Spoilers for previously aired episodes of Grey’s Anatomy
Grey’s Anatomy is attempting a reboot in its 19th season with a new crop of interns. Most of the original, second, and third, and fourth wave main cast members have left at this point, and Ellen Pompeo’s titular character is the next to go. They announced months ago Ellen would be appearing in a limited capacity this season. They’ve been teasing her exit for the past two seasons, but now it’s real. Meredith Grey will leave Seattle Grace Mercy Death Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital when the show returns from the winter hiatus. Fans are not happy about the future of Grey’s Anatomy without the Grey.
Grey’s Anatomy fans, it’s time to say goodbye. After 19 seasons of leading the medical drama, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) has clocked in her final day as an attending in Seattle.
Throughout the latest ABC installment, viewers have seen the titular character question her choices in the medical field. In all came to a head when her house burned down leading Meredith to take the plunge and email her resignation. This gave way for her move to Boston for a job in Alzheimer’s research. While the actual timeframe has been teased the entire season, a promo for the winter premiere indicated when Meredith — and subsequently, Ellen — will take off her scrubs.
As the emotional 30-second spot showed Meredith on her final day at Grey Sloan Memorial, everyone attending at the hospital will gather together to give her a proper sendoff. “On February 23, one chapter ends and a new one begins. 💙,” the show’s official Instagram captioned the clip on November 10.
Understandably, folks were distressed over her impending exit and many didn’t hesitate to share their feelings on social media.
“No Meredith means no Grey’s, I’m done,” one person passionately wrote on Instagram. “You can’t have Grey’s Anatomy without Meredith Grey,” another follower remarked. “It’s not Grey’s Anatomy with Meredith Grey. She made this show what it is,” a different TV-goer added.
While Meredith may be leaving Seattle soon, this doesn’t mean Ellen herself is stepping away from Grey’s Anatomy. Back in August, Deadline reported that she’ll still be an executive producer and will narrate future episodes. This decreased role will also give the actress the chance to executive produce and star in a limited series for Hulu.
As for how Ellen feels the show will fare after she leaves, she has no worries. “[Grey’s Anatomy] will be just fine without me,” she told Deadline in September. “I’m going to always be a part of that show. I’m an executive producer on that show. I spent two decades of my career on that show — it’s my heart and soul. I’ll never truly be gone as long as that show is on the air.”
I mean, potentially burning down Meredith’s house is also a huge blow. Grey’s really won’t let anything end nicely, huh? Derek, Alex, and now Meredith’s house are just a few of the things they’ve burned to the ground over the years. And with Lexie long dead too, I guess the only Grey in Grey’s Anatomy will be Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, which is pretty indestructible (not to give them any ideas). As a fan, this isn’t the last straw for me because I was already checked out. It’s not just Meredith, but her relationships with the other characters that made the show and most of those characters are long gone. Ellen will continue to executive produce the show, narrate the episodes, and may appear in the season finale. But her character is leaving town for personal and professional reasons — not for her new boyfriend played by Scott Speedman, but for a school that better suits her daughter’s needs and to work on a cure for Alzheimer’s. This all makes sense, I just half wish they hadn’t taken the long way getting there.