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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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Im a big fan of greys and i hate that you killed lexi I would love to see that it was all a dream or that lexi is in a coma and yes please dont kill anyone off they are what makes the show and with out them i would not watch the show

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Ok so the storyline was good but it was nothing compared to the shooting one. Lexi's death was alien. They didn't try to save her at all. When meradith drowned they tried for hours to save her, even when kerev was shot they did everything. If that was my sister I would be more devistated. And why when they had 5 matches did they make the smallest fire in the world? you would think they would have made a larger one to make them more noticable and last longer :S too many things wrong. Will have to see how it is wrapped up at the beginning of next season :s

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Hate to see Lexi died. She and Mark are supposed to be together. Don't kill any more characters, please. Callie can't take it if Arizona dies and I love Callie. Derek need his hand for surgery. Mark is never my favorite, but he has become a better person for Lexi, so don't kill them both.

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Please, don't make Derek or Meredith die. It would be the end of the series because they are the fan's favourite characters !!!! Anybody but not them :) xxx

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Arizona can't die coz her and Callie are going to have "10 kids, All kinds of Kids" So please Shonda let us see them have all kinds of Kids!!!

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Since shonda said "that just because you saw people alive in the finale doesn't mean that they're going to be alive when the show start up" I think she is talking about arizona she was the one badly hurt in the end I didn't care that lexie died but if arizona died then I would be pissed.

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plssss dont kill lexi. I mean shes grey too she has a big part on da programme she had amazing character shes meredith grey sister the only real family 4 her and mark she change him to a better man plss..plus im dying wanting too see izze with karev there war and denial.hiding love 4 each other season 9 wil be rock cant wait.......

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Pls dnt kill any1 else! April shud go though. Grey's needs mre characters, a new lov 4 Mark 4 instance. Nd Christina n Owen nid 2find dya way bk 2ichada! Pls dnt dstroy Derek's arm/hand, he cnt b Derek witowt bng a surgeon! Grey's jus nids mre characterz, u can do ds Shonda! I blv in u, gv us da fairytale we nid,lyk Lexi's declaration of lov 2 Mark(episode 22). U nailed it! Tyk ur tym, season9 is gna epic!

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Agree with Marian, am a BIG fan of Arizona and Callie, they such a GREAT COUPLE, GREAT FAMILY with Sophia! Love the charter Arizona plays (well done Shonda)! I am sure Shonda will keep them on the show as they add a different dimension to Greys! This is what makes Grey's such a GREAT SHOW!

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Don't kill off Arizona! TV needs a lesbian couple that has a HAPPY ending. Let them be there til the end - not die, or leave, or whatever else every other show has done to get rid of its lesbian couple. I think GA can rise above and keep them together. Please!

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