We're still unsure if he makes it, and we can see it swinging either way. So, of course, that means it's time to speculate! While we're really hoping the Chief makes it out of this alive, we're worried for him. Here are three reasons we think the writers might kill him off for good.
1. They don't seem to know what to do with him. Richard's not Chief anymore. Adele has died. For most of Season 9 he's been relegated to supporting character in everyone else's dramas. Maybe the writers have realized that, beloved as he is, they don't know what to do with this character anymore.
2. It would impact everyone. When it comes to high impact deaths, you can't get much bigger than Richard. The audience loves him. All the characters love him. The hospital relies on his expertise. His death could be fodder for all sorts of storylines.
3. It's thematically fitting. Having an older mentor die so that a protagonist can come into their own is a time honored tradition. Richard, who started the show has Chief, was basically a mentor to everyone. Killing him, forcing the rest of the characters to step up even more, could be one way of solidifying the other main characters (especially the ones who started as interns) as full fledged adult doctors ready to take on anything.
Do you think Richard will die? Share your thoughts and feelings in the comments.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaDMartin.