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From Shonda: It's the end of the episode (as we know it)

Original Airdate: 2-12-06

So Dylan’s dead. 

And I have to admit, I’m a teeny bit relieved.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Kyle Chandler.  He was great as Dylan.  Smart, funny, cute, and very much in charge.   I was, in fact, a little bit in love with Dylan.  Not as in love as I am with McDreamy or Burke but…you know, there were moments during the filming of the episodes when Dylan would be saying something bossy or helping Mer down the hall, pushing that gurney and being all bomb squad-y, moments that I was thinking, hey, maybe he doesn’t have to explode.

But still I am relieved.  Why?  Well, I’m glad you asked.  Here’s why:

At the end of Act Five, there is a scene.  Scene 52.   I wrote this scene about fifteen minutes before I had to print out the script and hand it over to production.  It reads as follows:

INT. OR CORRIDOR -- CONTINUOUS

Meredith leans her head out.  Sees Dylan heading down the hall.  She's just about to open her mouth...

...When the ammo explodes.  When Dylan explodes.  Fire, shattering glass.  Meredith is thrown backwards.

Okay, that’s…what?  An eighth of a page?  A sixteenth of a page?  A tiny fraction of the script, right?

The ammo explodes.

Dylan explodes.

I wrote those words and was actually ignorant enough of the horrors to come that I gave it to the production team and then slept the sleep of babies and angels for several nights in a row.

The ammo explodes.

Dylan explodes.

Seriously?  SERIOUSLY?

All of the sudden, you find yourself in meetings with real live bomb squad guys and special effects guys and a very tense director and everyone is asking you things like “When you say, bloody rain…you actually want bloody rain or just like, some blood spatter?”  And things like “When Dylan explodes, you wanna see chunks of Dylan or do you want like, a Dylan vapor?”

These are thing I don’t want to think about.  These are things that make my head hurt.   The ammo explodes.  Dylan explodes.   It’s in the script.  I wrote it.  I know that.  But I don’t want to think about Dylan chunks or bloody rain.  I don’t want to think about it at all.  I like to write things and have them happen.   I like to keep myself in a kind of stalker-ish fog in which I believe my characters aren’t characters but actual people.  It’s how I can write them.  So when you ask me about Dylan chunks, my brain gets all twisty and shuts down.  Because Dylan’s a person, a very real person to me and I love him and it’s not my fault he has to die and besides…yuck. 

But I’ve got Rob Corn on my ass.

Rob Corn doesn’t care if I try to kick everyone out of my office when they bring up bloody rain or he doesn’t care if I try to pretend I can’t speak English when someone asks me about bloody chunks.  Rob Corn is the producer on our show and it’s his job to make things happen and, if I am stupid enough to write Dylan explodes on a piece of paper, Rob Corn is damn well going to make sure that Dylan explodes.  Behind his back, I like to call Rob Corn Bossy McBossy.  It doesn’t sound affectionate here but in real life, it’s really sweet and kind.  Trust me.   Anyway, Bossy McBossy told me that we had to do tests so we could figure out how exactly Dylan explodes.

Tests?  Dylan explodes.  What’s there to test?   HA!  I’m clearly an idiot.

They built this model of Dylan’s body and one day I am herded out onto the back lot of the studio at the request of Bossy McBossy Rob Corn.   Then I have to stand and watch as 20 or 30 really happy guys (testosterone is a powerful thing) position the model of Dylan just right and explode it into tiny little pieces.  Twice.  It is very loud.   Wow.  Dylan explodes.   I’m all, “great, thanks, way to go, very manly.”  And I turn to flee, prepared to head back to my office, happy that the Dylan explodes part of this is over so I can pay attention to the other stuff, the estrogen stuff, the fun stuff like Bailey and George giving birth and Derek describing that kiss to Meredith…

…But Rob Corn raises an eyebrow and very gently says, “Uh, Shonda?” and I go really still with horror.   Because I suddenly start to realize that a) that little test was only the beginning and b) that, for the rest of my life, I was going to regret ever typing the words Dylan explodes into my computer.

They blew up test dummies.  Tall dummies, dusty dummies, dummies with helmets, dummies without helmets.  They blew up test dummies filled with fake blood.  They blew up pieces of our set.  They set off an explosion on the set of our operating rooms.  They used stunt girls and stunt guys.  Ellen let them pull her through the air.  I think there were blue screens and green screens and animated pieces of debris and glass.  The genius special effects guys added fire and smoke and things I can’t imagine but things that made it amazing.  The sound guys added over 100 layers of sound elements so that, if you have HD and you watch with surround sound speakers, the explosion flies at you and passes you and swirls around you.

