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Grey’s Anatomy brings back both Chyler Leigh as Lexie and ANOTHER surprise former cast member

After last week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, a teaser revealed that Chyler Leigh’s Lexie would be the next former cast member to return and visit Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) on her mysterious ‘beach.’

Thursday night’s episode did in fact feature the return of Lexie, who showed up to hand Meredith a towel on the beach, as  teased in the trailer.

However, fans were thrown for quite the loop when ANOTHER former cast member showed up on the beach, Eric Dane, who played Lexie’s love interest Dr. Mark Sloan.

Grey’s beach: After last week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, a teaser revealed that Chyler Leigh’s Lexie would be the next former cast member to return and visit Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) on her mysterious ‘beach’

Lexie returns: Thursday night's episode did in fact feature the return of Lexie, who showed up to hand Meredith a towel on the beach, as teased in the trailer

Lexie returns: Thursday night’s episode did in fact feature the return of Lexie, who showed up to hand Meredith a towel on the beach, as teased in the trailer

Mark returns too: However, fans were thrown for quite the loop when ANOTHER former cast member showed up on the beach, Eric Dane, who played Lexie's love interest Dr. Mark Sloan

Mark returns too: However, fans were thrown for quite the loop when ANOTHER former cast member showed up on the beach, Eric Dane, who played Lexie’s love interest Dr. Mark Sloan

The return of Lexie on the beach – the place where Meredith has been going in her head while she recovers from COVID-19 on a ventilator – came fairly early in the episode.

As they sit on the beach, they both admit they ‘love it here’ but when Lexie asks Meredith if she’s going to stay, she says she isn’t sure, and she doesn’t know the rules.

Lexie adds that she doesn’t think there are rules, adding that it was tough for her because she thinks she loves rules, when Mark Sloan walks up and says, ‘You totally did.’

Beach time: The return of Lexie on the beach - the place where Meredith has been going in her head while she recovers from COVID-19 on a ventilator - came fairly early in the episode

Beach time: The return of Lexie on the beach – the place where Meredith has been going in her head while she recovers from COVID-19 on a ventilator – came fairly early in the episode

Stay or go: As they sit on the beach, they both admit they 'love it here' but when Lexie asks Meredith if she's going to stay, she says she isn't sure, and she doesn't know the rules

Stay or go: As they sit on the beach, they both admit they ‘love it here’ but when Lexie asks Meredith if she’s going to stay, she says she isn’t sure, and she doesn’t know the rules

Totally did: Lexie adds that she doesn't think there are rules, adding that it was tough for her because she thinks she loves rules, when Mark Sloan walks up and says, 'You totally did'

Totally did: Lexie adds that she doesn’t think there are rules, adding that it was tough for her because she thinks she loves rules, when Mark Sloan walks up and says, ‘You totally did’

He tells Meredith, ‘You’re early killer, too early. Your oldest is Sofia’s age? I promise you, you’re too early.’

Meredith says she doesn’t know how to get back, and she’s tried to get Derek (Patrick Dempsey) to help her get back, but he won’t, as Mark replies that it’s not up to him, adding, ‘The sand isn’t real, Meredith.’

When Meredith asks if Lexie and Mark – who were both killed off in the Season 8 finale and Season 9 premiere respectively – are still a couple, Mark says, ‘On your beach, looks like we are.’

Too early: He tells Meredith, 'You're early killer, too early. Your oldest is Sofia's age? I promise you, you're too early'

Too early: He tells Meredith, ‘You’re early killer, too early. Your oldest is Sofia’s age? I promise you, you’re too early’

The episode returned to the ‘beach’ periodically in between the other ongoing storylines, with Leigh and Dane joining other deceased Grey’s characters like Dempsey’s Derek Shepherd, T.R. Knight’s George O’Malley and living characters like Chandra Wilson’s Miranda Bailey and James Pickens Jr.’s Richard Webber.

Dane also spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about returning to the show for the first time in 2012, revealing what it was like to reunite with his Leigh after all these years.

‘It feels like I never left. It was very comfortable and very easy, and it was so nice to see a lot of the same faces with the crew. It’s a role that always fit for me, like one of those great old t-shirts. And it was just like putting the t-shirt back on and hanging out on a beach for a couple days, and catching up with some old friends,’ he said.

Reunited: Dane also spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about returning to the show for the first time in 2012, revealing what it was like to reunite with his Leigh after all these years.

Reunited: Dane also spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about returning to the show for the first time in 2012, revealing what it was like to reunite with his Leigh after all these years.

Surprisingly, he also said that he didn’t actually film his scenes with Leigh, since she was in Vancouver filming Supergirl.

‘Chyler was in Vancouver. So we had to work some magic. Chyler could get here but then she couldn’t get back to Canada. There was some green screen. There was a lot of me and Ellen. And Ellen an eye line,’ he added.

When asked if he felt he had closure with coming back, Dane said, ‘I think it all came full circle.’

‘The one question I think that everybody was left with was, obviously Mark Sloan saying goodbye to Lexie and she said, “We’re meant to be.” And then Mark passes on, and we don’t know what that meant. And now we know, Mark and Lexie are together in their parallel universe,’ he added.

Grey’s Anatomy continues its 17th Season with the 12th episode Sign O’ the Times on Thursday, April 15 on ABC. 

Not there: Surprisingly, he also said that he didn't actually film his scenes with Leigh, since she was in Vancouver filming Supergirl

Not there: Surprisingly, he also said that he didn’t actually film his scenes with Leigh, since she was in Vancouver filming Supergirl

Full circle: When asked if he felt he had closure with coming back, Dane said, ‘I think it all came full circle’


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