Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers for the Season 18 premiere of Grey's Anatomy.
The creators and cast of Grey's Anatomy pulled off another trick.
Patrick Dempsey sent viewers screaming with excitement with his shock return in the Season 17 premiere of Grey's Anatomy. Scott Speedman, who first made a cameo in Season 14, Episode 17, has now proven that the move works every time.
Do Meredith and Nick get together in 'Grey's Anatomy'?
Scott made his first appearance as a series regular in the Season 18 premiere of Grey's Anatomy, portraying a now-recovered Dr. Nick Marsh almost too busy entertaining a date to talk to Meredith at a fancy dinner held in Minnesota.
Meredith and Nick immediately lock eyes. But it's only later, at the hotel bar, that they manage to have a decent catch-up. As part of the conversation, they cover topics like recent dates, Nick's niece fleeing the nest, and Meredith's experiences with COVID-19. At one point, Meredith assures Nick she won't sleep with him — and he tells her he won't sleep with her either.
At this stage, it's uncertain what's next for the two. Fans are very curious to see where Season 18 takes them.
"Please, I've been waiting for Dr. Nick Marsh to come back to Grey's Anatomy! Meredith fell in love with him in one single episode, and the chemistry was so strong immediately!" tweeted @mariskabestie.
So, what happened to Dr. Nick Marsh in the past few years?
Scott appeared in one Grey's Anatomy episode before being promoted to a series regular in Season 18. In Season 14, Episode 17, he portrayed Nick, a transplant surgeon who recently received a new kidney himself.
Back then, he and Meredith bonded over alternative life plans and their respective life situations, such as Nick's caring duties. As he told Meredith in the Season 18 premiere of Grey's Anatomy, his niece has now left for college. Meanwhile, Meredith's stances on pursuing relationships have changed considerably.
Keeping Scott's return as Dr. Nick Marsh a secret required considerable effort.
As Scott and Krista Vernoff, the showrunner of Grey's Anatomy, told Deadline, keeping the big news a secret wasn't an easy task. As Scott explained, he got asked about it a few times over the past three years.
"They asked me a little bit," Scott said. "I very politely say, 'I don't know, I don't know, I don't know.'"
Krista shared more details about the excruciating process that went into keeping Scott's appearance a secret. As she said, fake character names, fake scenes at table reads, and edits with omitted scenes were part of the ordeal.
"I went to the same extent that I went to keep Patrick's return a secret, which is torture for everybody," Krista said. "Fake character names, fake scenes at table reads, dailies not released, cuts with omitted scenes. We wanted to give fans the thrill of surprise one more time."
As she said, she knew Kate Walsh's return would have to be announced. Arguably, the revelation doubled as a subterfuge, throwing fans completely off the scent.
Catch new episodes of Grey's Anatomy every Thursday at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.