Ever since news broke that Sarah Drew won't be returning to Grey's Anatomy next season, fans have been anxiously awaiting the twist that will inevitably yank the fan favorite away from them. There's been plenty of speculation, given April's recent descent into some troubling behaviors, that writers will get rid of her character by orchestrating a deadly demise. But also, there is plenty of reason to believe April won't die on Grey's Anatomy, especially taking into account recent developments.
First, in the promos for the upcoming episode, April is seen opening up to Jackson about the fact that she's struggling and having a hard time. She's been in the midst of a downward spiral for a while, and now instead of pushing him away like she has in recent weeks, she's actually speaking about it. This has been the main worry with April — not only was she drinking irresponsibly, acting incredibly off-the-rails and out of character, and seemingly dealing with depression, but she also had no one looking out for her or even seemingly recognizing that there was a problem. Jackson has acknowledged it and acted like he wanted to help, but she never allowed him close enough to actually help her. April opening up to him about the fact that there's a problem at all could signal that she's finally ready to get help in getting her life under control.
Why would Grey's Anatomy give people false hope by giving April a hopeful moment with Jackson only to have her spiral right back down toward a drunk driving death or a suicide? That glimmer of hope just as soon being destroyed would be adding insult to injury, especially when dealing with a fanbase that's already largely outraged by April's exit and the way her arc looks like it's going so far.
Not to mention, April was involved in perhaps one of this season's most poignant patient storylines last week, and it looked like it may have helped her come to terms with her faith, or lack thereof. Rabbi Eli, who April was treating, helped her talk through the pain she's been feeling in terms of God, and he told her that the entire point of faith is that you still believe even when things aren't going well, or your faith might be tested. Again, if April was supposed to meet some grisly end, why would the writers present her with this situation in which she might have some kind of epiphany? Drew herself even took to Twitter and Instagram to express her happiness with the storyline and her tone suggested that it's ultimately a story of hope, not a red herring that's meant to throw us off what April's true fate will be.
Focusing on April's relationship to God would be the best way to write her out of the show, if it absolutely must be done. Grey's Anatomy hasn't had many main characters who represent this kind of struggle with faith, and April has really hit home for a lot of viewers. "April’s story this season of 'losing my religion' has resonated sooo much with my life (lost my dad a few weeks ago)," wrote one Reddit user, catschapsticksleep. "I grew up in a Christian home but things have changed so much since then and I still want to be faithful to God or whatever but it’s so hard doing it seeing how the world is screwed up and what not, and Sarah Drew showed that PERFECTLY through April’s struggles."
If April is going to leave, the writers should send her off into the sunset with a newly restored faith, or at least a better grasp on how to handle the beliefs she has left. She could head off to work for a religious charity or even just do good somewhere in the world with her medical skills. This past week's focus on her relationship with Rabbi Eli as well as the next episode's apparent conversation with Jackson really spotlight that April wants to get better, and wants to come to terms with God. The very least Grey's Anatomy can do, after everything they've put her through, is let her.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, call 911, or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.