Is Jesse Williams leaving Grey’s Anatomy, Jackson Avery character?

Grey's AnatomyIs Jesse Williams leaving Grey’s Anatomy after tonight’s new episode? Jackson Avery made an important decision tonight.

As we prepared for the hour to air, we had a good feeling that something big was going to happen. It was promoted, for starters, as a critical hour for the actor. It was also the return of Sarah Drew as April. Combine those two things together and it’s easy to imagine why would people think the character was leaving.

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Then, just before the halfway mark of the episode, Jackson revealed to April that he wanted to run the foundation. However, doing so would require him to move to Boston — to go along with that, he wanted April, her husband Matthew, and Harriet to all go with him. He would find them all jobs and work in order to make some big changes in the world. It was a noble goal of his, but was it too impulsive? Was he really that guy? April had her doubts, and it was also a HUGE ask to abandon her entire life and move to the other side of the country.

Why was Jackson thinking about leaving?

Much of it was tied to some time with his father, one where he realized that the two were very different. His dad ran away from all of his problems. He wanted to run towards them. He saw running the foundation as a way to make the world more fair, and a way to completely dismantle the health-care system from top to bottom.

At the end of the episode, April revealed that she would be willing to leave to Boston and that her family would find a way to make things work. Also, she revealed that she and Matthew split up.

Update: Jesse is leaving

Tonight, showrunner Krista Vernoff had the following to say on the subject to Deadline, which also notes that Williams’ final appearance will be on May 20:

“Jesse Williams is an extraordinary artist and activist. Watching his evolution these past 11 years both on screen and off has been a true gift. Jesse brings so much heart, such depth of care, and so much intelligence to his work. We will miss Jesse terribly and we will miss Jackson Avery — played to perfection for so many years.”

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Would you miss Jesse Williams on tonight’s Grey’s Anatomy episode?

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