James Pickens Jr. and Patrick Dempsey James Pickens Jr. and Patrick Dempsey

The Seattle Grace-Mercy West merger had a bad effect on everyone, but none more than the Chief (James Pickens Jr.), who started drinking again during the tumultuous time. On Thursday's episode of Grey's Anatomy, the truth finally came out thanks to Derek (Patrick Dempsey), who is now poised to take the top job.

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So what does this mean for Pickens staying on the show? How will the doctors take to Derek being the boss?

Sources said Pickens is not leaving the show and Derek is not permanently taking his position. Until Richard Webber can sort out his problems, Derek will act as interim chief, but not everyone will be happy about that.

"Obviously the minute that your leader trips, there's a ripple effect that happens throughout the entire hospital," Jessica Capshaw told TVGuide.com. "It's going to bring great challenge to Seattle Grace."

Co-star Justin Chambers added: "We're all in shock because for me, the Chief has always represented someone stoic and smart and definitely experienced. I still respect McDreamy, but to see him as the big cheese is going to be kind of strange."

So strange, in fact, the hospital will be divided in two. While some doctors can see that Derek was only doing what was right for the hospital, others will accuse him of betraying the Chief. One doc definitely on his side is Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd).

"Owen has a scene with Derek where he kind of supports him," McKidd said. "Derek asks him, 'Do you feel like I'm being selfish?' and he says, 'If this benefits the most amount of people, then that's the right decision. If it's just benefiting you, it's the wrong decision. ' Because of the Chief's problem, it obviously benefits more people than it does damage to, so Owen is a supporter of that."

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And if you think Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) is all of a sudden going to get special treatment for being married to the head honcho, think again. "Meredith is so good anyway," said Chambers. "She has a high IQ, she does every surgery impeccably. I don't think we'll have a problem with her progressing anyway, whoever the Chief is. I'm sure Alex will throw out a few words that aren't necessarily polite about her sleeping with the Chief."

In the meantime, let the speculation on what happens to former Chief Webber commence. "Is he going to leave, is he going to get help, is he not going to get help, who's going to get help for him, is he going to get help for himself?" pondered Capshaw.

What do you think will happen to the Chief?