At this point, the long-running ABC medical drama Grey’s Anatomy has such a deep supporting character roster that it could probably fill out an entire league of baseball teams. But not all supporting characters are created equal, and it turns out that one of the most beloved fan-favorite characters to ever appear on the Shonda Rhimes show is returning for an upcoming episode of this 18th season. We are of course speaking of Dr. Addison Montgomery (played by Kate Walsh) who will be appearing in the May 5 episode of Grey’s Anatomy, where she will presumably either be delivering cutting remarks to Ellen Pompeo’s Dr. Meredith Grey or delivering babies in a highly dramatic, indie rock-scored scene. Walsh herself announced her reappearance via social media with a meme-infused short video. See it here:
Kate Walsh first appeared as Dr. Addison Montgomery in the first season finale of Grey’s Anatomy, with the dramatic twist being that she was the estranged wife of Dr. Derek Shepherd aka McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey). In an appropriately soap-opera fashion, a love triangle between Ellen Pompeo’s character, Addison Montgomery, and McDreamy developed. While Addison Montgomery was initially intended to be a recurring character on Grey’s Anatomy, Kate Walsh was swiftly promoted to a series regular in the second season. She continued that role through the end of the third, after which she led the very first spin-off of the medical drama. Walsh reprised the character (now in a leading role) in the show Private Practice, which saw Addison Montgomery move to Los Angeles and set up her own titular private practice. Unlike the Friends spin-off Joey, which saw Matt LeBlanc’s character also pack up to L.A., Private Practice lasted for six seasons.
Since then, Kate Walsh/Dr. Addison Montgomery has dropped in on Seattle Grace Hospital (renamed Seattle Grace Mercy West and then again renamed Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital) throughout the run of Grey’s Anatomy. The character’s last appearance was back in October of 2021; prior to that, she had not guested on the show since season eight, a comparative lifetime ago as fans would see it. While the supporting characters of Grey’s Anatomy tend to come and go, the main core cast tends to drop off at a snail’s pace these days, which means that she will undoubtedly be finding some new conflict with Meredith Grey. On the other hand, that is why people have tuned into the venerable show for nearly 400 episodes, so they are doing something right.
Grey’s Anatomy premiered on ABC in 2005 as a mid-series replacement but swiftly grew into a quintessential water cooler show. It also made creator Shonda Rhimes one of the wealthiest and most prolific producers on television (although Paramount’s Taylor Sheridan is starting to breathe down her neck). She currently has a multi-year deal with the streaming platform Netflix, where she has a dozen projects currently in production, including the hit period piece Bridgerton. Back at ABC, Grey’s Anatomy is still going strong, and doubtless, an injection of Addison will perk viewers right up.