SPOILER ALERT: The story includes details about the Season 18 Episode 9 of Grey’s Anatomy.
EXCLUSIVE: In a classic Grey’s Anatomy twist, one actor’s character has their life in grave danger but another one ends up heading for the exit.
I hear Richard Flood, who has played Dr. Cormac Hayes for the past three seasons, is leaving the venerable medical drama. According to sources, his final episode will be next week. Reps for ABC and Shondaland declined comment.
In tonight’s midseason premiere, Hayes handed Bailey his resignation and told her that he was returning to Ireland with his kids. His decision was prompted by Owen’s request in the winter finale for Hayes to carry on with his initiative of providing dying soldiers with drugs in doctor-assisted deaths. Owen asked Hayes for help in case he didn’t survive the car accident, which had the two of them and Teddy perched on a cliff. Owen sacrificed himself, making Teddy and Hayes get out of the car while he stayed behind and tumbled down the cliff soon after Hayes had gotten to safety.
Owen survived but, as Hayes faced an ethical dilemma of having to report Owen or risk losing his medical license as an accessory, he chose to quit the hospital.
Flood joined Grey’s Anatomy in Season 16 as a recurring and was promoted to series regular in Season 17. Hayes was eyed as a potential love interest for Ellen Pompeo’s Meredith, with that storyline — along with others — interrupted by the pandemic.
There was chatter over the summer that Flood may be heaving ahead of Season 18. He stayed on, and Hayes briefly created a potential love triangle with Meredith and her new love interest, Nick (Scott Speedman).
Lately, Hayes has been going through self-reflection, reassessing his life and his priorities, making his resignation not completely unexpected.