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Grey's Anatomy Season 9: Will Anyone Else Die?!

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With Grey's Anatomy fans still reeling from the eighth season finale of the ABC drama, creator and executive producer Shonda Rhimes has a warning for those mourning the shocking death of a fan favorite:

They are still out there.

In an interview with E! Online, Rhimes said that "everyone is still so immersed in ‘Who died?'" that "no one is talking about the thing that I actually think is important and was the point of the [season finale]."

What would that be exactly? You may not be ready for this ...

Meant to Be

"They're still out there in the forest, and we don't know if they are going to be OK," she said. "We left it open for a reason because ... I hate to say this, but just because you saw people alive at the end of the finale doesn't mean they're going to be alive when the season starts up."

"We are completely jumping off into the unknown next season."

The unknown is something Rhimes is well familiar with.

The show-runner actually had a second cliffhanger planned and written that reflected her not knowing what would happen next season, regarding the cast's return (they have since signed new contracts).

Up until the day before the table read for the finale, this was up in the air. Then the original cast members re-signed, which "turned the tables" and pointed the eighth season-ender in the direction we witnessed.

The biggest consequence of that direction, obviously, was the death of Lexie Grey. A series regular and fan favorite since the tail end of Grey's Anatomy Season 3, her loss is hard for fans to stomach.

How did Chyler Leigh, who plays Lexie, take the news?

"Stuff that happens inside our family is stuff that happens inside our family," Rhimes said. "I have so much respect for Chyler, and the decision was very hard for everybody involved and I want to respect her privacy."

"The only thing I knew when I started writing the finale was that Chyler was leaving the finale. That was the only information I knew," she says, adding that the cast found out "at the table read."

"It was really, really emotional. Chyler Leigh and I were the only people who knew what was coming for her character. Kim Raver and I were the only ones who knew what was coming for that character."

"Chyler and I had been discussing it for months."

Excerpts from the rest of Rhimes' interview below ...

Mark and Meredith

On the possibility of ghost Lexie: "We saw Denny as a ghost, and people didn't really like that, did they? It was a really hard decision to let that character die versus send her off into the sunset somewhere."

"It was really difficult. It was not made lightly. I don't think we're going to see Lexie Grey ever again. That's not the intention, to see her again. It's a big loss for the characters and it's a big loss for the show."

On her "other plans" for Mark and Lexie: "Honestly, I always felt like Mark and Lexie were meant to be. If things had not turned out the way they had this season, I had a completely different thing planned for them."

"I was one of the people who loved Mark and Lexie together; I had a completely different thing planned for them. The introduction of Julia was part of planning a completely different storyline for them."

"When Mark and Lexie say 'meant to be,' it wasn't about servicing the fans. That's how I felt. That's what was supposed to happen, and that's what I wanted to see. It was heartbreaking."

On Teddy's possible return: "I don't think that's a possibility that has been ruled out. At least not by me. I love Kim. I say to my partner Betsy [Beers] every once in a while, 'We could do a series that's just Med Com.'"

On this being the hardest-ever episode to write: "It was for a variety of different reasons. I questioned it while we were shooting it and I questioned it once I saw the edit for it."

"And then once we got to the soundstage, literally Tuesday, I'm watching the show and I'm still changing the music at the last minute. Because it's so unsettling at the end."

"I think there's something very unsatisfying about the way that it ends ... I like the ride. Doing the shooting episode was really great because while it was gut-wrenching and hard to do, I knew who was OK."

"And in this, we don't know who's OK. We still don't totally know who's OK."

"There's still choices to be made. It is very unsettling. The idea of my Meredith and my Cristina in the wilderness without a match, chewing half a stick of gum each, having each other, while beautiful, was really painful."

"I feel like everyone has the right to have the reaction that they want to have. I think part of the reason why I am staying away from the reaction is I fully get that this is an unsatisfying finale."

"I have to focus on what happens next. Paying attention to fan reaction or going online to see what everyone has to say about it is paying attention to what happened before, and that does not actually help me at this point."

On where we pick up next fall: "I do know where we are going to pick up next season. But I'm not going to talk about it."

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

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LATOYA GRAVES.....I am not going to go into a big long speech and call u closed minded and pathetic even though u are...all i will say is...stfu..nobody wants to hear your ignorant comment.

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I have been watching this show since day 1, and I really wanted Mark and Lexie too end up together.I couldn't stop crying, please let this be a dream and bring her back for Mark, he will be horrible to watch going into depression.

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I wish it is a dream all them have and they wake up the day of their board worried to death. But instead something bad happens where they are and the wounded are the doctors family. Idk I hate lexie and mark arent together.

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The final episode was awsome but i cryed so hard when lexi died and not knowin if everyone else will make it...plz dont let anyone else die espeacally dont let Arazonia die i love her and callie togther they are so cute.. i hope there will b more scenes with them alone with a lil more action like all the other relationships have...anyway i really hope no one else dies...im sure this season will b great like all the seasons have been..i hope this shows lasts forever like half the stupid boring soaps do...comeon how awsome would it b to watch this show for the next 20yrs...

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LETOYA GRAVES...I'M WRITING IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE YOUR COMMENT SUCKED. It's not a disease that is spreading...it's real people like you and me and they just so happen to be attracted to the same sex. Big deal...get your old closed minded way of thinking outta here and keep your unwanted opinions to yourself...sick of this crap.

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Omg I just read the 2 comments above - please please consider bringing George back - he was one of my favourite characters and a complete fan favourite... With Lexie gone now as well as Izzie it would be absolutely brilliant to see a member of the original cast returning. Particularly one as endearing and well liked as TJ Knight was. The cliff hanger was absolutely gut-wrenching. I look forward to seeing how things will pan out in due course! Love Grey's anatomy... P.s. Please dont kill off McDreamy!!

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Please do not kill off anyone else. I was reading previous comments. One said, "we all know Patrick Dempsey will not be returning for season 9..." Is there something we don't know about? If he leaves, I'm done, even though I've been watching since the beginning. I also read the last comment about bringing "George" back. I totally agree. We do not know for sure that it was him in that accident. He could have just been overseas, like he said he was going to do. Bring him back. He is great.

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I am very sad about Lexie. Please don't let anyone else die. I hated seeing Denny leave the show. And TJ Knight...we don't know for sure that he died. You need to bring him back. He was so great for the show. Please let him know how much he is missed.
But, seriously, BRING GEORGE BACK!!!!

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It was as to see lexie die this is a magnificent show I hope that it goes on for years to come does the show return on the 25/9/2012 I hope so love it

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Please dont kill Lexie, shes the best in the show!!! We absolutly LOVE her in Sweden!!! Please please please brunt her back!!!!

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