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Grey’s Anatomy season 18 finale predictions: our theories on the biggest questions

Ellen Pompeo smiling as Meredith Grey in Grey's Anatomy
Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey in Grey's Anatomy (Image credit: ABC/Liliane Lathan)

Heading into the Grey’s Anatomy season 18 finale, which happens to be the series' 400th episode, there’s been a lot of speculation about how the medical drama will close this latest chapter. Is Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) actually going to pick up and move to Minnesota? Is the residency program at Grey Sloan Memorial going to be permanently shut down? Also, is someone else about to leave the series? 

We've got some thoughts these questions and more. Here are our predictions about what’s to come in the Grey’s Anatomy season 18 finale. 

By the way, make sure you check out the promo for the two-hour event. 

Will Meredith leave Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital? 

Ellen Pompeo and Aniela Gumbs talking as Meredith and Zola in Grey's Anatomy

Ellen Pompeo and Aniela Gumbs in Grey's Anatomy (Image credit: ABC/Liliane Lathan)

Meredith may have agreed to leave Seattle for a position in Minnesota as director of The Grey Center and chief of General Surgery, but her departure is not a done deal yet. Dr. Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) and Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) have certainly been laying on the guilt in an attempt to get her to stay. Her own daughter Zola (Aniela Gumbs) doesn't seem that thrilled about the possibility of moving. 

Their reactions point to the fact Meredith has built a community in Seattle. She's longed referred to the hospital as her home and to her colleagues as extensions of her family. Even when she relocated to Boston after the death of Derek, she wound up returning. 

But then again, in a recent episode, Richard describes Seattle as "haunted" because everywhere Meredith looks "there's a memory." 

Dr. Grey has suffered the loss of many loved ones and has almost died at least six times in connection to Grey Sloan. She has plenty of reasons to want a fresh start somewhere else. That fresh start could be with her new love, Dr. Nick Marsh (Scott Speedman), whose job is already in Minnesota. 

Prediction: Meredith stays at Grey Sloan for the foreseeable future. 

Pompeo has been coy about how involved she is going to be in Grey's Anatomy season 19, specifically in People (opens in new tab), so it's possible she'll be exiting the show sometime next season and that transition starts with Meredith heading to Minnesota. At the end of the day though, Meredith's ties are too strong in Seattle for her to leave. Plus, the hospital that professionally raised her is struggling to maintain its residency program. Something tells us her high profile as a world-class surgeon is the key to saving it. Oh and Nick seems like he wouldn’t mind relocating. 

Will Grey’s resident program shut down?  

TV tonight Ellen Pompeo stars.

(Image credit: Sky)

We were shocked when the Medical Accreditation Council placed Grey Sloan’s residency program on probation. This decision was based on the fact the hospital doesn’t have enough surgeons on staff to be a teaching facility. Sadly, Miranda doesn’t seem to have hired any additional surgeons, with the exception of employing Nick as temporary staff and roping Dr. Jo Wilson (Camilla Luddington) into occasionally adorning the navy blue scrubs. 

However, looking at the trailer above, Dr. Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams) and Dr. April Kepner (Sarah Drew) appear to be returning, but we don’t know for how long. 

Prediction: The residency program doesn’t shut down but doesn’t remain the same. We think instead of going to Minnesota, Meredith will start her own revolutionary research center at Grey Sloan. By doing such, the general surgeon will use her star power and new addition to the hospital as a way of luring physicians to work in Seattle. Her first "recruitees" we imagine will be Nick and Dr. Kai Bartley (E.R. Fightmaster). 

In her new imagined role, we wouldn’t be surprised if Meredith becomes the chief of surgery. Her being the head doctor in charge seems like the next logical transition for her. 

We realize that leaves Miranda pushed out of her job. But honestly, she seems miserable in an administrative role. Returning to her roots of just focusing on surgery may be good for her and may bring back the lighter side of Bailey. 

Will a character from Grey’s Anatomy die in the finale?  

Debbie Allen as Dr. Catherine Avery in Grey's Anatomy

Debbie Allen in Grey's Anatomy (Image credit: ABC/Liliane Lathan)

Grey’s Anatomy has been hinting in the last few episodes viewers may want to brace for a possible death in the finale. 

Looking at Catherine Avery (Debbie Allen), her cancer seems to be progressing. While she has recently enrolled in a new trial, Richard basically told her she didn’t have to put herself through rigorous treatments for him. Catherine could be gearing up to exit the canvas? (Though it seems a bit cruel for Richard to lose another love of his life.)

Then there's Dr. Winston Ndugu (Anthony Hill). In his last conversation with his brother, things took an ominous turn. Winston scolded him because he was fearful that the loan sharks after his sibling could seek to harm Maggie (Kelly McCreary) and his new family as a way to get to him. The brother may have left, but it seems like there could still be danger coming to the series. 

Prediction: Those loan sharks after Winston’s brother surface in Seattle and an innocent party gets caught in the mix. This could be a long shot, but we think it's Winston who will be murdered. His death would be a crushing blow to Maggie and she would need the support of Amelia and Meredith, as both are her sisters and have gone through the loss of a significant other. Maggie’s potential need for Meredith’s support would serve as another reason for the latter to stay put at Grey Sloan.

Be sure to tune into the two-hour Grey’s Anatomy season finale on Thursday, May 26, at 8 pm ET/PT on ABC to see which of our predictions were correct.  The episode become available the next day on Hulu

Terrell Smith has a diverse writing background having penned material for a wide array of clients including the federal government and Bravo television personalities.  When he’s not writing as Terrell, he’s writing under his pseudonym Tavion Scott, creating scripts for his audio drama podcasts. Terrell is a huge fan of great storytelling when it comes to television and film. Some of his favorite shows include The CrownWandaVision, Abbot Elementary and Godfather of HarlemAnd a fun fact is he's completely dialed into the TLC 90 Day Fiancé universe.