To clean up, Meredith Grey is leaving.
During Thursday’s heartbreaking winter premiere of Grey’s Anatomy, veteran star Ellen Pompeo and her beloved character said their final goodbyes in their final episode as series regulars. On Meredith’s last day at Grey Sloan, the staff has planned a surprise party in her honor, which they have titled “I’ll Follow the Sun” in allusion to a 1964 Beatles song. They will be drinking a toast to her health as she begins her new life in Boston.
You know, once upon a time, you were the scourge of my existence, but no, you grew up to become one of my sources of pride,” Dr. Bailey stated, tearing up.
Before formally sending Meredith off to Boston, Dr. Webber remarked, “Dr. Grey, what Dr. Bailey is trying to communicate is that this place won’t be the same without you.”
Before leaving Grey Sloan, Meredith made sure she left her mark. While her final operation was unsuccessful, she made sure to make a stand with Dr. Marsh by reiterating her famous “choose me” monologue from when she was McDreamy’s girlfriend.
Meredith said to Nick, “I want you in my life if you want to be in my life.” “But, if I must make a decision, I will select myself. And I won’t even try to force you to like me.”
While Nick tried to convince Meredith of his undying affection for her before she left, it was abundantly evident that she was putting her priorities (her life, her work, and her family) first in this transition.
Pompeo’s farewell episode will air on Thursday, but that won’t be the last time fans see him. The 19th season is almost ended, but the 53-year-old actress is scheduled to make at least one more appearance. The door is still open for her character to make a future appearance, and she will continue narrating for the rest of the season as part of her role as executive producer.
Despite Meredith’s absence from Grey Sloan every week, Pompeo has assured viewers that she would return for visits, and a preview has hinted at her possible return in the future. Pompeo told ET earlier this month, “For the record, it’s not my final.” They’re playing a little bit of a prank on the public, you might say. Yet, she stated unequivocally that this would be her last episode for the foreseeable future: “That is my final show for a time.”
Chandra Wilson, one of the original cast members, teased ET about how nostalgic the episode would be. “We never forget the past, do we? Whenever we don’t take you back to the very beginning and bring you into the present, that’s when “As a kind of teasing, she made that statement. My prediction is that there will be a great deal of it. However, Wilson disclosed that the episode was kept under wraps by the producers and that the cast saw it for the first time alongside the audience: “They aren’t even going to show us the completed film. It means we won’t be able to see anything until everyone else does, but this is still a really exciting period.”
Grey’s Anatomy is shown on ABC on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT.