Explainers

How did Lexie Grey die on Grey’s Anatomy? Episode revisited

Lexie On Grey's Anatomy
Chyler Leigh played fan-favorite Lexie Grey on the Grey’s Anatomy cast for years. Pic credit: ABC

Lexie Grey’s death on Grey’s Anatomy was memorable, gruesome, and completely heartbreaking. It was also entirely unexpected and hard for fans to deal with. Losing actress Chyler Leigh from the Grey’s Anatomy cast was also hard to swallow.

The storyline began following a successful surgery at the hospital that led to many of the doctors at Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital (that name would change later) getting invited to travel to Boise Memorial Hospital to help separate conjoined twins.

Mark Sloan, Derek Shepherd, Alex Karev, Meredith Grey, Cristina Yang, and Lexie Grey were the people chosen to go on the trip. At the last moment, Arizona Robbins stepped in to take Alex’s spot, which ended up being something that Alex would feel badly about for years.

The plane trip began at the end of Season 8, Episode 23, which was called Migration. And this episode may have left off on one of the biggest cliffhangers that we have seen on television in years.

It started subtly. It seemed like the episode had ended as it faded to black. But then we saw trees, plane debris, and Meredith Grey on the ground. It was clear that the plane had crashed, but viewers were not given any further clues about what had just happened.

The answers came the following week and some fans still wish it hadn’t gone down that way.

How did Lexie Grey die on Grey’s Anatomy?

On Grey’s Anatomy Season 8, Episode 24, the storyline continued with the people at the crash site. The episode was called Flight and it marked the last time we would see Lexie Grey on the show. At least until Lexie showed up again in Season 17 of the show.

There were a lot of injuries from the plane crash. Meredith had shrapnel in her leg, Christina dislocated her shoulder, Derek almost lost his arm due to an injury, Arizona ended up losing a leg, the pilot (Jerry) was paralyzed, and Mark had an injury that wouldn’t be revealed until later. He would also die as a result of the untreated injury.

And as for Lexie, she was found trapped under part of the plane. Her friends tried to lift it off of her, but it just wasn’t possible. She had been crushed and Lexie knew that she didn’t have long to live.

“Mark. I’m dying,” Lexie said. “Please, tell Meredith that I love her and that she was a good sister. Please, tell my dad…”

“No, you’re not dying. You don’t die today,” Mark said to her. “We’re gonna have the best life, you and me. We’re gonna be so happy. So you can’t die, okay? You can’t die. Because we’re supposed to end up together. We’re meant to be.”

Lexie died right after he said those words.

The whole sequence of events was traumatic and the plane crash itself marked a turning point in the show.

The return of Lexie Grey

During Season 17 of the show, Meredith Grey has seen a lot of people on a beach while she’s been in a coma. That has included Derek Shepherd, who died in a car accident a few years after Lexie passed away.

We also got to see George O’Malley return to the show, but fans have longed for a reunion between Meredith and Lexie. That finally arrives with Grey’s Anatomy Season 17, Episode 10 (called Breathe).

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9/8c on ABC.

Ryan DeVault


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