Dylan explodes.

The explosion was beautiful. Amazing work and truly impressive.  I told everyone so.  I can’t believe the amount of talent and energy that come together to make this show happen.  But next time I get a Super Bowl and post-Super Bowl time slot, I’m gonna write something different.   Something a bit easier.   Something less time-consuming and expensive.  And without so many bloody chunks. 

Dylan puts the ammo down and goes to have a sandwich.   

Enough about Dylan, may he rest in peace.  I want to tell you about the difference between the first episode titled “It’s the End of the World” and the second episode “(As We Know It)”.   

I tried really hard to make the first episode very male and the second episode very female.  I wanted them to fit together, like puzzle pieces.  So that I could have two episodes about the same thing but that felt very different from one another.  The first episode is all amped up energy, all naked girls and screaming and bombs and running down hallways and men saying things like “Get out of my OR.”  The second episode is all long pauses.  Long pauses and sitting and pushing out babies and kissing in linen closets and lots of discussion about how the hell this is all going to end.  The first episode is what happens when danger strikes.  The second episode is how we deal with danger when it strikes.  The epicenter of this episode is the hallway/gurney scene.  It’s the first scene I envisioned at all when thinking of these two episodes.  I kept saying, “there needs to be this scene where Meredith and Cristina move down the hall really slowly with the ammo and Dylan and talk about boys.”  And everyone kept nodding very politely with tight smiles the way they do when they are sure you have gone off the deep end.  But Elizabeth Klaviter (she’s our super smart medical researcher) got on the phone with the bomb squad guys and the doctors and she got them to tell her how this would be possible.  How I could get that gurney rolling so Meredith and Cristina could discuss the state of Cristina’s relationship.  I needed that discussion which, for me, is really just a big old metaphor for how we deal with the tragedies in life.  You’ve got your hand on a bomb but you don’t want to talk about it over and over, you don’t want to face it – so you talk about something else.  Most of life is talking about something else.  Plus, I found this really cool song by The Greenskeepers that I was dying to use.

George is a big key to this episode.  If you pay attention, he’s the one who serves as our witness.  Through most of the episode, he wanders around, a bit bewildered.  He’s the one who feels the most helpless.  And then he has that moment with Hannah where she talks about the nature of cowardice, where she says that to do nothing is to be a coward.  And he acts.  He helps Bailey through giving birth.   In the first episode, he’s fantasizing about what it would be like to see three women in the shower.  In the second episode, he sees what three women in a shower is like in reality.  Because, guys, women don’t just climb in a shower and start soaping each other up for no reason.  Hello!?  Life isn’t porn.  Life is Meredith, bloody and battered, being gently cleaned off (chunks of Dylan) by her best friends.  And so he leaves.  Because what he is seeing is too intimate. 

The last thing I want to say about this episode has to do with Meredith.  Because all she really wants is some kind of reason to live.  I’ve heard a lot of talk about Meredith being whiny but the truth is, she’s got a mom with Alzheimer’s, no other family to speak of, and the man she loves is married.  She’s pretty freaking lonely, people.  She’s got a right to get her whine on.  So, when she falters, when she doesn’t want to pull her hand out of Mr. Carlson, it’s partly because she’s got nothing to hang on to.  As she says in the first episode, she needs a reason to go on, she needs some hope.  Which is why she has to picture Derek to get through it.  And at the end, when he shows up at her house (and he shows up just to see for himself that she is alive), she has to ask.  She has to ask him about their last kiss because if she’s ever going to get out of that bed again and keep going, she needs a reason.  She needs to know there’s someone out there for her.   She needs some hope.  And Derek (can Patrick Dempsey be any more amazing?) describes that last kiss, the last kiss they had as a happy couple, in such perfect detail that Meredith knows she’ll be okay.  Because he wouldn’t remember that kiss so well if he didn’t love her.  He couldn’t.  It’s her sign.

He loves her.  Even if he can’t be with her.  Even if he has a wife. 

He loves her, people.

I told you, there’s hope.

I can’t promise you anything because, like I said earlier, the characters are alive for me and thus, I can’t make them do anything against their will.  But my fingers and toes are crossed for the Mer/Der love…

Once again, thanks for watching the show.

