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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."

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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Shonda Rhimes said that one true love relationship is Christina and Meredith. Christina dies.

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Its the chief. After sleeping with Jacksons slutty Momma he's going to likely have a heart attack or suicide. Makes sense. However.....the words dark and twisty were used. . That kind of points towards the Mere fam. Oh...and Meredith is definitely pregnant. Knew it would finally happen when they got Zola back. and....Alexs new "Izzie" is Morgan

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I'm leaning towards the "major death" being Adele. Unless a member of the original cast blatantly said "I want out" or "I'm not coming back", I doubt Shonda would intentionally end someone's option to keep their job. George was killed because T.R. Knight wanted out. Izzie left Seattle Grace because Katherine Heigl wanted out. So far, the original cast has not publicly said they wanted out. From what I've read, most have said they would sign up provided....and mentioned some conditions. Of course, this does not mean they haven't privately said they wanted out and are keeping it secret for the sake of the show. Damn, I hate Shonda's cryptic messages!

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OMG .. When I read this I assume it will be Derek .. Or Meredith .. or Christina .. I mean .. OMG!!! They're the most important charachters for me .. So yeah .. And I think Patrick Dempsey wants to focus more on his racing .. Ellen Popmeo on Stella .. and Sandra Oh wants on something else ..
They have been doing this for 7 years .. I think they're tired .. But I hope I'm wrong .. Cause I won't watch Grey's anymore if one of them die .. DAMN, this makes me hate Shonda Rhimes .. I just forgave her for killing Georges .. And now she does THIS! DAMN!!!

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I think people are looking for all of the major character, but it will be a main character and would be really sad and heart. Reaming if Webber dies or committed suicide. If you look At it he is a huge part of the history of the show. There are lite hints leading to this in the past few seasons. He starts drinking. He is no longer chief. His wife is now institutionalized and having sex with another man. He has always had a bond with Mer and Baily that was really special. It would be even sadder because no one is there for his wife (who we all know has a new show comming out). I think this is the choice that no one has really thought about he has been there since day 1

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I'm leaning towards Lexie or Mark dying, but only after they start to reconnect. She could be watching one of the babies and something happens.

Loralee

OMG!!
...I think I'll still be wondering about the Chritina & owen plot regardless of what happens!
..forest fire would be awesome

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Owen/Christina murder-suicide......just saying....

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If you take meredith and derek out i wont watch anymore. I love them in the season and thats one of my favorite storys if not the favorite story is of them together. I like christina i get why her and meredith are friends they are dark and twisty together. I wish it would show more why christina is the way she is. We know why meredith is the way she is because of her story of her mom and dad. I loved Izzie and George. Slone makes it a perfect fit on the show and when he came on. he is a god balance because he is opposite of derek. Even though they both loved Addison. Please dont take away the good storys. The first episode the first story actually was derek and meredith. so they should stay.

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You do realize that Denny's character was written to die? Rent season two and watch the bonus features. Jeffrey Dean Morgan didn't want to die either so he kept refusing to come out of his trailer and go to the set. That was hilarious!

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