Grey's Anatomy said goodbye to fan-favorite characters April Kepner and Arizona Robbins during Thursday's season 14 finale.
After months of speculation regarding Sarah Drew's and Jessica Capshaw's exits, the long-running ABC medical drama wrapped up the doctors' storylines in a surprisingly happy note, in an episode that also saw the hilarious wedding of Alex (Justin Chambers) and Jo (Camilla Luddington).
Scroll through to see how the series said goodbye to two of its series regulars.
Grey's teased Arizona Robbins' (Capshaw) exit early in the season as the fetal surgeon noticed her daughter Sofia (Eva Ariel Binder) growing more and more unhappy after moving back to Seattle from New York City to leave with her.
After Sofia starts lashing out, Arizona decides to uproot her life and move to New York so her daughter can be close to other mom Callie (Sara Ramirez). Together with Nicole Herman (Geena Davis), Arizona also agrees to open a women's health center in the city to provide first-care to mothers, as well as a training facility for doctors to learn about fetal surgery.
During Alex and Jo's wedding, Arizona says her goodbyes to best friend April and former pediatrics mentee Alex before she headed off on her next adventure.
"Alex Karev, married? It's like, my work here is done." Arizona says to Alex before they head off to the wedding.
Arizona works hard to make sure Alex's special day is perfect but, when April and Arizona notice the bride and groom are missing, she begins to think she might have freaked him out with her reliving her marriage to Callie (Sara Ramirez).
Arizona later announces that she has begun to smile every time she receives a text from Callie. She reveals that she may be thinking about rekindling her romance with Callie now that they are both single, but she hesitates since their relationship hasn't worked in the past.
"No one has ever, in the history of my life, hurt me the way Callie did," Arizona says. April tells Arizona that people change, referencing her getting back together with Matthew.
"It's not a catastrophe that Callie is making you smile again," April says. Arizona tells April, and Richard (James Pickens Jr.) she will miss them terribly.
The episode comes to an end with Jackson, Arizona and Sofia being witnesses for Matthew and April's impromptu wedding.prevnext
April Kepner's (Sarah Drew) exit was blanketed by mystery.
During the season's penultimate episode, April got into a life-threatening accident she survived thanks to her co-workers. The hour also revealed the trauma surgeon had reconnected with ex-fiance Matthew Taylor (Justin Bruening), and the pair had been secretly dating ever since his wife's death.
As April was busy acting as a wedding planner for Jo and Alex's wedding, April reveals the reason that takes her away from Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.
Before what turns out to be the wrong ceremony, Jackson (Jesse Williams) and Maggie (Kelly McCreary) discuss how after her accident April quit her job to "do the lord's work." A job change that reportedly happened "weeks" before the wedding.
April realizes that she accidentally sent the guests to the wrong location, but the issue is quickly resolved, only for Alex and Jo to go missing when they accidentally lock themselves in a shed.
As Catherine (Debbie Allen) arrives, she tells April how much she misses her at the hospital since she left, but April says her work with homeless communities "feels good."
Jackson talks to Matthew to bury the hatchet now that he and April are back together. Matthew tells him he'll try to be a Christian about it since he's Harriet's father. The pair agree to be civil so April can be happy.
After the wedding ends in disaster, and without an actual ceremony, Matthew comforts April and surprises her by proposing to her as Arizona and Jackson watch.
" I loved who you were five years ago, and I love you even more today... I don't want to waste any more time," Matthew says. April says yes.
The episode ends with April getting married to Matthew, as Jo and Alex get married on the ferry.
Sarah and Jessica's Goodbye
After the episode, Drew took to Twitter to thank her fans for their support throughout her character's journey on the series.
It was such a joy to get to spend my final week on the show with almost everyone in the cast in a gorgeous location in Malibu. We laughed SO much, Goofed off WAY too much, and had our fare share of hugs and tears. I love this group!! Some of my sweetest moments with Ellen were during both of my pregnancies. She offered so much wonderful advice and cared for me as I was entering into working motherhood. She is a mama bear through and through. Giacomo is so wonderful. I love his desire to make the world a better place and his passion for the underserved in our country and around the world. It was also a joy to bond with him after we both produced projects for the first time last hiatus. And he absolutely KILLS it in this episode!
