From Mark Wilding, writer of "17 Seconds"
Airdate: May 14, 2006
Okay. You obviously saw last night’s episode. And in a minute or so, I want to talk about it because it looks like Izzie has done a very, very bad thing. Like a going to hell bad thing. I want to talk about that bad thing and other bad things that people did in my episode. I do. But first…
…There’s a couple things you should know. First, you should know that I’m okay with the fact this blog will have a very short lifespan. And I mean short. Barely 24 hours. That’s what happens when a two hour finale follows on the heels of your episode. That finale is tonight. Not next Sunday night, TONIGHT. So cancel your plans to watch “Two and a Half Men.” Ditch studying for that sociology final. And forget about going to bed at 10:00 o’clock because you’re tired from staying up late to watch last night’s episode. Because tonight is when things heat up even more. I simply set the table for tonight’s feast. And that feast is going to be… well, I don’t want to give anything away, so let’s just say it’ll be very, very entertaining. And Shonda is definitely going to have a few things to say about it in her blog tomorrow. So really, this is just a pre-blog. An appetizer you can digest until they bring out the roasted wild boar and thirty pound lobsters and flaming baked Alaskas (or whatever dessert lights on fire).
The second thing you should know is that I have two sisters. I also have a brother but I’m not talking about him today. He’s a good guy, he’s just not pertinent to this particular discussion. Since this particular discussion involves Denny and other things in the show that my brother pretends not to care about. But mostly it’s about Denny. One of my sisters lives in Montreal and the other one lives in New York City. What do they have in common besides the fact they both live back east and they’re both lucky enough to have me as a brother? Well, they both watch the show and they both LOVE Denny. They LOVE him. As does my wife. Who finally got to visit the set a few weeks ago and, with all the wonderful cast members we have, the one person she REALLY, REALLY, REALLY wanted to meet was Denny, aka Jeffrey Dean Morgan. She met him and, guess what, he’s also very charming in person. I mean, CHARMING. As in I would understand if my wife left me for him charming. I wouldn’t like it but I would understand it. Luckily, that hasn’t happened. If and when it does, you’ll be the first to know.
Anyway, my New York sister wrote me a letter a couple weeks ago that said if anything bad happened to Denny, she would never watch the show again. Ever. So, is what’s happened to him bad? And more importantly, is Izzie bad for doing it? Is she tremendously irresponsible? She cut the LVAD wire for love so does that make her action understandable? Or just crazy. I mean, Denny’s still alive, right? (Sorry, I can’t even tell you that – tune in tonight!). And Izzie does have a plan so it’s not like she hasn’t thought this all out. Or has she? Is bad, well… relative? You see, all these questions I just asked -- they’re the things we talk about in the writers’ room. And we don’t always have the answers. Because too often those answers aren’t black and white. They’re grey and they fall into cracks and it’s hard to get a hold of them because they keep just slipping out of reach. Here’s another one -- if you do a bad thing for a really, really good reason – is it still a bad thing? Does my sister understand that? Or has she already stopped watching the show?
As for the other thing that might have caught your attention at the end of the episode – namely Preston Burke lying on the ground with a bullet in him – that was a bad thing. At least none of our interns did that. At least, directly. Indirectly’s another story. After all, it was Izzie’s misbehavior that led to him rushing back to the hospital. Of course, he was being bad at the start of the episode -- punishing Cristina for falling asleep during sex by telling her she couldn’t go get the heart. Still, it’s not like he deserved to get shot. It’s funny, you write an episode with a theme in mind (in this case, anger management) and after you’ve filmed the thing, you start thinking about other possible themes. Like, say, “men behaving badly”. Petey the shooter behaves badly, Neal the bullet ducker behaves badly, Brad the boss behaves badly, Burke behaves badly and Derek is still behaving badly towards Meredith (and Addison for that matter).
As for Mer/Der… that silent scene in the elevator at the end where they have so much pain and they can’t talk to each other – well that scene originally had words. Many words. But Patrick Dempsey thought it would play stronger without words and he was right. The scene started out being about anger – hence the many words -- but if you combine anger with love, you really get pain. The pain of hating someone while still loving them. We’re told that to hate someone is bad. But if you love them at the same time, is it still bad? I once had a girlfriend who used to throw tantrums in restaurants. Yes, public tantrums. Embarrassing, horrible public tantrums directed at me. It was traumatic and yet it was also a little bit exciting. The result being I loved her and hated her at the same time. However, in the end, I just hated her. I mean, come on, public tantrums? That’s just bad. By the way, my wife doesn’t have public tantrums and for that I love her. Although, I do wish she’d get off this Denny kick.
Anyway, I can’t talk about Burke or Denny or Meredith and Derek anymore because the more I talk about it, the more I’m tempted to give something away. Also, these are Shonda’s characters. “Grey’s Anatomy” is her novel. We, the other writers, try to get into her head as best we can, but at the end of the day, she’s the one that should have the last word. And tomorrow, she will.
And that won’t be all bad, will it?