Patrick Dempsey calls his shocking ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ comeback ‘crazy’

McDreamy is back!

McDreamy is back!

The Season 17 premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy” saw a shocking return from departed star Patrick Dempsey.

Dempsey, 54, starred as Dr. Derek Shepherd, a k a “McDreamy,” for a decade on ABC’s long-running medical drama between 2005 and 2015, before Shepherd tragically died in a car accident in Season 11.

But not so fast. In the Season 17 opener, his widow, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), is unconscious after harrowing COVID-19 shifts, and the audience is taken to a dream sequence she’s having. Standing on a beach in white, she sees none other than her late love and exclaims, “Oh, my God!”

Dempsey told Deadline that he’s been in touch with his former co-stars and tracking how the show has been donating masks and equipment for real-life COVID relief efforts during the pandemic.

“It came from that place — ‘OK, what can we do to make people feel better, to give some comfort in this time of uncertainty,’ and that’s how it began,” he said about his big return. “And it was really a wonderful experience to go back.”

Episode director Debbie Allen shared a behind-the-scenes shot of the masked-up stars Friday morning on Twitter.

Dempsey continued, “Seeing everybody again was really a very healing process, and really rewarding, and a lot of fun. And hopefully, that feeling translates, and the fans enjoy it. I know that they’ve been wanting us to get back together, and I think this will satisfy a lot of people, and surprise a lot of people, hopefully. It was really exciting . . . it was great to see everybody.”

Pompeo added that revisiting their chemistry together was “like riding a bike.”

“It’s crazy how much time has passed, but it really was so comforting, and lovely,” said Dempsey.

According to showrunner Krista Vernoff, the motif of the beach dream sequence featuring McDreamy will continue beyond the premiere — so this isn’t the last of Dempsey’s big return to the show.

“Grey’s Anatomy” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

ABC

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