'Grey's Anatomy' Surprise: A Fan Favorite Returns to Woo Meredith

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Surprise! Meredith Grey certainly came face to face with someone from her past in the Grey's Anatomy premiere, but it wasn't who you might have thought it would be.

In Thursday's season 18 opener, Meredith spent the majority of the episode outside of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, traveling to a hospital in Minnesota to celebrate a dedication to her late mom, Ellis Grey, by a former colleague, Dr. David Hamilton (played by recurring guest star Peter Gallagher). But McWidow (Richard Flood) was right when he warned Meredith that they were going to try and poach her during her trip. As Meredith kept believing she was solely there to honor her mother, Hamilton revealed that he wanted her to run the new hospital wing named after her

So when Meredith was told to meet someone at the hotel bar one evening, it was revealed to be none other than Nick Marsh (played by returning star Scott Speedman) who had requested to have a drink with her. Yes, the same charming transplant surgeon-turned-kidney patient who Meredith helped save in the season 14 episode, "One Day Like This," and felt serious things for -- the first time she had deep, romantic feelings for someone else since Derek's death.

"How did you find me?" Meredith asks when she reunites with Nick after all this time. "I took a chance," he quipped.

Of course, their small talk went to their current relationship statuses. And Meredith at first told Nick she was seeing someone, though it wasn't serious. But seconds later, took it back. 

"Nope. No, I'm not seeing someone...," she confessed the truth, prompting her to fumble her way through an explanation as to why she fibbed. "'Cause I'm easy to talk to," Nick flirted right back. 

Grey's Anatomy

Scott Speedman and Ellen Pompeo in season 14 of 'Grey's Anatomy.'

Eric McCandless/ABC

A moment passed as the tension between the two continued to heat up, before Meredith, sensing she was treading dangerous ground, declared, "I'm not sleeping with you." "That's great. I'm not sleeping with you," Nick said with a smirk.

Meredith later shared her COVID experience, telling Nick that it was "very bad." "I almost died," she said.

"So you're a miracle, like me," he stated. "It's a lot of pressure isn't it? Being a miracle.. It's like, what are you going to do with it?"

"That very question haunts my dreams," Meredith admitted, referring to visions of her late mother.

With Nick sticking around this season (Deadline reports Speedman will be a series regular), expect even more sparks to fly between Meredith and Nick. Is he the one who'll capture Meredith's heart once and for all? 

Watch the promo for next week's episode below.

Grey's Anatomy premieres Thursday, Sept. 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. For more, watch below.

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