Grey's Anatomy Premiere Surprise: Scott Speedman Returns, Now as Series Regular

Speedman’s Nick Marsh returns to the show as a new love interest for Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith Grey following her recovery from COVID-19.

“Grey’s Anatomy” entered a strange new world most of us would probably like to join, as they detailed that the story now takes place in a fictional post-pandemic world. Sound pretty nice, doesn’t it?

That fictional world also continued the recent trend on “Grey’s” of familiar faces making their way back to the show. We already know that Kate Walsh is on her way back to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. She didn’t make it this week, but several others did, including a new love interest for Meredith (Ellen Pompeo).

The episode opened with Meredith in a dream where she interacted with her late mother, played again by Kate Burton. Owen’s sister Megan (Abigail Spencer) also made a return appearance at Owen’s wedding to Teddy — just before cyclists ran over the priest officiating (oh Shonda Rhimes, you do know how to keep it crazy, don’t you?).

Don’t worry, they were able to get together for a more non-traditional exchange of the vows with all of their friends (cast-mates) in attendance, and this time Megan was the one who got to helm the ceremony. Bicyclists were not allowed to attend.

The final familiar face came as a huge surprise — though a welcome one — as he wasn’t a regular cast-member or even a recurring one. After being teased in promos as “someone from Meredith’s past comes back,” that someone turned out to be Season 14 guest star Scott Speedman as transplant surgeon Dr. Nick Marsh.

Meredith and Nick reconnected during a trip to Minnesota for a dedication ceremony for a library named in Meredith’s mother’s honor orchestrated by a brand new recurring face for the franchise, Peter Gallagher’s charismatic neurosurgeon, Dr. David Hamilton.

The burgeoning couple had their “meet cute” story at a bar where they talked about their recent near-death experiences (she saved his life in that guest appearance) and what they’re going to do with their second chances. As you might expect, this question is exactly what Meredith’s dead mother wanted to talk about in her dreams. Even dead, they never stop wanting grandbabies!

For many fans, Speedman’s addition to the cast was a long time coming. Even though it was just a guest spot, he and Meredith shared an incredibly strong chemistry, with her sharing that he had her feeling things she hadn’t since the death of her husband Derek (Patrick Dempsey). Fans were hoping he’d join the cast three seasons ago after that.

Speedman is the only new full-time cast member for the 18th season of “Grey’s Anatomy,” despite the show losing Greg Germann, Giacomo Gianniotti and Jesse Williams last season. Walsh is expected to appear in multiple episodes, though it’s not clear how many, but that still leaves a leaner cast.

And as always, no one knows yet whether or not this will be the last season of “Grey’s.” ABC, of course, would like it to go on forever and ever. But it always seems to be up to Pompeo, whether or not she’s interested in going another round.

If they are setting things up for her to find love (or a love triangle, perhaps, with Richard Flood’s Cormac Hayes), maybe the plan is to have Meredith find her happiness and end the show on that positive note.

They’re already in a positive, happy fantasy world where the COVID-19 pandemic is firmly in their rear-view mirror. How much more happiness do they need?

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