Grey’s Anatomy star opens up on finding ‘closure’ for his character in Covid-themed episode

Season 17 of the medical drama is dedicated in large part to the coronavirus pandemic

Clémence Michallon
New York City
Friday 04 December 2020 21:58 GMT
Grey's Anatomy season 17 trailer

Warning: the story below contains spoilers for Grey’s Anatomy season 17, episode four.

One of the original stars of Grey’s Anatomy says the medical drama’s most recent episode brought him closure for his character.

TR Knight, who portrayed George O’Malley in the programme’s first five seasons, returned for the fourth episode of the show’s  17th season.

Titled “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, the episode continues the storyline of Meredith Grey’s Covid-19 diagnosis. The series has devoted a large part of its episodes to the coronavirus pandemic since it returned last month.

Grey (played by Ellen Pompeo) tested positive for Covid-19 in episode three of the show. The character has been badly affected by the disease, drifting in and out of consciousness. On two occasions now, she has experienced visions in which she’s reunited with dead people from her past.

In episode three, she encountered her former husband Derek Shepherd (portrayed by Patrick Dempsey for 11 seasons) on a beach. 

This new episode brought back another one of Grey’s loved ones: George O’Malley, who died after being struck by a bus at the end of season five.

Throughout the episode, Grey and O’Malley get to catch up and talk about the afterlife, and whether Grey should stay or return to the real world.

Knight told Deadline that Pompeo “hinted” that O’Malley would be asked back, after which Krista Vernoff gave him a call.

“Krista said at one point during our long conversation she thought that this might, if this might offer closure, and I was like oh, I think that’s already happened,” Knight said.

“What was interesting is something my husband, who is much smarter than me, and okay, granted that’s a low bar, said. We were talking about that idea of closure and he was saying that sometimes closure’s shutting a door, and sometimes it’s revisiting a familiar room, and finding what brought you joy. And it just hit me.”

Grey’s Anatomy’s 17th season is airing now on ABC.

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