Grey’s Anatomy fans just can’t catch a break — unless you count our hearts, which are typically in a tiny pile of shards by the end of each episode. The latest blow to our fragile feels? The departure of yet another actor on the tear-jerking medical drama.
Suffice it to say that this article contains spoilers pertaining to this week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. You have been warned.
You’re probably curious as to who is saying goodbye this time, especially considering we’re all still trying to accept the fact that Stephanie (Jerrika Hinton) isn’t coming back. Or that Ben (Jason George) is currently training to switch careers from surgeon to firefighter — at which point he’ll be transitioning to the Grey’s firefighter spinoff.
Alas, those aren’t the two departures we’re talking about. This week’s episode announced a new departure: Nathan Riggs, played by Martin Henderson.
We’re not going to mince words about it, either: this sucks. Grey’s made the big deal about introducing Nathan and making him a love interest for Meredith. Were we ready to see her move on from McDreamy? Never, naturally. But any good Grey’s fan knows that sometimes sacrifices must be made (like, a lot).
So we sucked it up. Then, something strange happened. We started to like Nathan. We even started to like him with Meredith. For a brief, shining moment, she was happy again. Not MerDer happy, but happy.
Fans made the grand gesture of letting Nathan in our hearts too, which should have been our first cause of concern. Rookie mistake, right? You never get attached to someone too soon on Grey’s, lest they get killed off or sent away, and you’re left nursing another broken heart.
After a mere two seasons, Grey’s wrote Nathan off so that he could go be with his ex-fiancée, Megan, who only recently resurfaced after being held as a POW for a decade.
“I loved that we are able to give Riggs a happy ending worthy of his character and talent,” Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes told The Hollywood Reporter. “As for Martin, this is not an ending for our relationship. He has been part of the Shondaland family since the pilot of Inside the Box and he will always be family. I can’t wait to find a new project to work with him on in the future.”
Granted, it’s a little comforting to know that Nathan gets to go live his best life with Megan. Although, to be honest, we’re also pretty salty she is leaving. Actress Abigail Spencer is a true gem, and we were hoping for more of an arc than a few episodes for her.
Here’s hoping Rhimes lets fans enjoy Kim Raver’s Teddy — who returned this season after many years away — for more than five minutes. Even so, we understand that guest stars come and go.
But listen up, Rhimes! If you try to take away OG Grey’s guy Alex Karev too, you’re gonna have to pry him from fans’ cold, dead hands.