« From Joan Rater, one of the writers of "Deterioration of the Fight or Flight Response" (hour 1 of the 2 hour finale) | Main | HEY? ARE YOU STILL OUT THERE? »

From Shonda Rhimes (FINALLY)…

So Denny Duquette died at 7:42 Monday evening.

Actually, he died once on the East coast and once again on the West coast and I’m pretty sure he’s going to die many more times on many more continents pretty damned soon.

I cried. When Denny died, I cried. I cried when I wrote the script page where Denny dies. I cried when we had the read through and the cast found out that Denny dies. I cried when Mark Tinker filmed Denny dying. I cried when Ed Ornelas edited Denny’s death. I cried watching them mix the song playing during Denny’s death. I’m a freaking crybaby when it comes to Denny.

I choose to blame editor Ed Ornelas for Denny’s death. Like I had nothing to do with it. Like I was an innocent bystander in the whole thing. Like it wasn’t me wrote it. I’d sit behind him in the editing room and sob into a tissue while saying kindly, supportive things to the back of Ed’s head. Things like “Denny Murderer! Dog Killer!!! DENNY-MURDERING-DOG-KILLER!!!”

I didn’t kill Denny. Ed did.

Right.

Look, I honestly have nothing to say for myself. No words in my own defense. Except I told you guys that the characters have to do what the characters have to do. I mean, I love Denny. Really love him. He was my “you jump, I jump” guy. He was my imaginary future husband. He was the guy I was dating in my head. HE WAS ALL I HAD. And now he’s dead. God, I feel so Izzie in this moment.

But the point is, Denny was always going to die. His character was created to die. I knew it. Jeffrey Dean Morgan knew it. And as much as I wanted Denny NOT to die when the time came, as much Jeffrey Dean Morgan wanted to NOT die when the time came, as much as Channing Dungey (our super cool studio executive ) begged me to not to hurt her Denny…

…it was his time. He had a stroke. He died. I had nothing to do with it. It was his time.

People die. Suddenly. Without warning. When you least expect it. People die. And it’s horrible and painful and utterly shocking but…it happens. And I wanted to present that on the show.

The good thing is – and you’re all yelling “GOOD THING? GOOD THING?!!!” – but, yes, there is a good thing in all of this. And that good thing is what Camille says to Richard. “I’ve been loved. I’ve been loved. That’s something everyone should feel once in their life.” Denny has been loved. And he dies knowing he was loved. And knowing that he loved back.

I named this episode “Losing My Religion” because, to me, that is what happens to each intern in this episode. Each intern lets go of the things they’ve held onto all season. George lets go of loving Meredith. Cristina lets go of her well-checked emotions. Izzie is forced to let go of her idealism. And that leads to her letting go of medicine. Alex lets go of his rage against Izzie. And Meredith…well, Meredith just lets go.

I don’t want to talk too much about the Mer/Der of it all because we are clearly hanging on a cliff here and anything I say may tell you what’s on the other side. And you know I hate spoilers. But I do feel like we’ve tried to make their relationship complex. Derek’s flawed and sometime you hate him. Meredith’s flawed and sometimes you hate her. And you can’t help but root for Addison to be happy. And you like Finn cause he births ponies and he has plans. And clearly poor Doc was a metaphor for the Mer/Der relationship and when Doc’s put down, it feels like a horrible, painful but necessary ending. But still…when Derek grabs Meredith and kisses her…it’s such a relief. You want them to figure this thing out.

I do want to talk about the costumes (done beautifully by Mimi the costume goddess). Everyone dresses up for the prom. But then we lose Denny. And here’s something you maybe don’t notice until all our interns are gathered in the room with Izzie who lies on the bed with Denny’s body: the prom clothes are actually mourning clothes. Funeral clothes. Suddenly, you see that Meredith and George and Cristina and Callie and Alex are all dressed, not for a prom, but for a funeral. Everyone in dark colors, everyone dressed somberly. As if they were in mourning. Only Izzie is in happy pink. Only Izzie looks like she didn’t know this was coming. In the last scene, Mark Tinker shot this gorgeous shot of Izzie walking down the stairs, Alex and George behind her. I love that shot. Izzie has this fallen queen thing going on that I just adore.