Comments

maile

Shonda,

I just wanted to say thank you (to you as well as all the writers/cast/crew) for giving us another amazing episode. George’s speech and the end shower scene were actually phenomenal. I am proud to say that I’ve been a fan of this show from the very beginning, and I absolutely love the character development that’s happening! My heartfelt congratulations goes out to all of you for producing such a great hit, I’m sure it’s an incredible feeling.

Again, thank you for bringing this show to us each week. You have no idea how addicted I am to it. And I’ve also gotten all of my friends obsessed. SO MANY people appreciate, love, and occasionally hate (but in a good way, of course) this show, and it’s all because of your hard work.

I hope that success is sweet, and it continues to be that way!

Best Wishes,
Maile

Ps—I’d just like to mention how much I’ve always, always, always appreciated the focus this show places on music. Music has such a huge impact on life, as far as I’m concerned. From the episode titles to the songs throughout, it’s all fantastic. I especially love all the Tegan and Sara stuff!! I’m friends with their cousin, so I’m always trying to get the word out! And of course, Anna Nalick tonight was perfect. J

YYC

I've been a fan of the show for a while, and I thought it might go away as more research is/was done about Seattle and the general area, but it's persisting halfway through the second season.

It rarely, like maybe once a year if even that, thunderstorms in Seattle. As a Seattle native, it's jarring to see and hear this as an indication that it is raining yet again in Seattle, without having to show actual rain.

I love the show, and this one was just as stellar in terms of plot and surprises. Thanks for a great show.

melissa

what was the song that was playing at the end of the show? One line was "i love the way you live life so intently"..... Thanks and great show. Seattle resident, melissa

Jealoustater

OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD. OH MY GOD. That was some seriously amazing TV. The snot will not stop flowing. How am I supposed to sleep after this? Shonda and staff - all of us writers look up to you. I've worked in TV for a while, and I've never been so connected to a show...and because of this blog, connected to the personalities that bring it to us every week. So thanks from the bottom of my heart. And to all you bloggers who freak out about every little medical inconsistency, or whatever your issues are...let it go...it's TV...and it's damn good entertainment. Ugh...the snot won't stop! I now own stock in Kleenex. Damn you.

Jean

Oh man. I loved this episode. Loved, loved, loved. But while I was incredibly moved by Bailey giving birth, the wonder of George, Christina and Izzie taking care of Meredith and the lavender speech, the moment that unexpectedly broke my heart the most was when Addison ran to Derek and she wasn't the one he was looking for.

Kudos to Kate Walsh for making Addison such a fully realised character and to the writers for never taking an easy out. If you'd told me at the beginning of the season that Addison would have ended up being the member of the love triangle I felt the most empathy for and the saddest about, man, I would have laughed.

Thanks for what is hands down the most entertaining, surprising, and human show on TV.

GA fan!!

Oh my word. This was one of the best shows yet. This show has been the only show that has caught my attention and is the only show that i am willing to spend money on to get the whole show on dvd. TONIGHT ROCKED!!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!

Jackie

Shonda,
I just wanted to say that once again you, and the rest of the cast/crew, have done an amazing job. I loved this episode, it was a pleasure to watch every moment with our main characters. I loved seeing George become a "doer" when helping Bailey give birth. I could just go on and on about this and all the other wonderful episodes but I want to leave some room for others to write ;). Anyways thanks again, and I love the show.
Thanks again,
Jackie

ps. Wonderful job with Kyle Chandler and Christina Ricci as guest starts. They both did an amazing job bringing their characters to life. I really loved Christina in the two episodes.

Evelyn

I loved this episode. I love the show. Its stuff like this that reaffirms why I want to be in tv production. What a wonderful job.. and I know it takes alot of hard work so I just wanted to say thanks. Quite the entertainment!

gaclosetfanatic

As much as I love the show, I wanted to throw my remote at the screen tonight!!!!! ENOUGH!!!!! Quick strining us along. Are we really supposed to believe that brilliant surgeon like Addison is too blind to see what everyone else sees? We tune in because of hope, but dash our hopes enough times, and we will start watching another channel.

Elizabeth

Patrick Dempsey is amazing.

April

Just want to say I appreciate you making the shower scene have an actual purpose in the story line, rather than just a drawing card for the Super Bowl audience (as so many assumed). Very nice touch. And not skanky at all! ;-)

Tamika

Please put meredith and derek back together i mean its only right they need to be together i mean i have hope but come on they love each other and they so want each other. I really love your show and i want more more i tell you. Please get meredith and derek back together again real soon and make addison realise that derek isn't in love with her anykmore.

