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Grey's Anatomy Season 8 Spoilers: The Final Season?!

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Was last night's season finale of Grey's Anatomy the beginning of the end?

In the wake of the unsettling events of Thursday night, series creator Shonda Rhimes aims to have the end justify the means, as the ABC drama enters what may be the eighth and final season for Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey next fall.

What does she mean by that - and without Mer and Der, could Grey's Anatomy possibly continue? Here's what had Rhimes had to say on this and other topics the morning after the bombshells of "Unaccompanied Minor" were dropped:

Rule Breaker

On whether she's prepared for the backlash from fans, Rhimes tells TV Line:

"I don’t know if I steeled myself for the blowback. I’m sure there’s going to be some, but I’m not even sure I thought about it. I've been busy thinking about setting us up for next season, which might be the final season for the [original cast members]."

"I wanted to spend next season doing nothing but telling stories about the originals, and I felt like in order to do that, we wanted to put everybody in a place where the focus was squarely on Meredith and Derek, Cristina, Alex."

On having Meredith tamper with Derek’s Alzheimer’s drug trial:

"I’ve heard a number of people say, 'I don’t think Meredith would do that.' Meredith is the girl who put her hand on a bomb in a body cavity. Meredith is the girl who tried to help a serial killer kill himself, so that he could donate his organs."

"Meredith - and this is obvious - has a compass that has always led her to shades of grey. She does not believe in black-and-white, she does not believe in good or bad."

"She does what she thinks is right. It’s funny, when we first pitched this storyline to Ellen, the first thing she said before we got to the end was, 'But I give Adele the drug, right? I definitely give Adele the drug [versus the placebo].' We said yeah, because that’s who Meredith is."

"Derek has always been a person who believes in right or wrong, and that has been the fundamental argument of their relationship. I also feel like it’s important to say that Meredith and Derek aren’t getting a divorce; their marriage is in trouble."

On what part of Mer accepts responsibility for pushing Derek away:

"I don’t know. Maybe 50-50? She made a choice but she knew she made a choice. It wasn’t a simple choice to make, but it was the only choice for her to make. As a woman who would tell a gunman to shoot her [in the Season 6 finale], that’s who she is."

"She deals with consequences later. I know that she feels justified, but I also think she knows she made her own bed. He just needs his space."

"The work of his life, which was him basically trying to cure the disease that Meredith eventually will likely suffer from, has been ruined. If he knew about the baby [Zola], things might be different, but he doesn’t."

"Right now he’s just angry and he needs a chance to get over it.

On whether Meredith and Derek are still destined to be together forever:

"I feel like Meredith and Derek are meant to be together forever, and we’re going to make sure in the end they end up together – unless one of them dies or something. I don’t think it undercuts the drama. I think how we get there is the journey.

On whether season eight is it for the cast - and the show:

"It might be the last hurrah for a lot of them; you never know. I really don’t know and I don’t presume to know. Everybody [including Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers and James T. Pickens] has an individual choice to make and I get that."

"It’s been seven really amazing years. Everyone has a choice to make. All the originals are in play."

A C-Yang Photo

On whether Cristina will really terminate the pregnancy:

"No one’s ever told me I couldn’t, so it never occurred to me I couldn’t. It is a polarizing issue, and we deal with a lot of polarizing issues. Addison performs abortions on Private Practice all the time, and she’s had one herself."

"Violet has had two herself. I don’t feel like that’s the point. Every woman has her legal, God-given right to choose."

On Cristina and Owen's prognosis:

"I’m still debating what’s going to happen with Cristina and Owen, in my own head. Every day I change my mind about what’s going to happen with them."

On Alex's romantic tribulations:

"I want him to be happy so badly! I really do. It’s so difficult because he’s such the kicked dog a lot of the time, and his character is so tough about it. But you really feel sorry for him. I feel like he hasn’t had any happiness since Izzy.

On whether the Charlie's Angels pilot killed his relationship:

"I love Lucy and I thought Rachael was great; she has such a sparkle to her. If that pilot hadn’t happened, things would be entirely different."

On the climactic Mark-Lexie scene:

"I really like Mark and Lexie together, and I re-edited that scene like 50,000 times. I took it out, I put it back in. The writers and I argued about it for days and days, and it felt like we needed to give Mark some place to go.

