Fans of Grey’s Anatomy were in tears when Justin Chambers announced his exit after fifteen years with the character of Alex Karev. But now, viewers are worried over the fate of another original cast member, that may be primed to leave.
In the Feb. 27th episode, titled “Snowblind”, Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) heavily implied that he is ready to hang up his stethoscope. If he does, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) will be the last two original cast members standing when the finale comes around.
While fans are worried about Richard Webber’s fate, they’re also a bit done with him. When Krista Vernoff announced that Richard would receive a standalone episode in Season 16, fans were not enthused. An entire Reddit thread went up surrounding the discussion…
One poster wrote, “I’m sorry but I would much rather have storylines revolving the new interns and developing their characters (so we have more to judge them on instead of them just being annoying interns) than have old dinosaurs like Webber get their own episode when they’ve had 16 seasons to draw out their same back stories. like we get it, ur an alcoholic and u had an affair we’re over it.”
And another fan pointed out,
Another fan had a similar reaction. “Seriously?! He kinda had one last season. I do not dislike him, but I want to see development for other new characters (Levi, the interns, Link…even one for Jackson or Deluca would be good)… Richard’s story has been explored many times, and honestly now isn’t even that interesting…”
The fans wanted to learn more about the newer cast member’s characters.
Throughout the first half of the episode, “Snowblind”, Richard took an intern under his wing. She was named Tess Desmond (played by Beanie Feldstein). He sees promise in her knowledge and has her scrub in on a laparoscopic cholecystectomy. but before she can make her first cut, Levi Schmitt (Jake Borelli) stormed into the O.R.
Schmitt was seen, at the start of the episode, running around Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital in a panic. He had lost a patient. When he storms into the O.R., we learn that Tess is not an intern! She’s a patient, and her real name is Tess Anderson, and she has a type of cancer called adrenocortical carcinoma!
Later, Tess explains to Richard why she impersonated an intern. She’s in the hospital for her fourth cancer diagnosis in eight years.
After Tess had beaten cancer for the second time, she went to medical school, wanting to become like the people who had saved her–surgeons. She was diagnosed a third time and had to drop out of school because the treatment took all of her tuition money. So, when she was alone during the Seattle blizzard, she saw a chance to live her dream…
And she tried to take it.
Richard is frustrated, but he sympathizes and pushes her to continue to pursue that dream. He goes through the obstacles he faced to become a surgeon, and he told her that if she could beat cancer four times, she could be a surgeon.
He reveals to Tess, later, that he wanted her to perform the surgery because his hands were shaking. He doesn’t know if it’s Parkinson’s or just old age. When Tess tells him there are treatments, Richard’s reality is that the treatments would help, but he would no longer be able to be a surgeon. It’s the one thing he loves the most in the world.
At the end of the conversation, he physically passes the torch, handing Tess his stethoscope. “I don’t need it anymore, but I really hope you do.”
“Well, now I’m just sitting through commercials crying at the thought of Webber leaving or dying,” a fan wrote on Twitter. “We need him. He’s our teacher. He’s our mentor. He’s our @GreysABC father.”
“Webber’s shaking hand. PROTECT WEBBER AT ALL COSTS. #GreysAnatomy,” another fan tweeted.
It seems that, despite their disinterest in an entire episode surrounding Richard, they don’t want him to leave. The thing to remember is, there’s still no word on what is causing his hand to shake!