Grey's Anatomy's Jesse Williams Already Confirmed For Season 19 Return As Jackson And More

Ellen Pompeo may be planning an early exit from Grey’s Anatomy’s 19th season, but other veterans of the medical drama keep showing back up. With Kate Walsh's Season 19 return set for the October 20 episode, it’s been reported that Jesse Williams will also reprise his role this season as Jackson Avery. That's not all, however, because as well as guest-starring in an episode, the actor is also taking on  a familiar role behind the scenes.

Jesse Williams last made an appearance in the Season 18 finale, when he and Sarah Drew returned as fan favorite couple Japril, confirming that the former spouses had indeed reunited upon the characters’ move to Boston. While Drew will not be back as April Kepner this time, Deadline reports that Williams will make a guest appearance on the November 3 episode “When I Get to the Border.” 

What's more, Williams will also be getting back behind the camera for the Season 19 episode as director. This will be his fourth time bringing a Grey's Anatomy episode to life, and likely won't be the last. 

The episode will reportedly see Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) meet up with Jackson in Boston, while Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) “take a road trip to volunteer at a family planning center, but a patient’s ectopic pregnancy leads to complications.” 

Back in the hospital, the first-year residents will apparently be trying to figure out the relationship between Lucas Adams (Niko Terho) and his aunt Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone), after McDreamy’s nephew chose in the episode “Wasn’t Expecting That” to allow his fellow interns to believe he was sleeping with Amelia, rather than allow them to know they are related.

Jesse Williams made a shocking exit from the ABC medical drama in the middle of Season 17 after 12 seasons. He said at the time that he and showrunner Krista Vernoff decided that his character needed a change of scenery, thus sending Jackson to Boston to run his family’s Catherine Fox Foundation to enact social change in medical care. Grey’s Anatomy executive producer Debbie Allen is also set to reprise her role as Jackson’s mother, Catherine Fox, in the episode.

Ellen Pompeo, who stars in and executive produces the series alongside Debbie Allen, announced ahead of Season 19’s premiere that she would not be returning full-time to the series. That reveal came after over a year of speculation brought on by the actress’ comments about wanting the show to end

While it will be strange to see less of Meredith around Grey Sloan Memorial, I’m all for continuing to see old favorites pop back up on the series from time to time, and Jackson Avery is always a welcome sight for the fans. Grey’s Anatomy airs at 9 p.m. ET Thursdays on ABC. Keep up with our 2022 TV schedule to see what other shows are premiering soon.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.