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Grey's Anatomy Season Finale Spoilers: A Very Dark, Complex ... Thing!

by at . Comments

Get ready for another gut-wrenching Grey's Anatomy season finale May 17.

That's surely no surprise to longtime fans, but the stakes are higher than ever next month. In the case of the final Season 8 chapter, it could be the final one altogether for one or more Seattle Grace staffers.

What does creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes say lies in store?

"There is a very complex thing that occurs for many of our characters that places a lot of them in a position to discover what they're made of. I don't know that you could guess it," she cryptically tells TV Guide.

Yes ... she said a thing.

Yang Pic

When asked whether this incident - a forest fire, reportedly, is at the center of the episode, "Flight" - is similar to the ferry boat crash or the rampaging shooter of seasons past, she replied, "Yes. A yes to both!"

In a year where the contract negotiations of the original cast members are unresolved, Rhimes has been challenged to create the perfect scenario should one or more of the core characters not return for Season 9.

"People will take jobs at different hospitals," Rhimes says. "The plan is, at the end of the season, our doctors will do what residents all over the country do, which is to accept jobs at different hospitals."

Could some stick around Seattle Grace? "Not at the end of the season," Rhimes teases, with the qualifier that one of many options is that some will return in the ninth season, for reasons currently unknown.

As for whether someone doesn't have that option - in other words, they die - Shonda isn't going there this year ... maybe. "I don't want to answer this question," she said bluntly of the season finale.

"It's very dark and twisty. We're taking our characters on a journey they've never been on before."

UPDATE, 4/25: She has now confirmed that there is at least one major death in the season finale.

UPDATE, 5/2: We still don't know who dies, but we do know a handful of doctors who are safe.

Mer With Der

"To me, it's a very shocking thing that I chose to do and I was really stressed-out about doing it, and it took me a long time, so I kept taking the finale apart and putting it back together."

"It's also a very emotional episode. I always feel like when an episode really scares me, when I spend a lot of time with my head in my hands wondering how the fans are going to take it ... I kind of know that it's good."

In that sense, this finale will be the opposite of the Season 7 finale.

"I feel like last year's finale was very quiet for a reason," Rhimes says.

"Our characters had been through so much and [came] to a place where really their decisions were about their growth as people - Meredith and her baby and Cristina and her pregnancy."

"This season, I feel like the theme of the episode is graduation, and there is a huge sense of nostalgia in this episode in terms of what you're looking at. This could very well be the last time these doctors are working together."

"This could very well be the last day for some of these doctors here."

"There are some really beautiful moments. There's a great moment for Bailey that is light, wonderful, beautiful, romantic and amazing that I'm very excited about. But there are some very, very dark things happening."

Bailey's New Haircut

Some of that darkness will surely come Owen and Cristina.

"I really do believe and love them together as a couple," she says. "When I say, 'Oh, I want them to stay together,' people think that means that they're going to hold hands and skip happily off into the sunset."

"We all know that's never going to happen or else we wouldn't have a television show. I do ultimately think that they belong together, but that road could be very long, or it could be short."

As for potential Season 9 arcs? Your guess is as good as hers.

"I haven't gotten into next season yet," she continues.

"I can't even think past how we're ending this season. So many other things are happening that I'm not sure that you're going to spend time worrying about whether or not Cristina and Owen are going to be together."

Gulp.

"In the episode before the finale, you will feel like you know what's going to happen to them, but their journey [continues]. There are some things that will feel like there's some closure and many things that won't."

What do you think of Shonda's typically open-ended statements? Will the Grey's Anatomy season finale mean the end of the show as we know it? Share your predictions and viewpoints in the comments below.

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

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I have this pain all the time,but it seems to be more severe after I have been sittnig for awhile watching a movie or whatever it may be.Plus it hurts really bad when I get up in the morning or up in the middle of the night.It hurts so bad that I can barely move.It has been going on for a week now and I just can't handle it.Does anyone have any ideas on what it could be or what I can do to help get rid of the pain?

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It says 6 go down, 1 will die. Mer Der Christina Mark Lexie and Arizona go down in the plane crash. that's 6, so one of them is going to die. and we know its not mer der or christina. so its either mark lexie or arizona.

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I just hope it is not arizona or her gf. Their story is actually the one that holds in this movie, it is pleasant to watch. We do not need kepner in this show, or that resident that had a baby and had to watch it die. it is such a drag watching her. I just hope it is not any of the main main characters. And if something happens to Lexi I am going to slap somebody!!! Such a long time that I have been waiting for her and Mark to end up together for real. And of course Avory has to stay. HOTTIE HOT.

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Oh, and April, if you ARE gonna go off the deep end, take that moron Owen with you. He's ruining Christina, Teddy, and has NO idea what he's doing as Chief. Give it to Bailey for goodness sakes! She is a rock star and will need the distraction without her man-candy.

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Don't know how D will survive ejection from a plane, but am willing to suspend disbelief temporarily to explore other options. I hope it's AZ personally. She's not a survivor, she's a simpering, whiny brat that throws a fit every time she doesn't get her way, which is why she's even ON the plane--to punish Alex. Bad stuff happens, we all lose loved ones, that doesn't give u a license to act like that.

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It could also be Kepner... lol

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Its so Arizona... The last two episodes have been somewhat focused on her and she wasn't supposed to be on the plane Alex was...

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It has already been released that Mer, Der, Alex, Bailey, Christina, and Richard all signed a 2year contract... There staying for 2more seasons... Like someone said earlier this show will leave u to think its the crash, they showed the crash but just generally said someone's going to die, but I think it's going to be back at the hospital where someone dies. They are indicating more and more that it's an original cast member.. It's Callie, the only original who didnt sign, her contract is up... That's why they keyed in on Arizona losses, and the fact Arizona told callie to never leave... she's about to loose her.. It's Callie

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I think it will be Derek or Mark. I know they are main characters, but they have both been in more movies. Maybe they are ready to leave the small screen.

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Oh Damn .....now Gray's Anatomy is going to metamorphacize into another version of LOST........