The Thursday, October 26, episode of Grey’s Anatomy was the last for Dr. Nathan Riggs. Actor Martin Henderson officially departed the series after only two seasons, he confirmed to Deadline.
“I only had a short-term contract with the show. This is my final year so I was expecting Nathan’s story line to be wrapped up,” Henderson told Deadline following this week’s episode. “Bringing in Megan and tying up loose ends provided a reason. That was always intended when they brought Megan back with a twist. The triangle played out nicely, the way they gave perspective leading up to her disappearance, the mutual infidelity; the way it was handled was interesting. It’s been a couple of fun years on the show.”
The final shot of Riggs was him on the beach with Megan (Abigail Spencer) and her son. “I think there’s probably going to be a tenuous start to their life together given all the circumstances leading up to their separation, then their reunion, and the complications of the relationship with Meredith,” he added.
Riggs was the first post-Derek love for Meredith and the actor hopes that fans understand why it couldn’t work between the two of them. “The complications of Meredith’s emotions, the loss of Derek and moving on from that still plagues her,” he said. “And there’s as much ambiguity around all those feelings. The two of them found each other and that provided good drama.”
Creator Shonda Rhimes admitted to Deadline that he’ll always be a part of Shondaland and is hopeful to find another project he could work on with her. For Henderson, he’s not counting out a return to Grey’s eventually.
“I would never close the door. In my mind it’s been left open-ended enough. This is the third time that Shonda and I have worked together,” he said. “I think providing an exit for the character where there’s a possibility for him to return is always nice.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs on ABC on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.