Grey’s Anatomy fans got a reunion five years in the making on Nov. 12, when Patrick Dempsey‘s late Dr. Derek Shepherd returned to the show to appear in a dream sequence with his TV wife, Ellen Pompeo‘s Dr. Meredith Grey. While they were filming the scene, the two actors used their time together to promote the important cause of wearing face masks during the COVID-19 pandemic, and made fans swoon in the process with their sun-kissed selfie smiling together on the beach.
In the first photo, Ellen and Patrick looked so gorgeous and happy in a close-up selfie, with the setting sun turning their skin a glowing golden color. She stood in front of her co-star of nearly 11 years, as both had bright smiles on their faces. The beach from the Grey’s scene was visible behind the pair.
In a second photo, Ellen and Patrick had their arms around each other while standing at the shoreline. This time they both had masks covering their famous faces, and used the captions of their respective posts to promote wearing masks as a new wave of COVID-19 cases is sweeping the U.S. “Let’s love, let’s heal, let’s wear a mask…” Ellen wrote as her caption, while Patrick noted, “Please let’s come together, respect each other, wear a mask, and thank our first responders. They work tirelessly and risk their lives to keep us safe.” Ellen’s post racked up over two million likes in just two hours as fans went wild for the pair’s photos.
Both Ellen and Patrick shared photos to their respective Instagram pages on Nov. 13, the day after their epic TV reunion aired. The stars could be seen in the same costumes from the scene, with Ellen, 51, in a casual white shirt and faded jeans and Patrick, 54, in a light blue shirt and khaki pants. In the episode’s final scene, Meredith had collapsed and was laying unconscious in the parking lot of Grey Sloan Memorial when in a dream sequence she saw Derek waving at her across a beach. He’s dead…so is Derek welcoming Meredith to the great beyond with him?
Patrick’s Derek was killed off the show in Apr. 2015, after being gravely injured in a car wreck and misdiagnosed by doctors in a remote hospital. He and Ellen have remained friends in real life, and the idea of his return to the ABC medical drama during a year filled with so much real life drama for front-line medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic seemed so timely.
The pals went on a hike in Malibu with the beach in sight, and Ellen said the “idea just struck” her, the actress told our sister site Deadline. “I just said to him, ‘Would you ever consider coming and being a part of the storytelling this season?’” she recalled. “I know that Patrick has his foundation in Maine where he helps cancer patients and cancer survivors and that’s a huge effort of his. And I know that it’s important to him, also, to give people hope, and give people joy, and we wanted to bring something to this moment. There’s just so much darkness, and we knew that coming together would be a little ray of light.” With fans so shook by the selfie of the pair together, they definitely brought a big ray of light.