It’s the end of an era. The latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy opened with narration from Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) in place of the show’s titular character, portending a dreaded conclusion that fans are still weeping over. Last season, Alex Karev’s (Justin Chambers) opening narration announced his decision to restart his life with his long lost lover Izzie and ultimately depart from the show. And although we are all still reeling from that sudden loss coupled with the death of Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) this season, leave it to the showrunners of the series to shatter our hearts yet again and force us to bid Dr. Avery adieu in the near future.
In the episode titled “Look Up Child,” Avery visits his estranged father Robert Avery to discuss the languishing impact of his family’s philanthropic foundation as he vacillates between charting his own path to advancing racial equity or undertaking his family’s legacy. After conversations to convince his ex-wife and mother of his daughter April (Sarah Drew), he decides to move to Boston to run the foundation with his family in tow (I suppose this rekindling has the Japril fandom thrilled). “I can use this as an opportunity to make some profound changes in the world,” he says to April in the show. He promises, “I’m not running from something. I’m running to something.” Throughout this current season, Avery has been adamant about the inequities communities of color face during a raging pandemic that disproportionately affects them. Despite his heart-rending monologues on the disparities in the healthcare systems, fans will be mustering up the courage to finally say farewell to William’s beloved character come his final appearance in the May 20 episode.
“As an actor, director and person, I have been obscenely lucky to learn so much from so many and I thank our beautiful fans, who breathe so much energy and appreciation into our shared worlds,” Williams says in a statement per The Hollywood Reporter. “The experience and endurance born of creating nearly 300 hours of leading global television is a gift I’ll carry always. I am immensely proud of our work, our impact and to be moving forward with so many tools, opportunities, allies and dear friends.”