Grey’s Anatomy has certainly lost a lot of characters over the years. Chyler Leigh’s exit as Lexie Grey remains one of the most heartbreaking. Why did that exit have to happen?
The Grey’s Anatomy season 8 finale left us with a shocking turn of events. A plane crashed, leaving the lives of so many of our favorite characters on the line. One of those lives was Lexie Grey’s.
Sadly, there was no saving Lexie. Trapped under the engine on the plane, she remained calm explaining that she didn’t even know if one of her arms was still attached. She knew that she wasn’t going to make it, but Mark Sloane did have time to say goodbye. She died with the two of them imagining a future together with babies and grandbabies.
It was heartbreaking to watch. It’s still heartbreaking to think about. Just an episode later in the season 9 premiere, Mark would also die.
The big question for many is why Lexie had to die. Why did Chyler Leigh leave the series?
Chyler Leigh chose to leave Grey’s Anatomy
This was not some sort of exit just for creative reasons. The character wasn’t written out as a way to create extra drama or sadness. It’s not like Grey’s Anatomy needed any of that. Instead, it was because Chyler Leigh chose to leave the show.
It’s worth noting that Eric Dane also chose to leave the show at the same time. With the two characters together, there was a creative element in their exits. After all, it wasn’t like Mark was just going to leave the hospital and leave his daughter behind. A permanent exit for both was necessary.
Leigh left the show for two main reasons. The first was that she wanted to spend more time with her family. Working on Grey’s Anatomy means long days, and her family lived on the other side of the country. The other reason was because she felt like Lexie’s character had grown as much as she could.
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