Shonda Rhimes on "The End of the Beginning"

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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.

Grey, Meredith

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 ...

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


I love Grey's Anatomy even to the extreme that i do not want to do anything else but sit infront of my t.v, the ending to season four was amazing especially the candle house the finalle could not have ended any better than it did, now Meredith and Derek actualy have a chance to be together. i just pray that Rose is not preggers or Derek lands up in a car accident, because i will be so devistated for Merideth. please can Mer/Der just finally become a normal couple and build the house she wants. they really do belong together. i honestly cannot take them being apart anymore! it is starting to make me depressed! as for rose she can just leave the series completely...


Although I an a huge Grey's fan, I was disappointed in this season. I am hoping that the writers strike was the major problem and the show will be back on track next season. Kudos for the finale though. The MerDer thing was sooooooo romantic, Christina became Christina again, and there is a cuteness to Lexi and Geroge, who I think would be a great couple. I am not sure of the Callie-Hahn relationship yet, but I am open minded that this could work. I would much rather see Callie with McSteamy, and Hahn??? Dunno what role she should play...... Maybe none.
I like Izzy, but Katherine seems ungrateful for what Greys has done for her. Send her off with Burke if she wants to be that way!!!!


The reason I think a lot of people are so against the Callie/Hahn storyline has got nothing to do with being homophobic or shallow. The fact is Hahn is ugly on the inside, she's not a nice person at all. She's a bully, who abuses her position. Whereas Callie is a lovely person. Remember back in season 2 when she helped Meredith find out what Doc's chances were or claiming that Meridiths panties were hers. Even when everyone around her treated her like badly, Meredith and Izzie laughing at her, George and Izzie cheating on her, e.t.c she was still the bigger person. Sure she refused to deal with Izzie when she was chief resident, but no one is capable of forgiving that easy. So to put her with someone as nasty as Hahn is unforgivable. Also the way the story progressed is no where near beliveable. At least in other shows when a character who has had been in love with men, and then fell in love with a woman, it was made believable. Their character grew to that point, they didn't just wake up one day and decide they were gay. Also to say it is homophobic for people to hate this pairing, is homophobic in it's own way as you are focusing on gender, and not seeing anything else. You are focusing on their gender, whereas everyone else is focusing on the characters and the chemistry they have together. A lot of people hated George and Izzie together as they did not fit romantically. No one says anything when someone voices their distaste for that pairing, but just because people dislike Hahn/Callie suddenly they are homophobic. I don't think so. They are looking at the characters, gender is of no issue, the only time i believe it is a issue, is that they did not let the relationship grow realistically.


I'm all for Callie/Erica story, i hope next season we will see alot of them and learn more about Erica's past! See ya in september!!!


Ally she may have planned the Burktina wedding planned much earlier but perhaps the couple would have worked out their issues etc or something I think it ended up being this way cause Isaiah got fired.


Yall b's trippin that shit w/h Callie and Erica is ok with me.


Before you go calling everyone homophobic who doesn't like Callie and Erica together, stop to think that it might be because we don't think they have any chemistry. It is the same reason some viewers didn't like George and Izzie. If Addison was still on the show, and Shonda decided to go with a relationship between Callie and Addison, I think it would have gotten a lot better response from viewers. Callie and Addison have chemistry to spare.


tnx shonda !gray's anatomy is my story!please let them be together for ever!please...


I hope that the new season will not start with the news that Derek stays with Rose, because she is pregnant, dying or whatsoever....


I love the Callie/Erica storyline and i don't understand how people can be so homophobic! It's 2008 people, wake up! Let's celebrate diversity and open our minds a little.


Grey's Anatomy Quotes

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)

Burke was- He took something from me. He took little pieces of me, little pieces over time, so small I didn't even notice, you know? He wanted me to be something I wasn't, and I made myself into what he wanted. One day I was me Cristina Yang, and then suddenly I was lying for him, and jeopardizing my career, and agreeing to be married and wearing a ring, and being a bride. Until I was standing there in a wedding dress with no eyebrows, and I wasn't Cristina Yang anymore. And even then, I would've married him. I would have. I lost myself for a long time. And now that I'm finally me again, I can't. I love you. I love you more than I loved Burke. I love you. And that scares the crap out of me because when you asked me to ignore Teddy's page, you took a piece of me, and I let you. And that will never happen again.