‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Fans Are Disappointed Sarah Drew Took So Long to Return

Grey’s Anatomy is now in its 17th season. Throughout the years, the long-running medical drama has built a huge fan base.

These die-hard fans have come to love many of the series’ characters. They’ve also had to go through the traumatic deaths and sad departures of many of these beloved characters. 

This season, the Grey’s Anatomy writers have brought back a few fan favorites for guest appearances. Fans have been debating who might return, and one of the names at the top of that list is Sarah Drew. 

Who did Sarah Drew play in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’?

Sarah Drew
Sarah Drew | Paul Archuleta/Getty Images

Sarah Drew’s character, April Kepner, was a fan favorite on the medical drama. Kepner first joined the Grey Sloan team after a merger with Mercy West. The shy, red-haired doctor had a hard time adjusting after the move, and didn’t make too many friends at first. 

Shortly after the merger, the hospital had an influx of patients in the ER due to a fire in a hotel. April treated a patient, but missed the fact that her airway was filled with soot. The patient went into cardiac arrest and died. After an investigation, April was found to be at fault, and fired. 

She was rehired when Derek Shepherd became Chief of Surgery. She was afraid to jump back into surgery, because of her earlier mistake. Eventually, Derek persuaded her to try again, and she became a talented part of the team. 

Fans loved April’s relationship with Jackson Avery. The on-again, off-again romance left many fans swooning, always wishing for the couple to end up with a happily ever after. Jackson even stood up at April’s wedding and proclaimed his love for her, which led her to leave her fiance at the altar and run away with Jackson. 

Unfortunately, the two had a rocky relationship. They went through the devastating loss of their newborn son, and just never quite recovered what they’d had before. They ended up having a daughter, as well, but April eventually married someone else. 

Some fans didn’t think April would ever return to the show…

Before season 17 of Grey’s Anatomy started, there were plenty of rumors about who might be returning to the show. Many former cast members returned this season for guest appearances, including Patrick Dempsey and T.R. Knight. 

However, fans didn’t think that Sarah Drew would be returning, despite the fact that they would love to see her reprise her role once more. Drew has been keeping busy with other projects, including the upcoming television series, Cruel Summer

Fans took to Reddit to discuss the possibility of Drew returning to Grey’s, but some people were skeptical. One fan stated, “I highly doubt Krista or the execs would ask her back, so she probably has a different project.”

However, Drew hinted at a project in the works, so some fans took that to mean a return to Grey’s Anatomy...  In addition to her hint at an exciting project, she also shared a picture with her hair dyed the signature April Kepner-red. One fan replied, “I’m freaking out. That is April red!!”

Sarah Drew finally returns to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

RELATED: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’: How Sarah Drew Really Feels About April and Jackson’s Ending

Drew was a main character for nine seasons, and left the show after season 14. Fans were disappointed with the way the series ended the character’s storyline. She married her first fiance, Matthew, whom she originally left at the altar to run away with Jackson. She quit her job and left the hospital, leaving many “Japril” fans seriously upset. 

Those fans may end up getting the closure they’re looking for, however. Earlier this week, Deadline reported that Drew will be returning to Grey’s Anatomy for a guest appearance this season. 

We’re not sure in what capacity April will be returning, but TV Insider has a few theories. Just like hospitals in real-life, Grey Sloan is short-handed and struggling through this pandemic. So it’s possible that they need to add another trusted doctor to the team, and who better than April Kepner? Another theory is that April may return because she has a connection to a patient at Grey Sloan.

There are two more likely theories, though. First, April could be another addition to Meredith’s beach (Meredith is dying of COVID and has been in a dream sequence for the whole season, where she is reunited with lost loved ones on a beach). The other likely scenario is that her return has something to do with Harriet, the daughter she shares with Jackson.