Grey's Anatomy Season Premiere: The Writer's Take

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"Good Mourning" and "Goodbye" made for a powerful re-entry into the Grey's Anatomy universe last night. For a unique take on the episode from the woman who brought it all to life, we've posted some excerpts from the show's official writers blog below.

Here's what executive producer Krista Vernoff, who's responsible for the episodes we watched last night, had to say about them. Specifically, what she thinks about ...


George: I think the reason I don’t want to spend any time writing about these episodes is not just that I’m lazy but that it makes me sad. Watching them made me sad, writing them made me sad and now writing about them will make me sad because, as Cristina finally acknowledges 40 days after the event, “George O’Malley died." It’s heartbreaking.

I fell in love with George, like many of you did, Season One.

The first episode of Grey’s Anatomy that I got to write was the one where George is kind to Annie, the lady with the 60 lb tumor. In an attempt to comfort her about her procrastination in seeing a doctor, George talks to her about his love for Meredith and how he has yet to confess it.

And Annie says something like, “Seriously? You’re equating your love life with my record-breaking tumor?? Seriously??” I loved George O'Malley because he was doing that; because his love for Meredith was as big as that tumor; because, like Izzie, George led with his heart.   

George in Uniform

The funeral scene: I have to admit that this is one of my very favorite scenes ever ... they came together fresh-faced kids and now one of them has cancer and one of them is dead and damn, life is freakin’ like that, y’know? Growing up is crazy hard.

Friends get sick and friends die and marriages begin and end. It’s so complicated and so beautiful and so painful and the best any of us can hope for, I think, is to have friends who will stick by us and laugh with us and cry with us and just be with us through it all.

Callie: Sara was so beautiful in every frame of these episodes. She always drops my jaw – but when she’s wailing to Mark, “... and Arizona keeps bringing me doooooooonuts,” I just loved her even more. And as for Callie, here’s the big question:

If faced with having to decide what to do with your brain-dead ex-husband’s organs, would you rise above and turn to his ex-mistress for help?

Derek and the Chief: This is a thing that won’t be going away any time soon. Derek was pretty freakin’ noble. So noble! Cause you KNOW how much he wants that job. It was a promise of the Chiefdom that brought him to Seattle from NYC to begin with. Okay, that and his love for ferry boats. Oh, and the Mark/Addison messiness but y’know, mostly, it was becoming Chief.

And right here, the job was his for the taking. And out of loyalty and friendship, he went to the Chief and warned him. So what is up with the Chief that in response, he completely shut Derek out? Pride. He’s all proud and hurt and threatened. Really, really threatened.

And people are flawed. Even the Chief, whom I adore, is deeply flawed.  

Chief Mourns

Cristina, Owen and Dr. Wyatt: How brilliant are the actors in that scene???? Seriously – how freakin’ good are all three of them? If I could hand some kind of award to Kevin McKidd and Sandra Oh and Amy Madigan today, I would. Y’know what? I just might.

When I was nominated for an Emmy and didn’t win, my best friends made me an Emmy out of tinfoil. I might do something like that – that’s how good they all are. Here’s what you don’t know ... I handed them that scene 20 MINUTES BEFORE CAMERAS ROLLED. Swear to God.

The scene was totally different. It was a funny scene until the last minute.

I had been desperate to find humor anywhere I could in these two hours and because Sandra is a pretty reliable source for comedy, I had leaned on the funny. And I got a call from the set after they rehearsed the scene. Sandra and Kevin had smart questions – and what became crystal clear to me instantly is that this storyline could not be resolved in a humorous way.

It had earned weight. Indeed, it required weight.

Follow the link for the entirety of Krista's blog ...

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


I wanted flashbacks more than anything. Flashbacks of George wouldn't have been ordinary. It would have made the episode memorable and touching. It would have given it some heart. George is my favorite and I wanted to see him one last time. We all did.


Who cares about cheesy? I love George, and I miss. So if remembering him and showing tons of flashbacks was cheesy, I could have gone for the cheesiest episode in the world. Ordinary and powerful grief is just perfect when you say goodbye to such a beloved character. It definitely beats unemotional, weird and dysfunctional any day.


I was a little bit disappointed. The idea of constructing the episodes around 'five stages of grief' was initially good but it wasn't carried out very well. Especially at the end when these stages actually referred to the job situation. I guess the writers wanted us to focus on current topics instead of being left with a feeling that it won't be the same without George. But even though I was not such a great fun of George as many other people, I think he deserved a bit more attention. I agree that two hours of crying and remembering George wouldn't make a great episode but avoiding the topic and trying to fit too many plots into two hours of screen time was not a great idea either.


hey wyomom! I don't really agree with you.. I think the flashback thing you suggested would've made the show cheesy and ordinary. It's been done so many times. I really think they showed us a very realistic take on George's death. To be honest, a two-hour episode with people crying and talking about George all the time would've made me stop watching. About Christina...I think there are two main reasons she became sex driven during that month: 1) You try being in love with someone who's totally in love with you too and not having sex with that person. You'd become obsessed too. 2) There's a huge event she wants to avoid thinking about here - George, of course - and the next big thing on her mind is the fact that she's not having sex with Owen. Of course, it's so much easier to worry and obsess about that than to think about George's death, so that's what she does. Just my opinion... =)


I do get her take on the episodes, but i am still at loss for words on these two first episodes....don't you think they should've given us some flashbacks of george's greatest moments as they said goodbye to him or something?. I feel like they're is no closure. I am very confused on this episode...honestly when was was christina all about sex...she went without it for a while after burke, now she's sex drived?! hmmm I guess i'm missing something. anyone agree??


She is really awesome and the premiere was awesome too!


Krista is awesome. I love her blogs.


Loved the episodes, loved her intakes.


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.