Grey's Anatomy Grey's Anatomy

After hearing that Scott Foley was cast on Grey's Anatomy as a dying patient who Teddy (Kim Raver) was going to offer more than medical help to save, fans' first reaction was obvious: He's Denny Duquette, Part 2.

Exclusive: Shonda Rhimes reveals Grey's Anatomy musical details

Denny (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and Izzie (Katherine Heigl) became a love story for the ages in Season 2. Girl meets boy, boy needs heart, girl unethically cuts LVAD wire so boy can get heart, boy dies anyway. And even while she married Alex (Justin Chambers) in Season 5, it was her true love Denny that she hallucinated about when she had cancer.

"Sure, there are some definite similarities there," Foley tells"The fact that something might happen between Henry and Teddy the way that it did between Denny and Izzie is a definite possibility. That was such a truly epic story line and really, one of the tent poles of the show. I could never dare to say that Henry would be anything like that."

But the seeds are there. Henry's a patient who has been in and out of the hospital on numerous occasions. He has exhausted his insurance, is out of cash and desperate. He even proposes to his girlfriend just to get on her health insurance. Just as Henry is about to be discharged because he can't pay, Teddy decides to persuade the Chief to take on his case pro-bono. 

Kevin McKidd directing upcoming episode of Grey's Anatomy

Why? Because for Teddy, Henry fills the void left by Cristina (Sandra Oh), who quit working at the hospital a few episodes back. Teddy feels as though she failed Cristina as a mentor, and Henry becomes her new project — one she is determined to make work. "Here is this person who is basically being sent home to die and that, to her, is just unconscionable," Raver says. "So she will do whatever it takes to make sure she can right the system."

In that sense, Henry and Teddy need each other equally. "He needs someone to take his cause up, but I think he's just a nice guy," Foley says about whether Henry is using her for the benefits. "I think anybody who's sick and possibly terminally ill would do whatever they could to get better."

Check out the rest of today's news

Will romance blossom? Raver insists Teddy's focus, for now, is the medicine — not the possibility of a love interest. "That's what feeds the fire to her, not like, 'Oh wow, this guy's really cute and I get to fix him.' It would be much easier if she was conscious of that [spark between them]."

Foley's debut on Grey's Anatomy airs Thursday at 9/8c on ABC.