After a hundred years of watching Grey's, I will confess that the intern characters do sometimes turn into a blur. But Stephanie Edwards (Jerrika Hinton), who joined the show in fall 2012, was always a standout to me. There was her relationship with Jackson (he did her wrong!), and her excellence as a surgeon (she got both Meredith's and Amelia's stamps of approval). And that she had sickle-cell anemia as a child, a story Jo didn't believe at first, seemed to be right for the character. So when I learned Hinton was leaving the show, I became afraid Shonda Rhimes would kill Edwards in some sad way I wouldn't be able to bear — because she's done it before, and she'll do it again.
In the second-to-last episode of last season, Edwards basically blows up a rapist (long story) in order to save a little girl named Erin. During the whole finale, Edwards and Erin are in constant jeopardy as a fire (that Edwards caused by blowing up the rapist) spreads throughout the hospital. I was holding my breath in fear! But then they are finally found, and Edwards — true to form — is still performing CPR on the kid as they are being rescued, despite her own severe burns. She will not leave Erin's side.
Edwards is alive, though, so how is Hinton going to leave the show? Why, with a moving speech, of course! When Webber (whom I still call the Chief, and I'm not sorry about it) comes to visit her in the burn unit, she tells him she's quitting. She tells him she's spent her whole life in hospitals, and that having faced death, she wants to live her own life — "away from the monitors, and the blood, and the sterile gowns, away from saving other people's lives," she says. "I want my own. It's time I live my own." (This is when I went from merely crying to some sobs.) "You changed my life, Dr. Webber. You taught me how to take my past and find my path. Thank you." Goodbye, Edwards! —K.A.