Shondra Rimes won’t reveal fate of Grey’s characters (spoilers for last night)

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Warning: Spoilers for season finale of Grey’s, which aired last night, below
Grey’s Anatomy creator Shondra Rimes spoke with EW’s Michael Ausiello about the fate of characters Izzie and George, whose lives seemed to hang in the balance in a cliffhanger episode, the last of the season. It’s known that both Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight want off the show, although Heigl has since tried to say that she’s happy to stay on, probably because of the bad economy and lack of job prospects. Rimes wouldn’t say whether Heigl and Knight are aware if their characters return next season, and she also wouldn’t say if they both suffer the same fate, whatever that may be. It all sounded a bit tense, which is consistent with pretty much everything we’ve been hearing about Grey’s for years.

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Rumors have been swirling all year that Katherine and TR wanted off the show. The season ends with both their characters’ lives hanging in the balance. Purely coincidental?
SHONDA RHIMES:
I don’t think there are any coincidences. I think Katherine’s stated publicly that she’s happy to stay. I think that there have been lots of rumors about TR, but TR’s never said anything. Take from it what you will.

This kind of cliffhanger almost seems tailor-made to capitalize on some of those headlines and generate buzz.
RHIMES:
You have to remember, I have two shows. It’s not as if I spend a lot of time reading the press. We talk about stuff in the writers’ room that other people have read, but, mostly, we were really moving on character. Every year at the beginning of the season I pitch what the end of the season is going to be. And I literally sat down and pitched the last 10 minutes of this season at the beginning of the season, so we were headed towards the place that we knew we were going to go.

Do you know which one of them lives and which one of them dies?
RHIMES: Yes.
And I don’t know that you should be saying “which one of them lives and which one of them dies.” I know what happens to the characters.

Have you shared this information with Katherine and TR?
RHIMES:
[Crickets, then...] I don’t want to answer that. I don’t want to talk about my private conversations with the actors.

Katherine said in a recent interview that she was as much in the dark about Izzie’s fate as anyone. Do you keep this stuff close to the vest in order to prevent leaks?
RHIMES:
There was a joke for a while there that if I got hit by a bus [no one would] know how to end the season. I do feel like a secret’s not a secret if anybody knows about it. It was really about trying to keep the storyline as secret as possible, because I wanted the last moment of the season to be a real surprise.

Did TR ask to be released from his contract?
RHIMES:
I absolutely am not going to talk about any private conversations I had with the actors. I feel like that invades their privacy.

Why haven’t we seen very much of George this season? I understand that there are ebbs and flows on ensemble dramas but…
RHIMES:
There are ebbs and flows. Every character this season has had a lot of ebbs and flows. And every season is shaped differently. With George, I really wanted you to not notice that he wasn’t there for most of this episode. I don’t think anybody noticed because of the way we laid it out this season. He’s an incredibly talented actor. And, actually, he was really lovely and elegant about lying there in all that very painful makeup and prosthetics for much of the episode with no words. That moment where he grabs Meredith’s hand is one of the most affecting moments of the episode, and it was without words.

There was criticism that the Denny hallucinations went on too long without an explanation. Looking back, do you regret not revealing Izzie’s diagnosis sooner?
RHIMES:
Do I regret it? No. As writers, we had a lot of fun figuring out how we were going to tell that story. I don’t regret anything we’ve done. Every season is a learning process for me. This is my first television show. Granted, I’ve done five seasons now, but it’s still my first television show. As we head into season 6 everything is still a learning experience for me. It’s been a great, crazy experiment that has happened fairly publicly, but, for me, it’s been my learning process.

There was a period there where the show was being relentless mocked, especially where the “ghost sex” was concerned. Did you ever take it personally?
RHIMES:
You’re the first person to tell me that, because I, of course, don’t read a lot of press. One thing we’ve gotten used to is being in the public eye and we learned to let everything roll off our backs. We knew where we were going; we had a road map. The rest of the audience didn’t know where we were going. We all thought it was really surprising that anybody thought there was a ghost on our show. We’re a medical show. We thought it was surprising that anybody would look at it and go, “Gee, that’s a ghost.” So that was surprising to us. But, other than that, we took it with a grain of salt.

