The Grim Reaper has haunted the halls of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital for years… since way back when it was called Seattle Grace. (Remember those days?) With the show's current 14th season heading to it's finale, it's time for fans to ask themselves: Who will die next on Grey's Anatomy?
When it comes to the Shonda Rhimes' primetime soaps, the question is never if another beloved character will die, but when. Over the course of the past 13 unlucky years, Grey's viewers have been forced to say goodbye forever to such major players as (*deep breath*), Denny Duquette, Ellis Grey, George O'Malley, Reed Adamson, Charles Percy, Henry Burton, Lexie Grey, Mark Sloan, Adele Webber, Heather Brooks, and even Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd — not to mention countless patients that fans fell in love with and then lost, or even more characters who left the show without dying.
So where will the axe fall next when it inevitably drops to cruelly take another fan-favorite character from us? It's been three seasons since Derek died, and it feels like the show is overdue for a big and deadly sobfest. Making the situation even more alarming is the fact that there are currently plenty of characters who feel dispensable enough to warrant a return visit from the Grim Reaper.
Here, in ascending order of likelihood, are the nine doctors most in danger of shuffling off this mortal coil before Season 14 of Grey's ends in May:
9. Arizona Robbins
Whenever news breaks that a series regular is leaving a Shonda Rhimes show, the first question most fans probably ask themselves is, "How will they die?" While it's true that some characters get to leave with life and limb intact, it's impossible not to fear for the wellbeing of a soon-to-depart favorite. So will Arizona Robbins die? In this case, I feel like it's pretty safe to assume the answer is no. Killing such a long-standing fan-favorite character feels cruel, especially when there's an easy out: sending her to New York City to co-parent her daughter Sofia with ex-wife Callie.
8. April Kepner
If one of the two departing cast members is going to die, the more likelier victim seems to be April, whose recent crisis of faith has led to a rash of bad decisions and uncharacteristic behavior. Could some reckless decision lead to April Kepner's death? Of course, it's possible — but again, it feels unnecessary when there's already a readymade excuse to write her out. Just send April off to join the military again, which is where she always felt most useful. It would allow her to find purpose and meaning in life again, and provide a reason for why she leaves Seattle.
7. Jackson Avery
Could fear over April's possible death be masking an even sadder twist? While fans are busy fretting over Dr. Kepner's fate, what if it's her ex-husband who ends up on the chopping block? The unexpected death of Harriet's father (who has been known to dive into exploding buses before, to be fair) would provide a grief-stricken April a convenient excuse to leave town with their daughter in tow, and give fans a memorable shock along the way. Plus, Jackson's shocking death would have plenty of ramifications for remaining characters like mom Catherine Avery, stepdad Richard Webber, and new flame Maggie Pierce.
6. Jo Wilson
With the news that Jo is shopping around for residencies at hospitals around the country, the seed for her departure has already been planted. However, given her recent engagement, Jo's departure would probably mean Alex's, too… unless the reason she left wasn't a career move, as the show is suggesting, but rather her dramatic and sudden death. Alex has never been lucky in love, plus this would free him up for his inevitable and long-brewing romance with Meredith. (Yes, I know that's a controversial 'ship and no, I don't care. I will fight you.)
5. Miranda Bailey
The Chief of Surgery's health scare earlier this season — suffering a heart attack almost nobody believed she was having — would give the writers an easy way to dispose of Bailey if Chandra Wilson decided to leave the show. But if that were the case, wouldn't they have just killed her off during her first heart attack rather than waiting for a second one? And it's almost impossible to imagine Grey's without Bailey, so I'm ranking this one as relatively "unlikely." (Although everyone thought the same about Cristina and Derek and the show survived both of their departures…)
4. Amelia Shepherd
Bailey's not the only character who already had a health scare this season. Amelia's brush with a brain tumor would be a convenient way for the writers to craft the remaining Dr. Shepherd an exit if they should so choose. With her spinoff over and her brother dead and her ex-husband poised to be paired off with former flame Teddy, Amelia can often feel like a vestigial limb the show could afford to amputate. I don't necessarily think they will, but let's just say I wouldn't be surprised if they do.
3. Andrew DeLuca and/or Sam Bello
No offense to the talented and devastatingly handsome Giacomo Gianniotti, but Andrew DeLuca is by far the least developed and least essential of the show's current 14 series regulars. If the writers needed to trim the cast anywhere, he would be the easiest place to find it. Or they could go in the complete opposite direction and decide to give Andrew his juiciest storyline yet by killing his on-again-off-again girlfriend, Sam. Love never lasts long on Grey's Anatomy, and many romances have ended in death; could these star-crossed lovers be next?
2. Richard Webber
14 years is a long time to be on one show, and eventually the remaining Season 1 regulars — Ellen Pompeo, Justin Chambers, Chandra Wilson, and James Pickens, Jr. — are going to want to move on with their lives like the rest of their original cast mates. In many ways, Richard's death would be the most formative of any of them; he's been such a stalwart father figure for so long that his absence would force the rest of the characters to grow up in ways they haven't yet. Everyone's always been able to rely on Richard, and it would be interesting (if sad) to see how the show would evolve without his reliable presence.
1. Marie Cerone
OK, this one's kind of cheating since Dr. Cerone isn't really a major character; she's only been in two episodes so far. But she's not a patient, either, so it's not like her death is a given. And if Meredith is going to get her hands on that magical MacGuffin of a patent, then Ellis' old frenemy may just have to kick the bucket. If there was a death pool and I was a betting man, I'd be putting all my money on Marie.
With eight episodes left in Season 14, there's plenty of time for characters to start dropping like flies. How bad of a bloodbath will the finale be? Stay tuned… and keep an eye out for that sneaky Reaper.