Stephanie Edwards Had a Great Goodbye on 'Grey's Anatomy'
Stephanie Edwards Had a Great Goodbye on 'Grey's Anatomy'
Robin Lempel
Robin Lempel
Contributing Writer, BuddyTV
I was prepared for the worst on last night's Grey's Anatomy finale. It seemed like we really were going to lose another one of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital's best doctors. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised. Stephanie Edwards got the beautiful sendoff she deserved.

We'd known for a while that Jerrika Hinton wouldn't be returning as a series regular on Grey's Anatomy. She was previously cast in Shonda Rhimes' comedy Toast, but that didn't end up going to series. However, she was cast in Alan Ball's upcoming drama Here Now. So the obvious thing to do would be to kill Stephanie off. Instead, Stephanie got to make the choice to leave Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital on her own.

It always kind of felt like Stephanie's storyline was pushed aside. But the Grey's Anatomy finale put her front and center. After getting trapped with the rapist, Stephanie set him on fire. Unfortunately, he was too close to some oxygen tanks and there was a huge explosion. Stephanie's and Erin's fates were left unknown until the finale.

Ultimately, Stephanie and Erin survived the explosion, but they still had to survive the fire. Stephanie put Erin before herself every single time, diving through a wall of fire, covering Erin with a wet blanket and more. Time after time it seemed like Stephanie wouldn't make it, but time after time Grey's Anatomy decided not to kill her off.

Both a badly burned Stephanie and Erin survived the fire, but the experience opened Stephanie's eyes. The once determined surgeon was done with hospitals. She wanted to live her own life. She gave an amazing speech saying Dr. Webber changed her life, but she's been in hospitals all her life so she wants to travel the world, have her own experiences and just live. She quit.

It's so rare for a doctor on Grey's Anatomy to go out on their own terms. But Stephanie did, and I thought she had a great goodbye. She really took her life into her own hands.

Of course, Stephanie's survival does leave the door open for her to return. So could we see Stephanie on Grey's Anatomy again? Hinton hasn't ruled it out, but if it did happen, it would be for a while.

"I genuinely don't know the answer to that question," she told Variety. "I will say, though, that because of the nature of her injuries and because of what she says she wants to experience in her next chapter of life, if we do see her come back through those doors, it will be a long time. I think that she needs to heal. She needs to heal in a variety of ways before that place becomes a viable option again."

Did you like Stephanie's exit on Grey's Anatomy? Were you surprised she survived? And do you think we'll see her again? Leave your comments below!

Grey's Anatomy airs on Thursday nights at 8/7c on ABC. Visit our Grey's Anatomy Facebook page for more news!

(Image courtesy of ABC)