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Grey's Anatomy

Kate Burton Is Returning as Ellis Grey — Should It Have Been Sarah Paulson Instead?

Dr. Ellis Grey is back, baby!

No, Meredith's (Ellen Pompeo) mom isn't going to rise from the dead (Grey's may be crazy, but it's not that crazy), but she is going to appear in the Season 11 premiere, presumably in some sort of flashback that explains how Maggie came to be — and how Richard had no idea he had a daughter.

As we recently learned, Kate Burton will be reprising her role as Mer's mother for this episode — despite the fact that young Ellis has also been played by American Horror Story star Sarah Paulson on the show in the past.

We have to admit that we're a little surprised by the choice. Don't get us wrong — we love us some Kate Burton, and she's definitely the actress most associated with the role. That said, she's also 56 years old at this point; assuming these are straightforward flashbacks, it's going to take some benefit of the doubt to really buy her as a much younger version of Ellis.

On the other hand, James Pickens Jr. is 59, and we're guessing he'll be playing the younger version of himself, too, if there are, indeed, flashbacks to that era. So maybe it makes sense after all!

What do you think are you glad Kate Burton is coming back as Ellis, or do you think it would have made more sense to use Sarah Paulson? Vote in our reaction buttons, and sound off in the comments below!