[From EW]

Doesn’t Rhimes sound so haughty when she says she hasn’t even read or heard criticism of the show? I heard Ausiello on NPR’s Talk of The Nation yesterday in an episode about the season finales. A woman who called in to talk about Grey’s complained about the fact that Izzie was having dream sex with her dead ex boyfriend and how weird it was. You would think that Rimes would have a clue so she could make adjustments where needed, but she sounds perfectly happy to be oblivious. She doesn’t seem like the easiest person to work for and you have to wonder what’s happening on set every day when you hear about so many feuds and problems with the cast. When asked what she would have done different, Rimes quipped “That would mean I have to admit that we made some mistakes, and I’m not going to do that.”

For you Grey’s fans, what did you think of last nights finale? Did you end up feeling gipped by the non-ending, or was it worth the ride?

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24 Responses to “Shondra Rimes won’t reveal fate of Grey’s characters (spoilers for last night)”

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  1. Lex says:

    holy crap!! what an episode!! pretty bleh for the most part but that last 5 minutes with george was SHOCKING! I can’t really see what direction his character could go though.. he hasnt been that interesting all season. But at least they brought their A-game for the finale, much better than last season. on a side note: patrick’s hair= worth writing home about! loved it shorter!

  2. KateNonymous says:

    She pitches the end of the season at the beginning of the season, but no one knows how it’s going to end? How does that work?

  3. Chicamorena says:

    Best season finale I’ve watched in a long time. I think both Izzie and George are finished. I expected Izzie to die but George was a shocker. Great job, Shonda!

  4. rbsesq says:

    I agree Lex. For the first 1 hr 55 min, I was like, this is the season finale? Whatever. But then the last five minutes were crazy!

    T.R. Knight is gone. I’m not saying George necessarily dies, but if he doesn’t, they’ll have to switch actors. With the damage done, even if they saved his life, and managed some kind of reconstructive surgery, he would never look the same. And he couldn’t be a surgeon anymore, so why bother keeping him on the show.

    And I think they’ll keep Izzie. Is anyone else completely baffled by Alex? One minute he’s so sweet and loving, the next, he’s a real ass.

  5. Smarty says:

    eating all that cheesecake was certainly a mistake, Shondra. T.R. Knight has one acting expression – “I’m so dazed and confused” – which he uses in almost every scene.

  6. Jessie says:

    Completely agree with everybody, the whole episode was bleh until the last five minutes, then I was “WTF??”

    And I thought the whole McDreamy marriage was a jip. lol

  7. Jay says:

    I’m so sick of Bailey!!! I miss the old Bailey, the Nazi. Now she’s like Izzie Lite; all sentimental and weepy. BRING BACK THE BALL BUSTIN NAZI!!

  8. Ophelia says:

    I cried so much over that episode, it’s embarrassing. When George wrote “007″ on Mer’s hand I shot straight up in bed. I think the elevator scene is symbolic. Like maybe George had died and Izzie hadn’t. I really didn’t expect any of that either, the first hour and 55 minutes like someone said, were just meh, interesting but not season finale scary, then those last five minutes were freaking intense!
    And Shonda Rhimes always sounds like such a bitch.

  9. pebbles says:

    good gravy, I don’t want George to die. I was very upset and unprepared for it….I suspect that he is the one to go, however, and Izzie will live on to torture me…….

  10. MeowMeow says:

    I think I’m the only one who doesn’t view it as a cliffhanger. I just assumed they both died, mainly because I know in real life they’re great friends and both wanted off the show.

  11. MeowMeow says:

    What did the 007 mean? I missed that reference.

  12. Jones says:

    The spouse figured out the badly damaged hero was George..I was shocked and when Grey ran out of the room screaming his name I knew Rhimes had out done herself. Izzy I will not miss if she cashes in her chips, but Georgie Boy, I really connected to in the beginning. His character was well drawn until this season where he became a glorified extra. I hope somehow TR Knight will be back next season with a real story line.

  13. sars says:

    007 is George’s nick name from one of the first episodes in season 1. 007: Licence to kill, because he almost killed a patient during an apendix removal.

  14. Chicamorena says:

    The elevator scene was symbolic. Izzie goes to a Better Place but she’s not sure she wants to be there until the door opens and she sees George standing there in his army uniform waiting to help her across the great divide into the unknown. I think they’re both dead.

