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

MEREDITH: "You don't get to call me a whore. When I met you, I thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I was done! All the boys and all the bars and all the obvious daddy issues, who cares? I was done. You left me. You chose Addison. I'm all glued back together now. I make no apologies for how I chose to repair what you broke. You don't get to call me a whore."
DEREK: "This thing with us is finished. It's over."
MEREDITH: "Finally."
DEREK: "Yeah, it's done."
MEREDITH: "It is done."

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.

Meredith