The Season 17 premiere of Grey's Anatomy left fans with a major twist: the reappearance of Meredith's late husband Derek. Sure, he seems to only exist in Meredith's dreams (for now), but the fact that he's back on the show at all is pretty huge news. It's sparked fans' imaginations and has them wondering if other characters who left the series will be returning. In particular, fans are asking whether Derek's reappearance could mean Cristina Yang will be in Grey's Anatomy Season 17.
As soon as Sandra Oh left Grey's Anatomy in 2014, audiences have been waiting for her to reprise her role of Cristina Yang. Now that Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) saw Derek (Patrick Dempsey) in a dream, fans are pretty sure she'll get to see more familiar faces in upcoming episodes. Grey's Anatomy showrunner Krista Vernoff hinted there will be more returning characters on Meredith's dream beach, saying to Deadline, "You have to tune in and see who comes to the beach."
Fans are doing some detective work to back up the theory that Cristina will show up in Season 17. One Twitter user noted that the Grey's Anatomy IMDb page has been updated so the most recent appearance date for several former cast members is 2020. Oh is one of those cast members, so fans hopeful that a 2020 Cristina appearance on the show is coming soon.
Another Twitter user pointed out that Shondaland, the production company behind Grey's Anatomy, commented on a fan's Instagram comment, "So you're saying we should page cardio?" That comment could be a reference to Cristina's specialty as a cardiovascular surgeon, just another hint that she'll be showing up soon.
Cristina's presence has been felt on Grey's Anatomy in recent seasons, even if she hasn't made an appearance herself. In Season 16, Meredith received texts from Cristina saying that she sent her "a gift." It turns out, that gift was Dr. Cormac "McWidow" Hayes (Richard Flood), who Cristina hoped could be Meredith's new partner. Little plot points like that one have kept Cristina and her friendship with Meredith alive in the minds of fans. But an actual appearance in Grey's Anatomy Season 17 would mean the world to those who want to see her face on their screens.
Season 17 of Grey's Anatomy continues on Thursday, Nov. 19, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.