'Grey's Anatomy' Season 16: Is Richard Retiring? James Pickens Jr. Shares Details

Ellen Pompeo
Ellen Pompeo plays the titular character in "Grey's Anatomy" which is on its 16th season this year. (Photo: Luke Ford/Wikimedia Commons/Cropped)

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the Grey's Anatomy Season 16 that may influence your enjoyment in discovering the plotlines. Read at your own risk.

Will Grey's Anatomy season 16 lose one of the original characters of the series? Actor James Pickens Jr., who plays Dr. Richard Webber on the show, is telling fans to prepare for what's to come as it's going to test some of the characters.

Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, Pickens said that Grey's Anatomy season 16 would pick up immediately where it left off with the cliffhanger. As fans will recall, Richard was fired by his former subordinate along with Meredith (played by Ellen Pompeo) and Alex (played by Justin Chambers) for committing insurance fraud to help a child.

Now that Richard is out of a job, is his character finally ready to retire in Grey's Anatomy season 16? In seasons past, Richard had been keen on hanging his white coat and enjoying a relaxing life without job responsibilities. But Pickens said that he isn't so sure this is what his character wants now. 

"He's kind of the glue that kind of holds everything together," the actor said. "This will be interesting for him. It'll test his relationships; it'll test his sobriety to some extent."

Meanwhile, producers of Grey's Anatomy season 16 are hinting that a former character will be back in the series. Showrunner Krista Vernoff revealed during the Television Critics Association panel that she's working on getting someone back on the show. 

Details are still scarce about this potential reunion, but fans believe Dr. Callie Torres (played by Sara Ramirez) may be the character Vernoff is talking about. Ramirez has her schedule recently opened after she scaled down on her appearances on Madam Secretary and she has expressed to fans on Twitter that she'd be happy to appear in Grey's Anatomy season 16 if there's a good story for Callie. 

As for the other reunion or reconciliation, Vernoff said that fans should hold out for Alex and Jo (Played by Camilla Luddington) to work it out in Grey's Anatomy season 16. Jo is now in therapy following the mental trauma of getting rejected by her birth mother and the showrunner thinks this will help her and her relationship with Alex.

Grey's Anatomy season 16 has begun filming the first few episodes in late July. The show is expected to premiere on ABC this coming Sept. 26 at 8:00 p.m.

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