Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital is about to lose a cardio god. Today, long-time cast member Kelly McCreary announced that her character’s run is coming to an end on hit medical series Grey’s Anatomy. Maggie Pierce, who entered the story in Season 9, will end her arc in Season 19, which ABC is currently airing. Her last episode is scheduled to air on April 13, more or less halfway through the season.
When McCreary entered the series in 2013, her character was revealed as a long-lost daughter of Ellis Grey (Kate Burton), who put her up for adoption after an affair with Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.). She was then adopted and only returned to the Grey family members universe after graduating from med school. Maggie was initially not welcomed by series original protagonist Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), but they ended up becoming as close as sisters can be in later seasons.
In an official statement, McCreary shared a heartfelt goodbye message celebrating her time on the long-running series:
“After nine seasons, I am saying goodbye to Maggie Pierce and her Grey Sloan family. It has been a tremendous honor to be a part of such a legendary television institution as ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’ I will always be grateful to Shonda Rhimes, Krista Vernoff, and ABC for the opportunity, and to the incredible fans for their passionate support. To spend nine years exploring a character inside and out, while reaching a global audience with impactful stories, is a rare gift. It has afforded me an opportunity to collaborate with, learn from, and be inspired by countless brilliant artists both in front of and behind the camera. Playing Maggie Pierce has been one of the true joys of my life and I leave with profound gratitude for every step of this journey. I am excited for this next chapter, and what the future holds.”
Sisters To The Very End
At this point, fans are no longer taken aback by surprise exits from the series. Since the show has been going on for so long (it premiered in 2005), most of its original cast members have already left, including protagonist Pompeo, who bowed out earlier this year after a whopping 19-season run. Both Pompeo and McCreary are set to return in future episodes this season, but this will probably be the last we’ll see of them.
Across its 400+ episode run, Grey’s Anatomy has seen all sorts of character arcs develop throughout a small episode count or across several seasons. McCreary became one of the major players of the series, especially because she was introduced to the story in a point where the hospital was lacking one of its flagship cardio thoracic surgeons. With Maggie Pierce’s exit, the series will for the first time not feature any members from the Grey extended family. This will hardly be a problem, though, since the show has regular cast members to boot, and they all have been sharing the protagonism for a while now.
The next episode of Grey’s Anatomy, titled “Training Day”, will feature the return of Kate Walsh as Addison Montgomery. It airs next Thursday, March 23. You can watch a promo below: