(Spoilers for the finale are below. Take heed.)
“We end the season not knowing ANYTHING about the future,” Rhimes says in a very long tweet posted early Friday. “Except for two things. We know we are definitely saying goodbye to two of my favorite people: Chyler Leigh (Lexie) and Kim Raver (Teddy).”
Leigh’s Lexie Grey was the character who died — but we’d heard for a long time that someone would, so it wasn’t unexpected. Raver’s departure, though? That was a shock.
“Kim’s series option was up and she was ready to give Teddy Altman a much-needed vacation,” Rhimes explains. “It’s been a pleasure working with someone as talented and funny and kind as Kim; everyone is going to miss her terribly. I like to imagine that Teddy is still out there in the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ universe, running Army Medical Command and building a new life.”
As for Lexie’s death, Rhimes says she and Leigh discussed the decision, and “ultimately we both decided this was the right time for her character’s journey to end. As far as I’m concerned Chyler will always remain a part of the Shondaland family and I can’t wait to work with her again in the future.”
While the direction of Season 9 remains up in the air, we at least know that most of the regular cast is returning. The show itself will be back on Thursday nights in the fall.