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There's long running TV dramas, and there's Grey's Anatomy. The medical drama is currently in its whopping 14th season on ABC, and is showing no signs of slowing down. Because Grey's has been on for so long, we've seen a revolving door of surgeons enter and leave the narrative, and fans are just weeks away from saying goodbye to two long running characters. Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew are leaving the show after 10 and 9 seasons respectively, bringing a wrap to the story of both Arizona Robbins and April Kepner. The actresses recently wrapped filming on the show, and creator Shonda Rhimes took to social media to salute their work, saying:
Today, in the midst of scheduled mania of Scandal series finale, two beautifully talented women filmed their last scenes at Grey's Anatomy. Having these things happen at the same time is almost impossible to process. I need to devote a whole day just to celebrate Jessica and just to celebrate Sarah. To tell you stories about their talent and to tell what I know about what their roles have meant. A social media post won't cut it and I will not minimize their magic by pretending it will. I have more to say. I will do so. For now I will just say how lucky we were to witness their talents and the magic they brought to their characters.
While it's still unclear how Arizona and April will ultimately depart Grey's Anatomy, the duo of actresses have finished filming what I'm sure is an emotional departure. Grey's Anatomy fans still have a handful of episodes before April and Arizona presumably leave Seattle, but it's touching to see the actresses saluted in such a way by Shonda Rhimes herself via Instagram.
Considering their long tenures on Grey's, audiences have seen Arizona and April go in a variety of wild and unexpected ways. Arizona's romance with Callie was one of the most visible LGBT relationships on TV, and we've also sen how Arizona struggled after the plane crash in Season 8 resulted in her leg being amputated. Meanwhile, we've seen April Kepner grow from a bumbling attending to a badass trauma surgeon and mother. Furthermore, she was fiercely devout, showing a character that is both faith based and a cutting edge medical professional.
Ultimately the reason for Sarah Drew and Jessica Capshaw's departure seems to be a writing issue, at least according to Ellen Pompeo. Since we've seen them each in a variety of relationships, nearly die, and progress in their careers, the Grey's writers hit a block for the two surgeons. While the show hasn't officially been renewed for a new season, Pompeo's groundbreaking deal indicated we should expect at least two more seasons on the air.