Maggie and Winston in Grey's Anatomy
Credit: Getty Images

Sadly, it had to end this way. Leading up to Kelly McCreary’s farewell episode, the marital problems between Maggie and Winston only seemed to worsen. But did Maggie and Winston break up on Grey’s Anatomy for good? Keep reading to learn about the couple’s fate.

Grey’s Anatomy is ABC’s popular medical drama that follows the lives of surgical interns, residents and attendings at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital (previously known as Seattle Grace Hospital and Seattle Grace Mercy West) in Seattle, Washington. McCreary has portrayed Maggie Pierce, a cardiothoracic surgeon at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital, since Season 10. Her character is part of the Grey family; she’s the half-sister of Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and daughter of Ellis Grey (Kate Burton) and Chief Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.). The actress even met her now husband, Pete Chatmon, on the set of Grey’s Anatomy, and the couple got married in 2019.

In March 2023, Deadline reported that Kelly McCreary would be leaving Grey’s Anatomy in Season 19. McCreary approached producers ahead of time about her desire to leave to pursue other opportunities. In a statement to the publication, McCreary thanked Rhimes, Vernoff and ABC for what she calls an opportunity to be part of a legendary television institution. “After nine seasons, I am saying goodbye to Maggie Pierce and her Grey Sloan family… Playing Maggie Pierce has been one of the true joys of my life, and I leave with profound gratitude for every step of this journey. I am excited for this next chapter, and what the future holds,” she said. McCreary’s last episode as a series regular on Grey’s Anatomy aired on April 13, 2023.

So, during Maggie’s farewell episode on Grey’s, what happened between Maggie Pierce and Winston Ndugu (Anthony Hill)? See how the couple left their relationship and if they broke up for good.

Did Maggie and Winston break up on Grey’s Anatomy?

Maggie and Winston in Grey's Anatomy

Did Maggie and Winston break up on Grey’s Anatomy? It looks like Maggie and Winston Ndugu’s relationship is over — at least for now. The couple parted ways in the Grey’s Anatomy back-to-back special, which aired episodes 15 and 16 of Season 19, respectively.

The couple started having marital problems at the end of Season 18, which continued into the current season (and corresponded with Maggie’s planned exit from the show). In Season 19, Episode 14,  “Cowgirls Don’t Cry,” which aired on April 6, 2023, the couple struggled in couple’s therapy. Maggie informed Winston of an incredible opportunity that she had been offered at the Heart Center of Chicago. Later in the episode, Pierce made it clear to Winston that she was leaving Seattle to move to Chicago. If you remember, Maggie and Winston got married in the Season 17 finale soon after Winston proposed to Maggie. (Maggie later said that they may have rushed into a marriage too soon.)

“Even when you wanted to quit cardio, supposedly to save our marriage, that was you quitting. That was you retreating. That was you giving up your gift so that you could avoid direct conflict, and that is what I don’t respect. It isn’t your heart, Winston, it’s your cowardice,” her character said to Winston.“And the pizza in Chicago is the best in the world. So, I’m gonna go there. And I’m gonna take my extraordinary passion, and I’m going to use it to build hearts that will save thousands of lives. And you can stay here, and you can pretend like it was you who was abandoned, but we both know the truth.”

The two-hour special last night marked Maggie’s emotional farewell at Grey Sloan, and there is a brief moment when Maggie and Winston’s relationship seemed to improve. The two had to team up to save a patient with a huge tumor that was crushing her heart. They succeeded in helping her, which led to an intimate moment between the couple. “I could not have done that surgery without you,” she tells Winston, adding: “You challenge me, you inspire me … and the way that you accessed that jugular today…” The couple hooked up surrounded by Maggie’s moving boxes, signaling a chance that they could try to do long-distance while she’s in Chicago.

However, the next morning, things unfortunately went back to the way they were when Maggie asked Winston to move to Chicago, but he insisted that she stay in Seattle. He even compares Maggie to her late mother, Ellis Grey. “Ellis stayed with her husband, and by all counts that’s why she became so bitter,” she said in the heated argument. “They stayed to keep the peace. They stayed to keep other people happy.” Ultimately, Maggie tells Winston that she loves him, but that she has to go, and it looked like their relationship was over.

McCreary told People Magazine in April 2023 that the “the door is still open” for a future between Maggie and Winston. “They didn’t leave a lot of wreckage and poison in their wake. They reconciled. They had an understanding,” the actress said of the couple’s final conversation. “They came to really empathize with one another and both feel heartbroken over it. So I think that there’s potential.”

She also weighed in on the split in an interview with TV Line. The interviewer said she was inspired by the couple’s parting and asked the actress if she had a hand in how they left off. “I thought, ‘I’m making this request to find a way to wrap up Maggie’s storyline.’ Beyond that, I sort of had to leave it in the hands of the writers, and I loved the way they did it,” she said. “It honored her time at Grey Sloan and with the family that she had made there in such a beautiful way. Yes, there were definitely bitter moments, but it wasn’t all bitter. Nothing is ever all one thing. Everything has elements of dark and light and shades of gray in between. So, it was pretty wonderful to have that reflected in the last couple of episodes.”

McCreary then shared what it was like ending her on-screen relationship that her character worked so hard to build. “I feel like the way they did it was really right and appropriate. I also feel like, especially in comparison to the way Maggie’s previous relationships have ended, it was mature and civil,” she added. “More than civil, there was real understanding and compassion between Maggie and Winston in the end. It leaves the door open for them [to reunite], maybe in some other universe, maybe in Chicago.”

We’re going to have to wait until Maggie returns to learn if they will try long-distance or call it quits for good. Deadline reported in March 2023 that Kelly McCreary will be back before the Season 19 finale.

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursday at 9 p.m. on ABC.

For more on Grey’s Anatomy, check out our photo gallery on the Grey’s Anatomy cast’s real-life relationships