Why did Richard Flood leave Grey’s Anatomy as Cormac Hayes?

Rhys Stephenson asks for support watching Grey's Anatomy

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Grey’s Anatomy season 18 hadn’t been seen since the end of 2021 so fans were excited for the ABC series to make a comeback, picking up from where it left off. But what viewers weren’t expecting so soon was another character to make their exit, this time, being Cormac Hayes’ (played by Richard Flood) turn to say goodbye. Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly the happiest of endings for the Irish doctor.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers from Grey’s Anatomy.

When Grey’s Anatomy returned, it went straight into some pretty dramatic scenes as Cormac, Owen Hunt (played by Kevin McKidd) and Teddy Altman (Kim Raver) were being driven back to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital.

Their driver suffered a stroke and the car was left hanging off a cliff.

Teddy escaped the vehicle but Owen had to convince Cormac to get out before it dropped which he did, therefore saving his life.

The car dropped with Owen inside and while he is alright, Cormac was left troubled.

Prior to the incident, Cormac had found out that Owen had a side operation going, helping terminally ill veterans end their lives.

Cormac was conflicted, knowing he had a professional obligation to tell his superiors what Owen was doing.

But after his colleague saved his life, Cormac didn’t want to get Owen into any trouble.

Therefore, the only decision that felt right to him was to leave his days at Grey Sloan behind for good.

Why did Richard Flood leave Grey’s Anatomy as Cormac Hayes?

Actor Flood made his first appearance in Grey’s Anatomy midway through its 16th series.

He was then promoted to a series regular at the start of season 17 and his character proved popular with fans.

Nevertheless, it wasn’t the show’s creators’ decision for Cormac to exit but actor Flood’s.

Going by his interview with Deadline, the 39-year-old felt that all of his stories had been told.

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While it was Flood’s decision though, it seems that the writers were in agreement with his exit.

Flood explained: “Having three years on the show felt right for me and I think that the arc of the character with all the developments in the story was probably coming to its natural end, which was great.

“I was very happy that everybody felt the same.”

It may be the end of Cormac in Grey’s Anatomy but the show must go on.

Grey’s Anatomy will return on Thursday, March 10, on ABC with an episode called Legacy.

The synopsis reads: “While Meredith, Amelia and the team prepare for Dr Hamilton’s long-awaited, groundbreaking surgery, Bailey receives an unexpected offer.

“Owen’s impatience makes him a difficult physical therapy patient, forcing Link to intervene.

“In Minnesota, Nick makes a liver transplant a teaching moment.”

Grey’s Anatomy season 18 continues every Thursday on ABC in America. Series 18 is expected to continue on Sky Witness in the UK sometime in April 2022.

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