Why Did ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Bother Bringing Leah Murphy Back in Season 13?
The character was abruptly written out of the show in the Season 10 finale only to be brought back again in Season 13.
Now she’s out again, it appears. So we gotta ask, what was the point of her even coming back last year?
After a few substantive storylines — including a fling with Arizona Robbins and a subsequent sexual harassment filing — Leah lost her job at the end of Season 10, when Richard fired her for her sub-par surgical skills.
(In reality, the Grey’s producers had given both Tessa and her co-star Gaius Charles their walking papers.)
Then, in October 2016, news broke that Tessa would return to the show to reprise the part.
It was a big deal at the time, with everyone from The Hollywood Reporter to TV Guide to Variety trumpeting the news.
You see, it isn’t common for Grey’s to bring back former cast members — just ask Katherine Heigl.
Leah’s return to the hospital was especially huge for Arizona Robbins, since the two had an awkward romantic history.
Some outlets, Wetpaint included, thought Leah might have been the much-hyped rebound prospect for Arizona.
Sure enough, Arizona was very surprised to see Leah, but the two never rekindled their relationship.
Instead, Leah talked about how she honed her skills at another hospital, she learned crucial information about a building collapse, and she and Stephanie let Jo know that Alex wasn’t in prison.
That’s about it.
In fact, the last time we saw her — and the last time we’ll ever see her, apparently — was when Stephanie stole a patient from her.
All told, Tessa Ferrer appeared in one-quarter of all the Season 13 episodes, but she never got an important storyline.
So why bring her back at all? It’s not like the show doesn’t have enough cast members to shoulder the narrative burden.
Perhaps Shonda & Co. were trying to hedge their bets — perhaps they reintroduced Leah in case viewers hated Arizona and Eliza’s romance.
The more likely scenario, we think, is that the writers had bigger plans for Leah that they abandoned, for whatever reason.
But in terms of inelegant character exits, this one ranks right up there with Erica Hahn, who walked to the hospital parking lot in Season 5 and apparently kept on walking.
The Grey’s docs at least made a passing reference that Erica was gone. We’ll see if they do the same for Leah in Season 14… or if Leah will just remain in Grey Sloan limbo.
Grey’s Anatomy Season 14 premieres on Thursday, September 28, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.