Isaiah Washington Is Coming Back to Grey's Anatomy

Huge news coming from Shondaland: Isaiah Washington, who played Burke on Grey's Anatomy, is returning for an episode of the show in May.

Even if you have never watched Grey's, there's a good chance you know of the drama behind Washington's exit in 2007. On the show, his character left Cristina Yang at the altar, but offstage the actor used a homophobic slur and clearly did not get along at all with several of the actors on the show, including T.R. Knight and Katherine Heigl. Both Knight and Heigl are gone (Knight was killed off; Heigl ran away or something and is working on a movie that is raisng money via an Indiegogo campaign) and so Washington is free to return.

Shonda Rhimes said that because Sandra Oh is leaving the series this season, bringing back Burke will make it so that the show has the "full-circle moment we need to properly say goodbye to our beloved Cristina Yang."

"It's important to me that Cristina's journey unfolds exactly as it should," she said. "Burke is vital to that journey."

I stopped watching Grey's at all consistently around the time that Izzie started thinking she was having sex with Denny's ghost because I hated Denny and found myself overly fixated on how Izzie and Alex Karev were meant to be. But for a time, the show was the reason I got up on Thursdays and Washington leaving really put a damper on it. While the reasons behind his exit made perfect sense, Burke and Cristina had a chemistry that was fascinating to watch and it was a bummer it had to end. So even though it's just for one episode, enough time has passed that perhaps Washington's return will soothe all our wounds and we can watch Burke and Cristina reminisce about old times by having sex in an on-call room, which has to happen because there's never been an episode of that show where someone didn't have sex in an on-call room.

For Grey's lifers who would like to remember about the good old days, here is a classic clip of Burke being cute and wearing a lovely turtleneck. Enjoy.

Image via Michael Desmond/ABC