Grey’s Anatomy Season 9 ended as many seasons do: with a cliffhanger. However, this wasn’t any ordinary jaw-dropping moment — it was veteran doc Richard Webber lying face down in a pool of water as exposed wires sparked around him.
Most fans freaked out, assuming Richard is dead, but we’re still unsure. Creator Shonda Rhimes loves to mess with us and freak us out, and the last few times someone looked dead in a finale — Izzie after she flatlined in Season 5 and almost everyone in the plane crash in Season 8 — they were actually alive. (Well, some of them. R.I.P., Lexie and Mark.)
But if Richard really is dead, who will be affected most? Though everyone at Grey Sloan Memorial loves him, Meredith Grey is going to be the most shaken up. She was able to cope with her mother’s death, and was surprisingly calm after Lexie’s, but Richard is basically her father, and it won’t be so easy. (Notably, her real father went M.I.A. after she saved his life, though it’s likely because portrayer Jeff Perry is on Scandal.)
Here are three ways we think Meredith will be affected if Richard dies. Spoiler alert: they ain’t pretty!
She goes into a deep depression. Remember that particularly dark-and-twisty time when Meredith almost drowned herself? We’re worried that could come back again. Though she has a new addition to her family (baby Bailey!) and a loving family, that may not be enough to cope with losing her father figure, mentor, and friend. This could lead to her ignoring her new baby and driving a wedge between her and Derek.. again.
She ignores it and pretends like everything’s fine. In Season 9, Meredith didn’t directly deal with Lexie’s death. She cried a bit, but ultimately just dealt with it by ignoring it, and we didn’t see any residual issues until the end of the season; in fact, Cristina was more shaken up by the memories of animals eating Lexie than Meredith was. This time around, she may hold in her feelings and...
She freaks out, big time. Meredith could freak out and blame everyone in the hospital for making this happen, going into a rage. This is the least likely option, at least in the long term, but she may have an outburst and then go into denial and depression. Who knows if she’d go through all seven stages of grief, but at least one, if not all, of these emotional reactions would come into play if Richard dies.
How do you think Meredith will react if Richard dies? Sound off below.