Why Ellen Pompeo Is OK With Sandra Oh Not Returning To Grey's Anatomy Yet

Whenever Grey's Anatomy ends, whether it goes on for one more year or another fifteen, one of the first characters fans will bring up as they look back on the show is Cristina Yang. The emotionally distant yet fiercely loyal surgeon was arguably the second or third most important piece of the show for the first ten seasons, and in some ways, the show has never been able to recreate the emotional center her relationship with Meredith Grey created. As such, you'd probably think lead Ellen Pompeo would be clamoring for her former co-star Sandra Oh to return, but it's a bit more complicated than that.

Selfishly I would love to see Sandra Oh come back to Grey__'s, but I also love Killing Eve so much, and I love seeing her have so many of these incredible moments. So, as much as I love Sandra, I'd rather see her shine out on her own. I enjoy that more. That's more gratifying to me.

The above quote came as part of an interview with TV Line, and it's interesting for a few reasons. First, it kinda seems like Ellen Pompeo and Sandra Oh have a similar relationship dynamic to Meredith and Cristina (as opposed to her relationship with Patrick Dempsey). The two were always communicating in a blunt, extremely direct fashion and oftentimes doing so with complicated and sometimes even contradictory emotions. Second, it's probably a sign that Pompeo is comfortable with where the show is now and also aware that you can never really recreate the magic (and that Killing Eve is awesome). That doesn't mean you can't incorporate characters back into a show or trot people out for a finale, but the specific spark of a prior season can never come back. It needs to evolve or change in some way or it gets boring.

Speaking of finales, Grey's Anatomy fans will always keep their fingers crossed Cristina finds a way to at least return for the finale. Over the years, Sandra Oh has talked out of both sides of her mouth and been open about her conflicted feelings as to whether or not she should return, and it's easy to see why. Steve Carell was famously hesitant to return for the finale of The Office because he didn't want to change the memory fans had of Michael Scott, and while he returned in the end, he did so using as little words and screentime as possible.

Over the past several years, Grey's Anatomy has acquired a reputation for being a bit theatrical and almost soap opera-ish at times. Some of that is earned. Some of that is not. But I'm not sure I've ever met anyone who has watched the first three or four seasons of the show and didn't thoroughly enjoy themselves. For a short period, credible arguments could be made that it was one of the best shows on television, and whether she ever returns or not, Sandra Oh was a huge part of that magic.

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Mack Rawden is the Editor-In-Chief of CinemaBlend. He first started working at the publication as a writer back in 2007 and has held various jobs at the site in the time since including Managing Editor, Pop Culture Editor and Staff Writer. He now splits his time between working on CinemaBlend’s user experience, helping to plan the site’s editorial direction and writing passionate articles about niche entertainment topics he’s into. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in English (go Hoosiers!) and has been interviewed and quoted in a variety of publications including Digiday. Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, a great wrestling promo and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.