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Grey's Anatomy: Meredith Refuses to Beg for Love in Ellen Pompeo's Farewell Episode

We revisit one of Meredith's most iconic moments before she flies to Boston

Megan Vick

[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Thursday's episode of Grey's Anatomy. Read at your own risk!]

Grey's Anatomy has said goodbye to a lot of doctors over the course of 19 seasons and we never really thought we'd ever say it to Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), the show's namesake who has been there from the beginning. And to be fair, we still haven't. While Pompeo is stepping away from the show and Meredith is moving to Boston, Thursday's episode of Grey's Anatomy was framed much more as a "see you later" than a formal goodbye. Meredith herself joked at her going away party that, "I'm only going to Boston and we all know I'll probably be back next week." So there was no sobbing to be had, but the episode did come with one major poignant moment. 

The lingering question going into this episode was whether Nick (Scott Speedman) would follow Meredith to Boston after already uprooting his life in Minnesota to join her at Grey Sloan. Objectively, Nick had a right to be pissed that Meredith didn't even talk to him before deciding to move across the country. It just showed no respect for his feelings, you know? Meredith argued that it was because she said she loved him and he didn't say it back, so she felt no need to confer with him about her major life decisions. That was a hard one to watch. 

Ellen Pompeo, Grey's Anatomy

Ellen Pompeo, Grey's Anatomy


However, it was later in the OR with both of them standing over the scrub-in sink that Meredith delivered the mirror version of her iconic "Pick Me" speech she gave to Derek (Patrick Dempsey) in Season 2. In this version, Meredith explained that she's grown up now and has a big life and a big career. If she has to make a decision, she's going to put herself and her kids first. "I will not beg you to love me," she said. It's been almost two decades since a resident Meredith begged Derek Shepherd to pick her, choose her, love her instead of Addison (Kate Walsh). So much pain, loss, and growth has happened to her since that time. She has embraced the fact that she is the sun, and no longer will she require a man (or anyone else) to validate that for her. 

Nick did eventually step up and said he loves her, but it was over the phone while she was already on the plane to Boston. Meredith pretended not to hear him and continued on her way to Boston, so the fate of their relationship still hangs in the balance if Nick isn't willing to make another move. 

The bigger question for fans is what does Grey's look like without Meredith now? It appears we are in for a bit of a reset with three of the new residents — Lucas (Niko Terho), Simone (Alexis Floyd), and Mika (Midori Francis) — moving into the former Grey house, just like Meredith and her cohorts did in the pilot. Meanwhile, Maggie (Kelly McCreary) and Winston's (Anthony Hill) relationship has gone from tense to toxic as Maggie refused to accept Winston's choice to change his surgical specialty. At the end of the episode, she was going to sleep at Amelia's (Caterina Scorsone) house, which means they are on the rocks. So there's still plenty of drama to go around even without Meredith Grey.

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9/8c. Episodes are available the next day on Hulu.