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“Grey’s Anatomy” has brought back another iconic character.
Following the surprise return of Patrick Dempsey’s Dr. Derek Shepherd, Dr. George O’Malley made a brief return as well.
T.R. Knight played George for the first five seasons of the show before his character’s tragic death, leaving the staff of the Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital shaken and devastated.
In Thursday’s episode, George had a sweet reunion with Meredith Grey in a dreamscape set on the beach.
Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith Grey received a special visitor from her past in Thursday’s episode. (ABC)
“Mer?” he asks his old friend. “What are you doing here?”
The pair of pals then spend time catching up on the goings-on of the last several seasons, including the births of Meredith’s three children, whom he compliments.
“You didn’t meet them,” Meredith says.
“I check in sometimes,” replies George.
The pair also discusses George’s funeral after the accident, after which, Meredith described herself as “devastated.”
“You were cracking up at my funeral!” George retorts, later adding, “That made me happy.”
T.R. Knight’s George O’Malley made a special appearance in a dreamscape. (Photo by Vivian Zink/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)
Later, George asked: “Do you still dance it out?”
The question was in reference to Meredith’s habit of dancing away her stress with another close friend, Cristina, played by Sandra Oh.
“No, not so much anymore,” admits Meredith, as Oh’s Cristina hasn’t appeared since 2014.
“She didn’t die,” George states. “It’s what I miss about being alive. Dancing… laughing ’til you cry, food… the crunch of cereal when you eat it out of the box… the feel of clean sheets at the end of a long day.”
A pair of core characters — James Pickens Jr.‘s Dr. Richard Webber and Chandra Wilson’s Dr. Miranda Bailey — then join Meredith and George for a few moments.
Fans were delighted at the return of the classic character, but his visit left them brimming with emotion as well.
“I’m not okay with saying goodbye to George (again),” one viewer tweeted.
“‘You changed my life george,'” one fan quoted from the episode. “Aaaaaand i’m crying again.”
“Never thought i needed a mer and george reunion until now,” said a third.
Another said: “I want to cry. this scene is too hard to watch”