Shonda Rhimes Discusses Season 3 Finale

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Season 3 of Grey's Anatomy began with Meredith helping an emotionally wrecked Izzie out of her prom dress and ended last night with Meredith helping a bawling Cristina out of her wedding gown.

Shonda Rhimes, as she puts it, likes symmetry.

Below are excerpts from her blog, in which she discusses the events of last night's finale, "Didn't We Almost Have it All," and what's in store for us in the fall when Grey's Anatomy returns for Season 4, now that she's "burned everything to the ground" in the third campaign ...


Shonda Rhimes Discusses Season 3 Finale

This season was very important to me. It wasn't as light as Season 2 and for good reason. Our characters were in a darker place. I needed to put Meredith's mother to rest, Izzie's grief to rest, and the race for Chief to rest. George needed to grow up on a monumental level and then come full circle to where he was when we first met him in the pilot.

Meredith had to finally try to face the fact that she's damaged when it comes to relationships. I wanted to put Bailey on a path of questioning her standing as The Chosen One. Both Burke and Derek needed to hit a relationship wall, each in their own ways. Then there's Cristina.

Oh, the Cristina of it all.

What Season 3 is about most of all - for all of our women - is the idea of "having it all" is a myth. And that was true for Cristina more than anyone. Slowly, over the course of the season, we've watched as hard-nosed Yang sliced off little pieces of herself to accommodate Burke.

From helping Burke hide his tremor to Colin Marlowe telling her she's not the woman he knew to prepping for the wedding, she slowly morphs from kickass surgeon-girl into a woman we don't quite recognize in that wedding dress with penciled eyebrows.

I wanted you to have the feeling in the finale that she's become this painted doll - beautiful, everyone's fantasy bride, but a painted doll all the same. No longer our Cristina Yang. There's that wonderful moment where she begs Bailey to let her cut because a part of her knows she's becoming someone she doesn't recognize.

And then, just as she's lost almost all of herself standing there in that gown ready to walk down the aisle, Burke is telling her that he can't marry her. Because even Burke realizes that this Cristina is not his Cristina. It's devastating.

I hope you noticed that in the beginning of the episode Cristina talks about a heart as a purely anatomical thing ("it pumps blood") and then Burke's vows are all about the heart as an emotional thing ("I promise to lay my heart in the palm of your hands") and it's so sad to realize that they have completely opposing views of the world.

I feel for Burke and you should too because he knows that, in a way, by leading, pushing, cajoling her down this path to being together, he's done this to her - he's changed her. That the only way to save her from disappearing completely is to set her free.

And then in that wonderfully painful moment (how much do we love Sandra Oh and her incredible talent?) in the apartment, Cristina turns to Meredith and says "He's gone. I'm free. Damn it."

And it's so nuanced and layered and so tragic because she's relieved and terrified and heartbroken and suffocated all at once. Watching her journey back from this is going to be amazing next season.

George and Izzie and Callie: you all have your opinions, very strong opinions, on how you feel about this love triangle. I'm glad â€" strong opinions mean you care what happens.

In the finale, Izzie's declaring herself and Callie's fighting for her rightful territory. That moment when Callie casually lets Izzie know that she's not only been named Izzie's boss but that she and George are trying to have a baby is very interesting.

Callie's saying "don't mess with me" in the only way she knows how. About the baby thing - for the record, I am very strongly against anyone trying to have a baby to save a relationship. It's crazy because it never works and I highly recommend you don't do it.

Plus it goes against every feminist bone in my body. But it is also human to delude yourself into believing that you're not having a baby to save your relationship, that instead having a baby is a way of taking your relationship to the next level.

And Callie gives that great speech about her hormones and her body.

I've been there and I know that it is real, this sudden baby rush that happens and, if you are firmly into your career, it freaks you out. Callie's just being as honest as she knows how to be with George.

Because she can't bring up Izzie again - not when the last time she brought it up, George called Izzie a supermodel thereby suggesting that Callie was, well…not.

Continue reading the rest of Shonda's blog here ...

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.


