There was one thing on every Grey's Anatomy fan's mind after the Season 8 finale (Season 8, Episode 24, "Flight"): What happens now that Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh) is dead? We're sure her tragic demise will impact the entire cast, but other than Mark (Eric Dane), we're most curious about how her death will affect Meredith (Ellen Pompeo).

We'll have to wait until the show comes back to know what Mer will do, but for now, here are our thoughts on how she might be impacted by her sister's death.

Family time? We have a feeling we'll see the return of Thatcher Grey. We wonder how Lexie's death will impact Mer and Thatcher's relationship. Will it bring them closer together? Their mutual grief may bond them. On the other hand, Thatcher may come to blame Mer for not saving Lexie. Or maybe Lexie's death will send him back into a downward spiral. Whatever happens, if Thatcher does come back, we're sure it will be very dramatic.

Will it keep her in Seattle? On one hand, we could see Lexie's death causing Mer to want to stick around Seattle. Maybe she'll want to stay to help Thatcher. Maybe she'll want to stay so she can be around her own support system, like Richard (James Pickens Jr.) and Bailey (Chanda Wilson). On the other hand, with Lexie gone that's one less thing tying Meredith to the city, and we could also see her wanting to get to Boston ASAP to try to move on from the pain.

How will it affect MerDer? On one hand, this could be the perfect time for MerDer to prove the strength of their bond as they hold each other up through what may be the most traumatic thing to happen to them yet. On the other hand, we could also see the couple falling into conflict if Mer is too caught up in her grief to help Derek (Patrick Dempsey) through dealing with his injury —  or vica versa.

Mommy time. We're guessing that Lexie's death will send Meredith into super mommy mode. She might even get overprotective of Zola for fear of losing someone else she loves.

How do you think Mer will deal with Lexie's death? Let us know in the comments.

Miss Grey’s? Us too. Luckily the show will return to Thursdays at 9 p.m. with all-new episodes in the fall on ABC.

Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaMartin47.

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