Shonda Rhimes Discusses Grey's Anatomy Finale
Call her the game changer. Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes sat down to discuss last night's Season 6 finale with Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello earlier today.
"Sanctuary" and "Death and All His Friends" were filled with dozens of memorable moments and burning questions. EW certainly did its best to touch on as many as possible.
We've excerpted a good chunk of the interview below. Click here for the full version, and tell us what you think. Are you satisfied with her explanations - and the finale overall?
Q: One of the most controversial aspects of the finale was Meredith’s miscarriage. Did you ever consider a different outcome?
Shonda: If she didn’t have the miscarriage, she wouldn’t have been pregnant at the beginning.
Q: The pregnancy was all about the miscarriage?
Shonda: It was about Meredith Grey being truly happy. When Meredith is having a miscarriage and says, “I’m having a miscarriage. I need Lidocaine. Are you going to help me or not?,” you realize how incredibly strong and badass she’s being in that moment. To me, that’s the hero moment. If you don’t have that moment you don’t really have the story of Meredith Grey.
Q: You once said Mer and Der would never have children. Have you changed your mind?
Shonda: [Long pause] Yes. I’ve written my way out of that I think.
Q: So there may still be a baby in their future?
Shonda: Definitely. For me, this is the beginning of the baby story.
Q: How does Meredith not revert back to dark and twisty Meredith?
Shonda: I don’t know how she doesn’t, but she doesn’t. I think in a lot of ways Meredith has become the mother of the group. I don’t think there’s a lot of room for dark and twisty when everybody’s been affected. We joke a lot in the writers’ room that because Meredith’s childhood was so damaging that, in a way, she’s better equipped to handle this stuff than anybody else.
Q: How did you arrive at the decision to kill off Reed and Charles?
Shonda: It was both really easy and really hard. We’ve been layering in these people all season, and I wanted you to feel comfortable with them and their personalities. I also really wanted [to lose] people who on some level we barely knew.
Q: Had Katherine Heigl not left the show, what role would Izzie have played in the finale? Would she have been killed?
Shonda: I have no idea.
Q: Talk to me about the decision to have Alex call out for Izzie after he was shot.
Shonda: I really wanted to find a way to deal with how much Alex is missing Izzie. It felt really poignant to me that if he was lying on a table dying he’d be calling for her.
Q: Lexie confessed her love for Alex, but some fans aren’t buying it.
Shonda: I don’t think she could have possibly made a decision in that moment. The thing I think is interesting is that Alex made his decision. When Alex called for Izzie - when in your hour of need you’re calling for another woman - I think he made his decision.
Q: In other words, hope is very much alive for Mark and Lexie?
Shonda: Yes, there’s definitely hope.
Q: Jessica Capshaw is pregnant in real life. Arizona decides at the end of the episode that she wants to have kids with Callie. Is there a connection there?
Shonda: No - although I love that Jessica is pregnant. I feel like every year we have to have somebody on the show who’s pregnant and we have to hide the pregnancy. It’s what we do now.
Q: So the pregnancy won’t be written into the storyline?
Q: Where was Bailey’s beau Ben in this episode?
Shonda: Ben was not working that day. There was a great debate in the writers’ room that we should have Bailey say something about Ben not working. And I felt like, no, we only see Ben sporadically as it is. He’s not at work that day.
Q: You mentioned that April and Jackson are “part of the tribe now.” What did you mean exactly?
Shonda: For the purpose of story - because I don’t write things thinking, what are the business decisions going on - April and Jackson have really been folded into the group.
Q: When Owen chose Cristina, he really chose her, right?
Shonda: Yes. He definitely chose her.
Q: So that triangle is, for all intents and purposes, over.
Shonda: That triangle is done.
Q: But Cristina broke up with Owen in that episode.
Shonda: That is true.
Q: So they’re not technically together.
Q: I tried really hard to get in an Owen-Cristina scene where he holds her after Derek survived. But all my [medical advisers] kept saying, “If Owen holds Cristina, she can no longer operate on Derek. She’s become unsterile.” There was a big fight about it and finally I had to go with “the look.” And I felt like Sandra [Oh] and Kevin [McKidd] adequately and brilliantly portrayed in “the look” that there was still something there.