"He’s been in baby land this whole season and he needs to step out of Callie and Arizona’s relationship and stand on his own. That’s what we’re trying to do."

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

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ughhh goerge died dickheads he cant come backk watch the show before you talk to everyone dat said bring him bacc

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I love Mer and Der are my favourite people, The show will suck wihtout them

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well like i said before i think its bad to see anything this great end, but if it is i hope it ends well, somehow get the old cast izzy, n george. like a get together all of them moving on with their lifes, and becoming doctors or not or family people. if we notice for some reason in season 6 she put new people and now we know why, theese are going to carry the show, and have the old cast members leave, and come back once in awhile which sucks, but please if it well end. end it welllll ..lol

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I THINK MER AND DER NEED TOO STAY TOGETHER...I THINK MARK AND LEXI SHOULD END UP TOGETHER... BRING IZZY AND GEORGE BACK AND THEY END UP TOGETHER ( THEY WERE ALWAYS SO IN LOVE). CHRISTINA AND OWEN SHOULD HAVE THE BABY,B/C I THINK IT WILL BRING THEM TOO OPEN UO ALITTLE MORE!MAYBE THEY SHOULD BRING ADDISON BACK TO BE WITH MARK OR ALEX? I REALLY HOPE THAT THIS ISN'T THE LAST SEASON I LOVE THIS SHOW!! I THINK THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE OF THE OLD STUFF THROWN BACK INTO THE MIX! IT'S NO AS DIRTY OR SNEAKING AS IT WAS IN THE BEGGINING!

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I would have Mer & Derek get back together but the trouble caused by what she did should cause them to loose the baby. Also Cristina should decide to keep the baby only to loose it after getting attached. This should then cause her and Owen to seperate. Then she should have an affair with.....Jackson making Mark and Lexie get back together. I also think that Izzie should come back and try to work things out with Alex. Once everything starts to get back to normal I think George should show up from the Army and miss with everyone one because we all thought he was dead but turns out he had left and it wasnt him that died.

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Derek and Meredith need to be happy together. It would totally ruin it if they werent. Christina is not a mother and should not have a baby and I agree that there are too many babys now in the show. Thats BORING. Please more dating/sexy story lines.

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I really love this show, and I believe that Owen and Cristina need to sit down and talk about the baby. I noticed that Cristina may not want a baby because of what happened to her when she was still with Berk, but Owen deserves to know about her past. I think she would be a great mom if she opened up more. She is a really closed up person and Owen really loves her so he deserves to have a chance to help her see what her future could look like with a family. As for Mer and Der, I think they will get back together, but things may be rocky for them. I like that they adopted a baby, but I feel that the way how things are going they wont be able to gain full custody of Zola. I really really really want to see Cristina and Owen get back together and start a family, I think a child would help both of them heal from their past's. That is my opinion.

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I don't mind if derek leaves, he's so boring!! but keep Meredith and christina (the twisted sisters). For the record christina should get rid (too many babies on the show) Definitely think Izzie should come back and have a cat fight with lucy or something, its been a while since we've had some juicy drama. I also think kepner should have a better storyline to her, while saying that her and mark should get close and make lexie jealous causing her to get back with mark. IF CHRISTINA OR JACKSON LEAVES then viewings would go down dramatically

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I love the show. I have never looked forward to watching a show like I do for Grey's, I won't miss it for anything. I think Alex and Meredith would go great together. She is the only one who understands him. Mer and Derek love each other but they just don't hit it off. He is always telling her what to do, like adopting Zola the baby, he decided it so Meredith had to go with it and she really wasn't ready for it. If he really cared for her he wouldn't take what she done to the trial so serious, he could at least have come home that night. And Christina should stop being so selfish and she should decide to have the baby, Owen is so good for her he knows how to handle her, she needs him.

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Please keep MerDer together they are meant to be!! :) I really think Christina should keep the baby it would show off a completely different side to her. It would be a fantastic storyline if Alex got back with Lucy just as Izzy came back to the show :) It would bring in the whole Love triangle thing. I agree with Christopher make Bailey like she used to be she's gone all soft. Bring on the NAZI!! :) Still really miss George don't suppose there is any storyline you could make up for season eight where he comes back and fights for lexie??

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)

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