Speaking of the prom…dudes, I so wanted this prom. I’ve wanted this prom since the beginning of the season. We’d been planning for it and obsessing about it. Because, first of all, I like seeing men in suits. Second, these interns and their lives remind me so much of high school in all the best ways. I hope you’ve noticed that. I hope you got the Breakfast Club of it all when they give their speeches to the Chief. Cause I’m an 80’s girl and I needed my prom.

Burktina: this episode is one of my favorites for both Burke and Cristina. If you look at where they began at the beginning of Season Two and how far they’ve come…. You just hate Cristina. You hate her when she walks away from Burke after seeing that he know has a hand tremor. And then you see her give that speech to the Chief (which by the way, Sandra Oh did brilliantly and perfectly EVERY SINGLE TAKE) and you see the struggle. Her struggle to suppress all of her humanity in pursuit of perfection. And in my mind, what we realize is that she is not cold. She is terrified. Scared that if she lets her emotions out, they will overtake her and she will be hurt. And you can’t hate her. Because it’s so incredibly human and understandable. There’s that moment when Burke tells Cristina that he won’t bear a grudge and it’s so sad because he means it. He doesn’t believe she has it in her to stay by his side. And then Denny dies and Cristina watches Izzie grieving and realizes that she has no other option but to go to Burke and cover his hand with her own. Because you can lose someone if you’re not careful.

There’s more to say but I know y’all are itching for me to post this blog. So I’ll do another one later in the week. Because we still have to talk about the Chief and about Burke’s tremors and George and Callie’s thing and so much more…

One last thing: Thank you so much for watching the show. I’ve been in New York for the network upfronts and it’s been amazing to hear from fans how much they enjoy the show. It means a lot to me and all of us who work on Grey’s. You may have heard we are moving to Thursday night. I’m thrilled because Thursday is a big day for TV and I love a challenge and I’ve got my fingers and toes crossed that you’ll follow us to our new night.

Comments

Sarah from Uchicago

Shonda,
Congratulations on a wonderful season. Wow that was a great ending to a great season. The last hour was my favorite and the scene with the interns spilling their guts to the chief was moving.
Thank you!

mydeardenny

I want to say I love the show and will continue to love the show, BUT Denny did not have to die. The Izzie/Denny story line was wonderful. I really look forward to seeing them every week. If you can't bring him back, can you please have a proper funeral for him. He deservse at least that. Maybe have Izzie dream of him, etc.
Thank you for a great show

Jamey

I just wanted to commend everyone for a job well done. Bravo.

Grace

It was great.

burktina was great.

I heard about the bailey dream with chief/burke/mcdreamy. i watched it just a few minutes ago on youtube. f-er-iggin hilarious.

if i ever grow up, i want to be just like you, shonda!

can't wait for the third season!

Angela

Seriously!? SERIOUSLY!? Shonda, how could you???You killed my Denny and my Doc and I will never, ever, forgive you. You also wasted a perfectly goood organ here, and as the wife of a transplant patient, I protest heartily.

Christina

FINIALLY!!! a great mer/der moment....awesome.
Too bad I have to wait thru the summer for more!!!
I've watch since the very first episode, and I LOVE THIS SHOW!!!!!!!!!!!
you all have done an amazing job!!!!!!

natalie

thank you for finally giving us some kind of perspective. i, along with every other young woman wanted denny to live. however, you are right. people die. they die unexpectedly. such is life.

shonda, it was beautifully written, and your posting made me cry...seriously, i've cried over monday's episode at least once for the last 3 days.

seriously, the writing on your amazinlgy beautiful, that most of america feels like these characters are our friends...our family.

keep it up, i can't wait to see what season 3 brings.

The Chief's Niece

I KNEW that was one of your main points.......I just knew it.

I've Been Loved is enough for me.

~a satisfied fan

K

Finally!

Michelle

Amazing work.

But you owe me a box of Kleenex. ;)

Lina

Thank YOU for the show. It's been awhile since I've been emotionally moved by a show on TV. I cried when Denny died, cried when they put dog to sleep and cried again during Alex's speech to Izzy. BTW, Alex has totally redeemed himself the moment he picked Izzy up and let her cry in his arms. I realize so much more details since I started reading these blogs. Thank you for these too! Keep up the good work and perhaps they can start the premier in August? hahha.. Just wishful thinking.

