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Shonda Rhimes Discusses Grey's Anatomy Finale

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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?

Mrs. Shepherd Picture

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?

Shonda: Nope.

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.

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

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    mer is baddass most deff. my main concern: HOPE IS STILL ALIVE FOR SLEXIE YESSS!!!

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    cristina and avery would make a good new couple. owen and cristina are old news and repetitive.. also lexie and alex? the way lexie said to alex i love you infront of mark idk.. i didn't like that i like mark with lexie but with no daughter awful drama in the middle.
    amazing finale but really crappy season.. :/

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    How are they gonna explain Ben disappearing, or is he not be acknowledged as having finished with Bailey?

    Mark loves Lex, Lex loves (cos she loves anyone she sleeps with)Alex, sort of, and Alex loves Iz who'll never return. So it's up to Lex to acknowledge she's second best with Alex.

    Mer will meet all Der's sisters and have a mini freak out when confronted with this. They'll all diss the post-it, Der's mom will say to her son make it legal, otherwise technically all your children could be viewed as illegitimate and not carry on the Shepherd family name

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    Definitely agree with some of you...

    Mcbaby in the future would be awesome! The wedding thing isn't a bad idea! Hope Izzie returns for the wedding! :))

    Gosh, I sincerely hope Izzie comes back even for just a moment for Alex...

    I am so unbelievably happy that there is hope for Mark and Lexie! They are one of my favorite couples and I just can't wait to finally see them together again. I hope they get married! But dear God, please don't let that Sloan girl return again!

    An Alex/Lexie friendship like that of Mark/Callie is sooo not a bad idea. Would be kind of nice, actually.

    Owen and Cristina kinda feels not right... well, for me. I prefer Owen and Teddy and possibly, Avery and Cristina. The Owen-Cristina thing is kind of boring me but hey, no problemo if Shonda finds a way to make their storyline more interesting. I just kinda see no future for them at the moment.

    Calzona was amazing in the finale. I wasn't really a fan before but i realized they are actually a great couple.

    Bailey and Ben... I dunno... I don't like Ben actually... I prefer Bailey and Richard to stay single. :D

    I hope next season would still be awesome! Grey's Anatomy is the best show ever!

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    cristina and avery, owen and teddy

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    Cristina and Owen are so yesterday - how about Cristina and Avery PLEASE!!!!

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    Starting, congratulations for the gratest season finale of all the times. Second, I want to share my oppinion, or maybe my hope, that the mention of Alex about Izzie could be an excellent hook to get KH back to the show. Hugs from Brazil.

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    @joe
    Shonda explains and it is also clear from the show - they could not shoot, Lexie was in the way and her escape gave Gary Clark time to get out of shooting range.

    @tutu
    I agree that it remains to be seen how much Owen really choose Cristina over Teddy and that if the situation was other way around (with Teddy in danger) he would probably react same way. On the other hand - I like Teddy very much. Very few women would be able to react same way to the fact that their love interest is with other woman. Remember how Izzie behaved to Callie, when she was with George? Teddy never in any way undermined Cristina. On the opposite - she became her best teacher, she made a real cardio surgeon out of her. And she did not want sex for teaching! :-) (Marlowe, Burke...). One day, when Cristina is a cardio super-star like Evans or Burke, she will probably realise, that the one who helped her most was calm, friendly dr. Teddy Altmann. I realy look forward for her future story lines promised by Shonda and wish she also finds a man who chooses her first...

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    how in the world does the Seattle SWAT team only get one shot and then not move in??? They are taught to shoot twice and to shoot to kill. How did he get shot once and then move on throughout the hospital again? That doesn't happen.

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    Is it just me, or did Owen "choosing" Cristina just not ring true AT ALL in this season finale?

    First off, in season 5 we are given this amazing love story between Cris and Owen; we are made to believe that it is rare, unshakeable and that it connects these two people in ways outsiders don't even begin to understand, right? So we the viewers invest in these characters, mostly because of the solid chemistry and acting chops of Sandra Oh and Kevin Mckidd, and we prepare to be amazed by their lovestory.

    Then season 6 comes along and it's like, "whoa!, what? seriously?, WTF?" episode after episode. They introduce this limp character named Teddy who has zero chemistry with anyone on the show, let alone Owen, and try to sell us the idea that she and Owen love each other on the same level as Owen and Cristina so that Owen now has a choice to make. Like I said, WTF?! For my part, if this incredibly lame triangle was to be taken seriously, they should have at least cast an actress that can match Sandra Oh, and sadly Kim Raver pales, just PALES, by comparison. So to tell me that Owen loves Teddy at least as much as he loves Cristina makes me wanna PUKE.

    But I love Owen and Cristina and I love Grey's Anatomy so I stayed put throughout this season and took it like a true fan. I stayed when they made Owen a cheat and a liar ( I mean, in the season 5 premiere he was falling in love at first sight with Cristina while apparently being in love with Teddy and engaged to Beth. I mean, who's next? Is this therefore a man who can only be in a relationship if it's complicated by triangles?), when they dumbed down Cristina and made her oblivious like an idiot to the fact that Owen was emotionally cheating and almost physically cheating (see the elevator scene with that horrible Teddy character) and when they trivialised the PTSD storyline.

    To demonstrate how ridiculous and inconsistent these writers can be, read their blog. Recall the beautiful scene at the end of Sympathy for the Parents (written by Allan Heinberg) when Cristina is afraid of Owen and his violent outburst, right? The next episode written by Meg Marinis starts off right where Sympathy ended and this writer expects us to believe that Owen is in a mindset that allows him to awkwardly notice a pantless Teddy in Mark's dress shirt. I mean PUKE! What happened to the PTSD story? Were they just kidding about that?!!!

    But I stayed loyal to the show until the season finale although I was not hopeful that these characters could be redeemed within a mere two hours. And I was RIGHT. Sure, the finale was high-octane, a glued-to-your-seat type of thing but it DID NOT MAKE UP FOR THE REST OF THE CRAPPY SEASON.

    And Owen "chose" Cristina? Really? Ok, so if Teddy was still stuck in the hospital with the trigger-happy Mr. Clark roaming about and Cristina was outside with Owen, I'm expected to believe that Owen would say, "oh well, I'll just let SWAT take care of Teddy". Come on! Oh, what? Owen said he loved Cristina in that tense OR scene? Please, we already knew that. What we wanted to hear him say was that he loves Cristina and Cristina ONLY. In fact Shonda should have written Owen as saying, "Hey, hey! That's ONE of the women I love. You touch her, shoot her and I will KILL YOU..." Given the inconsistent way this character has been written all season long, that at least would have made much more sense.

    My worst quote of the finale: Teddy telling Owen that she believes he is in love with both her and Cristina and that he should choose. The NERVE of that woman thinking that she even has an inkling of the depth of the love Cris and Owen share, and then having the audacity to assume it is equivalent to the crash she insists on calling love - PUKE.

    However, the fact that Owen does not re-affirm his love for Cristina to Teddy's face at that point makes it impossible for me to buy into this whole "Owen chose Cristina" nonsense. Let us see him choose Cristina when there are no bullets flying (which by the way he failed to do at the beginning of Sanctuary). We are expected to believe that Lexie only told Alex she loved him in the heat of the moment so she really does not love him while Owen does the exact same thing except in his case, it's true? Please. PUKE bucket STAT!




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