Denzel Washington

Photographer Group / Splash News

Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital is preparing to welcome an Oscar winner—just not in the way you'd think.

Denzel Washington is headed to Grey's Anatomy for the ninth episode of season 12, E! News has confirmed—but as its director. The episode, which was written by Grey's head writer Stacy McKee, will begin filming later this month and is scheduled to air during November sweeps (a.k.a. when the most major of TV twists go down, so expect plenty of drama).

The gig marks Washington's first time directing for the small screen. He has previously directed two films: 2002's Antwone Fisher and 2007's The Great Debaters. It also marks a reunion of sorts with longtime friend Debbie Allen, who, beyond appearing as Dr. Catherine Avery on Grey's, has directed many episodes throughout its decade-plus on the air and now has an expanded role as executive producer/director.

Washington comes to the series as it's undergoing a bit of a renaissance, post-McDreamy, along with its main character. With Ellen Pompeo's Meredith now a single mom, the question on everyone's mind is whether or not she'll get a new love interest. Boss lady Shonda Rhimes told E! News this summer that Mer's love life isn't a current priority. "I have not planned to [introduce a new love interest for her] and that's not really the focus of what we're doing with her right now," she said. "Meredith is in a rebirth and she's evolving. I'm watching the character do what the character's doing and I'll see where it goes."

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

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