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

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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."


"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.


I'm thinking Lexie, who has been irrelevant and somewhat redundant. Or Richard - I like the character but he'd be an easy death and is a character with a lot of ties to a lot of people.


It is April, she dies. She either falls out the window drunk while partying or kills herself. Mer, Christ and derek all leave. Everyone else stays.


I remember reading an interview of Shonda's a few weeks or so ago where she said that she had contemplated burning down Mer/Der's house in the woods, but couldn't bring herself to do it. Somewhere along the way, maybe in the next two episodes (??) we're supposed to see some interior shots of their house. She says its really beautiful. Oh, and I can only hope it happens this way...maybe Izzie dies. Someone suggested that somewhere and I'd go for that rather than lose one of the remaining regulars or originals.


i really don't have a clue ,first i think it callie then arizona, and now i think it might be yang cause shonda Rhimes always has the title of that epasode alway's go with the show the name is flight, and they have filmed yang and derek and meredith and zola at the air port the only one that i saw in the pic's with baggage was yang,fight air port (plane crash) with possable other doctor;s on the same flight since everyone is going all over the place right now to seeek out other hospital's, loosing yang in a horific plane crash along with all of our other favorite doctor's on the same flight and say it crashes, that would be something we wouldn't forget for along time, think about it bailey has talked about plane crashe's what to boston or somewhere before, or it i could be way off, for some reason she is scared on how the fan's are gonna react to who dies like maybe they should have found away for this person to wanna stay because all of us fan's might stop watching whitch would mean the ratings would drop, to an all time low and abc would cancel the show, i don't wanna see any of them go, cause if it is callie or arizona, im done i coded-------------------------- no mor living for grey's i might record it every now and again on tevo if that happen's, oh well i have now blabbered myself sad, im gonna have to go get some serious amount of tissue im a thinkin!


my first thought was April too but then I thought maybe it will be Arizona committing suicide because she is so upset about her friend dying. The other thing too is a tweet I read a tweet from Shonda saying something to the affect of it being hard to write this because shes a mom too. That kind of points to Arizona (she considers herself one of Sophia's moms), if not Arizona what about something happening to Zola? And then Mer finds out shes pregnant. I really dont think that it will be Mer or Derek dying.


My guess would be arizona. With whats going on with her in episode 22 her head is on other things and in a high stress situation this could cause her to make a mistake. I think they'll leave the mark and lexie situation hanging till season 9 and same with Meredith and dereks choice towards the move. My second choices for the finale death would be alex.


I am not sure who will die but I have a gut feeling the forest fire could be where derek and meredith are building their house. So maybe the house burns down and someone gets hurt. Hope not!!!!


just a thought.. isn't 'major death' just referring to major Hunt? would be allright in my opinion. I would hate to see hime agonize christina some more.


plz plz donot make us lose everyone in the show plz


Think about it... Why did they bring in a second Grey like 4 seasons ago? So that Ellen could leave when she was ready but not have it be obvious that they were just doing it to prevent the name from becoming obsolete. It's Meredith :/

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