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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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Loved it..sad about lexie, but what can you do...and for that person (LATOYA GRAVES) who doesn't like lesbians, might I suggest you change the channel and stop being a bigot.

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i was so very sad when lexie died. I balled my eyes out. they were meant to be!! i was like NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! although it was a great season, and i loved lexies speach to mark, that was great. I think Mark should die though, dont get me wrong i LOVE mark but if anyone should die it should be him because what is he going to do without Lexie? hes gonna go into a deep depression and its gonna be horrible for him to go through. so I would just get rid of both of them and then shonda can bring in a new couple that we all love, just like we loved lexie and mark. :) i really hope this tv series doesnt go down hill from here. i really love it and i would hate to see it become boring.

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this is to everybody greys anatomy season 9 starts 9.27.12 @ 9:00.also eric dane might leave the show too.

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I will miss lexi seeing lexi and mark to geather my heart would melt I will miss her

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Aug. 2nd
Ive been watching the show since the beginning because of Patrick Dempsey.. I loved him on Cant Buy Me Love, its a classic. Ive read so many different things and Im sure some are simply gossip but I hope this show stays on for many more years. One reason this show is a hit is because of the main characters and their awesome story lines........ This is the only show I really watch anymore.......... Too much reality TV now, I say bring back the real actors...................Some deaths do ruin shows, and they can never make it back to where they were. If Lexie and Mark both die its to much for the fans and Im sure the show will lose a lot of ratings. If someone wants off the show they should be replaced not always killed off. I grew up with Soaps and this happened all the time, sometimes the replacements would even be better..........( Not in this case) Now if Dr. McDreamy leaves or Mere you can kiss this show goodbye. This is a series not a motion picture quit killing off the stars and pay them what their worth, keep them, this show wouldnt be what it is without them...... And Arizona and Callie shouldnt be gay, I agree with the others we dont need gays on every show...esp Callie, her character would have never turned gay..... Please writers wake up and smell the coffee before your out of work.....

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Of course, I was devastated by the death of Lexie. Our economy is so bad right now, and everbody wanted a happy ending for Lexie and Mark. Meredtih, with her serious abandonment issues is going to be traumatized by loosing Lexie, and I am sure her father will find SOME way to blame Meredith for her death. BUT, what REALLY bugged me about the finale was the fact that these people are SURGEONS, and that means they are arguably some of the most intelligent people on earth, and the have only a few matches but they are in the WOODS, and that is the fire they build?! Fire would have to be priority number one after stabilizing the wounded, and ALL who were able should have been charged with keeping it going once it was it, and it should have been a freaking bonfire. They are lost in the WOODS, and even I know there would be tons of driftwood about. You block the wind! You gather as much driftwood as you can to keep the fire going. This is just common sense and you don't need an MD to know it or figure it out, and all I can think is that they must all be in such shock that they got stupid. People lost in the wilderness die of shame. And so now I can only think about the whole cast freezing to death and dying of shame. Meredith, also I guess do to the shock PULLED OUT a foreign object in her leg. The first rule of anything impaling your flesh is DO NOT PULL IT OUT until you know what it might be plugging up. It's a wonder she didn't already bleed to death. I cant wait to see the new season to see how they managed NOT to freeze to death. When does it start? I can only watch seasons 1-7 on Netflix so many times! I think Hulu has season 8?

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Loved s8. Lexie leaving the show is sad. Shonda has been amazing for 8 seasons. Hope to remain glued to the screen for a few more years. There is a lot of spice to come..... I can almost sense it. Just one little suggestion please allow Meredith some happiness in next season. Best for the next.

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Derek did not call out Rose - The episode where he talked about selling his property with The Chief and Marc - His statement was "Ferry Boats Crash" -- Believe the air crash was a reminder of the Ferry Crash - thats why I think he said BOATS.

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So sad ad also mad for what happent on GA season 8...I tought it's gonna be happy end..but it's not like I'm thingking of..imposibble if meredith grey will die...coz she is the leading of this drama right? I think the pilot the second person should die..and the rest just playing till end of season. Peace

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I AM SPEAKING IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE I AM YELLING! YOU DID NOT HAVE TO KILL LEXIE, YOU SHOULD HAVE JUST REPLACED HER, YOU KNOW HER AND SLOAN HAD A GREAT FUTURE!
And I hate the fact that you made Cali a lezbian, there is enough of that crap going on in the real world now we have to watch it on every show?!
Its a spreading desease that I wish would go away!
When is Grays Anatomy coming back,? I am bored out of my mind with out it!

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