The penultimate episode of the thirteenth season of Grey's Anatomy left Dr. Stephanie Edwards' life hanging in the balance. After setting an attempted rapist on fire things, turned catastrophic when he walked right into a gas tank. Seeing the inevitable, Edwards attempted to stop it, but instead the explosion ended up blowing her backwards. Edwards' situation is seriously dire, leaving many to wonder if the actress will continue on with the show. Is Jerrika Hinton leaving Grey's Anatomy? It certainly seems that way.
It actually hasn't been a secret that Hinton may be leaving the show. TVLine first broke the news back in January that Hinton wouldn't be returning to the show as a series regular in Season 14. However, Hinton herself has yet to either confirm or deny it and probably won't do so until after the Season 13 finale. Still, just because Hinton isn't returning as a series regular, that doesn't necessarily mean this will be the last we see of her character. It could just mean fans won't see her as regularly on the show and this could be because of Hinton's new gig.
She was cast to co-star in Alan Ball's new HBO drama Here, Now, in which she'll play the character Ashley Black. Ashley is the creator and owner of a retail fashion website, a wife, and the mother to a 4-year-old who was born in America to Somalian refugees and adopted after her mother died and her father was deported.
At the time of the announcement, Deadline reported that Hinton was only cast in a guest-starring capacity because of her series regular status on Grey's, however, it looks like things may have changed.
While fans want to remain hopeful — and there certainly have been characters that have survived worse (I'm looking at you Meredith Grey) — it's hard not to feel like the show is setting up Edwards' death as Hinton's exit from the show. However, it's also possible that Edwards survives and her injuries are the reason why she won't appear on the show as often, thereby still allowing Hinton to work on her new show and occasionally appear on Grey's in the future.
Hopefully that's the case since no one seems ready to say goodbye to her just yet. The surgical intern-turned-resident has come a long way. Sure she's headstrong, but that's what also makes her an incredible doctor. She's good at her job and she knows she's good at it. It'd be a shame for her to be killed off before she gets to reach her full potential.
The Grey's Anatomy season finale airs on Thursday, May 18 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.