Thursday night's episode featured a montage of familiar faces who lost their lives during their time on the show

By Jodi Guglielmi
November 02, 2018 03:32 PM
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Credit: ABC/Richard Cartwright

Meredith Grey is a getting a visit from the ghost of Grey’s Anatomy‘s past.

In honor of Halloween earlier this week, Thursday night’s episode of the hit ABC drama, titled “Flowers Grow Out of My Grave,” featured a montage of familiar faces who lost their lives during their time on the show.

As Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) left the hospital at the end of the episode, viewers saw George (T. R. Knight) run around a corner; her mother Ellis (Kate Burton) smiling at her from behind; her dog Doc walking down a hallway; her sister Lexie (Chyler Leigh) behind a counter; and her husband Derek (Patrick Dempsey) and his best friend Mark (Eric Dane) watching her as she walks out the door.

The emotional moment was set to the song “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol, which has been used by the series during several impactful scenes in the past.

Grey’s Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff told Entertainment Weekly the ending was planned months in advance once they realized an episode would air on Nov. 1, also known as the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos).

“We’d done Halloween episodes before but this was something special and it was something that we could really do,” she said. “We were representing a holiday that had never been represented on our show.”

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And while old footage of past characters was used to create the moment, Vernoff said a few actors actually returned to set to film the scene.

“We talked about it for four months with the visual effects people. You have to really plan a sequence like that,” she said. “We have combined some old footage that aired, some old footage that didn’t air — we pulled old dailies — and we shot some new stuff. Doc, we shot. Ellis, we shot. And the idea of that, for me, is that we don’t know if this is in Meredith’s imagination or memory, or if it’s actually happening. For whatever anybody believes, there is a little bit of something.”

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.