[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the Thursday, Nov. 19 episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Read at your own risk!]
Those who were looking for an epic reunion between Derek (Patrick Dempsey) and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) may have been disappointed by Thursday’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. The vast majority of the episode repeated footage from the two-hour premiere, with Meredith yelling “I miss you,” to her dead husband who was several hundred feet away down a deserted beach, and Derek calling back, “I know.” Meredith did eventually fall asleep long enough in the living world for the dream version of herself to take a run at the departed love of her life, but she collapsed in the sand before the two of them could embrace.
“I’ll be here when you’re ready,” Derek said with a laugh, implying it wasn’t Meredith’s time to join him on the other side just yet. The preview for the next episode of Grey’s, which airs in two weeks, said that Meredith isn’t done spending time on her dreamy beach though. As COVID-positive Meredith falls into a coma when the show returns, beach Meredith will encounter “another familiar face,” and we already have some ideas about who the person could be.
At the top of the list is Ellis Grey, since that was who the people in charge first scripted to have meet Meredith on the beach in the premiere. It’s been a while since the estranged mother and daughter have had a moment. It’d be nice to know that Ellis feels a sense of pride that Meredith achieved so much surgical success, while also finding love and raising a family, balancing so many things that Ellis couldn’t. However, the predictable choice might not be the best one.
For our money, the person that would be best for Meredith to see again is George (T.R. Knight), who died in the Season 5 finale after being hit by a bus. Meredith was the one to realize her friend was the John Doe in the hospital bed, unable to talk but drew the numbers 007 — his nickname — on her palm so she could tell the rest of the staff it was him before he succumbed to his injuries. Before George died, he was the intern in Meredith’s class that taught them all how to care about their patients rather than merely competing for the best surgeries or the coolest jobs. Even though George wasn’t able to survive while everyone worked tirelessly to save his life, the positive influence he had on her life would make him the right one to give Meredith the extra emotional strength she needs to fight off the virus.
Of course, this is Grey’s, so there’s always a need for backups. If the person who returns to Meredith on the dream beach has to be dead, Lexie (Chyler Leigh) also makes a good candidate. Meredith hasn’t seen her younger half-sister since she died in the plane crash at the end of Season 8. The only thing making Lexie less likely is that Leigh is a series regular on Supergirl now, which films in Vancouver. The actress was required to quarantine up north for two weeks before Supergirl began filming in October, which makes it questionable that she would have had time to film a beach scene with Pompeo in mid to late September for Grey’s Anatomy.
So George still makes the most sense if Meredith is being visited by the ghosts of her past. However, if this is truly a dream instead of a purgatory situation, and Meredith can imagine anyone she wants…well, the obviously the best person to come give Meredith another “you’re the sun,” pep talk is Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh). With Oh’s current show Killing Eve still not in production for Season 4, Oh could have had the time to hang out on a Los Angeles beach with her former TV bestie. Wouldn’t some tequila and dancing it out sound good right about now?
Of course, this is all wishful thinking until we can confirm who also shows up on Meredith’s beach in two weeks.
Grey’s Anatomy continues Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.