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Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey Dish on Grey's Anatomy Future

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Meredith shared some unexpected, joyous news with Derek at the end of last week's Grey's Anatomy, but even prior to that, the couple had reached a point where their relationship was healthy, happy and functional.

In an interview with the Huffington Post, conducted prior to Meredith's reveal (see our review and Round Table) Ellen Pompeo and Patrick Dempsey opened up about their characters and all things Grey's Anatomy.

Excerpts from the cast members' recent sit-down below ...

Der n' Mer

On the situation with Derek's hand:

Dempsey: "I'm assuming we'll have him back in the O.R. soon, but he needs to have some conflict. It can't be just breaking up with Meredith anymore. [Laughs.]"

Pompeo: "There's a little bit of tension, which I think is an interesting thing for them to have to work through. How do you deal with that? But I think it's been cute to see Patrick with Zola, too."

Dempsey: "Besides Zola, [Derek's] focus is on who's liable for the plane crash. That's his only focus. He's not operating, so that's what his whole focus is about - continuing on with the court case."

On Derek and Meredith staying strong amid other relationships in shambles:

Dempsey: "They seem healthy for the first time. There's one healthy relationship that is happening here, and a good partnership. I'm very happy about it ... there are other great surprises this year between Derek and Meredith that people will be very happy about. Very good, positive surprises, soon to be aired."

On the plane crash still hanging over the survivors:

Pompeo: "The writers have the challenge of doing a big finale every year, and they do a great job of it, and then they have to put the pieces back together the next season."

"The first half of the season is always dealing with the aftermath of whatever the finale was. We're on Episode 9 now and we've been putting back all of the pieces and sort of healing and mending."

"I guess toward the middle of the season we'll have to make a shift - we'll be finished with the aftermath of the crash, and then we'll have to get into some sort of neutral period before we have another grisly finale. I don't know what could happen next year!"

On how the crash changed Meredith:

Pompeo: "Well, I have come back from death, so ... [laughs] this is like the 12th time! I've been blue at the bottom of Puget Sound, and ... was I attacked by a bear? No. But I was almost shot and killed, I escaped a bomb."

"I've been through a lot. Meredith is tough, for sure."

On the new crop of cast members this season:

Dempsey: "I think we're always trying to see who the new group is coming in so that the show can run for 22 years. So we'll see what happens. It's amazing that people are still really fanatical about it."

"I was on a plane yesterday, and people were like, 'Are you going to operate again?' 'What's going on with Meredith?' It's great. People are passionate about it, and it's pretty remarkable, I think, that they've continued to be for so long. We're very fortunate."

On whether Grey's Anatomy can ever produce a happy ending:

Dempsey: "Yeah ... I don't think there's any happily ever afters in this group. They're all too dysfunctional. They need like group therapy! [Laughs.] "I think Meredith's relationship with Cristina is a little unhealthy."

That's something I'm not sure is healthy ... I think they need a little break there. It's like they're almost married. Shepherd ends up with Hunt I think. [Laughs.] That's what's gonna happen."

Pompeo: "We really took a break from [the Mer-Cristina relationship] recently because Cristina was gone. The truth is, a lot happened between Cristina and Meredith and the relationship can't be the same anymore."

"I think that Cristina's gotta work on her relationship with Owen, and she's gotta find her way back to him and deal with that. But we've got to keep moving forward."

On former Grey's characters, living or dead, that they'd like to see return:

Dempsey: "It's really hard. It's always hard losing characters that we've grown to love, and certainly from that initial first group, it's unfortunate to see people go on, but I don't think Shonda [Rhimes] will bring anybody back."

"I don't think Izzie's character (Katherine Heigl) was ever really resolved, and I think there's a moment there that should be resolved - I think that would be nice for the fans. I'm not sure that would happen, but that would be some nice closure I think."

On guest stars he'd like to work with:

Dempsey: "It'd be fun to have my mom (Tyne Daly) come back - that'd be really nice - and to have all the family together. I would like the whole family to come together and have it revolve around Derek and Meredith's home life and an event that happens. What could that be? Hmmm ... "

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

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Im so in love with this series, Please don't ever stop making this show or I will be totally heart broken! keep up the good work and totally bummed out that Oh is leavin, she is deff one of my favorites.

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Great interview by Ellen and Patrick. I agree with Sam mark and lexie's nt coming back.I would love to see derek's family.until that bol to merder

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I have loved watching the show and like the last season, Is there going to be a season ten? if there is when will it be aired? because it has been left open with the sagestion of the doctors taking over the hospital. Shonda Rhimes do you have any intension to creat more seasons?

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For the writers: I have watched this show since its birth up to the present and always look forward to each season; in fact I have all eight. We have watched Mer and Der give little hugs, kisses, and the nearest thing to hot romance was in the end of S4 episode 1....in the closet. Perhaps it is time to review The Thorn Birds when Meggie and the Priest were on Matlock Island making love. Of course we all have good imaginations but it would be nice to see on screen. There real-life spouses knew what they were getting into when they married these two for real. It's their job and what a job. Someone has to do it. Isn't it time to kick it up a notch? I like the idea of Derek's family coming for a visit to see little darling Zola and share in the good news of another addition to their family. It's got to be said Derek's hand has to be fixed back to normal.....and Meredith is such a great supportive mate for Derek to make this happen. Finally, please do us all a huge favor and don't have Meredith go south as her Mother did with dementia. That would be way over the edge for me. Of course I would like to see Grey's go on forever. My children tease me about loving this show so much. It's harmless therapy or not depending on how the writers leave us hanging and then I always have plenty to say. Humph! Didn't Issie want out of her contract to make it on the big screen? Mission accomplished. She wanted out; she's out. Let's don't go down that road again. Alex has been a pain since day one. Can he change for another woman? And after all he's done in eight seasons who would want him? The very few times he acted like a normal human being still doesn't get it. He is lucky to have Meredith as a friend. Redemption!

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My opinion is to bring Izzie back for the last four-five episodes of Grey's Anatomy because she deserves a big finale. Also Alex diserves a big finale and for sure that can't be with Jo or anyone else but Izzie. She is the love of his life....!!!

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I love this show and can't wait til every Thursday to watch it, I was watching the re-runs everyday on lifetime from 1 til 4. I love all the characters, wish Christina and Owen would work things out though

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I like this interview and the way the actors speak about the show and their characters. Even Patrick Dempsey thinks that the family Shepherd ought to meet and he would like to see again his mother’s character!

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Things have changed between Cris and Mer when Cris left. It's significent now that Mer chose to tell Der about her very new pregnancy first, and choosing to not tell Cris for a while. Mer is a parent and Cris has firmly opted out of that life choice.
I feel very over Izzie as a character. Yes, there could be a SL regarding Izzie's frozen eggs.
Oh please could Tyne Daly return as Der's mom for a few episodes. She needs to be a grandma to Zola and have more than a fleeting acquaintence with her only daughter-in-law

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I would like to see Meredith have twins. A girl and a boy and name them Mark and Lexie. How sweet would that be. The writers are so creative I still think this show could surpass Friends and go on for over twenty years. I miss the show so much when they miss a Thursday night or two because of the holidays. The music, the narration of Meredith through all these years, the breakups, etc., it is nice to see that some sweet things are happening to this couple. Without Ellen and Patrick this show would die. Please keep it going. These actors are worth every penny they receive.

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im with you about izzy the character leaving was stupid and pointless...why make alex love her so badly, get them married and than make her leave its stupid!!!! we all know tht alex is a better person with izzy around...they need to end this thing with izzy well...

Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.

Meredith
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