Here’s When You’ll Cry Your Way Through Arizona’s Last ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Episode

ABC/Richard Cartwright

Not everyone will be returning to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital next year. Deadline reported that Jessica Capshaw, who plays Dr. Arizona Robbins, won't be returning to Grey's Anatomy after this season. This twist is quite the shocker, even in Shondaland. But what Grey's episode will be Capshaw's last? The show seems to be keeping fans on their toes.

According to Deadline, Capshaw, along with Sarah Drew, who plays Dr. April Kepner, will leave the show after Season 14. There is no word yet on whether that means Capshaw, who's been a Grey's Anatomy regular for the last decade, will say goodbye in this season's finale or if her exit will be teased before. Either way, you're going to need to stock up on emergency tissues for every T.G.I.T. to prepare for any surprise goodbyes that lead to full-on waterworks.

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Grey's Anatomy co-showrunner Krista Vernoff tried to explain why Capshaw and Drew are leaving. "As writers, our job is to follow the stories where they want to go and sometimes that means saying goodbye to characters we love," she wrote, hinting that Season 15, which hasn't formally been announced yet, could be taking a new direction since they are the second and third regular cast members to be written off the show. (First was Martin Henderson, who played Dr. Nathan Riggs.)

Vernoff most definitely loved these two. "The characters of Arizona and April are permanently woven into the fabric of Grey’s Anatomy thanks to the extraordinary work of Jessica Capshaw and Sarah Drew," she wrote. "It has been a joy and a privilege to work with these phenomenally talented actresses."

Creator Shonda Rhimes also bid farewell to these characters, who, in a Twitter statement, she wrote were members of groups that aren't often seen on TV.

"Both Arizona Robbins and April Kepner are not only beloved but iconic — both the LBGTQ and devout Christian communities are underrepresented on TV," she wrote. "I will be forever grateful to both Jessica and Sarah for bringing these characters to life with such vibrant performance and for inspiring women around the globe. They will always be a part of our Shondaland family."

In a statement on Twitter, Capshaw called playing Arizona a "rare privilege" because she was "madly in love with playing her." There were many reasons why, too. "Arizona Robbins is kind, intelligent, funny, insightful, bold, playful, fierce and really good at her job," she wrote. "She was one of the first members of the LGBTQ community to be represented as a series regular role on network television."

It's true that Capshaw's character, who was an openly gay pediatrics surgeon, was important for LGBTQ+ representation on TV. With her co-star Sara Ramirez, who played orthopedic surgeon Dr. Callie Torres, she became part of one of broadcast television's first lesbian weddings in 2011.

While Capshaw admitted she was sad to know she would no longer be playing Arizona, she wrote:

"Her impact on the world is permanent and forever. Forever. I am grateful that I have gotten to bring her to life and for the life that she has brought to me. I am sad to see her go but I am consoled by the idea that she will continue to live on and on in all of our consciences and our imaginations. Shonda, thank you for the ride on this incredible rollercoaster."

Unfortunately, for fans, the rollercoaster of emotions won't stop until this season is all said and done. While it's been announced that Capshaw's leaving, there's no word yet on when and how. Waiting is the hardest part, and it's going to be tough waiting to know what happens to Arizona — especially since the season finale won't air until May.