Following the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy, which aired on Thursday, fans of the medical drama worried about the fate of an original character on the show. During the episode, the show hinted that Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) may be nearing his end following an incident he experienced at a medical conference, as Us Weekly noted. This news comes shortly after it was revealed that production on Season 16 of Grey's Anatomy would be cut short because of the ongoing health crisis concerning the coronavirus.
Webber, along with Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) and Teddy Altman (Kim Raver), traveled to a medical conference in the Thursday night episode. Webber was due to speak during the event and could be seen doing a great deal of preparation for it. In the episode, it appeared as though he was doing much of that preparation with his estranged wife, Catherine Avery (Debbie Allen). However, viewers later learned that the couple's apparent reunion was an illusion, as Webber was imaging Catherine's presence while she was actually back at Grey Sloan memorial preparing to watch his speech.
Things took a turn when he did end up taking to the stage to speak, as he claimed that he found the cure for cancer while talking to Catherine (a conversation which he imagined). His comments didn't make sense to those watching, including Catherine, and Pierce ultimately cut his speech short.
"Someone please call 911. I think he's having a stroke," Pierce said before the stream of his speech was cut. Us Weekly also noted that Webber did not appear to know who Pierce was despite the fact that she is his biological daughter. Webber's fate was left up in the air, with fans clamoring to know what will end up happening with the Grey's Anatomy mainstay.
Season 16 is set to end early on April 9, and it is unclear if fans will get to see Webber's fate before the season finale. On Friday, Grey's Anatomy's showrunner Krista Vernoff took to Twitter to tell fans that the season would ultimately be cut short because production is not able to pick back up amidst the coronavirus crisis.
"We are disappointed that we don't get to complete our storytelling this season," she wrote. "The good news? 1621 plays like a satisfying finale! It's not where we planned to end, but it's beautiful & the questions that linger we will answer next year."