'Grey's Anatomy' Fans Freak Out Over Surprise Return in Season 17 Premiere

Grey's Anatomy ABC

There were a lot of tears and strong feelings following Thursday's shocking premiere.

*Caution: Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched the two-hour season 17 premiere of Grey's Anatomy.

Grey's Anatomy threw a truly shocking curveball in the final moments of the Season 17 premiere, and many fans were not prepared.

The final seconds of the two-hour, coronavirus-driven episode provided the shocking return of a beloved character -- Patrick Dempsey's Derek Shepherd, a.k.a. McDreamy. 

In the closing moments of the episode, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) falls unconscious and viewers are transported into her dreamscape, which happens to be a sunny, brightly lit beach where she's joined by McDreamy -- who tragically died as a result of a horrifying car accident in Season 11.

Needless to say, the return of the dead doc -- even in the context of a dream sequence -- left a lot of fans stunned, crying, freaking out, or some combination of the three.

Shonda Rhimes, the show's original creator, also checked in on Twitter to see how fans appreciated the shocking return.

"Thought I would check in on twitter to see if you enjoyed the dreamy gift @KristaVernoff &  @EllenPompeo gave to brighten up your 2020," she wrote.

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.