Grey's Anatomy Creator Shonda Rhimes Speaks Out On Last Night's Character Departure

Spoilers ahead!

Thursday night's season finale of Grey's Anatomy was, naturally, an emotional one. One of the episode's stirring moments came when Dr. Stephanie Edwards (Jerrika Hinton) decided to pack her bags and say goodbye to Grey Sloan Memorial.

Show creator Shonda Rhimes took to Twitter to express her thoughts on Hinton's departure. Rimes revealed that the Hinton wanted to move in a different creative direction with her career.

"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," Rimes wrote.

"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 Hospital, I am excited to see what's next for Jerrika," Rhimes said.

During the episode, Stephanie made the decision to quit her position as surgical resident after surviving the explosion that sent the hospital into chaos. She suffered severe burns when saving a young girl, and then explained after later in the episode that she wanted to see the world.

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"I spent my whole life in hospitals, my whole life. I need to travel and hike and breathe," Stephanie told her mentor, Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) of her decision to leave. "I want to breathe it all in, away from the monitors and the blood and the sterile counts and away from saving other people's lives — I want my own. This time, I live my own."

Jerrika Hinton explained that she felt the way that Shonda Rimes wrote her character out of the show was done in an elegant fashion.

"I do love her completion," Hinton said. "For me, it's the natural conclusion for what has been a journey of self-exploration. … Her epiphany is the hero's journey. It's not just setting a rapist on fire and saving this little kid; it's her fully and finally seeing her life for what it is and walking a different and hopefully better path. That's a hero's journey."

When asked about a potential return to Grey's Anatomy in the future, Hinton said: "I think the decisions she makes at the end of the finale are poignant and long lasting."

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"I hope that viewers take stock of what or whom they might be sacrificing themselves for and make changes where they need to," she said.

Hinton concluded by spilling on which character she would have wanted to have a love scene with if she could write a scene for herself.

"Leah (Tessa Ferrer) obviously! Let's give the people what they want! That would have been a really wonderful, queer version of the Burke/Yang relationship. Hopefully without their dramatic ending but definitely with all of the competition!"

Photo Credit: Twitter / @tracyskillz