Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you haven't watched the season 13 finale of Grey's Anatomy. Read creator Shonda Rhimes' statement about the latest exit here.
Grey’s Anatomy bid farewell to another Grey Sloan doctor.
On Thursday’s season 13 finale, titled “Ring of Fire,” the aftermath of last week’s shocking explosion left many fans wondering about the fate of Dr. Stephanie Edwards (Jerrika Hinton), who was thrown from the blast after attempting to stop it from happening in the first place.
Though Stephanie miraculously survived, the harrowing experience she went through afterward -- saving the young girl, Erin, from losing her leg and keeping them both safe from the fire -- was traumatic enough to set her on a new path and say goodbye to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. As a result, Thursday’s finale marked Hinton’s final episode as a series regular on Grey’s.
“I spent my whole life in hospitals, my whole life. I need to travel and hike and breathe,” an emotional Stephanie says to Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.), while getting the severe burns on her arms tended to by Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) the day after her near-death experience.
“I want to breathe it all in, away from the monitors and the blood and the sterile counts and away from saving other people’s lives -- I want my own. This time, I live my own,” she continues, breaking down more and more as she gives her final speech to her mentor.
“You’ve changed my life, Dr. Webber. You have. You taught me how to take my past and find my path. Thank you, thank you. I think I found it,” Stephanie says, prompting Webber to ask what she meant by that. “Which means, I quit.”
The decision to leave as a surgical resident was a significant one for Stephanie, who spent much of her childhood in hospitals after being born with sickle-cell disease and being placed in a successful clinical trial at St. Jude -- a point in time from her childhood that she reflected on in her speech to Webber. Though Stephanie was never front and center on Grey’s, her presence will surely be missed. Could she return any time in the near future? Only time will tell.
Hinton’s departure wasn’t the only monumental change introduced in the finale.
The arrival of Owen Hunt’s (Kevin McKidd) sister, Megan (Bridget Regan), was enough to turn everything on its head. Still in disbelief that his sister was alive and coming home to Seattle, Owen -- with Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) by his side -- watched as Megan was placed on a gurney and helicoptered in to Washington, reality setting in that his sister is back. Megan’s ex, Nathan Riggs (Martin Henderson), meanwhile, found out from Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) that she was alive, excitedly driving to the medical center to see for himself.
And it wouldn’t be Grey’s without a new love triangle brewing, this time between Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary), Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) and April Kepner (Sarah Drew). The revelation came after a heated argument Jackson and Maggie had amid the chaos of the explosion. Apparently, April noticed her ex-husband giving Maggie a look only she would know of (having been married to him and all), and subsequently confronted Maggie about it afterward.
“Jackson, he likes you. He has feelings for you,” April tells a stunned Maggie following their tête-à-tête. But Maggie was either in denial or confused as to why April even suggested such a thing: “No, he doesn’t. Why would you even…?” April’s response was telling: “Because I have a feeling you like him, so why don’t you just tell him?” Will Maggie and Jackson take the romantic plunge next season?
What did you think of the season finale of Grey’s? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us at @etnow!