  15. Pammie says:

    The second hour of GA was worth sitting through the Izzie ghost orgasm.
    Also, the short term memory wipe was a great touch, reminded me of GA’s first season.
    Also, the ending had me sitting up straight in my chair, because I was about to be completely annoyed that Izzie survived and then Shondra gave me the gravy, with that Izzie collapse. Then there was the climax with George…just beautiful.
    I still think the biggest mistake Shondra made, was to kill-off Meredith’s mother, she was really good, she pulled the show when it got slow.
    I think they should bring her back as the twin sister/Meredith’s aunt.

  16. Erica says:

    If Heigl stays it has absolutely nothing to do with the bad economy or job prospects. She makes more in one movie than an entire season of Grey’s. She as 5 movies lined up and is currently filming her latest. She was 5th highest paid actress in the world (both movie and tv) last year. Money is not a factor. If she said she was happy to stay it is because she wants to. She doesn’t need the money. She has never said she wanted to leave the show – just media hype and reaction to her not submitting her name for the Emmys last year. She didnt submit cos her storyline was god awful. To me that was just honesty. Thankfully the writers did something about it this season. If her material is good of course she would want to stay. If not, why work for 9 months of the year one something? Particularly if you command $6 million plus a movie.

  17. Mairead says:

    I’ve only really started watching GA sporadically over the past year – but Izzy is my favourite character; I hope she stays. Mind you even Meredith has grown on me – for a while her neuroses were making me think she was just Ally McBoring with a stethoscope. Assertive Meredith is good!

    Mind you George is a great character too – but I think he’s gone, but Izzy will stay.

  18. Kate says:

    I figured Izzie was a goner and George stays. That gets Katherine Heigle out for her movie career and it also gets TR Knight a storyline for next year (rehabbing his way back to functionality). Great last 10 minutes. I hated the “wedding” via post-in and know that they are going to torment the audience with that next year. They’ll have a fight. The post-it gets torn up. They’ll make up and tape it back together. Please.

  19. Mombu says:

    It wasnt technically because he almost killed an appendectomy patient, sars. George was dubbed 007 (from the Bond movie License to Kill, of course) because in that particular episode, every single one of his patients died. Then Burke chose George to assist him with the appendectomy, and he tore the sutures and froze up when Burke gave him orders to fix it, almost killing the guy. The appendectomy was just the scene they showed where Christina called him 007, then Alex said License to Kill, at the end of the show. I jusr dont want it simplified into one scene, one patient, that garnered him that nickname…it was the fact that ALL of his patients were dying that day.

  20. Kimmy says:

    I was so shocked by the last 5 minutes! WOW! I never saw that coming! George is is a true hero! I thought that Meredith and Derek deserved something better..than the little marriage they had :(

    I love Alex and hope Izzie returns!!

  21. fan says:

    I think they both get killed off. I don’t want Heigl to be killed off but when Rimes said it was rumors but you know that she would just say that because if she said it was true then, it would not be a shock that they both die. Heigl’s movie looks great coming in July. I agree with what this person said – If Heigl stays it has absolutely nothing to do with the bad economy or job prospects. She makes more in one movie than an entire season of Grey’s. She as 5 movies lined up and is currently filming her latest. She was 5th highest paid actress in the world (both movie and tv) last year. Money is not a factor. If she said she was happy to stay it is because she wants to. She doesn’t need the money. She has never said she wanted to leave the show – just media hype and reaction to her not submitting her name for the Emmys last year. She didnt submit cos her storyline was god awful. To me that was just honesty. Thankfully the writers did something about it this season. If her material is good of course she would want to stay.

  22. Lem says:

    Q: Why haven’t we seen very much of George this season?

    A: With George, I really wanted you to not notice that he wasn’t there for most of this episode. I don’t think anybody noticed because of the way we laid it out this season.

    uh season not episode. Did she not want us to notice that basically they haven’t given George a storyline since he married/divorced Dad died? I think all the bitchin Katherine did got her a much better storyline this year So maybe Georgie should squeak louder.
    Totally agree w/ whomever called Mare Ally McBeal. The whole wishy washy was getting to much to take. Christina would never hang out with her.

  23. Lem says:

    How did that little Lexie hide her pregnancy so well? I didn’t even know she was knocked up until CB told me then boom – baby. I never noticed anything array ere arie hmmmm strange (spell check was no help)

  24. GA fan says:

    I really liked the twist at the end. I assumed that they both died. Whe Izzy is in the elevator, it’s the same prom dress that she wore when Denny died, so I assumed that had significance. And the fact that George was waiting for her, I don’t know, I just assumed.