Spoilers ahead for the most recent episode of Grey's Anatomy. If you haven't seen "Sing It Again" look away!
Grey's Anatomy is one of the longest running shows on television, with a dedicated fanbase that has been watching the show for a decade and a half. The ABC medical drama is currently in the midst of its whopping 16th season in the air, and its been a wild year. Grey's is at its best when tugging at your strings and putting its group of surgeons in danger, and this time the show has turned its head on Richard Webber. And it's already breaking my heart.
Richard's decent this year came pretty quick. Just a few episodes ago, he revealed to Beanie Feldstein's fake attending that his hands were starting to shake. It seemed like perhaps he was having a physical issue that would prevent hi from surgery, but last week's episode of Grey's really raised the stakes. He had a public episode at a conference, and hallucinated a reunion with his wife Catherine. So the surgeons have assembled to fix the patriarch of Grey Sloan Memorial. And heart simply cannot take the stress.
I've been watching Grey's Anatomy for a long time, so I'm a bit of a glutton for punishment when it comes to tear inducing plot lines. I've seen countless beloved characters be killed (at least have a scare) throughout the past 16 season, and I enjoy the catharsis of ugly crying over a bowl of popcorn. But Richard's current plot line is somehow more devastating-- mostly because he's so confused about what's happening to him.
While Meredith is convinced that he doesn't have Alzheimer's, last night's episode saw Webber completely disoriented, and unsure about where or when he was. He thought he was still married to Adele, and referred to the hospital as Seattle Grace. Each of his confused bits of dialogue inspired a visceral reaction for me. Richard is the heart of the hospital, so seeing him so helpless was jarring.
Obviously this isn't the first time that Richard's life has been in jeopardy during the course of Grey's Anatomy's long run on ABC. In last night's episode they listed his various close medical issues throughout the years, including a brain tumor in Season and being electrocuted. But this time feels more dire, especially as its the end of the season.
I'm nervous that Richard might die next episode, which is now the finale. It's been a while since a major character was killed off, as the past few surgeons' exits have been without trauma. After all, Arizona, April, Alex, and Callie have all left the show over the past few years alive and well. So it wouldn't surprise me is Grey's Anatomy really went for the emotional gut punch by killing off an OG member of the cast. We'll just have to see what happens.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC. Be sure to check out our midseason premiere list to plan your next binge watch.