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Patrick Dempsey On Grey's Anatomy Future: Season 8 Will Be 'My Last'

Ellen Pompeo may be unsure about whether she’ll stick with Grey’s Anatomy after her contract expires next season, but it sounds like her onscreen hubby has made up his mind.

In the new issue of the Italian Vanity Fair, Patrick Dempsey confirms that the show’s upcoming eighth season will be his swan song. “It’s gonna be my last,” he told the mag. “I do not know what’s going to happen to the other characters, but for me it’s done.”

Dempsey added that the idea of checking out of Seattle Grace after seven years is “bittersweet because it’s been great and a great part of my life. But I can’t see me doing it anymore.”

One person who we’re pretty sure won’t be caught off guard by this news: Shonda Rhimes. The Grey’s creator told TVLine earlier this month that she was approaching next season as if it was the last — not just for Dempsey but his fellow original cast members Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, Sandra Oh and Justin Chambers. “It might be the last hurrah for a lot of them; you never know,” she said. “I really don’t know and I don’t presume to know. Everybody has an individual choice to make and I get that…. All the originals are in play.”

Of course, this begs the provocative question: What happens if Dempsey leaves but Pompeo stays? Perhaps a clue can be found in this next quote from Rhimes. “I feel like Meredith and Derek are meant to be together forever, and we’re going to make sure that in the end they end up together, one would hope — unless one of them dies or something.”