Meredith's Grey's Anatomy Goodbye Is Bothering Me More Each Day

Ellen Pompeo in Meredith's final episode of Grey's Anatomy
(Image credit: ABC)

Spoilers for the most recent episode of Grey’s Anatomy.

There are long-running TV shows, and then there’s Grey’s Anatomy. The beloved medical drama is currently in the midst of its whopping 19th season on ABC, although it’s entering a transitional period. Namely because series star Ellen Pompeo recently departed the series, leaving the show without its title character/narrator. And Meredith’s Grey’s Anatomy goodbye is bothering me more each day. Let me explain why.

After 18 full seasons playing Meredith Grey, I can’t fault actress/producer Ellen Pompeo for wanting a much-needed break from Grey’s Anatomy. Fans had a few months to prepare for Meredith’s exit from the show, but her final episode “I’ll Follow the Sun” left much to be desired for me. Because she didn’t get all that much screen time, or a big enough sendoff in my opinion.

In many ways, Meredith’s last episode was like any other on Grey’s Anatomy. We followed a number of different plot lines, with the surgeon’s personal lives and medical work intersecting. But since it was Ellen Pompeo’s goodbye episode I was expecting way more pomp and circumstance– and with way more screen time for the 53 year-old actress. 

While the hospital staff did send her off with a toast, it didn’t feel like that sequence, or the episode in general, was as powerful as other departures from Grey’s Anatomy over the years. I mean, Stephanie Edwards fought her way through a fire a few years ago. And when Justin Chambers left suddenly as Karev, he was still given a full episode and goodbye letters to the other surgeons. What’s more, Meredith didn’t get any big emotional goodbyes to either her sisters or fellow OGs like Bailey and Webber.

What’s perhaps the most frustrating about the whole situation is that we were given a cliffhanger at the end of Meredith’s final appearance on Grey’s Anatomy. Specifically regarding her romantic relationship with Nick Marsh (Scott Speedman). The two have been clashing over his move to Seattle for her, and not reciprocating when Meredith told him he loved her. In the end he tried and failed to get to the airport, but told her he’d always loved her during a phone call. Unfortunately she ended up getting off the phone to be with her kids, and so we have no idea where the two surgeons stand. 

Between the lack of hoopla for Ellen Pompeo’s final appearance and the Meredith/Nick cliffhanger, my feelings about the game-changing Grey’s Anatomy episode have been steadily building over the last few days. In the end I just wanted a bigger sendoff, and more emotions from the characters for seeing their colleague, friend, and family member depart Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Perhaps Pompeo will be convinced to do a guest appearance sometime down the line, allowing for more closure. As for Nick Marsh’s storyline, it remains to be seen how the show handles it moving forward.

Grey’s Anatomy airs new episodes Thursdays on ABC. Be sure to check out the TV premiere list to plan your next binge watch. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.