April & Arizona's Exits Remain a Mystery Ahead of 'Grey's Anatomy' Finale

JESSICA CAPSHAW, SARAH DREW
Finale
ABC/Eric McCandless

Seattle’s Grey Sloan Memorial loses two surgeons tonight, April Kepner (Sarah Drew) and Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) — but the prognosis for Grey’s Anatomy is hardly dire.

Over 14 seasons, the ABC hit has seen a hospital wing’s worth of cast members check out, among them T.R. Knight, Sandra Oh and, most devastating, Patrick Dempsey. More than 100,000 fans signed a petition vowing they wouldn’t watch without McDreamy, yet they stuck around.

Co-showrunner Krista Vernoff says the two were let go so Grey’s could “follow the stories where they want to go.” Considering that Arizona is a lesbian mom and April a devout Christian, the move is particularly stinging to communities that creator Shonda Rhimes admits “are underserved” on TV.

As for how the characters leave, we do know this: April was gravely injured in the penultimate episode — but survived! — and ex–fetal surgeon Nicole Herman (Geena Davis) is back. Will she offer Arizona a job?

Grey’s Anatomy, Season 14 Finale, Thursday, May 17, 8/7c, ABC