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Lexie Grey originally died in a plane crash during season 8

By Ally Mauch
March 26, 2021 11:20 AM
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Another fan favorite Grey's Anatomy character has been resurrected.

Chyler Leigh's Lexie Grey, who tragically died in a plane crash during the show's eighth season, will return in next week's episode, according to a new promo.

Like Patrick Dempsey's late Derek Shepherd and T.R. Knight's George O'Malley, Lexie's return is made possible by Meredith Grey's (Ellen Pompeo) vivid dreams while she remains on a ventilator battling COVID-19.

"How's Meredith?" Maggie Piece (Kelly McCreary) asks as Meredith is shown in a hospital bed.

"Her vital signs are stable," Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) replies, as Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) predicts, "Today could be the day." 

The clip then pivots to Meredith's idyllic beach, where her dreams are set. She says thank you to someone handing her a towel — someone who turns out to be her late half-sister, Lexie. 

"Lexie!" Meredith exclaims, later adding, "I like it here."

"Are you going to stay?" Lexie asks as the promo comes to a close.

Grey's superfans will also notice another reference to Lexie in the clip — the song playing in the background, "Breathe (2 AM)," is the same one Leigh's character sings in the season 7 musical episode, "Song Beneath the Song."

Lexie Grey Grey's Anatomy
Credit: ABC

Lexie's return is the latest in a series of surprises that have unfolded thus far on season 17. Dempsey, 55, first shocked fans when he reprised his role as Derek Shepherd during the season premiere in November.

Derek, Meredith's late husband who died in a car crash during season 11, reemerged during one of Meredith's dreams.

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Since then, Derek has appeared in Meredith's COVID dreams twice more, including in last week's episode. According to showrunner Krista Vernoff, fans will spot him one more time before the season's close.

Knight's George O'Malley, who died during season 5 after saving a woman from getting hit by a bus, also made an appearance in Meredith's dreams this season, prompting fans to wonder if more past stars could return to the long-running medical drama.

"We all have hopes, but we don't have anything new to report yet," Vernoff previously told Variety of whether viewers could expect future cameos.

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays (9 p.m. ET) on ABC.