Read spoilers at your own risk! For more on Wetpaint Entertainment's philosophy on spoilers, click here.
As most Grey's Anatomy spoiler lovers have probably heard by now, Eric Dane is leaving the cast in Season 9. But does that mean Mark is going to die? So far, the cast and crew have been hush-hush about how the departure will play out, but we have a feeling that another untimely death is headed our way.
Here's what we know and suspect about Eric's departure from the show.
It won't happen right away. It seems like the easiest way to end Mark's story would be to have him die in the Season 9 premiere. After all, he was on the brink of death when we last saw him in Season 8, Episode 24, "Flight." However, a Grey's insider told TVLine that Eric Dane "will be back for several episodes [in Season 9] in order to ensure he gets a proper farewell."
But that doesn't mean he doesn't die... However, just because Mark presumably doesn't die right away — unless Eric is sticking around for flashbacks and/or ghostly appearances, which we hope isn't the case — doesn't mean he'll live, either. To us, the most likely scenario is that Mark makes it back to the hospital, and has some touching final scenes with Derek (Patrick Dempsey), Jackson (Jesse Williams), and, of course, Callie (Sara Ramirez), while he struggles for his life. However, we suspect he'll succumb to his injuries a few episodes into the season.
Why? Sofia. If it weren't for baby Sofia, we'd be open to the possibility that Mark could recover and then leave Seattle to start a new post-Lexie (Chyler Leigh) life elsewhere. However, while this could happen, we have a really hard time believing that Mark would voluntarily leave his daughter.
Bonus: The rumors that someone will die? Eric Dane said a while ago that he's not sure if Mark lives, and Shonda Rhimes has hinted that not everyone will survive the plane crash. Now that we know Eric Dane is leaving, those clues point pretty clearly to Mark biting the dust.
What do you think will happen to Mark? Let us know in the comments below.
Grey’s Anatomy Season 9 will premiere on Thursday, September 27 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaMartin47.
Satisfy your Grey’s Anatomy addiction: Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter and Tumblr.