Jesse Williams Is Officially Returning to Grey’s Anatomy as a Guest Star and Director

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Dr. Jackson Avery is back! After much speculation, Jesse Williams will officially return as a guest star in season 19 of Grey’s Anatomy. Get all of the details here.

Jesse Williams is returning to Grey’s Anatomy—in more ways than one.

The 41-year-old actor, who left the medical drama in May 2021 after 12 seasons, will return as Dr. Jackson Avery in a guest starring role on the Nov. 3 episode, E! News has confirmed. Not only that, he’s getting back behind the camera, too.

In an episode titled “When I Get to the Border,” Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) pays a visit to Boston, where she reunites with Jackson. In addition to reprising his role, Williams will also direct the episode, his fourth Grey’s directorial effort in total.

Debbie Allen, who plays Jackson’s mom Catherine, will also appear in the episode.

When Grey’s viewers last saw Jackson, he and April (Sarah Drew) sent fans swooning in a season 18 finale guest appearance, kissing in an elevator at Grey Sloan and confirming that their relationship was very much back on.

Earlier in the season, Jackson and April—or Japril, to Grey’s devotees—packed up and left Seattle for Beantown with their daughter Harriet so Jackson could run his family’s foundation.

However, don’t get too excited, Japril-heads, because Sarah will not appear in the upcoming episode.

However, all hope may not be lost. 

In August, Sarah told E! News that she’s well aware Grey’s fans are clamoring for more Jackson and April.

“I get tweets from people every day about a darker, grittier, sexier Japril spinoff,” Sarah said Aug. 5. “I’m down, I’m in for it, but it’s not up to me. You gotta go to the powers that be, man.”

So, what does Jesse think about a potential spinoff for the beloved couple?

“That would entail an entire rekindling of a romance that has to go and a partnership that has to go beyond the honeymoon phase,” he told E! News earlier this month. “They’re grown now. They got a growing kid, and they have careers, and they’d be in a new city. Boston’s a tricky place. There’d be plenty of entry points for those characters and others from the show.”

While we await a spin-off with cautious optimism, watch Jesse’s return to Grey’s—in front of and behind the camera—when his episode airs Nov. 3.

In the meantime, new episodes of Grey’s Anatomy premiere Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.

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