Entertainment TV 'Grey's Anatomy' : Meredith Faces a Major Dilemma as Scott Speedman's Doc Makes a Surprise Return Kate Burton and Abigail Spencer also returned, and Peter Gallagher was introduced — along with several dramatic dilemmas for Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). By Christina Dugan Ramirez Christina Dugan Ramirez Writer-Reporter, TV People Editorial Guidelines Published on September 30, 2021 11:45 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: abc Grey's Anatomy is back! And so are quite a few other very welcome, familiar faces. During Thursday's season 18 premiere of the hit ABC medical drama, Ellis Gray (Kate Burton) and Megan Hunt (Abigail Spencer) returned while Ellis' former colleague David Hamilton (Peter Gallagher) was introduced and a man from Meredith's (Ellen Pompeo) past — former patient Dr. Nick Marsh, played by Scott Speedman — made his debut as a surprise series regular for the show's 18th season. But first, the episode kicked off with a message: "This season, Grey's Anatomy portrays a fictional, post-pandemic world which represents our hopes for the future. In real life, the pandemic is still ravaging the medical community. Get the latest information on how to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19 at GetVaccineAnswers.org." For a behind the scenes look of Grey's Anatomy and other top stories, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day. Then, a dream sequence during which had an encounter with her late mother, Ellis Grey. "Meredith, you kept me waiting," she said. "And now you're staring at me again. You're such a problem child. When are you going to learn?" "Learn what?" said Meredith. "What are you going to do, Meredith? You survived the unthinkable," Ellis said, referring to Meredith's battle with COVID-19 last season. "Do you know how many people didn't? You survived again and what do you have to show for it? Ordinary lap choles (laparoscopic cholecystectomy)? Unbelievable!" abc After waking from her dream in a hotel room in Minnesota, Meredith met with neurosurgeon David Hamilton for what she thought was just the dedication of a research facility to her mother. However, while she was there, Meredith was presented with an opportunity — a job that would force her to leave Grey Sloan Memorial. Peter Gallagher Joins Grey's Anatomy for a Recurring Role in Season 18 Once presenting her with her very own research lab, Dr. Hamilton said, "I'm developing experimental surgery for Parkinson's. I have the money. I have the toys. I have the cells. I just need a surgeon to present the FDA to grant me the approval for a clinical trial." "Why don't you do it yourself," Meredith asked. "Because I'm the patient," he responded. Later, over dinner, Dr. Hamilton continued with the hard sell: "When people see your name on something they see cutting-edge. They know you're going to see it through to the end. That's what I need. You would be the public face of a possible cure to a disease that has devastated millions." "I'm not a neurosurgeon," said Meredith, who was distracted after noticing a man from her past — Nick Marsh, a live transplant recipient whom Meredith had major chemistry with during season 14 — sitting just tables away. Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey Recall 'Horrible' Musical Episode of Grey's Anatomy "But you'll attract the best," he said. abc After her dinner, Nick surprised Meredith at her hotel. Following some small talk, Meredith blurted out: "Nick, I'm seeing someone." "Is it serious?" he asked. "No, I'm not seeing someone," she said. "I don't know why I said that. Well, I was. His son had a hard time with it. I don't know why I'm telling you this." "Because I'm easy to talk to," he said. "I'm not sleeping with you," said Meredith. "Good, I'm not sleeping with you," he said. After enjoying a second round of drinks, Nick walked Meredith up to her hotel room. "I'm not inviting you in," she said. "That's okay, I'm not asking," he said, before walking away. Eric McCandless/abc Fans were first introduced to Nick in season 14 when he visited Grey Sloan Memorial to retrieve a liver for a patient and collapsed. Meredith surgically removed a life-threatening clot and felt an instant connection with the doctor, something she hadn't felt since her late husband Derek Shepherd tragically died in season 11. The chemistry between the two was so strong, fans rallied all over social media for Speedman return. Well, now, they've been heard! Meanwhile, Teddy (Kim Raver) and Owen (Kevin McKidd) finally tied the knot — but not without a major mishap. abc During their small ceremony in a public park, their priest was accidentally run over by a stampede of bikers. (The priest ended up dying "doing what he loved"). While the incident spooked Teddy, the pair ended up tying the knot in front of close friends, including Owen's sister Megan Hunt. As for what's next with Meredith and Nick? It's up in the air. Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.