[Warning: The following contains spoilers for the Thursday, Nov. 19 episode of Grey's Anatomy. Read at your own risk!]
Those who were looking for an epic reunion between Derek (Patrick Dempsey) and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) may have been disappointed by Thursday's episode of Grey's Anatomy. The vast majority of the episode repeated footage from the two-hour premiere, with Meredith yelling "I miss you," to her dead husband who was several hundred feet away down a deserted beach, and Derek calling back, "I know." Meredith in the living world did eventually fall asleep long enough for the dream version of herself to take a run toward the departed love of her life, but she collapsed in the sand before they could embrace.
"I'll be here when you're ready," Derek said with a laugh, implying it wasn't Meredith's time to join him on the other side just yet. The preview for the next episode of Grey's, which airs in two weeks, says that Meredith isn't done spending time on her dreamy beach; As COVID-positive Meredith falls into a coma, beach Meredith will encounter "another familiar face" — and we already have some ideas about who the person could be.
At the top of the list is Ellis Grey, since that was who the people in charge first scripted to have meet Meredith on the beach in the premiere. It would be nice to know that Meredith's estranged mother feels a sense of pride that her daughter achieved so much surgical success, while also finding love and raising a family, balancing so many things that Ellis couldn't. However, the predictable choice might not be the best one.
In our opinion, the best person for Meredith to see again is George O'Malley (T.R. Knight), who died in the Season 5 finale after being hit by a bus. Meredith was the one to realize her friend was the John Doe in the hospital bed. He was unable to talk, but he drew the numbers 007 -- his nickname -- on her palm so she could tell the rest of the staff that the patient was him before he succumbed to his injuries. Before George died, he was the intern in Meredith's class who taught his cohort how to care about their patients rather than merely competing for the best surgeries or the coolest jobs. The positive influence George had on Meredith's life makes him the right choice to give Meredith the extra emotional strength she needs while her body contends with the deadly virus.
Of course, this is Grey's, so there are plenty of backups. If the person who returns to Meredith on the dream beach has to be dead, Lexie (Chyler Leigh) also makes a good candidate. Meredith hasn't seen her younger half-sister since she died in the plane crash at the end of Season 8. The only thing making Lexie less likely is that Leigh is now a series regular on Supergirl, which films in Vancouver. The actress was required to quarantine for two weeks before Supergirl began filming in October, so there may not have been a time window for her to film a beach scene with Pompeo in mid-to-late September.
However, if the dream-beach is truly a dream, rather than some sort of purgatory situation, and Meredith can imagine anyone she wants... then obviously the best person to come give Meredith another "you're the sun" pep talk is Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh). Oh's current show, Killing Eve, still isn't in production for Season 4, so she could have had the time to hang out on a Los Angeles beach with her former TV bestie. Doesn't some tequila and dancing-it-out sound good right about now?
Of course, this is all wishful thinking until we can confirm who also shows up on Meredith's beach in two weeks.
Grey's Anatomy continues Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.