr. Nick Marsh arrived at Grey-Sloan to retrieve a liver for a transplant. Marsh was only five weeks removed from receiving a new kidney, and he collapsed after performing the liver surgery. Meredith discovered a clot and ultimately saved Marsh’s kidney and life. During his short stay at the hospital, Marsh and Meredith had a very flirtatious relationship, and many fans wondered if they had long-term potential. 

Maybe we should have seen this coming with the whole Minnesota angle, but who remembered that was where Nick Marsh was from? After recognizing each other in the restaurant on — I'll whisper so Bailey and Webber don't hear this — Meredith’s job interview, Marsh tracked Ellen Pompeo's surgeon down to the “five-star hotel next to a hospital,” and the two had a lovely reunion, catching up as if they'd built up more history than fans saw in just that one episode.

In catching up with Marsh, Meredith revealed that she and Cormac Hayes had been dating, but he had to break it off because his son Austin started having panic attacks upon seeing his dad date again. Meredith and Marsh bonded over being “a miracle,” both having survived terrible medical ordeals. It must be true that Meredith’s not looking for love, because she repeatedly told Marsh she wasn’t going to sleep with him. I predict that lasts all the way until next week. Because alas, there will be a next week.

It was confirmed that Scott Speedman will be a series regular in Season 18, so expect some advancements here and there. A look at the next episode notes his quick return, as David Hamilton’s campaign to enlist Meredith’s help in his fight against Parkinson’s continues, though there’s no mention of romance in the description for the episode, titled “Some Kind of Tomorrow": 

Meredith seeks advice from Amelia. Meanwhile, Richard is re-energized as he takes teaching to a new level at the hospital, and Winston treats a patient suffering from kidney failure.

Abigail Spencer and Peter Gallagher are listed as returning guest stars, and Kate Walsh Watch continues, as we can’t wait to see what Addison Montgomery is up to. Grey’s Anatomy returns next Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. Be sure to check out our 2021 Fall TV Schedule for more upcoming premiere dates.

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.