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Denzel Washington Makes TV Directorial Debut With Shocking 'Grey's Anatomy' Winter Premiere

by Morgan Murrell   Feb 12, 2016 11:48 AM EST

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On Thursday (Feb. 11), 'Shonda Rhimes Thursdays' made its return to ABC with a huge lineup of winter premieres, including Grey's Anatomy. Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington made his TV directorial debut with last night's shocking episode called "The Sound of Silence," which surrounded Meredith Grey being brutally attacked by a patient.

Meredith was looking after a patient named Lou, who began seizing on her watch. After the seizure ended, Meredith was left alone with him. Unfortunately, Lou fell victim to post-seizure hyperagression and began throwing her around like a rag doll. Meredith's was the center of the mid-season premiere as fans watched her get horrifically beaten then struggle to recover from the incident.

The dramatic cinema effects of this episode were brought to you by Washington. While many fans might recognize Washington from his vast collection of film work, the Equalizer star has also dabbled in the directing arena as well.

"He's a powerhouse, and it was really exciting to get the chance and opportunity to work with him," Sarah Drew, who plays Dr. April Kepner on Grey's Anatomy, told ABC News.

The 61-year-old New York native starred and directed in Antwone Fisher (2002) and The Great Debaters (2007). Not only was this Washington's first time sitting in the director's chair for television, but it was also the first time he wasn't featured in his directed project.

Drew and her colleagues were starstruck by the Golden Globe-winner's presence on set and were initially intimidated. The cast was ultimately put at ease after realizing how "easy going and funny" Washington is.

"Whenever you get to work with somebody that understands both sides of the craft – in front of and behind the camera – it's a treat," Jerrika Hinton, who plays Dr. Stephanie Edwards, told People. "They understand what language to use. We're using some unusual shots and points of view. I have a feeling that it's is going to end up looking more cinematic than [the] show usually does."

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays (8 p.m. ET) on ABC.

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