‘Royal Pains’ spoilers: Will Jill Flint return in season 4?

We may be down a series regular.

On last week’s new episode of “Royal Pains,” we witnessed a major stunner as we ended up saying goodbye to Jill — who, after years of debating about her future, finally decided to take off to Africa in order to pursue new things. For people who love consistency in their TV shows, this exit comes as particularly sad news — at the same time, though, isn’t there a part of you who has to praise the producers for making sure you don’t keep a character around just for the sake of them being present?

Speaking to TV Guide in a new interview, executive producer Michael Rauch did say that Jill is not going to be a major part of the cast for the rest of the season thanks to her new move — but he did at least give some hope to people hoping out there that Jill will still turn up from time to time in the future:

“We presented it to Jill much as we’re presenting it to you now. This is a departure for Jill, but it’s not necessarily a goodbye. We can’t tell you right now if [or] when it’s going to happen. I would say it’s very safe to bet we will see Jill again at some point in Season 4. We’re not quite sure in what instance and how long it’s going to be for. As we told Jill months ago, we really feel like there is, and always will be, a place for her in this show. We’re [just] not sure in what capacity in terms of how often. Jill Casey is such a part of the mythology of this show and the premise. She seems open to it.”

With this being said, we would honestly be surprised to see Jill turn up on Wednesday night’s new episode. If her character were to turn up too frequently, then it would almost be akin to her never being gone at all. We really predict that this will turn into a situation akin to what we saw from Elisabeth Moss on “Mad Men” this past season after she left SCDP — she was gone for an episode, but then made a tiny appearance in the finale.

Are you bummed to see Jill Flint’s role so significantly reduced, or do you see it more as a necessary evil?

Photo: USA

Love TV? Be sure to like Matt & Jess on Facebook for more updates!