‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Another Original Character Gets Resurrected (RECAP)

Grey's Anatomy Season 17 Episode 4 George
Spoiler Alert

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Grey’s Anatomy Season 17, Episode 4, “You’ll Never Walk Alone”]

Krista Vernoff, the mastermind behind these recent Grey’s Anatomy seasons, told fans to expect other characters to join Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) on that dream beach. And in Season 17, Episode 4, “You’ll Never Be Alone,” we find out who’s next: It’s T.R. Knight, reprising the role of George O’Malley on the ABC medical drama for the first time in 12 seasons.

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Plus, find out if any of the characters have tested positive.

George pops up on the dream beach as Mer takes a turn for the worse, unconscious in the ICU with COVID-19. In her dream life, Mer and George discuss her near-death status. “Do I get to decide if I get to go back?” she asks. And he says, “I don’t know. I didn’t. I would have stayed if I could have decided.”

George tells Mer he still checks in on his loved ones from time to time, including his mother, who’s still grieving. And soon, Richard (James Pickens Jr.) joins them. He’s not dead or dying, mind you. But he’s standing guard at Mer’s bedside, torn about whether or not to put Mer into an experimental COVID-19 trial.

“If you stay here, you might break him,” George tells Mer as they watch Richard fret. In real life, Mer starts convulsing, and Richard overhears her talking to George. He decides to sign off on the trial.

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As the sun sets over the beach, Mer says he was she was so mad at George for choosing someone over himself (in Season 5, George jumped in front of a bus to save a pedestrian). “You’d have done the same thing,” he says. “Isn’t that why you’re here?”

She retorts that it’s his fault she’s such a selfless hero. “You went all in for everybody, your friends, your family, a woman at the bus stop,” she says. “You think that didn’t affect me?”

Later, when Bailey (Chandra Wilson) checks in on Mer, Richard recalls how he watched Mer grow up. “I’ve watched her become a surgeon, a wife, a mother, and a chief,” he tells Bailey. And then we see Bailey and Richard on the beach with Mer and George — four of the show’s original cast of characters. In her ending monologue, Mer says, “Find your people, and keep them close, because when you’re at your lowest, those people get you through.”

In other news, one of Owen’s (Kevin McKidd) former appendicitis patients returns to the hospital, and it’s resident Tseng (Sylvia Kwan) who realizes what’s wrong with the guy: He has developed right-sided diverticulitis. She complains to Nico (Alex Landi), saying Owen should have known that right-sided diverticulitis is 10 times more likely for people of Asian descent than for white people. Nico relays that to Owen, who talks it over with Bailey. Bailey tells him his treatment protocols center around white patients, and when he argues that he uses the same protocol for everyone, she says, “Equal doesn’t work for everybody, Hunt. It’s about equity. Patients getting what they need, whether it fits into a protocol or not.”

Speaking of Nico, he and Schmitt (Jake Borelli) are sleeping together, following the Dutch government’s recommendation to find a “designated sex partner.” (“Their country ranks very high on the World Happiness Index,” Schmitt says, justifying the ex sex.)

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And while we’re talking about designated sex partners, Jo (Camilla Luddington) finally has her “bridge” sex with Jackson. They promise each other they’re not a thing, but when Jo shows up at his place unannounced that night, he assumes she has caught feelings, so he tells her how he needs to be alone — because he dated Vic (Barrett Doss) shortly after breaking up with Maggie (Kelly McCreary), whom he started dating shortly after breaking up with April. She laughs in his face, assuring him that she only needs friendship and sex…and that she would never be interested in “Mr. Can’t Be Alone But Sometimes Leaves Town For Nature Journeys.”

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Maggie, meanwhile, is having a more romantic time, even if Winston (Anthony Hill) abandons her on a meet-the-family Zoom call with his grandmother and estranged father. He later explains to Maggie over video chat that his father has a vicious temper. Instead of talking about it, though, he shares his screen so that they can have a movie date together.

Speaking of Maggie, she and Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) are both worried about Mer and, for her part, Amelia is quickly tiring of Link’s (Chris Carmack) relentless optimism. “Let me have my fear and my grief and my anger — because if I don’t, if I keep shoving it down, you will find a very hard time finding the bright side to the consequences,” she tells him.

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He makes space for her feelings, but he explains that he learned as a young cancer patient that he has to focus on the positive. (When Amelia asks what he’s strumming on his guitar, however, he quips it’s the “If-the-Virus-Doesn’t-End-Us-Then-Climate-Change-Probably-Will” Blues.

And finally, Helm (Jaicy Elliot) takes a COVID-19 test to Koracick (Greg Germann) and finds him trying to solve the whole dang pandemic through a zombie video game. Back at the hospital, she tells Teddy (Kim Raver) that Koracick is in bad shape. Teddy goes to visit him, but he doesn’t answer the door. What she can’t see is that he’s slumped against the front door, shivering and sweating. And in the preview for next week’s episode, it’s Koracick who seems to be in dire shape, while Mer seems to be on the rebound. (Does that mean the beach reunion party is over?)

Grey’s Anatomy, Thursdays, 9/8c, ABC