Well, last season’s Grey’s Anatomy season finale was an emotional roller coaster to say the least! The most shocking moment of the episode — very appropriately titled “Ring of Fire” — came right at the end when fans learned Dr. Stephanie Edwards survived the Grey Sloan Memorial explosion but ultimately decided to quit her surgical job in the wake of the terrifying accident.
After spending most of the show heroically trying to protect lost little girl Erin and help the two escape the burning hospital, many fans probably assumed Stephanie (played by Jerrika Hinton) would tragically peril in the fire akin to so many past Grey’s characters’ deaths.
But, Stephanie and Erin (perfectly portrayed by Big Little Lies child star Darby Camp) both miraculously lived and Dr. Edwards poignantly realized she doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life working in a hospital.
“I think I need to see everything that’s not the inside of a hospital. I need to travel, and explore, and hike, and breathe… breathe real air,” Stephanie tearfully told her mentor, Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.), while undergoing treatment for the burns she sustained in the fire. “I want to breathe it all in away from the monitors, and the blood, and the sterile gowns. Away from saving other people’s lives… I need my own. It’s time I live my own,” she said before telling Richard she quit.
Edwards’ exit from the show wasn’t a total surprise to some die-hard Grey’s fans as rumors began swirling last February that actress Jerrika wanted to pursue other career opportunities outside the medical drama.
Earlier in “Ring of Fire,” Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) and Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) traveled to a nearby military hospital to meet Owen’s long-lost sister, Megan, who was revealed to be alive in the previous episode, “True Colors.” Though we didn’t get to see the siblings’ reconciliation, we’re sure the Owen/Megan storyline will continue in Season 14.
Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) also finally got the chance to tell her new love, Nathan Riggs (Martin Henderson), that Megan — who is Riggs’ former flame — had been found. Riggs then tearfully left the hospital to go meet Megan, leaving fans wondering if his budding romance with Meredith is sadly over (we hope not!).
Towards the end of the episode, Arizona Robbins (Kate Capshaw) learned her sort-of-girlfriend Eliza Minnick (Marika Dominczyk) was fired from Grey Sloan Memorial for the way she handled the hospital’s explosion protocol. And — in another super-surprising moment! — April Kepner (Sarah Drew) gave Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) permission to confess she has feelings for April’s ex Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams). Honestly, we don’t know how we feel about this possible new couple!