When “Grey’s Anatomy” changed tack in 2020 and incorporated the real-life COVID-19 pandemic into its storylines, Cormac Hayes began to fade into the background. Naturally, his romance with Meredith Grey also began to fall by the wayside once Meredith slipped into a Covid-induced coma. Then, when Hayes left Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital in Season 18, the show extinguished all hope of him rekindling anything with Meredith. But despite the real-life reasons for Hayes leaving, the development doesn’t sit well with viewers.
“The worst part was that their entire relationship was off screen, so we didn’t get to see it,” wrote u/Tortoisefly in the Reddit thread about the pair. U/the-yarn-witch then noted that fans never got to know Hayes deeply as a character. “I liked that he and Meredith understood each other, but I don’t feel like we ever saw their chemistry,” they wrote.
However, there’s at least one small consolation for fans of Hayes — or “McWidow,” as Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh) called him. Richard Flood, who played the character, was totally fine with leaving “Grey’s.” As the actor told Deadline in 2022: “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.”
Will that make McWidow shippers feel any better? No. But maybe, one day, it will.