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."