By Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey on "Grey's Anatomy"
ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" bid farewell to two talents from the long-running medical drama in its eighth season finale Thursday when one perished and another accepted a position outside of Seattle Grace.
[WARNING: This story contains spoilers from Thursday's season finale.]
During the episode, which takes place both in the woods following the shocking plane crash in the penultimate installment of the season as well as at the Seattle hospital, Chyler Leigh's Lexie and Kim Raver's Teddy both were written out of the series.
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Lexie, whose lower body was crushed and pinned under the plane wreckage, succumbed to her injuries in an emotional farewell with Eric Dane's Mark.
Teddy, meanwhile, was ultimately fired by Owen in a loving move on chief of surgery's behalf to get his former Army colleague take the next step in her personal and professional life and accept a position at a military hospital.
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Rhimes, who tweeted a warning signal to viewers Thursday, addressed her loyal -- and vocal -- fans following the West Coast broadcast with an extended statement, released via her Twitter feed:
What surprised you most about the "Grey's Anatomy" finale?
"Okay. Callie said it best tonight: Life changes in an instant. Turns on a dime.
"This finale was incredibly hard to write. I did not enjoy it. It made me sick and it made me sad. We end the season not knowing ANYTHING about the future. Except for two things. We know we are definitely saying goodbye to two of my favorite people: Chyler Leigh (Lexie) and Kim Raver (Teddy).
"I know this season?s finale had some surprises for viewers and the exit of Kim Raver was one of the big ones. But Kim?s series option was up and she was ready to give Teddy Altman a much-needed vacation. It?s been a pleasure working with someone as talented and funny and kind as Kim; everyone is going to miss her terribly. I like to imagine that Teddy is still out there in the Grey?s Anatomy universe, running Army Medical Command and building a new life.
"I love Chyler and I love the character of Lexie Grey. She was an important member of my Grey's family. This was not an easy decision. But it was a decision that Chyler and I came to together. We had a lot of thoughtful discussion about it and ultimately we both decided this was the right time for her character's journey to end. As far as I'm concerned Chyler will always remain a part of the Shondaland family and I can't wait to work with her again in the future.
"I'd write more but I'm honestly too sad. I don't like life changing in an instant and turning on a dime.
"Thanks for watching Season Eight. We are, as always, grateful that you joined us for the ride."
For her part, Raver also took to her Twitter account to release a statement of her own:
"I've had one of the best times of my creative career working on Grey's with Shonda, Betsy and the best cast on Television," she wrote, adding: "I feel fortunate and grateful to have worked with such an amazing team at GA. i am going to miss everyone!! And to the GA fans, you guys rock! I am sure S9 will be great!"
How do you think the rest of the Seattle Grace gang will handle Lexie's death and Teddy's departure? Tell us on our Facebook page.
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