Capshaw, who waited until the end of the West Coast airing of the episode, also took to social media to share some thoughts on her last installment on the series.
Just saying...my Instagram feed is going to look like I was on Grey’s Anatomy for a decade by the end of this evening. ???— Jessica Capshaw (@JessicaCapshaw) May 17, 2018
Fans of the ABC series, who have been dreading Arizona and April's exits since news broke back in March, flooded Twitter with memories of the characters, as well as messages of gratitude for the actresses who brought them to life.
Thank you @sarahdrew for April Kepner.
Her growth, strength and resilience inspired me a lot and that's because of your talent and your honest portrayal.
No matter how her story ends she'll always have a place in my heart.May 17, 2018
Thank you for Arizona Robbins, for me to show you have a reason to smile, thank you very much for everything. I love you and I am eternally grateful to you! Arizona is a great example!❤❤❤❤❤@JessicaCapshaw @JessicaCapshaw @JessicaCapshaw #GreysAnatomy pic.twitter.com/vQYYH1SkdY— Tarcilla (@JessCapshaw9) May 17, 2018
Why They Left
Grey's Anatomy shocked fans in early March when news broke that Capshaw and Drew would be exiting the series after season 14.
Despite rumors that the actors were let go because of series lead Ellen Pompeo's salary increase, executive producer Krista Vernoff assured fans the move was a creative decision.
"The characters of Arizona and April are permanently woven into the fabric of Grey's Anatomy thanks to the extraordinary work of Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew," Vernof said at the time. "As writers, our job is to follow the stories where they want to go and sometimes that means saying goodbye to characters we love. It has been a joy and a privilege to work with these phenomenally talented actresses."prevnext
'Good Man in a Storm'
Arizona Robbins was introduced to the series during season five.
Capshaw was initially booked only as a multi-episode guest star, but was later promoted to series regular and became one of the series' most beloved castmembers.
Some of Arizona's most memorable moments include her "good man in a storm" speech to Callie's dad, losing her leg after the tragic plane crash and her close friendship and mentorship with Nicole Herman.prevnext
April Kepner's Evolution
April was one of several surgical residents to be introduced after the Seattle Grace-Mercy West merger on Grey's Anatomy's sixth season. At first, April was portrayed as an insecure yet-cunning student, often disliked by the other residents and interns in the hospital because of her personality.
Over the years, April became a voice for devoted Catholics on network television, had an epic romance, dealt with the loss of a child, joined the army and won over every character, and fan, of the series.prevnext
Arizona's Love Story
Arizona and Callie marked the series first epic same-sex love story. For years, fans saw as the surgeons fell in love and fought for their relationship. Callie and Arizona had daughter Sofia in season 7 after Callie gets pregnant with Mark Sloan's (Eric Dane) following a one-night stand.
The couple got married near the end of the seventh season and enjoy marital bliss, until the plane crash saw Mark's death and Callie was forced to make the decision to cut off Arizona's leg against her wishes. The couple got a divorce and faced a devastating custody battle, before Callie moved to New York with new girlfriend Penny at the end of season 12.prevnext
April and Jackson shared one of the Grey's Anatomy fandom's favorite epic romances.
April lost her virginity to Jackson, but later went on to date Matthew and almost got married, until Jackson interrupted the ceremony and the couple eloped and got married on a whim instead.
The couple did not live happily ever after for too long, however, as April found out she was pregnant but her baby had a rare disease that only allowed him to live for a few hours after birth. The grief from the loss of their first baby caused the couple to drift apart and separate, with April finding out she was once again with child after signing the divorce papers.
Since then the couple amicably co-parented daughter Harriet, and eve hooked up a few times, until Jackson developed feelings for Maggie (Kelly McCreary) and April started seeing Matthew once again.prevnext
What Comes Next
Capshaw and Drew might have said their last goodbyes, but Grey's Anatomy will return for a history-making 15th season in fall 2018 on ABC, making it the longest-running series ever for the network.1comments
"Grey's Anatomy has a special place in my heart, and millions of viewers feel the same way," ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey said at the time of the renewal announcement. "Thanks to fiercely loyal fans who have been on this journey since the beginning, and new generations of viewers who continue to discover the joy and drama of Gray Sloan Memorial, the show is as strong as ever."
Fingers crossed we won't see any characters leave next season.prev