Getty Images.
Getty Images.

James Pickens Jr of 'Grey's Anatomy' Opens up about Richard Webber's Fate in the Show

Odette Odendaal
Apr 11, 2020
02:00 A.M.

James Picken Jr.'s character in "Grey's Anatomy" recently threw a curveball when he suffered from an apparent stroke, which turned out not to be a stroke at all. But this is not how Richard Webber's story ends.


Season 16 of "Grey's Anatomy" has four unproduced episodes left due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the cliffhangers for next season are already mounting.



Recently Dr. Richard Webber attended a medical conference to showcase his EpiPen, but when he took to the stage, it soon became apparent that his nonsensical speech came from something that has gone array medically.

Doctors at Grey-Sloan Memorial quickly came together to investigate Richard's symptoms and come up with a diagnosis. But when everyone leaned into a possible diagnosis of Alzheimer's or even Dementia - it was Dr. Andrew Deluca who came up with the answer.


During a recent interview, James shared that showrunner Krista Vernoff and the medical drama's other writers pitched him the idea of having a medical condition during this season.


Since James' character already experienced an array of traumatic happenings on the show, he felt intrigued by the idea, as he said:

"Over 16 seasons I've had a brain aneurysm, I've been electrocuted… I'm the doctor with nine lives here."


Even so, no one predicted that the threat of Richard having a degenerative disease would turn into something completely curable due to Dr. DeLuca's last-minute save.


As it turns out, Dr. Webber suffered from cobalt poisoning he got from hip replacement surgery decades ago, and the unusual presentation of his symptoms had everyone at Grey Sloan on a roller-coaster ride.

ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" star Justin Chambers as Alex Karev. | Source: Getty Images.

ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" star Justin Chambers as Alex Karev. | Source: Getty Images.

Not the first crazy ride of the season, fans saw Dr. Alex Karev's exit early on to be with the love of his life, Izzy Stevens, and their two children. Happy with the new developments in his character, James said:

"They pitched this idea about cobalt poisoning. I said, 'Oh, that's really interesting.' I was thinking in the back of my mind, 'Is this it?"




Viewers also saw Dr. Webber and his wife Catherine Fox at odds during the season, and with the couple seemingly ready to call it quits and with the dip in Richard's health - has his time on the show come to an end?

Thankfully, James said that the powers that be "assured" him that he is "going to be fine." Meanwhile, other dramas among the doctors are unraveling to set the pace for the next season of the medical show.

The medical conference where Dr. Webber's condition came to light, also saw developments in Maggie Pierce and Teddy Altman's lives.



Maggie reconnected with an old friend who turned to a love declaration from them both, while Teddy's past with the love of her life - a woman named Allison came into focus.

Apart from the past coming back to haunt Teddy, played by Kim Raver, she is also stuck in a love triangle with Owen Hunt - her fiance and the father of her baby, and Tom Koracick, with whom she is having an affair.

During an interview, Kim said that viewers are getting a taste of Teddy's view regarding love. She doesn't differentiate because, to her, "love is love," and with the new development, people see a different side to Teddy.

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