Grey’s Anatomy has done it again.

The veteran ABC drama that we always think is approaching the end of its run is bringing back another fan favorite.

Deadline dropped the bombshell announcement on Thursday afternoon that Kate Burton would be returning to the series during its 18th season.

Another Surprise Guest  - Grey's Anatomy Season 17 Episode 4

The outlet confirms Burton will be playing Meredith’s deceased mom, Ellis Grey, so don’t expect a surprise twin to be popping up.

This multi-episode arc will begin with Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 Episode 1, which launches Thursday, September 30.

Aside from that shocker of a casting announcement, there is no telling how the star will return.

Ms. Windsor - Tall - Prodigal Son Season 2 Episode 5

Burton exited Grey’s Anatomy during its third season after Ellis passed away, but she returned to the show in a dream in 2019.

Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 found Meredith in a coma for much of the season, allowing several former stars to return to the series as the character spent time in a beach dream-like scenario.

Among the returning stars, there was Chyler Leigh as Mer’s half-sister Lexie, Eric Dane as Mark Sloan, T.R. Knight as George O’Malley, and Patrick Dempsey as Meredith’s lover Derek Shepherd.

It’s unclear whether the beach setting will be used again, allowing more former stars to return, or if there will be something more at play.

New School Versus Old  - Grey's Anatomy Season 17 Episode 17

The series, which loves to shock fans, has done a lot to get fans talking over the years, but we don’t think characters will be returning from the dead.

Production on Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 commenced this week, but the jury is still out on whether it will be the end of the line.

Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, and James Pickens Jr. all closed deals for one additional season earlier this year, and Pompeo has been vocal about ending the show when the time is right.

In fact, the star even teased that she might give up acting altogether when the series wraps.

Derek's Angelic Glow - Tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 17 Episode 13

What are your thoughts on this big return?

Hit the comments.

Remember, you can watch Grey’s Anatomy online right here via TV Fanatic.

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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