Shonda Rhimes Speaks on Grey's Anatomy Storylines, Scenarios

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The season finale of Grey's Anatomy left things in flux at best, in a state of disrepair at worst. When the upcoming eighth season picks up five days later, many questions will remain.

Rest assured, Shonda Rhimes is here to answer them. Or at least tease us.

Below are some excerpts from her recent chat with TV Guide:

Best Friends on Grey's

On the theme of Season 8: "This is our last year as residents for Meredith, Cristina, Alex, Jackson and April. It feels like it's a new beginning in a lot of ways."

On how contract situations influence storylines: "I usually start planning my seasons [by planning the last scene first]. This year, we just don't know."

"I pitched eight different scenarios for the end of this season, but we don't know which ones we are writing to. So right now, we're concentrating primarily on the first half, then we're going to concentrate on the second half as a separate shock."

On whether any of those eight scenarios involves a series finale: "I don't decide when the show ends, but I can't imagine that that's going to be true."

On Alex: "We're going to watch Alex both grow up and backslide a little bit. I think he starts off in a real bad place, like really behind and nobody likes him."

On Meredith: "What Meredith did has real ramifications for her job and for her relationship, both in her personal and her work relationship with Derek."

On her marriage: "It's not really about Meredith and Derek breaking up forever. I think people's marriages get screwed up. People have to work to fix them."

"They'll struggle. They're grown-ups, and what's nice about this is that it's about more than that now. They have a child and they're in a more mature place."

On Cristina's pregnancy and her previous pregnancy: "What we liked about that, and what I felt really strongly about that, is that Cristina (Sandra Oh) has always had a certain stance in how she feels about having kids."

"That stance doesn't simply change just because she's married and in love with Owen. I think that there's something interesting when someone absolutely doesn't want children. I find her to be a very interesting character."

"People get vilified for that in our society and I think it's really unfair because I feel like if someone doesn't want a kid, they shouldn't have to have one."

On April and Sarah Drew's pregnancy: "April Kepner is a virgin and we'd have to work really fast to get April unvirginized, pregnant and having a baby. That feels a little insane, so I don't think we want to speed that story up."

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

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

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."