[Warning: The following contains spoilers from the Grey's Anatomy Season 18 premiere. Read at your own risk!]
Grey's Anatomy pulled off another shocker in the Season 18 premiere. Scott Speedman returned to the show as Nick Marsh, the charming transplant surgeon who had off-the-charts chemistry with Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) during his single episode stint back in Season 14. Meredith saved his kidney back then, and in exchange, Nick renewed her faith in the possibility of loving someone else after Derek's (Patrick Dempsey) death. Now, Deadline confirms, Nick is back and Speedman is sticking around as a series regular in Season 18.
Many thought this was impossible after Speedman told fans at the Felicity 20-year reunion in 2018 that he would not be returning to the medical procedural. It was a heartbreaking announcement for fans, including this one, who really, really, really, wanted to see Speedman return. The hopes faded when Meredith moved on with DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti), and they were really great together. Then DeLuca was killed off in Season 17, and questions about Meredith's romantic future reignited.
The Season 18 premiere confirmed that Meredith and Hayes (Richard Flood) tried in the time between seasons, but the relationship caused his son to start having panic attacks so they had to break it off. That means that Meredith is officially single and ready to mingle. The premiere scenes with Nick confirmed that the two still have undeniable chemistry and with Speedman sticking around all season, it looks like Grey's Anatomy fans are in for something truly delicious. The lingering question is where will this romance take place? Meredith ran into Nick in his hometown in Minnesota where she was visiting a hospital dedicating a research library to her mother -- and offering her a job that comes with its own research lab. By the end of the episode, Meredith had not made a decision about whether she wanted the job, and Nick being in town may make the draw away from Seattle that much stronger.
While Meredith's romantic prospects looked up, it was not so sunny for everyone else at Grey Sloan. Link (Chris Carmack) proposed to Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) again after his Season 17 finale devastation, only to have her reject him again. The neurosurgeon does not want to get married and Link can't seem to imagine a future together that doesn't involve gold rings and vows. Whether the two will stay together romantically or whether this is it for them remains to be seen, but at the end of the episode it did not look hopeful that either of them would be able to compromise.
In other parts of the hospital, Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and Weber (James Pickens Jr.) were hard at work trying to find new replacements for all of the doctors they lost last season, but even in a post-pandemic world, finding good surgeons was proving to be harder than imagined. The struggle continues as Season 18 rolls on.