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‘Grey's Anatomy’ season 11 spoilers: Kate Burton as Ellis Grey to return

‘Grey's Anatomy’ season 11 spoilers: Kate Burton as Ellis Grey to return
Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

One of the big cliffhangers from season 10 involves a new arrival at Grey Sloane Memorial Hospital – Dr. Margaret Pierce – the half-sister of Meredith Grey and daughter of Richard Webber. It seems that in order to explain her existence, Kate Burton who played Meredith’s mother, the renowned surgeon, Ellis Grey, will be making a return, according to TV Guide on Aug. 6.

Ellis, who suffered from Alzheimer’s from the beginning of the show and had a strained relationship with Meredith, died late in Season 3 from a heart attack. She made several more appearances on the series over the years, always in flashback form. When Burton revives the character for Season 11, it will also be in flashback form.

Shonda Rhimes, the creator of the hit medical drama, said she is thrilled to finally be at this point in the story where Meredith’s half-sister can be introduced. It’s been part of the plan all along she says.

"It's going to be interesting to see how it plays out," she said. "'Because we've all known about it for so long, it's always been layered in. It's not a thing where we're going in and backdating. It's literally always been layered into the story line. We can literally go back and pull out moments of the show and I'm excited to do so, and point out where it was talked about. It's not going to be so hard to do."

The way things were left at the end of Season 10, it is unclear if Meredith was ever aware of the existence of Margaret. It seems doubtful. With as close as she and Webber have become over the years, the subject would have come up. It is also clear from the way Webber reacted when Piece identified herself that he had no idea Ellis had ever had a second child or that he was a father himself. Watching how this plays out will be interesting to say the least.

Grey's Anatomy” Season 11 premieres Thursday, Sept. 25 on ABC. Until then, we’ll keep you posted on the all the news.