As we all watched Burke (Isaiah Washington) pursue Cristina (Sandra Oh) so passionately on during his reprise appearance on Grey's Anatomy this season, we all assumed he wanted her back. Turns out, he just wanted to leave his Zurich research center in good hands.

As Isaiah Washington tells E! Online, he's glad the former lovers' paths are diverging again.

"No, I really wasn't [hoping they'd end up together]," he says. "I didn't want that, and I didn't think that the character deserved that after all this time. I did peek in on the show here and there over the years just to see where she was going. What I know about the character, what I know about Shonda, even myself as an opinionated audience member, I wouldn't have wanted that.

And though Isaiah is more of a Shondaland insider than the average "opinionated audience member," he was just as surprised as the rest of us that Burke handed over the keys: "I didn't expect what we got. I didn't expect the Willy Wonka thing. I didn't expect that. So that was huge, and I'm gratified … just watching the love that they put into the episode."

The 50-year-old says that his return to Grey's provided closure — not just for the fans but for himself — and that he relished the chance to work with Sandra before she left Grey's. "She's TV legend now, right up there with Lucille Ball. And I mean that. She's [an] amazing artist … The sky's the limit for whatever she wants to do."

Grey's Anatomy Season 11 airs this fall.

Source: E! Online

Dan Clarendon is an assistant editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow him on Twitter and Google+!