‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 18 Episode 3 Recap ‘Hotter Than Hell’ and Addison’s Iconic Return

During Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 Episode 3, “Hotter Than Hell,” Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) makes her return to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Plus, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) participates in a life-changing surgery with the doctor. Avid fans of the long-running medical drama find so many references to past seasons that it’s hard to keep track of them all. 

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 Episode 3 ‘Hotter Than Hell.’]

Greys Anatomy Season 18 Episode 3 Addison and Meredith perform surgery together
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 18: Kate Walsh and Ellen Pompeo | ABC/Eric McCandless

Addison Montgomery’s iconic return to ‘Grey’s Anatomy

In Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 Episode 3, Addison Montgomery walks in to meet the interns for “Grand Rounds.” She allows Levi Schmitt (Jake Borelli) to present the patient’s case and scrub in on the surgery. The patient, Tova, had a complete hysterectomy, but Addison plans to transplant her uterus so she can use her deceased husband’s frozen sperm. 

Meanwhile, the interns debate whether Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) dated both Meredith and Addison. They also reference the infamous plane crash from Grey’s Anatomy Season 8.

During the groundbreaking surgery, the surgeons hear a dramatic sound — the air conditioning system shuts down. When Richard tells Addison that the HVAC system shut down, she insists Meredith Grey is the only one who can help her complete the surgery more quickly. When Meredith arrives, Helm (Jaicy Elliot) informs Addison of the groundbreaking surgeries Meredith was a part of before Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 Episode 3. 

RELATED: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Who is the Attending Doctor That Killed Derek ‘McDreamy’ Shepherd?—Why is he back?

With the assistance of fan-favorite Nurse Bokhee, Addison, Meredith, and Schmidt, save the patient and complete the transplant. However, after it’s over, Addison breaks down in the elevator over the death of her ex-husband, Derek. Meredith consoles her with the fact that Derek lives on in their children, Zola (Aniela Gumbs), Bailey, and Ellis.  

Is Meredith leaving Seattle?

When Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 Episode 3 opens, Meredith tells Cormac Hayes (Richard Flood) that she plans to spend half of her workweek in Minnesota. However, Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.) has so many new ideas that he wants to carry out with Meredith. She worries about telling him. However, Addison gives Meredith a pep talk about fighting for the life-changing clinical trial in Minnesota.

Meredith finally informs Richard that she won’t take on the residents’ role, but Richard should be the one in that role, anyway.

Owen and Winston defy Richard’s orders in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 18 Episode 3

In Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 Episode 3, Dr. Winston Ndugu (Anthony Hill) tells his patient that they found a donor for her. He begs Dr. Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) to complete the kidney transplant because Meredith and Richard are busy. Winston doesn’t want to ask Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) because she said he could not add the patient to the transplant list. 

Richard informs Winston that the HVAC system shutdown postpones his patient’s transplant. However, Owen skirts around Richard’s protocol by calling Ben Warren (Jason George) from Station 19. He brings an air-conditioned truck used for surgeries in the field to perform the transplant.

Miranda Bailey and Cormac Hayes talk about how tough it is to raise teenagers in the world right now. They both have teens and have to treat a teen who refuses to call her parents to alert them that she’s in the hospital. The two doctors also defy Richard’s orders not to operate on patients during the HVAC shutdown. 

Teddy (Kim Raver) and Linc (Chris Carmack) look at the HVAC unit to attempt to fix it for the NICU babies who can’t regulate their temperatures. As they look over the massive system, Linc confides in Teddy. He admits that he loves Amelia (Caterina Scorsone), and she doesn’t even care. 

The last few moments of Grey’s Anatomy Season 18 Episode 3 are the most touching. Addison finally meets Derek and Meredith’s three children and all of the fans at home grab the tissues.

According to IMDbGrey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST on ABC, after Station 19.