Patrick Dempsey Reveals How Long He Will Appear On 'Grey's Anatomy'

Patrick Dempsey revealed during today's appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show that he will be seen in future scenes of Grey's Anatomy. He made a bombshell appearance at the close of the series' last episodes, which aired November 12, titled "All Tomorrow's Parties" and "The Center Won't Hold."

During Ellen's show, Patrick revealed several key plot points regarding his character's reunion with his wife Meredith as well as the likelihood of him being featured on upcoming episodes as the season progresses.

"I'm not sure how many. I know that throughout this season, he comes back to visit," Patrick shared with the talk show host.

Derek Shepherd's return to the series, after his tragic death on Grey's Anatomy five years earlier, was a plot twist viewers did not see coming. The character appeared in the final seconds of the series via a dream sequence to join Ellen Pompeo's Meredith Grey on a beach just seconds after she collapsed in the parking lot of the hospital.

In speaking to Ellen, the actor confirmed that the character of Meredith has been diagnosed with COVID-19.

He said the moment came about after he and his co-star met over the summer and tried to find a plot point that would be useful in getting viewers to wear masks. Patrick was quick to respond when Pompeo asked him to appear on Grey's Anatomy as a way to further that storyline.

"And to the credit of the writers, Krista [Vernoff] came up with this great idea where I will come and visit her in her COVID dream," Patrick revealed. "There are so many souls that we have lost right now so the idea of having angels around us is very comforting, at least to me."

Patrick revealed that no one knew about the idea at ABC except for him, Vernoff, and Pompeo. Later, the directors learned of the twist. No one else was aware until Patrick showed up on the set that day. Everyone managed to keep the secret until the date the episode aired.

The actor claimed that he was overwhelmed by the reaction to Derek's return to Meredith's life. In response, Ellen quipped that he made everyone cry five years earlier when he died, and now, the same thing happened upon his return.

During the episode, Dempsey's Derek was also mentioned after his sister Amelia and brother-in-law Link brought their newborn baby boy home and named him Scout Derek Shepherd Lincoln in honor of her late brother. The transition led to Derek's appearance in its final moments and tied the two storylines together.