Here's how 'Grey's Anatomy' said goodbye to Meredith Grey (2023)

In Ellen Pompeo's farewell episode, the show paid homage to her famous "pick me" speech.

Samantha Highfill

Here's how 'Grey's Anatomy' said goodbye to Meredith Grey (1)

By Samantha Highfill February 23, 2023 at 10:01 PM EST


Here's how 'Grey's Anatomy' said goodbye to Meredith Grey (2)

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Warning: This post contains spoilers from the Feb. 23 episode of Grey's Anatomy.

Meredith Grey has officially left the building.

The Feb. 23 episode of Grey's Anatomy marked Ellen Pompeo's last as a series regular — though she's still going to record voiceovers for the show and could very well pop up again in the future. Nevertheless, it's the end of an era for the show's namesake. And the long-running series made sure to send her off in a big way as Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and Richard (James Pickens Jr.) put together a surprise pour for her final day.

Although the show made a point of having Meredith (Pompeo) say, "I'm only going to Boston and I'll probably be here next week," Richard still marked the moment by declaring that, "This place won't be the same without you."

As Meredith raised her glass and took one final look at so many of the people who've been her family at the hospital, there was one person missing: Nick (Scott Speedman). All episode, the two had been struggling to figure out what this move would mean for their future as a couple ... or if they have one.

GREY’S ANATOMY - “I’ll Follow the Sun” Ellen Pompeo

Here's how 'Grey's Anatomy' said goodbye to Meredith Grey (3)

Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on 'Grey's Anatomy'

| Credit: ABC

There was one scene in particular that longtime Grey's fans might've recognized as a callback to one of Meredith's most iconic moments: Her "pick me, choose me, love me" speech to Derek (Patrick Dempsey) in the show's second season. This time around, following surgery, she and Nick had a discussion in the same location where she told Derek she loved him so much that she'd let him have eat last piece of cheesecake.

As Nick struggled with Meredith's decision to move to Boston, Meredith told him that this move is what her daughter needs. Calling back to the speech she once gave to Derek, Meredith then said, "I want you in my life if you want to be in my life. But if I have to choose, I'm going to pick me, I pick my kids, and I pick what's best for us, and I'm not going to beg you to love me."

In the end, Nick called Meredith as she boarded the plane to Boston and confessed his love for her. But she simply pretended that he was breaking up and told him she'd call him once they got settled. So it seems that this time, she really is picking herself (and her family).

The callbacks didn't end there: Although Meredith's house lost its attic in the fire, it is now the home of three of the interns, continuing the tradition that Meredith, Izzie (Katherine Heigl), and George (T.R. Knight) set all those years ago.

And then there are the final words Meredith spoke in the episode, as she read her kids a book. "The end of my story is not any kind of ever-after, because I'm still alive, I'm still here, and the sun still rises on my life." It's a bit of a stretch, but any "sun" reference on this show is going to make fans think of Cristina (Sandra Oh) telling Meredith, "He's not the sun. You are." And she's still shining.

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Here's how 'Grey's Anatomy' said goodbye to Meredith Grey (27)

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Meredith. Alex. Bailey. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes' hospital melodrama.

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