Grey's First Look: As Ellen Pompeo Exits, Mer Is the 'Toast' of Grey Sloan

The beginning of the back half of Grey’s Anatomy Season 19 will also be the end of an era. The long-running ABC drama’s winter premiere, airing Thursday, Feb. 23, at 9/8c), marks original cast member Ellen Pompeo‘s final episode as a series regular. And as you’ll see in the first-look photos that have just been added to the gallery below, glasses are raised right and left to her character, who is set to relocate to Boston with her family.

Per the series’ official logline, “On Meredith’s last day at Grey Sloan, the doctors plan a goodbye surprise and Nick confronts her about the future of their relationship.” Given that the title of the episode is “I’ll Follow the Sun” — a clear reference to Cristina telling her person back in Season 10 that she, not husband Derek, is the sun around whom the world revolves — we’re gonna go out on a limb and guess that Grey and her estranged boo kiss and make up.

greys anatomy season 19 alexis floyd In other developments, the interns put their game faces on as they compete to scrub in on a groundbreaking procedure, Richard has a big question for Teddy, and Lucas and Simone unpack their first kiss.

Pompeo’s decision to appear in only a handful of Season 19 episodes came to light back in August 2022. Despite her imminent departure to focus on another project (read about that here), she’s already promised that “I’ll definitely be back to visit.” She’ll also continue to provide voiceover narration for the remainder of the season.

In other Grey’s Anatomy news, showrunner Krista Vernoff announced in January that at the end of the series and spinoff Station 19‘s current seasons, she would be stepping down from her post. A replacement has not yet been named.

To check out photos of Meredith’s sendoff, click on the photo gallery above. Then hit the comments with the name of the character you most want to see get more airtime in her absence.