Grey's Anatomy Funeral Scene Raises Questions, Emotions

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As the rare, outdoor behind-the-scenes photos from the set proved without a doubt this week, the cast of Grey's Anatomy is giving George O'Malley his official sayonara.

We knew it was coming, but some are having a hard time coming to grips with the prospect of no more O'Malley. He was not just an original character, but a fan favorite.

Spotted on the set were Katherine Heigl, who plays Izzie Stevens, George's best friend, and a very pregnant Ellen Pompeo, who plays the title character, Meredith Grey.

A few of the men were also back to work: Justin Chambers, who plays Alex Karev, and Patrick Dempsey, who plays Derek Shepherd. Others may have been there, too.


The demise of George O'Malley was not scripted this way initially.

It turns out that Grey's Anatomy creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes originally had a different opening sequence planned for the 6th season of Grey's Anatomy.

A flashback was supposed to take viewers to the hours when George was missing, from when he left the hospital to when he returned later on as a disfigured John Doe.

However, Knight reportedly declined to make a brief cameo and instead of seeing George's split-second decision to save the passerby's life that cost him his own, viewers will just have to watch Shonda Rhimes' alternative idea, the funeral scene.

Which brings us to the characters and George's coffin.

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


No George, no me.


You know it is Shonda's fault. She completely stopped writing for him the minute she had to fire her precious buddy IW. She lied to him repeatedly about George. You know how they gave Chandra Wilson an episode to direct? Well I read on another site that TR asked for an episode to direct ttoo, but he was refused. So they let Chandra direct but not TR? Why? Shonda had meetings with Patrick and Ellen to reassure them, but was too busy for TR. They treated him like dirt while accommodating every other actor's request. We did see more of him. 2 minutes instead of 30 seconds. Like you said, she knew back then. Those episodes hadn't been filmed and she still showed almost nothing of him. I don't agree she did what she had to do. She had to erase a character so we would not notice him when he was hurt? That's the lamest thing ever. No she didn't have to opt for cheap shock factors over showing a beloved integral character on the show. She also didn't have to kill him. Thee more you defend him, the more I get angry at her. She lies to fans. She manipulates them. I don't believe for an instant her claim she backburnered him all season long for the 007 scene. No good sane writer would ever do that. It also doesn't explain why she didn't use him at all in season 4. TR did what he had to do because Shonda has been making life hell for him.


She should never have backburnered him in the first place not for a stupid cliffhanger. So yes by doing this and not even telling him about it, she got him to quit. It is her fault, completely and totally. I don't get why you feel so strongly about defending Shonda you have to answer everyone who bashes her. We get how you feel it's not her fault, but most of us George fans do feel it is very much her fault. She erased George for a cliffhanger, and she killed him. Those were her choices not his. Yes the Another world producer said the stupidest mistake she ever made was killing Frankie so producers do admit their mistakes. Shonda wouldn't be so hated if she did that once in a while. She might have created the show, but she is now ruining it.


Gigi, Again, by the time that TR's decision was made... Wish You Were Here and Sympathy for the Devil were already shot. Stairway to Heaven was already in production. Beat Your Hear Out was already written. The teleplay for the crossover episodes Before and After and An Honest Mistake was already in writing stages. Meaning that if Shonda was to put TR on his final days, the commencement point was either I Will Follow You Into The Dark or Stand By Me, which it was when we started to see more of him. She did what she had to do, he did what he had to do. End of story. TR isn't coming back and you won't hear an apology from Shonda saying she did the biggest mistake of her life by killing George. Hell, I haven't heard ANY producer or creator say it (with the HUGE exception of Josh Schwartz, creator of The O.C. about Jhonny. I had more respect from him after that), so can we please, just please stop the blame game and just stick to the nice character that is going to leave? Please? This whole thing of blaming Shonda and bashing her is getting old. She did created the show and put it were it is. Plans change and sometimes we can't get it all. I really really feel for her.


Anuflas you are so right! There needs to be a balance like there was in S2-S3 everyone had a good amount of screen time and S5 was a bit too focused on Izzie (even though she's like my fav character) so if there was more focus on every character it would be really amazing. That said I am going to miss George so much because he was one of the sweetest characters in TV drama history (in my opinion) and I don't think anyone can replace him so think of the good times he had on the show not "shonda did this did that" Although I did not appreciate that George got lack of screen time this season he was an integral part of the show and nobody will forget that RIP 007 :'(


Anna, you're absolutely right. I totally agree.
Just cos MerDer got sort of hitched, doesn't mean that we should get scenes of less than a minute of them together, or the sum total of 2 scenes in an episode.


I'll miss him so much. He's my favorite, and Gizzie is my favorite couple. George was the best. I missed him so much last season.


Why did you have to pick that photo? I love George and it makes me cry to see what Shonda did to him. I'll never forgive her for it. If she cared at all about the George fans, she would never have killed him, especially not like that. Poor TR. Shonda totally threw him under the bus and he and we lost out for it.


TR said he wasn't coming back because he thought his last scene was hauntingly beautiful. I agree with him. It has nothing to do with him being selfish, but all about wanting the most fitting end for his character. He told Shonda in December he was leaving. She had plenty of time to film those scenes if she really wanted to. Yes I knew this was George the minute they did a big focus on his eyes. I have always been totally in love with his eyes and I'd recognize them anywhere. I think all real George fans would have recognized him anywhere. So if she really erased Georeg all season and made TR quit for it for a cliffhanger most George fans figured out 10 minutes in the episode, she really has no business directing that show. I can't believe we're losing a character most fans love, my favorite character, and that we were robbed of his entire last season for a cliffhanger I figured out more than half an hour before the end of the show. How lame! She would never have done it to another character on the show. I lost Gizzie, and I lost George. There's a limit to what I can take from this show.


George is not responsible for the lack of MerDer. He has had no screentime. If you want to look at someone, look at Izzie and Lexie. They took th airtime, not him. Shonda totally forgot about George in this. He is my favorite so this has broken my heart. I get TR not coming back. Shonda didn't used him when he was alive, and now she claims she wanted to while he was dead6 I don't believe that for a second, and why would anyone think TR would have time to come back? He is auditioning, trying to build himself a new career. Shonda had months to make him film those scenes and she didn't. He was available. He even came back to do that elevator scene. Why didn't she make him film this then? That is, IF she is telling the truth, Shonda, we wanted to see George when he was ALIVE, not now that he's DEAD. We didn't even want George to die at all. George and Gizzie were why I watched, so I won't be watching from now on.

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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)

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.