Last night’s season finale of Grey’s Anatomy saw the end to one of the show’s major players as a result of the devastating plane crash, but that isn’t the only face that will be missing when the doctor drama returns next season.
Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes confirmed via Twitter that Kim Raver (pictured, left) — in addition to Lexie (Chyler Leigh, not pictured) — would not be returning next season. “This finale was incredibly hard to write. I did not enjoy it. It made me sick and it made me sad. We end the season not knowing ANYTHING about the future. Except for two things. We know we are definitely saying goodbye to two of my favorite people: Chyler Leigh (Lexie) and Kim Raver (Teddy),” she wrote. “I know this season’s finale had some surprises for viewers and the exit of Kim Raver was one of the big ones. But Kim’s series option was up and she was ready to give Teddy Altman a much-needed vacation. It’s been a pleasure working with someone as talented and funny and kind as Kim; everyone is going to miss her terribly. I like to imagine that Teddy is still out there in the Grey’s Anatomy universe, running Army Medical Command and building a new life.”
Rhimes, whose other show Scandal also aired its season finale last night, went on to explain Leigh’s exit as well, calling her an “important member of my Grey’s family.” “We had a lot of thoughtful discussion about it and ultimately we both decided this was the right time for her character’s journey to end. As far as I’m concerned Chyler will always remain a part of the Shondaland family and I can’t wait to work with her again in the future,” she wrote.
Ahead of the finale, Rhimes warned EW of the upcoming fatality, saying the episode was “going to be a very painful and shocking episode for people.” “From the inside, it’s a very painful and shocking episode. It’s not anything that you expect, and it doesn’t have any of the resolutions that you expect,” she said. And that’s indeed what she delivered. The show’s season ended with the plane crash gang still in peril with no sign of a rescue on the horizon.