'Grey's Anatomy': Chyler Leigh Returning as Lexie Grey in Season 17

Grey's Anatomy
'Grey's Anatomy' (ABC)

We've been waiting for this one.

It's a Grey sibling reunion!

Grey's Anatomy is setting the stage for its next surprise return, and it's a big one. In a new promo teasing next week's episode, former Grey's star Chyler Leigh, who played Meredith's half-sister Lexie (aka Little Grey) from 2007 to 2012, pops up on the beach alongside Meredith for a long anticipated (but not-so-normal) family reunion. 

It all starts off well and good with Meredith looking out over the waves on the sunny beachscape she's subconsciously called her "safe place." But when someone hands her a towel and she takes it, it dawns on her that it's not just a stranger doing a kind deed, but Lexie.

"Lexie?" Meredith says, almost stunned at the sight of her late sister. 

As the two sit side by side peering out into the calm waters, Meredith admits, "I like it here," implying she has no real desire to leave. And it's Lexie who asks the age-old question we all want the answer to: "Are you going to stay?"

Leigh's reappearance in the Grey's universe comes nine seasons after her character was tragically killed as a result of the plane crash in the dramatic season 8 finale. She first joined the medical drama as a guest star in the final episodes of season 3, before becoming a series regular from seasons 4 through 8.

Though Lexie's relationship with Meredith started off rocky, they soon became close and formed a strong sisterly connection even amidst their differing views on their father, Thatcher. She was romantically involved with George O'Malley, Jackson Avery and Alex Karev, before falling in love with Mark Sloan.

Watch the promo below of Leigh, who currently stars on Supergirl, below.

It's been a season of unforgettable returns on Grey's, from Patrick Dempsey's Derek Shepherd and T.R. Knight's George to Sarah Drew's April Kepner and now Leigh's Lexie. 

Camilla Luddington hinted in December that there was a moment "more shocking" than Dempsey's return as McDreamy. Could she have been hinting at Leigh's return?

"I just read a script, literally in the past two weeks, that completely floored me," Luddington told ET's Katie Krause. "I had no idea and it's wild."

"This season is, honestly the season just turns everything on their head. In fact, I didn't even believe it. I was like, 'That's not real.' I was texting people! It's a crazy season. To me, it was more shocking [than McDreamy's return]. But to somebody else, it might not be. But to me, I just really did not see it coming."

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC. For more, watch below.

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