Shonda Rhimes Shares Her Thoughts On "The Other Side of This Life"

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In her official blog, Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes discusses what's going on in Seattle... and Los Angeles. Below are excerpts from her post, in which she talks about the idea that became Private Practice (it's NOT a spin-off, she says), and what's in store for us next.

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Shonda Rhimes, Ellen Pompeo
I was sitting in the editing room one day watching Mer and Burktina and the gang doing all the stuff they do. I love the editing room - it's like this cocoon where I'm alone with the characters (and the editor) and it's where I get a lot of my ideas.

And for the first time ever since working on this show, I got an idea that was Grey's Anatomy but... not Grey's Anatomy.

It was something else.

It was Addison driving down the freeway with her hair blowing all over her face. So I started writing it down, this not Grey's Anatomy idea.

I started writing it down in secret because I knew Betsy and Shoots With No Script would very gently explain that I had lost my mind and then send in the guys with the strait jackets.

Because we are very busy here at Grey's. We don't have time for non-Grey's ideas. We are a hard-working people.

Except I had this idea and it had already worked its way under my skin and I had to write it down. Or else I'd get in one of those moods. Things happen when I'm in those moods. Things like Meredith drowning.

And I love Mer and wanted to keep her away from the water. So I wrote it down. And I gave it to the studio and the network.

It became something. A script that was part-Grey's, part something else. It became news around town and suddenly my tiny little written down something was being paid a lot of attention by the outside world. Next thing you know, they're calling it a spinoff.

This episode, it's NOT a spinoff.

"The Other Side of This Life" is Addison going down to L.A. to complete the story we've been laying out for her for two seasons. It's the culmination of Meredith's family story. It's Burktina and the wedding and Izzie, Callie and George and that hideous triangle they are stuck in. It's the beginning of the end of Season 3.

And I'm warning you now: the ride to the end of the season? You may want to buckle up and store your luggage in the overhead compartment because this ride is gonna be bumpy.

I'll explain more after the finale. I'll talk about where we are headed in Season Four. Because I think Season 4 is gonna rock. The fun is back in Season 4. But for right now, I guess I'll just talk about the here and the now. About what is right in front of us.

So. Even though we took this detour down to Los Angeles, what I want to talk about is what happened in Seattle. To Meredith. To Cristina. To Izzie. Because things are not working out the way they planned.

George is leaving for Mercy West and Izzie feels responsible. Cristina's facing the fact that she's going to have to compromise what she wants yet again for Burke. And Meredith... well, Meredith is losing another mother.

Worse, she's losing her father.

And even worse than that, she may be losing Derek.

But my favorite moment is Alex. Who, when Ava asks him what happened to him that has made it so hard for him to connect, simply shrugs and says "Maybe, I don't remember." He remembers. But he can't face up to it. Not yet.

Alex is the guy we know the least about and the one struggling the most. And I kinda love him for it. Because he wants to be a better guy - he's just not sure he IS a better guy.

In this episode, our people in Seattle all hit a crossroads while our girl in Los Angeles finds a new road altogether. I'm hoping you like the new road. I'm hoping I get a chance to show you how good this road can be.

But for now, the detour is over. Now, we've got the last two episodes of this season to bring to you. Where we are going might make you shake your fists to the heavens and scream. But we are leaping. So, if your sofa is comfy, maybe you could lie back down and leap with us?

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

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

[narrating] "At the end of the day, when it comes down to it, all we really want is to be close to somebody. So this thing where we all keep our distance and pretend not to care about each other, it's usually a load of bull. So we pick and choose who we want to remain close to, and once we've chosen those people, we tend to stick close by. No matter how much we hurt them. The people that are still with you at the end of the day, those are the ones worth keeping. And sure, sometimes close can be too close. But sometimes, that invasion of personal space, it can be exactly what you need."

MEREDITH

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)