We never expected this character to show up again on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Warning: This article contains spoilers through last night’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. If you’re not caught up and don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading now. You’ve been warned.

Last night on Grey’s Anatomy, a surprisingly familiar face popped up on our screens, reopening some still very fresh wounds. So, remember that one time last season when Meredith sat by Derek’s hospital bed, recalling the beautiful history of their relationship in sob-worthy montage form, before stroking his cheek and saying, “Derek, it’s okay. You go…”? And then remember how he DIED? How could we forget? Derek passed away after succumbing to injuries from a car crash — unable to be saved thanks to a team of inept doctors (not at Grey-Sloan Memorial). There was one doctor in particular (Penny) who apologized to Meredith for not being good enough to save Derek’s life.

Meredith told Penny to take that moment and learn from it and to let Derek be the patient that stayed with her and motivated her to be a better doctor. We thought that moving speech would be the last we ever heard of Penny (not that we even knew her name at that point).

Fans are still grieving over the unexpected loss of McDreamy, but Thursday’s episode of Grey’s brought it back to the forefront with a shocking twist. In “Old Time Rock and Roll,” Callie (Sara Ramirez) shows up at Meredith’s with her new girlfriend … Penny. Yes, Doctor-who-failed-to-save-Derek is now dating Callie. Let’s let that sink in for a second. 

Talk about a blast from the past. Coincidentally, Meredith had just spent the episode teaching her interns how to break bad news to the families of their patients. She tells them, “Yours is the face they will remember for the rest of their life. You are changing this person’s life forever. You are responsible for this moment. For the instant that person goes from wife to widow, is you.” If you’ve lost someone, you know what Meredith is talking about, and that makes Penny’s reappearance all the more impactful and emotional.

And now there’s Penny at her door — looking her right in the eyes. Ironic. We don’t know what role Penny will play now that she’s in the picture, but something tells us her relationship with Meredith won’t be all puppies and rainbows. So much for Meredith doing well and being happy, but then, it is Grey’s, so we’ve learned to expect some dark and twisty moments. 

(Image via ABC, GIFs via giphy and here.)

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