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.


could some one explain to me what this post meant. did it mean that they are still looking to resolve the izzie thing? or did it mean that they brain stormed at what they did was the best they could come up with??? "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.� what idea was the "one they settled on" is this her going to tacoma genearal? or is it something we haven't seen yet? i'm confused......


I absolutely LOVED Izzie she was my favorite character for a long time. But I think they need to leave well enough alone. KH wanted out, and I think continuing to bring Izzie back up, is kind of a tease. Let Alex move on.


alex should move on, he's trying to forget izzie and bring her back would hurt him again. so the best thing he could do is find another girl.


@lia, yeah thats a good one! but george didnt had a good storyline anymore, and at that point the writers didnt know yet that katherine was going too stop.


The continuing of Izzie's appearing again in GA seems entirely down to KH. SR seems to want to revisit the Alex izzie storyline, but KH has a film career. Not many actors who start on TV and graduate to films are willing to reivisit the time commitment involved in a tv series. I don't think we'll see KH back at GA, unless it suits KH.


I have said this before, but knowing what I know now, I would have preferred Izzie to have died on the season 5 cliffhanger and have George live and go off to Iraq. I was bitterly disappointed on how Izzie left Alex over a meager dispute after him sticking by her and giving her the big dream wedding and it turned out to be all worth nothing in the end. I know Grey’s isn’t real life, but to me their break-up seemed completely far-fetched and unrealistic, just so that Katherine Heigl could leave the show. You don’t break up like that after having been through what Alex and Izzie had been through. It ruined the Izzie-character for me: a character I had always liked throughout the show and that’s why in hindsight I would have preferred for the character to have been killed off at the beginning of season six. Seeing as Katherine Heigl’s movie career isn’t actually taking off as she probably would have wanted to (her movies don’t exactly get rave reviews), she probably might not be completely against the idea of returning to a show that kick started her career in the first place. But I wouldn’t be disappointed if they would leave it as it is; they don’t have to kill her off off-screen, but they don’t really need to bring her back either.
I think Alex is doing fine without her.


I miss Izzie and Katie Heigl! However if she doesn't want to return to the show....then there's nothing anyone can least Shonda didn't kill Izzie off, that would have been cruel after letting her survive all this while...


I think that they should either bring her back because Alex had no one else to get with, or kill her without having katherine heigl back on the show


I would love for Katherine to do a multi-episode arc this season, but not come back to the show. In a perfect world yes, I would love for Katherine to return to GA but I don't see that happening. I do feel that she owes Shonda and the fans a guest role to do closure since GA is what put her so far into her career. I love that Shonda left the role open in case Katherine does want to return to end her role with some closure. (I'm sure if Katherine had stayed to finish off season six, she would have been one of the shooting victims). I really, really do hope that Katherine returns for some closure to her role. Even if it's a multi-episode arc that revolves around the remission of her cancer and she dies, at least it's better than nothing.


I've always wondered if the show might end with Alex going off to find Izzie and be with her again. Alex/Izzie was Shonda's goal all along, they can still make that happen even if Katherine doesn't come back.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

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.


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)