Thank you so much for an amazing season finale! I cannot wait for Thursdays this fall!

Rosie

I just hate that you're moving to Thursday nights but I'm going to re-work my class schedule because I absolutely cannot miss this show!! I love it!!!

Carey

Shonda, I loved the finale. Yes, I cried when Denny died but you're right, he was doomed since he is a patient and for Izzie to be single. I love McDreamy and he was so hot last night. Derek and Merediths passion was so Hot! I am so glad a writer finally get Derek to cave in, that's the drama I crave. oohhh I was in awe for days for your finale! I cant wait until fall, wahh!
Carey
www.careysthings.com

Meredith

Thank you Shonda for a beautiful episode... can't wait to see what's in store for the fall!

Shaunly

Derrick is such a dog. I dislike him now that he strayed ... I love ADDISON!

Donnie C

Great Show....watched it twice on Sunday!!!! (Thanks honey!)

Steph


Dear Shonda & Co.,
I love you. I feel the compelling need to make a shrine entirely devoted to you, and your show and your flawed but gripping characters.
Never, in my whole entire life, have I been so completely and utterly obsessed with a television show. Never have I not been able to concentrate for three days because I was so worked up from the finale. Never have I had my phone ring off the hook at 11:01 with sobbing friends needing to be consoled that Denny died, all while in raptures that Meredith and Derek finally caved and had sex, and that Alex is hot, and Derek is hot, and Finn is hot, and how awesome it was that they were all hot together and wearing tuxedos.
That was the longest finale I’ve ever had to sit through and I almost wish it were longer. Because it’ll be another four months until my next Grey’s Anatomy fix and I’m not willing to accept that. So for now, denial is my friend. And so is my season one DVD that will be worn and torn by the time the summer is over.
So I’d go on and on for days if I were to tell you everything I loved about the finale, so I’ll stick to a few things, namely the whole solidarity theme. The bloody awesome group VO at the beginning. The Breakfast Club feel of it all as the interns walked together. The eerie sorrow as Izzie marched down the stairs at the end with George and Alex as her pallbearers. As a die-hard Alex fan, I’ve got to say, great job with his character. His interactions with Izzie were perfect, and show how much he really cares for her. He’s awesome. He understands that Izzie loves Denny and that he screwed up his chance. So he’s there for her, and he was the only one who knew what to say to her. And it was so heart wrenching when he picked her up from the bed and cradled her.
And really, kudos to all of you for killing Denny about twenty minutes after I finally start liking him.

Kristina

You know what I love most about this show? It's that I never know what's coming up next. I sometimes hear a few spoilers but I like that they aren't all over the place. That would take all the excitement out of it. Thanks for writing an intelligent show with REAL people.

Claire

Amazing, really, never has a TV show put me on such an emotional rollercoaster.

Lyn

Well, I'll follow you to Thrusday Night .. but I'll be watching Friday Morning... I'm home on Sunday's and not Thursday Nights! :) ..

I cried too .. when I read the spoilers.. when I saw the show .. when I rewatched the tape .. and again when I read the blog.. Denny and Doc are really gone! ...

The entire three hours were absolutely AMAZING! I have NEVER been so touched and brought into the web .. EVER!

Thanks so much!

nygrl12

Thank you so much for the blog. It almost made me cry again--as if I didn't cry enough when Denny died.
My husband, who's a doctor, said it best when Christina could only watch while Burke was in agony in the OR, awake but disoriented--that she was paralyzed and scared (because I hated her in that moment and the moments prior when she left him with an excuse).

Please tell me that Izzie's coming back next season--it was heartbreaking to see how much Alex still cares for her and the comforting he did.

Thanks again for the blog and thanks for a wonderful show!!!

Shelby

Very nicely done. Congrats on a great season and good luck in your new timeslot. One question: is Katherine Heigl going to remain on the show?

jgidget

I love love love this show!
I'll watch no matter which night it moves to. This is the best show on TV!

Nina

I absolutely loved this episode--it was perfect. It was the perfect balance of drama and comedy--something this show does SO WELL.
I thought all the characters were at their absolute best, and I really don't think anyone could ask for a better finale. The only thing I would change is more Addison. :)
Congratulations, Shonda, on such an amazing job!

The comments to this entry are closed.