Grey's Anatomy: Clearing Way For (Possible) Cast Departures?

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The contract talks between Grey’s Anatomy and Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, Sandra Oh, Justin Chambers and others has become a hot topic of late, and TV Line has an interesting teaser along those lines.

Shonda Rhimes hinted last month that the season ends in a way that could accommodate any number of possible cast departures, as the original stars are all in the eighth and final season of their ABC deals.

Well, according to TV Line, a late April episode will follow the residents - Alex, Meredith, Jackson, April and Cristina - as they interview for fellowship positions at other hospitals around the United States.

Sunny Meredith

Those hospitals are apparently wooing the Seattle Grace quintet in anticipation of them passing their medical boards, and they're entertaining all of their options in their current hometown and beyond.

None of the actors has said much regarding their prospects of returning for Season 9, but this would make it awfully convenient for one or more of the aforementioned quintet to leave SG for good.

As for Patrick Dempsey, he has indicated he may very well come back if his schedule is freed up so that he may pursue other interests. So he (and others) could also appear on a limited number of episodes.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

It's harder to love somebody than to walk away from them.

Amelia

MEREDITH: "You don't get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done! All the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cares? I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I'm all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don't get to call me a whore."
DEREK: "This thing with us is finished. It's over."
MEREDITH: "Finally."
DEREK: "Yeah, it's done."
MEREDITH: "It is done."