And just like that, Meredith Grey is the last doctor from her residency class still at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Jesse Williams departed Grey’s Anatomy on May 20 in a tearful episode, wrapping up a dozen seasons on the hit medical drama and hinting at a bright offscreen future for his character, Dr. Jackson Avery.
The departure was set up two weeks ago, when Jackson reunited with his one true love, April Kepner (guest star Sarah Drew), and asked her to move to Boston with him so they could continue coparenting their daughter, Harriet, while he runs the Harper Avery foundation to address systemic inequalities in medicine. For fans of the couple, nicknamed Japril, it was a huge relief when she said yes, though obviously they were sad to see the characters leave Seattle.
At the time, Drew said, “I think we’re leaving it up to the audience to come to whatever conclusion that makes them happiest. But I’ve never been shy about wanting Japril to be endgame. It’s what I’ve wanted the whole time…. Who knows what happens when they make their way to Boston. I think there’s a great deal of hope that’s there.”
In last night’s episode, we didn’t see April and Jackson together, but we did get a great moment between Jackson and another important woman in his life: Meredith Grey. Wishing her colleague good luck in his new endeavors, Meredith tells Jackson, “You go give ’em hell,” to which he responds, “Thanks for showing me how,” per Entertainment Weekly. Jackson then drives Meredith home—she finally gets to leave the hospital after her long battle with COVID—and picks up Tom Koracick (Greg Germann, also leaving the show, though he may return for guest spots), who will join him in working at the foundation. As sad as it is, this is a great send-off for this beloved character. And compared with the many, many tragic deaths on the series, it’s actually…not that sad at all.
Just uh, don’t tell the fandom.
The good news is that Grey’s Anatomy is coming back for season 18 next year!