Grey's Anatomy: Kate Burton to Return as Meredith's Mother in Season 18

Even with Grey’s Anatomy‘s “dream beach” conceit now over, another of Meredith’s late loved ones will appear in the upcoming season.

Kate Burton is set to return as Mer’s deceased mother, Dr. Ellis Grey, in multiple Season 18 episodes, according to our sister site Deadline. She’ll first appear during the Sept. 30 premiere (ABC, 9/8c), but details aren’t available as to how Ellis will show up; she passed away in Season 3 after a battle with Alzheimer’s disease, and most recently appeared to Meredith in a dream during the Season 15 installment “Blood and Water” in 2019.

Burton’s upcoming Grey’s stint comes on the heels of several major returns during Season 17, as Meredith spent her time on a fantasy beach while her struggle with COVID-19 left her unconscious in real life. Among the surprising beach visitors were Chyler Leigh as Mer’s half-sister Lexie, Eric Dane as Mark Sloan, T.R. Knight as George O’Malley and Patrick Dempsey as Meredith’s longtime love Derek Shepherd.

Production on Grey’s Anatomy‘s 18th — and possibly final? — season got underway on Wednesday, with star Ellen Pompeo posting an Instagram video of herself in the Grey’s makeup chair once again. ABC is not commenting on whether Season 18 will be the show’s last, but sources tell TVLine that the network is hopeful to eke out at least one more season beyond the upcoming one.

Are you looking forward to seeing Ellis Grey again? Tell us in the comments.

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