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Hear Me Out: After Katherine Heigl's Grey's Anatomy Reunion, I Think It's Time For Izzie's Comeback. But There's Only One Way It Works

 Katherine Heigl on Grey's Anatomy.
Katherine Heigl on Grey's Anatomy.

Fans were thrilled when Justin Chambers and Katherine Heigl reunited with fellow original Grey’s Anatomy cast members Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson and James Pickens Jr. at the 75th Emmy Awards. It was a big moment, especially for Heigl, who famously was involved in some behind-the-scenes drama ahead of her exit in 2010. Time seems to have healed some of the wounds created on set at the ABC medical drama, and I think it’s high time Izzie returned to Grey Sloan; however, there needs to be one caveat.

Why It’s Time For Katherine Heigl To Come Back To Grey’s Anatomy

Katherine Heigl was labeled “difficult” after she spoke out about 17-hour days the Grey’s Anatomy actors were made to work in the early seasons. We can now see that the actress was right to advocate for herself and her co-stars, and bringing Izzie back to Grey Sloan would be a deserved redemption for Heigl. Even Ellen Pompeo has said that Heigl was “100% right” to speak out, and that if she had said that today, “she’d be a complete hero.”

As for the 2008 Emmys drama — in which Katherine Heigl withdrew her name from contention, saying she didn’t feel she “was given the material this season to warrant an Emmy nomination” — the actress has since apologized, admitting she ambushed the writers, saying:

I could have more gracefully said that without going into a private work matter. It was between me and the writers. I ambushed them, and it wasn’t very nice or fair.

Grey’s Anatomy has brought back so many of its former characters as it enters its 20th season, from Kate Walsh’s Addison Montgomery to fan favorite couple Japril to McDreamy’s surprise appearances from beyond the grave. Certainly fans would love to see some of that original MAGIC, especially with Ellen Pompeo stepping away from her role as a series regular. While Katherine Heigl used to say Izzie’s return might be too much of a distraction, she seemed to be warming to the idea in later years. I would love to see this happen, but only on one condition.

Grey’s Anatomy Can’t Break Up Alex And Izzie

The one thing that would ruin any potential Izzie Stevens return would be if something had happened to her and Alex Karev. Grey’s Anatomy’s use of their past relationship to write Justin Chambers’ character off the show all but ensured that they were endgame, because to break them up would be even more of a slap in the face to the viewers.

Season 16 saw Alex leave his wife Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington) and reunite with Izzie, who unbeknownst to him had given birth to his twins. Alex ended his marriage to Jo via letter and never returned to Seattle. Fans were infuriated, and even Katherine Heigl called it “an a-hole move.” Grey’s made their bed with that story, and now they have to lie in it.

Does that mean any Katherine Heigl return would have to include Justin Chambers? Not necessarily, though that would be welcome too! We’ve seen Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) return without April Kepner (Sarah Drew), but we know they’re still together.

I think Katherine Heigl’s reunion with her former co-stars at the Emmys proved all is well with the cast, and I really hope we can see her character again sometime soon. While we wait for Grey’s Anatomy Season 20 to hit the 2024 TV schedule at 9 p.m. ET Thursday, March 14, on ABC, you can relive any of the first 19 seasons with a Netflix subscription. And if you don’t want to start at the beginning, here are the starting points of all your favorite Grey’s Anatomy eras.