Grey’s Anatomy says farewell to another series regular – Jerrika Hinton‘s Dr. Stephanie Edwards.


During the season 13 finale, Edwards was written out of the show, but alive and of her own volition, which is a rarity for Grey’s. News of Hinton’s departure came around two years ago, when she booked the lead in Shondaland comedy pilot Toast. While this did not get picked up, she recently accepted a role on HBO’s upcoming Alan Ball drama.

“When Toast didn’t go, I went away and had a spiritual summer in a lot of ways,” explains Hinton. “Shonda [Rhimes] and I had a meeting at the beginning of season 13 where we talked about my departure and my creative process, and she was very supportive of my wishes. And I am eternally grateful to her for understanding.”

Rhimes said in a statement: “Actors evolve differently and when an actor like Jerrika comes to me and says she wants to try something new creatively, I like to honor that. Jerrika has shared so much of herself with Stephanie and I am incredibly proud of the journey we’ve taken together. While I’m sad to see Stephanie leave Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, I am excited to see what’s next for Jerrika.”

Hinton joined the veteran medical drama in season nine as one in a group of young new doctors. She was promoted to a regular the following year, and at her end, she left the show as a hero. The finale picked up with the hospital set ablaze after Edwards set a fire to escape the rapist that had taken her and a young girl hostage.

After her heroic moment and saving the day, Edwards decides she wants something more in life than to be a doctor, and walks away. “I spent my whole life in hospitals, and I think I need to see everything that’s not the inside of a hospital,” she said, emotionally. “I need to travel, explore, hike, breathe…away from monitors and blood — and instead of saving other people’s lives I want my own.”

It is unclear if Hinton will ever reappear on Grey’s, but ultimately, it is up to Rhimes. And when asked if she was happy with her character’s end, Hinton says, “I think the decisions she makes at the end of the finale are poignant and long lasting. Go to therapy because burnout is real. I hope that viewers take stock of what or whom they might be sacrificing themselves for and make changes where they need to.”