Should Grey's Anatomy Have Acknowledged Izzie's Death?

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Did Grey's Anatomy toy with the idea of having Katherine Heigl's character, Izzie Stevens, pass away in the interest of closure? Might the show still go that route?

Heigl’s abrupt departure last spring put Grey’s Anatomy fans and producers in a tough spot. Creator Shonda Rhimes says she contemplated all possibly outcomes.

That includes bringing the Alex-Izzie love story to an end this season.

Izz She Gonna Stay?

Katherine Heigl is long gone, but clearly not forgotten on Grey's Anatomy.

She stops short of saying Izzie would’ve died off screen, but "we discussed a lot of options, and the one we settled on felt like the [best idea] without having Izzie actually being there,” Rhimes explains. “But it also felt like the cruelest possible thing.”

Ultimately, the Grey's Anatomy boss didn't go through with it. Why?

“It was ready to go, but then I went home and literally couldn’t sleep,” she recalls. “It just felt mean. It wasn’t closure; it just felt brutal. Alex might have never recovered, and the audience who loved Izzie would’ve been devastated. So we didn’t do it.”

What about going forward? Might this still be revisited?

“I’m open to seeing Izzie again,” she says. “If [Katherine] were to come back, we would be thrilled to [wrap up her story]. But if she doesn’t, we’ll just move on.”

From the way the two sides parted ways, don't bet on it.

What do you think? Did Rhimes made the right call leaving things open-ended? Would you like to see Izzie back, or for the show to just get beyond this?

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

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

[narrating] "At the end of the day, when it comes down to it, all we really want is to be close to somebody. So this thing where we all keep our distance and pretend not to care about each other, it's usually a load of bull. So we pick and choose who we want to remain close to, and once we've chosen those people, we tend to stick close by. No matter how much we hurt them. The people that are still with you at the end of the day, those are the ones worth keeping. And sure, sometimes close can be too close. But sometimes, that invasion of personal space, it can be exactly what you need."

MEREDITH

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)