We’ll admit it: the way Grey’s Anatomy’s Season 9 finale left off, things don’t look too hot for Richard Webber (James Pickens, Jr.). We were totally shocked when the episode ended with his electrocution, and we don’t even want to consider the fact that he could be dead. We can’t imagine what the show would be like without him!

Richard’s life is obviously in danger — but on Grey’s, anything can happen. Here are three reasons why we think Richard making a recovery next season is totally possible:

1. Grey’s Anatomy has totally overdone the killing-off-a-character thing. Let’s be real: the words “Grey’s Anatomy season finale” have kind of become synonymous with “massacre of our favorite characters” — especially after last season’s plane crash. While it definitely has its shock value, Richard’s death would be kinda predictable, and we have a feeling creator Shonda Rhimes is a bit more creative than that. Plus, she confirmed James will be back and accidentally tweeted a photo of him at the 200th ep table read, so we're guessing he's alive.

2. Bailey’s been through enough. Especially lately, and especially with Richard. The CDC investigation and the way Richard didn’t stand up for Bailey like he should have took a huge toll on her, and she didn’t exactly bounce back right away. We don’t think Shonda would put poor Bailey through dealing with the Chief’s death after she finally got her groove back in the OR — or would she?

3. The Chief himself has been through enough, too. Richard’s a survivor — he’s grappled with his affair with Meredith’s now-deceased mom, alcoholism, and Adele’s battle with Alzheimer’s and eventual death, so why wouldn’t he survive this? He’s finally happy with Catherine Avery now, and to kill him just as he finds his peace would be super disappointing. We’re hoping he sticks around ‘til the show’s end.

What do you think Richard’s fate will be? Sound off below!