Warning: Spoilers for Grey's Anatomy Season 17, Episode 4 follow. Grey's Anatomy promised the return of another iconic character, and the show did not disappoint. After reuniting with her late husband Derek Shepherd in a recurring beach dream, Meredith got the chance to see another beloved figure from her life again: 007 himself, George O'Malley. As soon as fans saw him, the Internet exploded with tweets about George on the Grey's Anatomy beach.
As Meredith continued to battle a serious case of coronavirus, she unexpectedly came across her old friend hanging out on a lifeguard tower in her dreams. While Mere and McDreamy weren't able to get that close before she face-planted in the sand, she and George got to have a seriously devastating conversation about whether Meredith would be able to choose to stay alive or die. "I would've stayed if I could've," said George, who tragically died at the end of Season 5 after being hit by a bus.
For longtime Grey's fans, the reunion (and conversation) was everything. Meredith and George go all the way back to the beginning, when they started as interns at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital back in Season 1. They formed a close friendship over the years, and this episode finally gave her the chance to give him a proper goodbye. "You changed my life, George," she admitted in one of the episode's most emotional moments.
Possibly even more special, viewers can now rest easy knowing George still checks in on Mere from time to time — as well as her kids, even though he never got a chance to meet them in person.
Seeing Derek certainly gave fans all the feels, but getting to hear those sweet words from George after 12 seasons without him had Twitter absolutely sobbing.
Viewers were also emotional about the episode's final moments, in which two more original Grey's characters joined Meredith and George on the beach. While Meredith was dreaming during the episode, back in the hospital, Richard and Miranda struggled before ultimately enrolling Mere in a clinical coronavirus trial in hopes of saving her life. As the pair took care of Mere, they both also showed up in Mere's beach dream, and the four doctors hung out together, just like old times.
Meredith needs to get better, but if more long-lost faves like George and McDreamy are coming back, her beach dreams are a pretty great compromise in the meantime.
Fans will have to wait and see what happens next when Grey's Anatomy continues on Thursday, Dec. 10, at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.