‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Here’s Why Ellen Pompeo Is Worried About the Series Finale

It’s official — Grey’s Anatomy is the gift that keeps on giving. Recently, the ABC drama made its season 16 debut, and with season 17 renewal, the Shondaland series isn’t planning to slow down anytime soon — sort of. On Sept. 26, Ellen Pompeo, who plays Meredith Grey, stopped by The Late Late Show with James Corden to chat about season 16. However, Pompeo opened up about the Grey’s Anatomy series finale. And of course, the thought of the show’s end sent fans into a whirlwind of worry.

Pompeo explains pressure behind ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ series finale episode

When Cordon asked Pompeo about the current season, Pompeo touched on the loyal Grey’s Anatomy fanbase. The actress shared how the show’s legacy has allowed the team more creative influence in the 16th season.

“The fun thing about doing a show for 16 years and having a loyal, amazing, fantastic audience is we can really just play and have fun,” the actress laughed. “We’ve built such a television legacy and we’ve worked so hard, it’s kind of like the last half-hour of the party where you can just go crazy.”

Nevertheless, the fanbase is exactly what Pompeo is worried about when it comes to the Grey’s Anatomy series finale. Later in the episode, the host asked Pompeo about the potential series end after season 17. And although the actress didn’t say when the Grey’s Anatomy team will hang up their stethoscopes, she unveiled the pressures of creating the series finale.

“The ending, the final episode, matters so much. Are you kidding me?” Pompeo said. “And the fans are never going to be happy no matter what. SopranosGame of Thrones, they’re pissed no matter what you do. So, there’s a lot of pressure on that final episode.”

The actress teases her hopes for ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ ending

Ellen Pompeo
Ellen Pompeo | Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for GLSEN

In all honesty, Pompeo is right. Given the 16 seasons — and counting — of Grey’s Anatomy, fans will be ruthless if the series doesn’t end favorably. However, it seems like Pompeo is on the same page as most fans. When speaking with Cordon, the actress explained what she personally wants to see in the Grey’s Anatomy series finale.

“I’d love to have some of the old cast come back,” Pompeo said. “That probably won’t happen. But that would be the most amazing way to end.”

Cordon then echoed the voices of Grey’s fans across the nation, as he asked Pompeo why the cast wouldn’t return for the Grey’s Anatomy finale. And well, her answer makes total sense.

“Some of them were killed on the show,” Pompeo laughed.

Previous hints about the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ series finale

The Late Late Show isn’t the first time the end of Grey’s Anatomy has been hinted. In 2017, series creator Shonda Rhimes revealed she has a pact with Pompeo. And it looks like the ABC drama will wrap once Pompeo is ready to make her exit.

“Ellen and I have a pact that I’m going to do the show as long as she’s going to do the show,” Rhimes told E! News at the time. “So the show will exist as long as both of us want to do it. If she wants to stop, we’re stopping. So I don’t know if we’ll see 600, but I want to keep it feeling fresh. As long as there are fresh stories to tell and as long as we’re both excited about the stories being told, we’re in. So, we’ll see where that takes us.”

More recently, Pompeo shared her thoughts on ending the show. And it seems the actress will rely on fan viewership to tell her when to stop the long-running medical drama.

“Obviously I never anticipated the show still being the number one show on the network,” Pompeo told People. “How do you walk away from a hit? The fans will dictate when the show ends. As much as we think we’re in control, we’re not. It’s the fans’ show at this point. They control how long the show goes. We’ll see. I kind of just take it year by year and see.”

Although it will be impossible to please everyone, it’s clear Pompeo knows what fans want to see when Grey’s Anatomy ends. And while she may not be able to deliver her dream finale when it rolls around, we know it’s going to blow everyone away — no matter what happens.