Grey’s Anatomy loves to throw us threw a loop, always making us fearful that our favorite doctors’ lives are in jeopardy, and that definitely happened in the Season 9 finale. First, it was Meredith who nearly died on the table, and then, in the final moments, veteran doc Richard Webber was seen lying face down in a pool of water as exposed wires sparked around him.
Though many assume Richard is dead, we’re still unsure. Sometimes people look dead on Grey’s but end up being alive and well the next season. (Remember when Izzie flatlined in Season 5 and was alive in Season 6?) While that isn’t always true — R.I.P. George, Lexie, and Mark — we’re hoping that will be the case with Richard.
However, if Webber really is dead, who will be affected most? Everyone loves him, there’s no question about that, but we think that his mentee Bailey will be up there as one of the most distraught. We’ve already broken down how Meredith could be impacted, but now it’s Miranda’s turn.
Here are three ways we think Bailey will be affected if Richard dies.
She will completely shut down and shut everyone out. Last season, Bailey was already in a bad place after killing three of her patients accidentally after a tiny hole in a glove transferred MRSA to them. The CDC investigated her, she locked herself in a room for more than one episode, and only came back to her old self to save Meredith in the finale. Though her husband, Ben, is back and trying to help, if her mentor dies, would she be able to carry on?
She will work double-time to distract herself. The flip side is that Bailey is so upset that she distracts herself by going into intense work mode, perhaps even becoming more like her “Nazi” persona of days past. We can see her diving in with another case study or going crazy with back-to-back surgeries, which ultimately could harm herself and her patients. This would be difficult to watch, and could last throughout the season.
She will leave the hospital. Worst-case scenario is that she leaves the hospital, unable to go on after Richard’s death. Maybe all three of these things could happen, dealing with her denial and other stages of grief in varying stages, or maybe none of them will. We can’t see Bailey existing without Richard, though. She can, physically, but emotionally? He helped her rise from a lowly intern who was so smart but couldn’t stand up for herself to the heart of the hospital. Hopefully we won’t have to see that change in any capacity.
What do you think will happen if Richard dies? Will Bailey shut down, work more, or leave? Sound off below.