When Is the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 16 Finale? Krista Vernoff Says the Unexpected Ending Will Be ‘Satisfying’

Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 will not receive its full 25 episodes. However, the Shondaland series will continue to deliver a “satisfying” ending, according to showrunner Krista Vernoff. So when is the Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 finale in 2020? There are only a few episodes left before the dramatic conclusion — titled “Put on a Happy Face” — airs on ABC.

The ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 16 finale air date and time

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey in the 'Greys Anatomy' Season 16, Episode 21 finale
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith on ‘Greys Anatomy’ | ABC/Raymond Liu

On March 12, Grey’s Anatomy shut down production for season 16 amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Vernoff and executive producers Debbie Allen and James Williams addressed the cast and crew in a letter.

“Out of an abundance of caution, production is postponed on Grey’s Anatomy effective immediately,” Vernoff, Allen, and Williams said, per Deadline. “We are going home now for at least two weeks and waiting to see how the coronavirus situation evolves.”

The letter continued: “This decision was made to ensure the health and safety of the whole cast and crew and the safety of our loved ones outside of work, and it was made in accordance with Mayor Garcetti’s suggestion that we not gather in groups of more than 50.”

Now the ABC series will not resume production. Recently, the network revealed the Grey’s Anatomy finale will air on Thursday, April 9, at 9 p.m. EST. This means the 16th season will be 21 episodes long and end with “Put on a Happy Face.” 

Showrunner Krista Vernoff reacts to the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 16 finale news

Following the news about the Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 finale, Vernoff addressed the situation on Twitter. The showrunner expressed her disappointment. However, she also promised fans the final episode of the current season will be satisfying. And ultimately, the Shondaland series isn’t done, as it still has plenty of stories to tell in Grey’s Anatomy Season 17.

“We are disappointed that we don’t get to complete our storytelling this season,” Vernoff wrote. “The good news?  1621 plays like a satisfying finale! It’s not where we planned to end, but it’s beautiful & the questions that linger we will answer next [season].”

Vernoff later added: “To be clear: there are still two Season 16 episodes left to air!!! And we will resume our storytelling in Season 17!”

What happens in the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 16 finale?

According to the synopsis for the Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 finale on April 9, there will be three key storylines. The description reads:

Link [Chris Carmack] tries to convince Amelia [Caterina Scorsone] to take it easy during the final stage of her pregnancy. Hayes [Richard Flood] asks Meredith [Ellen Pompeo] a surprising question, and Owen [Kevin McKidd] makes a shocking discovery.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Kim Raver — who plays Teddy — revealed Richard Webber’s (James Pickens Jr.) storyline will continue through the new Grey’s Anatomy finale. In the March 26 episode, fans were devastated over the original character after an incident at a medical conference. The April 2 episode is set to address Richard’s condition. And although Raver wasn’t able to tease much, she noted his storyline will continue on for some time.

“In Grey’s Anatomy, every doctor comes together in such a fantastic way to sort of figure out and problem-solve what is the problem,” Raver said. “It’s so terrific and speaks volumes for James’ character that he’s so beloved. So that is definitely a big chunk of the next couple episodes.”

But regardless of what happens with Richard, the season 16 finale will still end with a cliffhanger for our favorite doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial. 

“I think it’s still got some really great cliffhanger things,” Raver said. “We all want to make sure that we are flattening the curve and keeping everyone safe. So we have to end on this episode because it was the one that we finished with”

She continued: But the writers are so good that it’s gonna totally work as a finale. And I think it’s quintessential Grey’s. You will be laughing and crying simultaneously and then we’ve got a whole bunch of amazing things in store for you guys in the new season.”

Read more: ‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Is Richard Webber Leaving? Fans Are Worried About the Character’s Future