Christina

Thanks for another amazing episode! George helping Bailey was perfect, and Burke/Cristina was great of course - even if there wasn't enough of it. You're making me really sad for Addison, though. Derek hardly even hugged her back! I love the Mer/Der, but he's married, and he's got to act married. The introduction of Mark should be interesting....

Heidi

I posted last week saying how much I was bothered by the shower scene and the unusual macho attitude of last week's episode. And you redeemed it!!! This week's episode was lovely and right back in tune with the tone and charisma of the show. George and Dr. Bailey???? Does it get better than those two? I loved how he was helping her deliver her baby. I don't think I've seen a scene so sweet and original in quite some time.

I'm still a believer, Shonda! Excellent job!!!

Evelyn

Thanks for such a wonderful episode!

Katie L.

Shonda,
You are amazing!! This episode and the super bowl one was un-be-liev-able! I love, love, love, all the metaphors, symbolism, music, the incredible DEPTH of each character. I loved reading your perspective of how things went down...and let me just tell you that I was SHOCKED when that bomb went off....wow....what a HUGE surprise. I only wish I had HD TV to have heard the full effect. And I loved the last shower scene - wow!!! I just love how you tied everything together so well.

I just want to thank you and all the writers and actors for putting together such an amzing show. I haven't been hooked on a show like this in a long time, and I don't think I've ever takem the time to post on a message board like this about it.

Thank you and keep up the good work - you ROCK!!
Katie

Chris

I dont know how you do it, but I HATE TV... but i have loved Greys anatomy since day one... its become something id rather die than miss on sundays... thank you and keep on making more amazing episodes... because Greys Anatomy is the best show that I have ever seen!

-Chris

Sonia

All I have to say is WOW. The whole scene where Bailey's husband flat-lines, while George is helping Bailey give birth, and Meredith is pulling out the bomb---took my breath away. I stopped breathing. Seriously. You are such a great writer, thank you for this show. I've never looked forward to the end of the weekend as much as I do now. And as for the Mer/Der love, I'm right there with you, I have a lot of hope. Once again, excellent job.

Maggie

I thought this episode was phenomenal. Thank you so much for showing some wonderful moments between Burke and Cristina. They are my favorite characters, and I loved that they got a little bit more face-time (or at least non-conflict based face-time) this episode. I didn't think it was possible for me to love this show more than I did already, but I do. So thank you!

Nichole

Bravo! It was an amazing episode and I can see how this episode was more female. I started crying the minute "Breathe" came on.

Hope? So powerful and it came across beautifully in this episode. When Mer steps out in the corridor I hoped that Dylan would make it but I kind of knew he wouldn't. That's some powerful writing.

Not to mention the hope for the relationship with McDreamy and Mer.

The contrasting shower scenes was brilliant!

Shonda, I have been hooked from the first episode. Thanks to all for entertainment so well done!

Janice

Congratulations! What a fabulous episode. I have been a fan since episode 1, haven't missed one to date - and I wont (I tape them even as I watch them). On more than one occasion you have made me cry and done it well.

My mom recently passed and some of your scenes are as though I am back in that hospital again, reliving moment after moment. Certain patients, a term here and there...So in a way you're also my therapist, helping me process. And I love Meredith's speeches. I relate I think they are insightful and that you and the rest of the writers are spot on. Seriously - fabulous writers, crew and cast.

P.S. - As a true fan I can honestly say that "seriously" has become a part of my vocabulary.

Keep up the great work.

P.P.S. Thanks for not killing Tucker.

Erik

Amazing! This episode had the right balance of heart and suspense. Thank you for an amazing show that my friends and I look forward to watching together every week. It's not just a show it's an event to us. Keep up the fantastic work you do every week!!!

