On Thursday's episode of Grey's Anatomy, titled "Gut Feeling," Jackson (Jesse Williams) left town without so much as a goodbye, sending the staffers at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital an email about his leave of absence and leaving a voicemail for Maggie (Kelly McCreary). News of Jackson's abrupt departure, which we're hoping isn't a permanent one, came as a surprise when news of his hiatus circled through.
Maggie, though, was the most affected by Jackson's absence, telling Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) that Jackson -- who had been struggling as of late, especially following April's wedding, nearly dying and having his latest patient die -- told her in the voicemail that he needed to "take a step back from his whole life and try to see a bigger picture." When Maggie confessed to Meredith that she felt "humiliated," her half-sister corrected her and said it's OK for her to feel "enraged."
Jackson's disappearance affected Maggie's work at the hospital and it takes her the entire day before she can process that he's no longer there -- for now, at least. "He said he needed to go clear his head or unplug or whatever. He has some big questions and he needed some big answers. Is there something wrong with me? I almost died too, and I feel almost lucky," Maggie asked Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) in a moment of vulnerability. "He said if he told me to my face, he wouldn't be able to leave. I guess it's good? I don't know... I don't know anything, except Jackson left."
Later at home, Maggie composed a text to send to Jackson. "Got your message. We should talk," Maggie typed, ultimately deciding not to send the text. Is trouble ahead for Maggie and Jackson? How long is Jackson going to be missing in action? Things don't look promising for the couple, as the promo for next Thursday's two-hour crossover event with Station 19 hints at a flirtatious meet-cute with a firefighter from the firehouse.
Fans took to Twitter to question Jackson's whereabouts, with many asking how long he would be missing in action and if it would be for good.