Doctors at War! Things ‘Come to a Head’ in the Charged Season 13 Finale of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

finale preview, grey's anatomy
Ron Batzdorff/ABC
Jesse Williams, James Pickens Jr. and Debbie Allen

There’ll be hell to pay, though some will pay more dearly than others. Grey’s Anatomy ends its 13th season with a high-stakes climax in the war between doctors that’s been raging at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital—a war triggered by board chairman Catherine Avery (Debbie Allen) and her ruthless attempt to revamp the residency program. Hoping to return the teaching hospital to its glory days, Catherine brought in ass-kicking surgeon Eliza Minnick (Marika Dominczyk) to take charge of the residents, a move that displaced Catherine’s own husband, Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.), and left the other surgeons choosing sides. Collateral damage has included the suspension of Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), a rift between Catherine and Richard and a possibly irreparable schism between Catherine and her son, Jackson (Jesse Williams), whose loyalty lies firmly with his stepfather.

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The series finale of the long-running series airs on March 28.

“These are doctors who genuinely love and respect each other,” says Allen, “but they are at yin-and-yang odds over Catherine’s tough decision—and it’s all coming to a head.” Catherine could lose big, and that’s had Allen, who is also one of the show’s executive producers, stressed out. “No matter what happens, Catherine and Jackson will always be [in each other’s lives], because that DNA bond is stronger than anything,” Allen says. “But Catherine’s marriage is another story. I told the writers, ‘Richard is never gonna sleep with her again! He’s gonna leave her! Don’t do this! It’s killing me!’ Well, now comes the reality…and it’s going to slap everyone in the face.”

Grey’s Anatomy, Season Finale, Thursday, May 18, 8/7c, ABC