Grey’s Anatomy Season 13, Episode 23: Ring of Fire
**Warning: This post contains spoilers, so if you haven’t watched the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy, stop reading!**
It’s another season finale on Grey’s Anatomy, which means stuff is going to go DOWN. And man, was it a crazy hour. Things didn’t look good for Stephanie, who was caught in the unfortunate situation of being in the middle of an explosion last week — but would Grey’s really kill off another cast member, especially when everyone was expecting actress Jerrika Hinton to leave now that she’s been cast in a new series?
Spoiler alert: Stephanie has left the building, but maybe not the way we thought she would at the beginning of the hour. Bailey needed to shut down the hospital except for radiology and the ER, and the fire department wanted her to clear the affected areas of the blast. But Jackson wanted to look for Stephanie. He blamed himself for leaving her alone with a patient that turned out to be a rapist, and… well, he wasn’t wrong to feel badly about it. But Stephanie, as it turns out, was fine, even after the blast. Erin, the little girl she had been looking after who had gotten caught in the situation with her, wasn’t fine — she was caught under debris, and Stephanie made it her mission to save her.
The police, who had been notified of the rapist being in the hospital, were searching for Stephanie but they didn’t think Erin’s disappearance was related to the case, because they didn’t know the two were together. Although Meredith had found Erin before when she had wandered around the hospital last week, she was forced by Minnick to follow protocol and leave the hospital. Minnick wanted the fire department to do the job, because that was what they were trained for, but Meredith and Jackson ignored her and went looking for Stephanie and Erin. Webber calmed Minnick down, telling her that they had things handled, and even though she knew he was covering for everyone else, she couldn’t do much about it. They had to focus on getting the rest of the patients out of the hospital.
Meanwhile, Alex had returned from spying on Jo’s ex-husband, and he was able to help out with patients that needed to be evacuated. All the doctors helped, including Ben, despite the fact that Ben was way too nervous about the fire. Getting stuck in a fire was his greatest fear, but he pushed through it and did his best to rescue others, thanks to April who talked him through his fears and helped him remain calm. April wasn’t doing too well herself, though — she knew Jackson was still in the hospital, and later on, realized Maggie might have feelings for Jackson. And honestly? April’s in a better place, but she wasn’t sure if she was ready to feel comfortable with those feelings.
While searching for Erin and Stephanie, Meredith instead found Riggs, who was working in the OR. He had been in the middle of a surgery when the fire broke out and had to continue, otherwise he’d lose his patient. Meredith helped him finish the surgery, but it meant that Meredith couldn’t keep looking. Fortunately, Stephanie had managed to get Erin into the stairwell. They were supposed to go to the roof to escape, but Stephanie realized she didn’t have her key card which would grant her access, so she went back down in the smoke to get it so she could save the little girl. And then… Ben to the rescue! Yay, Ben!
Ben felt bad he hadn’t known Stephanie was missing, and that’s because apparently Minnick had forgotten to tell people she was missing, despite Jackson asking. Both girls suffered burns and other injuries, but they were alive, and Minnick refused to take the blame for what happened. She had stuck to protocol, she told Bailey, because she was a doctor and that was her priority. But Bailey didn’t buy it. And so… Minnick was fired. Huzzah! Bailey finally came to her senses, and told her residents needed to be taught by someone like Webber, who taught Stephanie to risk her life for a patient’s.
And while Minnick was fired, Stephanie decided to quit. After everything that happened, she realized she couldn’t stay at the hospital, and that her greater purpose in life was helping people… NOT in an emergency room setting. As for Meredith and Riggs? Well, we couldn’t leave them hanging for a whole summer, right? Although he didn’t believe Meredith when she finally told him about his wife being alive, he eventually came to his senses and was happy about it, and apologized to Meredith for hurting her.
I’ll miss Stephanie on Grey’s, even though that writing was on the wall for awhile. But I’m glad that she’s still alive and, like Cristina Yang, building a better life for herself somewhere. After all of this, she definitely deserves it.
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(Photos via ABC)