‘Grey’s Anatomy’: April’s Crisis of Faith Would Have Been Even Better If She’d Stayed

Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes has a tendency to drag fans in with her captivating plot lines and amazingly complex character webs, but — over time — that same chaotic nature of her shows that makes fans excited in the first place can also be their downfall.

Notorious for killing off characters with very few regrets, Rhimes has trained her fans to expect the unexpected and to wait on the edge of their seats to see what twist will come out of nowhere next.

This makes for thrilling television, but sometimes the abrupt exits — through death or other departure — can be disruptive to the larger narrative and the connection fans feel to the show as a whole. 

Some fans believe that Grey’s Anatomy took a serious turn for the worse when April exited the show. 

No ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ character is safe

SARAH DREW, JESSE WILLIAMS
SARAH DREW, JESSE WILLIAMS | Mitch Haaseth via Getty Images

Grey’s Anatomy premiered in 2005 and has been on the air for an impressive sixteen seasons with a 17th season premiering soon. After a long — and, frankly, uncharacteristic — stretch without any major character deaths, fans are bracing themselves for impact, expecting Season 17 to bring some heartbreak and tears.

They definitely have reason to be suspicious because if there’s one thing Grey’s Anatomy has shown, it’s that no character is safe. 

This includes Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd who was shockingly offed in an unceremonious car accident while trying to be a Good Samaritan and provide aid to people in need.

Fans were furious at the death of this major character who had been a core part of the story since the very beginning, and it proved that no one was safe. That certainly wasn’t the only death that left fans reeling, but it was definitely among the most shocking. 

April had a story that captivated ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ fans

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April Kepner (portrayed by Sarah Drew) first appeared in Season 6 of Grey’s Anatomy and had an endearing story that helped captivate fans over the years. After she was forced at gunpoint to tell her life story in order to avoid being killed in the tragic hospital shooting, fans learned about her humble origins from a farm in Ohio and her lifelong desire to be a doctor.

The surgeon was found responsible for an early death in an overcrowded ER and fired before being rehired by Derek Shepherd when he became Chief of Surgery. 

In addition to her professional ups and downs, April captivated fans with her personal story of love and parenting. Going through a divorce just as she found out she was pregnant had left April in a vulnerable position, and viewers saw her handle it with grace and compassion.

April also leaned heavily against her devout Christian faith to get through the most difficult times in her story. 

April had a crisis of faith in Season 14 of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

April’s story hit a crisis point in Season 14. She was struggling with her faith and lashing out angrily at everyone around her. It was a rocky road, but she eventually found her way forward and into a rekindled relationship with Matthew Taylor.

Fans were definitely rooting for April, but after a life-threatening accident, she made the abrupt decision to quit her job and provide health care for the homeless community. With that, her character’s nearly decade-long run on the show came to an end.

Fans took to Reddit to discuss the show’s decline in quality, and many pinpointed April’s departure as a piece of that descent. One fan wrote, “the dismissal of April and Arizona left a bad taste in my mouth. I will never rewatch anything after S14.”

Another agreed by adding, “the cliff just fell out from under them after season 14” and then pointing to April’s crisis of faith as “great television.”

“April’s descent is probably my favorite storyline ever. We got to see her completely change and grow. I just wish that she had stayed around for us to see her be the Badass that I always knew she was,” another added.

It’s clear that April’s departure was a hard blow for fans and that it spoiled what could have been an amazing story arc for a favorite character.