I agree if Tiffani Thiessen comes in it would be so helpful not only to Derek and maybe Mark but Meredith. It would be nice for her to help her deal thru this. I love TAT, I think she'd be great


Hey Debs, its nice to hear from you, i am working on my 15,000 words dissertation (very stressful). Anyway, i think meredith already knows she loves der very much, what she doesnt know is how to let him in and make it right. Yes to some extend a third party is likely to scare her, however, it might end up scaring and even damaging her in a bad way. No one would find it remotedly funny to share the love of his life with his sister.


sorry i said it twice i didn´t realise my first comment wen in


Hey Hafsa long time know hear. I agree with you they don´t need someone else coming between them but maybe they some help & suport. I think it could either be the cheif´s wife or cristina. I know Burke left her but i think she could help them. What do you think.


Hey Hafasa long time no hear. I completely agree with you. Bringing in a third paty for either of them would complecate the problem. Although maybe somthing needs scare Mer to realiseing how much she loves & nedds him. Because we both know their not just the love of each others lives. Their each others true love & i believe you can have more then one love of your life but you only get one true love & their each others true love. maybe they need some help & i think could be the chiefs wife or cristina i know burke left her but maybe she help them. What do you think.


The only reason that I'm writing on this blog is with the slight hope that the writer or someone who influences the writer will actually read it. With that said, I am so angry that I wasted my time watching this show this season. I kept hoping that it would redeem itself and go back to the humor, realism, real characters, and medicine that it had during the first two seasons - but that certainly never happened. I started watching this show because I really liked the characters. I felt that I could relate to certain pieces of all of them and enjoyed watching them change. Now, I have to say that I'm disgusted with each and every one of them (with the exception of Addison who is leaving the show, for good reason). Instead of maturing and changing and growing, the characters have degraded themselves to the maturity of a big group of 13 year olds. They are pathetic, stupid, melodramatic, and childish. I literally feel like I'm watching a soap opera. I didn't start watching this show so that it could turn into another Desperate Housewives. What a waste of a great show. I will definitely not be watching the fourth season, and I hope that a number of former Grey's Anatomy fans feel the same way.


I think Mer/Der will be back together in season 4. It may take a while, but come on ....she is the love of his life and he is the love of her life! It will take a few epsiodes of Meredith realizing its ok to finallly let Derek in and lettting him be there for her. And who knows...Lexie may help push this along, not that I want her to, I hope she doesn't have that big of a part in the relationship wtih Mer/Der.


I am in total agreement with everyone else here! My husband came in after the season finale and I told him it sucked. He was shocked. Last year, I was bawling over Denny and Izzy and I couldn't wait for this season - seriously spent weeks just itching for the next episode. I won't even think about Greys this summer. I don't give a hoot what happens after this episode - Callie wanting a baby? TOTALLY out of character for her. MerDer on the verge of breaking up again? Ridiculous. And Shonda, you have turned Izzy into a bluthering idiot with this George situation. I hate it. I loved this show but right now I think it's headed in the wrong direction. I miss the season one and two greys. I guess it's inevitable - writers start to think they are invincible and they ruin a show. I used to be a big Shonda fan but not anymore. Word to ABC, get a new writer for Private Practice or you'll only have two good seasons.


Yes, Burke and Cristina are great - different people, different cultural backgrounds, working out their different ideas/priorities and still getting hot and heavy and supporting each other.
Meredith and Derek were fun to watch in Season 1, flirting and overcoming the attending/intern thing, then in Season 2 I do admit to wanting Derek to stay with Addison because much as I wanted to hate her I couldn't and the actors really made them seem like a couple who had a lot of history together and some deep feelings. Season 3 has been so up and down with MerDer that I'm not sure if I care anymore. The finale was stupid, Meredith has been wanting Derek to not give up on her and now, poof, she can't say yes, I want to be with you? Unbelievable.
I also find the Alex/Rebecca thing unbelievable. The writers took a convenient, done-before (Denny) way to get rid of the Addison/Alex slowly evolving 'relationship'. Even if you weren't a fan of Addisex the bond was growing all season, pointing to something in season 4 (before spin-off). And another doctor/patient thing - not cool!
Hoping Rebecca is gone and MerDer become fun/flirty couple in season 4.


What does everyone see with Meredith & Derek? They USED to be the greatest couple, but Meredith became McWhiney while Derek went from McDreamy to McJerk! Burke & Cristina are truly the best couple!


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.


Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)