Shonda Rhimes on "The End of the Beginning"
With last night's fourth season finale, "Freedom," creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes feels she's brought Grey's Anatomy full circle at last.
Here are excerpts of her thoughts on this two-hour episode - which should go down as one of the most memorable in Grey's Anatomy history ...
So that was Season Four.
Right after we finished filming the finale of Season Three, I sat down with the Grey's Anatomy writing staff and I pitched them the last scene of Season Four.
That's how I do it. I start at the end.
When Season Two concluded, I pitched the image of Cristina tearing off her wedding dress and crying in Meredith's arms. For this season, I knew I wanted more hope.
I knew I personally NEEDED more hope.
So I pitched Meredith Grey standing on Derek's land in a field of candles telling Derek where the living room could be, where the kitchen could be, where kids could play.
Because I wanted them together. I HATED them being apart. It made me sad. It made me sad in a way that was bad for me and for everyone around me.
In the season finale, "Freedom," Meredith Grey finally "got there."
But I also knew that, in order for Meredith Grey to stand there in that field of candles, she had to get there. On the inside. Now I'm not an oogey inside person. I don't do warm and fuzzy and I certainly don't believe in therapy.
For other people, it's fine (yay, therapy!). For me, not so much. I write - that's how I deal with my insides. And Meredith, she performs surgery. That's how she deals.
But in order to get her to a place where she could stand in that field of candles, Mer needed a little help. Professional help. Which shocked my writers. 'Cause they know how I feel about therapy.
But I knew something they did not. Something I'd been keeping to myself for four seasons. Which was the fact that Meredith sat on the kitchen floor in a pool of her mother's blood after her mother attempted suicide.
See what I mean about me not being warm and fuzzy?
Nothing warm and fuzzy about pools of blood. Which is why I kept that to myself. When you say things like that in a writers' room, people tend to look at you funny. People tend to suggest that YOU need therapy.
So I kept it to myself. For four long seasons. I didn't even tell Debora Cahn, the writer of the episode in which Meredith CONFESSES her mother's suicide attempt to Dr. Wyatt. Not until the last possible second.
We'd have these discussions about Deb Cahn's episode in the writers' room where everyone would ask "Shonda, what is Meredith going to TELL Dr. Wyatt in this last scene? WHAT?" And I'd be all, "I don't know. Stop talking about it." And they'd sigh and shoot each other these looks.
They love me but still, there were looks.
I'd like to point out that it is RUDE not to tell details like that to your writing staff. It is cold and withholding, to use therapy-speak.
But I just couldn't do it. Because of two things: one, while I had pitched Meredith all whole and healed in a field of candles, I wasn't sure I could get to a place where I BELIEVED that Meredith would ever go to the field.
And two, I love Ellis Grey. Love her. Even though she is dead.
I think she is fantastic. And I couldn't figure out, couldn't fathom, what a mother says to her child when she is bleeding to death on the kitchen floor from self-inflicted wounds. For a long time, I felt like anything she would have said to a five year old kid in that moment would make her a monster.
Because I have a five year old kid. And I can't imagine doing something so horrible and damaging to her. What do you say to your child at a time like that? Why is your child even there? How do you redeem yourself in that moment?
Continue reading Shonda's thoughts the show's writers' blog ...