Grey's Anatomy Meredith Yang Pompeo Oh

ABC, Courtesy of the Everett Collection

The show must go on… but it’ll do so without Cristina Yang.

It was a good news/bad news scenario for Grey’s Anatomy fans this week. It started with the announcement that star Ellen Pompeo had signed a new contract, thereby assuring that the primetime sudser’s current season will not be the last.

For months, the show’s fate had been in limbo even as Pompeo’s Meredith hung out, appropriately enough, on what fans dubbed “Limbo Beach.” But with Meredith recovering and the show renewed, that’s two big cliffhangers resolved.

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While it’s obviously far too early for spoilers as to what might happen next season, there are a few we can say definitely will not. First up is that Jesse Williams’ handsome Dr. Jackson Avery will not be on staff at Grey Sloan Memorial, as the character and his portrayer will exit the canvas in a special episode set to air on Thursday, May 20.

Now, this does not necessarily mean the end of Jackson… or his relationship with April, whose portrayer Sarah Drew admitted to reporters last week that she’d love nothing more than to see a “Japril”-centric spinoff. “How cool would that show be?” she asked.

GREY'S ANATOMY, (from left): Sarah Drew, Jesse Williams, 'With You I'm Born Again', (Season 7, ep. 701, aired Sept. 23, 2010), 2005-, photo: Peter 'Hopper' Stone / ©ABC / Courtesy Everett Collection

The possibility does not seem all that far-fetched, given that the May 6 episode revealed that April and hubby Matthew had broken up, then set in motion a plan for her to relocate to Boston with Jackson and their daughter, Harriet. “It feels like it’s setting up for a really great journey,” said Drew. “How amazing and needed is a show about racial justice in the medical field and inequity and equality?”

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Summing up the feeling of many fans, she simply admitted, “I’d watch that show!”

Meanwhile, the other thing we know definitely will not be happening is the much-longed-for return of Sandra Oh’s Cristina Yang. Frankly, we’d hoped to see her put in appearance on the aforementioned Limbo Beach, what with being Meredith’s “person” and all.

Now, however, we know that isn’t in the cards. Nor will Oh put in an appearance when the show eventually, inevitably, airs its final episode. The actress told the Los Angeles Times that she has moving forward, not looking back.

“I left that show, my God, seven years ago almost,” she said. “So in my mind, it’s gone. But for a lot of people, it’s still very much alive. And while I understand and I love it, I have moved on.”

While Oh sounds as if she didn’t just shut the door but barricade it as well, we can’t help hoping that when finally the time comes for us to say farewell to the staff of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, Cristina will be there with all our other favorites to give longtime fans the farewell they’ll have earned.

So what do you think, Grey’s Anatomy viewers? Despite this being what many (including us) have dubbed a bummer of a season, the show still has a whole lotta life in it… right? Are you disappointed about Oh’s refusal to return for a visit? Stoked for a possible Japril spinoff? Hit the comments with your thoughts, then check out this pic-filled flashback covering the history of our other favorite medical drama, General Hospital.