Shonna

Shonda, let me tell YOU a little story. A story of a woman who loves this show and says, without fail, at the end of each one, "MAN I f'ing love this show" and with two small chidren generally running amok, that's no small feat. This is a woman who cursed the Superbowl because the timing twisted last week's schedule and she was forced to frantically read every message on the show message boards desperately hoping someone would write a synopsis. There were some kind souls who did so, and she could sleep, but frustrated at missing this little sanity-saver in her week.
This week she was determined to watch, kids abed, she poured a glass of something red and curled up on the sofa, hoping there would not be too many commercials, needing the loo a bit but not in the least willing to get up and sort it out because dammit, she wasn't going to miss this one. The episode tonight was everything she could have hoped for and much, much more. She laughed, she felt tears stream down, she sobbed at the prospect of Mr. Bailey dying on the table and when Meredith left the operating room to watch Dylan, she stood - when Dylan exploded, she fell to her knees. Stunned. The compassion of her friends, the terrible intimacy of that moment in the shower, what an image it was. McDreamy asking after her, and going to see her on her turf.....all of it. Stunning, heartbreaking, inspiring. The extra bonuses of this episode such as Izzy finally getting lucky and George commenting on the baby's hair and getting shouted down for looking at Bailey's vajuju - brilliant. George talking Bailey into doing what she had to do was a testiment to his bedside manner and his spirit -
She was still sitting on the floor in front of the television and as credits rolled and the news came on about a murder in the valley, car wrecks that turned out fatal and a cold front moving in, she felt that for once she should just go to the source - and tell her straight out, thank you, and I REALLY love this f'ing show.

Thank you, ALL of you writers for doing what you do - this is the only night I watch television, and my week is just not quite as rich if I miss this show - the characters are likeable, human, fallable, and for all of that you truly believe as a devotee of this spectacle that you know all of these people in your daily life - facets of them shine in people you know and work with - certainly I don't work with a McDreamy, but I do work with a George, and I hope that someday he gets the woman, not the girl......George needs a woman to show him what he's been missing out on with the girls!
Please do keep doing what you do - keep inspiring the fan base. Keep on filling us with hope that someday Meredith and McDreamy will ride off into the sunset (preferably not in wheelchairs, eh?) together. I don't know why it is that this show has affected me as it has, but whatever it is, I like it.
Right, NOW I can go to the loo. Thank you again for this - Season one on DVD out Tuesday, eh? You do know once I get that I'll just be clammering for Season two.
The only disappointment: I wanted to see Dylan and Meredith hook up after he saved her from the bomb - thought they'd be one of those couples who started out hating each other but turned out to really fall hard - now how would McDreamy have dealt with Meredith dating her hero like that???
It's an enigma.
Good night and thanks

Thanks for giving us a picture of what goes on behind the scenes. I've never thought of Meredith as whiny as truth be told, I doubt I would have done as well as her, job-wise, with no family support.

As for Mer/Der, sigh. Can I just say that while I do understand the need to dwelve deeper into the Addie/Der marriage, I am a little tired of the triangle because it just isn't fair to the 3 parties involved. Derek needs to break away from the past and move on.

All in all, thanks for writing such a fab episode. Cheers!

Diana

1. loved the imaginary mer/der scene

2. it's funny cuz right after the bomb squad guy started to walk away with it, i thought, now the burden's on him. but i figured, the show would focus back on the meredith, the doctors, the hospital, whatever. then BOOM! oh my goodness. bomb squad guy blown away. wow. WOW. WOW. i'm still wowing. i think i'll still be wowing for a good rest of the season. wow.

3. aww to bailey naming the baby william GEORGE bailey. just aww.

4. if derek would have walked out with only saying those 2 pathetic lines, i would have had a fit! but luckily for me, a TORTURED mer/der fan, i got a little bit of aww that he remembered. and then she remembered. but as a TORTURED mer/der fan, i must say that the final scene still wasn't satisfying for me. how long must we suffer? :(

5. yay to cristina saying i love you too to sleeping burke

couldn't help but laugh at how "dylan explodes" became such a mess for you. it's kinda like a scene on the show...when you hear that little jingle...when you're not sure if it's a serious scene or a funny scene...then you hear that little jingle...those few sounds...and you know it's a funny scene. i can just see you walking away from those tests saying, "phew" and then they call your name, you stop in your tracks, and there's that little jingle, and we know there's more and we can't help but giggle a little.

just wanted to be one of the first to say BRAVO on an amazing two-parter. thanks for the wow's, thanks for the aww's. if the season were to end here, in terms of being given great stories, great performances, great writing, great direction, great everything...i'd say it's enough. but of course it's not enough. as a TORTURED mer/der fan i NEED more! but i guess that last scene was MY sign, MY reason to hope for the star-crossed lovers (who ranked #7, i believe, on tv guide's hottest tv couples). but the great thing about this show, unlike others that i have been attached to in the past, is that it's not just about mer/der, it's not just about this one couple that you only watch the show for to see if they're getting closer or further apart to being that first great, cute, lovable couple they started out as...there are other characters and other lives that make this show worthwhile. so thank you shonda for some wonderful television. you sure know how to write 'em ;)

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