Ellen Pompeo Clarifies Grey's Anatomy Status Ahead of 'Exit,' Says ABC Is Playing a 'Bit of a Trick' on Viewers

Grey’s Anatomy promos for the long-running ABC drama’s midseason premiere sell the episode as “Meredith’s Farewell to Seattle” — with the implication that it’s farewell, period. But “I’ll Follow the Sun,” which airs Thursday, Feb. 23 (at 9/8c), isn’t so much goodbye to OG cast member Ellen Pompeo as it is “See ya later.”

“For the record, it’s not really my final” show, she tells ET. “It’s a little bit of a trick they’re playing on people.”

The actress has always maintained that she’d be bringing Meredith back for visits, and in fact, she’s expected to appear in another episode before Season 19’s finale. This one, she says, is just “my final episode for a while.”

In the meantime, Pompeo will continue to deliver Meredith’s voiceover narration to Grey’s Anatomy and retain her position as an executive producer. On screen, as viewers are well aware, the character is taking her children and moving to Boston… and perhaps not a moment too soon; the fall finale concluded with her house up in flames! (Read the recap here.)

Earlier this week, ABC released first-look photos of Meredith’s send-off from Grey Sloan. (Take a peek here.) Though there was no sign of estranged significant other Nick in the pictures, it’s a safe bet that Scott Speedman’s character will eventually make tracks to Boston, too; the episode is, after all, titled “I’ll Follow the Sun” — a clear reference to Cristina’s Season 10 exit, during which she made sure that her person knew that she, not husband Derek, was the sun around whom the world orbited.

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