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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?



You all are KILLING ME. And then we'll have to wait until SEPTEMBER to see what happens next.

I called my friend during this episode and we just sat together in silence at the final scene of Burke on the ground.



AWESOME!! can't wait for tmw


That was an Absolutely AMAZING episode! Kudos! Can't wait for tonight!


Oh my god! I can't wait until tomorrow! Great episode!


Am I first? Wow! Color me surprised after such an intensely emotional episode I thought hordes would be hear wanting to post.

Anyways, just want to say how much I loved the show. I know Izzie is getting a lot of flack on the boards for her actions, but while I might not agree with what's she doing, I totally understand the emotion and drive behind it. Can't wait for tomorrow night!!! How soon can we get the Season 2 DVDs out? Summer's going to stink!


This episode pulled me in several directions, but by the end, I could see some method to the madness. Or at least I told myself that, amidst the "Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god" mantra that was running through my head.

I'm not usually a fan of fluff, but I absolutely loved the way you had Addison, Derek, and Meredith play off each other in this episode. You made us feel for each one, and I couldn't've been prouder of Addison, even if her final speech was made in public.

You've got me hooked for at least two more hours --


Oh no.....no no no no no.........not Burke......

God's teeth, not Burke....not Denny.....nooooooooo no no no no no no.........

Is it tomorrow yet?????

WTF?! SHONDA you've GOT to save these two beautiful men (by beautiful I mean soul not JUST grace, charm and the fact that they're both ALL heart.....*cough* pardon the ehrm.....yeah.....)



all i have to say about last night's episode is:


i can't wait til tonight! i would gladly miss two and half men any day for my grey's!!!



my heart is beating so fast. faster than denny's.

thank you for a terrific episode, greyswriters. just...wow.


OH MY GOD. I have pregnancy induced hypertension and don't even know if I'll be able to make it thru tomorrow- I barely made it thru tonight! thank god it's not a week!

Tina M



OHHHH man, wow that's all I can (and many others) can say is wow. Thanks for the short lived update, the appetizer won't tide me over until the feast, but it is welecomed. I also want to say good call on not having der/mer talk in the elevator scene, words would have ruined it. MAN.... I have to go roll up my jaw now.


PS: WTF is Two and a Half Men anyway??? ;)


I was waiting for a post from you guys! I just can't can't can't believe it all. It's too much to take in. Thankfully, I've got a DVR and will be able to get 24 and GA recorded.

My sister has already declared she will stop watching if Denny dies. I probably won't stop watching, but I'd think about it for a few seconds. We all love Denny. He just can't die.

Burke either...but Denny REALLY can't die!


Thank HEAVEN for this blog.. i needed something to tie me over till tomorrow, just something to help me process... seriously.. i cant wait!

Lauren in Seattle

I wanna cry . . . I can't wait until tomorrow-> I have to cancel plans with my boyfriend and make him watch the finale.


Emily j

I can't take it! You're killing me!! Yall are awesome!!!! I had chills, I was crying. Truly amazing!!!!!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again-Do NOT let Addy go!!


All I can say is "OH MY GOD." (I've been saying this for the past 7 mins)

I was totally surprised. Seriously. I can't WAIT TILL TOMORROW.


Just finished watching. I thought I was going to throw up. The characters have woven through my already hectic, busy and crazy life. I have children I am raising and so much on my shoulders yet I MAKE time for Greys because in a weird way like George said they are like family. I wanted to like Callie but can't- she doesn't allow it. Watching Burke still on the ground while Izzy is telling Denny that Burke will be there soon- that's when I wanted to throw up. Mark- are your sisters really not going to the show? I would make that promise too- but addicts can't make those kind of promises to quit their vices.

OK am I the only one who is outraged about Burke? I mean, REALLY!!! Didn't he travel by helicopter? Doesn't that mean he would have landed on the landing pad ON TOP of the building?WHY IS HE OUTSIDE WITHIN SHOOTING RANGE OF THAT PSYCHO!!!

a very very upset fan

PS: the episode was pretty good though, but I'm still very upset that Burke got shot


OH. MY. GOD!!!!

Emily j

And I have to add-I could literally feel my heart beat and beat at the end. Yall are geniuses!




Holy LORD that was a good episode. I can't wait for tonight!!!


wow that was absolutely bland until the final shot of burke on the ground. definitely tuning in tomorrow night!

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