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    Patrick Dempsey Just Confirmed That Fan Theory About Meredith On "Grey's Anatomy"

    Hold on to your butts.

    WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the current season of Grey's Anatomy.

    Anyone who watched last week's Grey's Anatomy Season 17 premiere was hit by a wild twist: the return of Derek (Patrick Dempsey), who died back in season 11.

    Patrick Dempsey on Grey's Anatomy

    Derek only showed up after Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) passed out in the hospital's parking lot — and during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show (via Us Weekly) Dempsey confirmed that the dreamlike sequence was a result of Meredith having contracted COVID-19.

    Ellen Pompeo on Grey's Anatomy

    “I was like, what a great opportunity for people and how great it would be for the fans, really, to see everybody reunited in this sort of bizarre way,” he said.

    Patrick Dempsey on Jimmy Kimmel Live

    “And [showrunner Krista Vernoff] came up with this concept where I would come and visit [Meredith] in her COVID dream.”

    American actor Patrick Dempsey attending the Kitz Race Party 2020

    Wait — what? That's right: Dempsey just confirmed what you might have been suspecting. Meredith Grey has COVID-19.

    Although Dempsey's already spilled the beans on what's really going on with his return, he's not so loose-lipped on how many more episodes he'll appear in: “That’s a good question. I’m not sure how many [episodes]. I know I’m throughout the season. He comes back to visit."

    Patrick Dempsey attends the opening ceremony of MIPCOM 2019 in Cannes, France

    We can only guess what happens next — but, if you're a Grey's stan, you're used to that.