Isaiah Washington is returning to “Grey’s Anatomy” for an episode later this season. Seriously.
EW broke the shocking news on Thursday (March 6) that Washington, who infamously left the ABC series in 2007 following alleged homophobic slurs against his gay co-star T.R. Knight, will reprise his role as Dr. Preston Burke for an episode airing in May. This will be the first episode featuring Burke since he left Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) at the altar in Season 3.
Executive producer Shonda Rhimes released a statement explaining that Burke’s return is a necessary part of providing closure to Cristina as Oh is leaving the show at the end of Season 10. “It’s important to me that Cristina’s journey unfolds exactly as it should,” Rhimes says. “Burke is vital to that journey — he gives her story that full-circle moment we need to properly say goodbye to our beloved Cristina Yang.”
Are you shocked to see Washington (soon to be seen in “The 100” on The CW) return seven seasons after his controversial exit? How do you think Burke will return onscreen?
And just to clarify: Burke’s return in a May episode is not a part of the Cristina-centric episode previously reported as a “Sliding Doors” concept, as that episode will air March 27.
“Grey’s Anatomy” airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.