After teasing a big return from Meredith Grey’s past ahead of the season 18 premiere of Grey’s Anatomy, some viewers were celebrating when Scott Speedman’s Dr. Nick Marsh appeared on screen — while other fans were left dumbfounded.
“I HAVE ZERO MEMORY OF THIS MAN #GreysAnatomy,” one fan tweeted alongside Keke Palmer’s infamous “I’m sorry to this man” Vanity Fair video.
Another viewer was hoping for a former full-time cast member to return. “Who we got vs who we could’ve gotten: #GreysAnatomy,” the user wrote alongside a photo of Justin Chambers’ Alex Karev and Speedman’s Nick.
The Felicity alum previously appeared on a season 14 episode of Grey’s Anatomy, playing a transplant surgeon who collapsed while visiting Grey Sloan to retrieve a liver. While Nick and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) flirted during his visit, nothing more happened between the pair and she never saw him again — until the Thursday, September 30, episode.
“3 years later and they still look at each other the same
#GreysAnatomy,” a third fan tweeted alongside snaps from seasons 14 and 18.
A fourth person summed up the reactions, tweeting, “I love how one half of the fandom is passing out because Nick is back, and the other half is still trying to figure out who is. #GreysAnatomy.”
Meredith ran into Nick during Thursday’s premiere while visiting a Minnesota hospital that is paying tribute to her late mother, Ellis Grey (played by returning actress Kate Burton), with a research lab. After a night of chatting during which Meredith revealed that she was seeing Dr. Cormac Hayes (Richard Flood), but he recently ended things, Meredith told Nick that she was not going to sleep with him — a callback to the character telling Patrick Dempsey’s Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd the same thing in the pilot.
“Easter egg found… Look out for more!!” Pompeo tweeted during the episode alongside photos of Meredith wearing the same shirt during the pilot and season 18 premiere.
After the episode aired, showrunner Krista Vernoff and Speedman shared behind-the-scenes details of his return.
“We reached out to Scott as I was envisioning the show. Actually toward the end of last season, I started saying to Ellen, I’m having this thought, and she was like, ‘Again?’, because I had made that phone call a few times. But this time, we got lucky, he said yes, and we planned the season accordingly,” Vernoff told Deadline.
The actor added there are two reasons he signed on as a series regular after he got the call.
“It is timing. To be totally honest, the last time wasn’t the right time. I haven’t done a show since the last show I did. I think a lot of people love that schedule, and I really do, too, but I was wanting to do other things,” the You star said. “But you always know, you put something in the back of your mind when you do have chemistry with somebody, and you do enjoy the work experience, because that’s rare, actually. So, when this opportunity came around, I was trying to think of why not to do it, and I couldn’t come up with any reasons. It was a great show, really fun people, and it just felt the right timing for me. I wanted to jump in, and then, when I heard what the storyline could be, that was exciting to me.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs on ABC Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET. Scroll through for more on Speedman’s return: