Grey's Anatomy surprised viewers with an announcement Thursday night that saw Jackson Avery take an abrupt leave of absence, which was also a surprise for his girlfriend, Maggie.
Viewers last saw Jackson (Jesse Williams) when he and Maggie (Kelly McCreary) exchanged "I love yous" at the end of the season 15 premiere, but the next episode saw him leave without saying anything to her.
As she, DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) and Owen (Kevin McKidd) worked on a tricky trauma in the ER, Maggie asks for them to page Jackson for a consult; when Owen breaks the news he is gone.
"He took a leave of absence, he told all of us in an email," Owen says. Maggie attempts to hide the fact she had no idea what happened, but she is upset about it.
Maggie tells Meredith about Jackson leaving and says she feels humiliated and lost, but Meredith tells her she should really be enraged by him abruptly leaving.
Fans of the series were shocked and left angry by Jackson randomly walking away from his job and new relationship, regardless of the crisis of faith he appeared to be dealing with.
"Jackson was married to April for too long. That abandoning your SO s— rubbed off on him," one Twitter user wrote.
"Okay but what happened with Jackson??" another user wondered.
During the season premiere, Jackson was still dealing with his newfound faith in God following the miraculous survival of April Kepner (Sarah Drew) in season 14. He had talked to Maggie about being at a loss on how to explore his faith before the couple was almost run over by a car.
Jackson then treated one victim of the hit-and-run and was convinced that since he had been saved, she had to be all right as well. But when he failed to save her despite a groundbreaking surgical method, he had a small freakout.
Later in the episode, Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) finds Maggie and talks to her about Jackson living.
"Jackson left," Amelia says.
"Yeah he aid he needed to unplug or whatever... he had some questions and wanted to go find the answers. Is there something wrong with me?" Maggie says, before saying that he said he couldn't tell her to her face because he would've never left.1comments
Williams' exit is likely temporary, but fans were still left with serious questions after the shocking episode.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.