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.


Katherine Heigl was one of my favorite actresses on Grey's, and I was REALLY disappointed to see her character go, especially because she had such great chemistry with Alex and it's obvious that the producers of the show haven't been able to replicate that yet (Alex still remains single!) Since it's highly unlikely that Izzie will ever return to the show (as much as I would love that) what we need now is someone new for Alex..I think that will give the Izzie/Alex relationship closure since Alex will have 'moved on'. BUT..whomever they decide to pair up with Alex, it's gonna be a tough spot to fill because of how good Alex and Izzie were together..I hope they can find someone who can do the job well, and not disappoint any of the fans.


At first I almost wished they had killed Izzie off, but imagine the pain re characters wouldve gone thru losing izzie and George at the same time. That wouldve been cruel. Izzie needed time off the canvas and I will rejoice when Izzie comes back instead of grumbling about her on and off appearance. We can't punish Heigl for her behavior towards the show anymore, shes apologetic about her comments and we need to forget that and focus on what a great addition Izzie Stevens was on the show. I would like her to pop in and tie up the divorce with Alex.


I would like to see Izzie coming back but not for closure! It would be nice to see her coming with more surgery experience, more confident on her talents and getting back with ALex who, in the meantime, started to love pediatrics and stopped being to tough one of the show!
If KH would come for some episodes, why come for sad ones instead of happy ones? if she comes back, why not later in the last season and "close" in a positive way?
I don't know how things are in the US, but from the other side of the Atlantic, KH is actually no-one on the big screen right now. People knew her far more through GA. From this side, hers was a wrong career move. It would be great to see her coming back as Izzie and make the true Alex finally come out.
And I think all Izzie fans would forget the very strange storyline producers gave her (sleeping with a ghost????)....


I really don't care if her character comes back, I hated the character and I'm not much for Katherine Heigl either. Killing her off would be fine, her character has a brain tumor so seriously...audience will buy that. And Alex can very well move on...


I want Izzie to come back. She was the best.


My Name is Paul Bich My question.Is for Katherine Heigl I"ve been a
fan of Grey"s Anatomy for some time now.Katherine Heigl I wish you were back on Grey"s Anatomy and stay there.That"s how this fan feels about you.Your number fan Paul Birch


@ my own story, maybe for a couple of episodes too end the story at a good way, so he can forget her..


Hi there, I think Izzie had a great story, she and Alex were the perfect couple, but the ending was cruel. Alex and Izzie survived difficult things and they still loved each other, alex does not deseve this life! I hope he finds someone who gives a lot about him, and have a great chemistry just like he had with Izzie! Izzie doesnt have to come back, because she is a bitch against alex that she left him like this way!


why does everyone so negative about izzie, her story was great and good, but at the end it was ruined izzie and alex were a-ma-zing together but they hadnt a right ending, thats soo bad :(


Izzie character was ruined for me in season 5 during the Dead Denny sex. What kind of doctor see an hallucination and doesn't go to a doctor right away? I would get it if Izzie wasn't a doctor but for pete sake she was a surgeon. I mean she was see her dead fiance and having sex with him wouldn't that make a surgeon see a doctors? It took her so long to go and see a doctor that by the end I was wishing she died.

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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.