Stop reading right now if you have not yet watched last night's Grey's Anatomy season premiere.
Okay? Are we good? In that case, scroll down for a few words from Shonda Rhimes regarding why a certain character met his devastating death...
“I had many options for ways Mark could leave the show,” the Grey's Anatomy uber producer wrote on her WhoSay page. “But any option that didn’t include him dying required him to a) grieve for Lexie indefinitely and b) willingly walk away from his daughter. We fought about this incessantly in the Writers Room. I didn’t want Mark to die but, as the writers rightfully argued back, Mark couldn’t abandon Sofia and he certainly couldn’t abandon Callie once Arizona’s leg was amputated.”
Did Rhimes consider any other options for Eric Dane's beloved character?
Yes, sending him to Los Angeles to reunite with Addison. However...
that "still required Mark to abandon his child and abandon Arizona," Rhimes wrote. "And it meant that I’d have to scrap all the plans I had for Addison this season – and her plans are wonderful. Also, that would somehow suggest that everything he said to Lexie when she was dying was easily forgotten.
"So…I fought it and I debated it and tossed and turned about it but in the end, I had to do what was right for the integrity of the character. Mark would never abandon willingly Sofia and he would never willingly abandon Callie. So Mark dies. And he and Lexie get to be together in a way. Their love remains true.”
What did you think of Mark's death? Of Shonda's explanation? Watch the teaser for next week's Grey's Anatomy and sound off on this decision now!