Season 16 of Grey's Anatomy only just premiered, but one of the show's biggest stars is already thinking about a possible ending. During a recent appearance on The Late Late Show with James Corden, Ellen Pompeo shared her dream Grey's Anatomy ending, and her plan includes enough nostalgia to delight hardcore fans of ABC's iconic medical drama.
While chatting with Corden about Grey's Anatomy, the host asked Pompeo how she would ideally like to see the show end, should next year's history-making Season 17 be its last. Though the actor and producer was hesitant to give a definitive answer on the off-chance that creator Shonda Rhimes will end up using it, she did reveal one of her ideas for the perfect sendoff.
"Well, I can't really say what I think, because if we really do what I want to do, that would give it away," Pompeo said. "So, I've got to make up a lie, James! You're forcing me to lie right now." Still, in a perfect world, Pompeo admitted that she would like to see some of the original cast come back to Grey Sloan Memorial one last time. "But that probably won't happen. That would be the most amazing day," Pompeo said, though she admitted, "Some of them were killed on the show," which could make things a little complicated.
Whether or not Pompeo gets her wish of a Grey's Anatomy reunion, she's already apprehensive about the fan reaction to the ultimate final episode. "The ending, the final episode, matters so much," she explained. "Are you kidding me? And the fans are never going to be happy no matter what. Sopranos, Game of Thrones, they're pissed no matter what you do. So, there's a lot of pressure on that final episode."
Thankfully, fans don't have to worry about the show ending any time soon. In October 2018, Pompeo told Entertainment Tonight that Grey's Anatomy will only end when audiences are no longer interested in the high stakes drama of Grey Sloan Memorial. "It's something Shonda [Rhimes] and I will decide together," she said at the time. "I've been doing it a long time and I do get restless, but the fans are just still so passionate about the show."
Ultimately, she explained, as long as fans want to keep watching, Grey's Anatomy will continue to remain on the air. "I think the fans will let us know [when it's time]," Pompeo said about when Grey's will likely wrap up. "When the numbers start to drop and people aren't watching the same, people aren't as passionate about it... it's time to call it." Considering the fact that the show seems to be more popular than ever — and that it recently became the longest-running medical drama in TV history — it seems like Meredith Grey and her colleagues will remain on the small screen for quite some time.
Pompeo also told Ellen DeGeneres later that same month that seeing the impact that Grey's has had on fans around the world is one of the main things that makes her want to keep making the show, year after year. "Everywhere I go, whether it's Italy, whether it's France, London, Kansas, the people that come up to me with tears in their eyes and tell me how meaningful the show is to them," she said during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. "I got to keep doing it, man, because we're touching lives and making a difference."
The final episode of Grey's Anatomy might be way off in the future, but at least fans can take comfort in the fact that Pompeo won't let it leave TV without an epic sendoff.