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Shonda Rhimes on "The Other Side of This Life"

Original airdate: 5/3/07

So I owe you an explanation.  For this episode (for these two episodes, I should say).  I owe you that.  You’ve stuck with me through Season Three and now you want answers, damn it!  You want an explanation.

You are preaching to the proverbial choir.  If you were a preacher and I was a choir.   Which…I’m not a choir cause I can’t sing but maybe you are actually a preacher and…rambling.  The point is, when I watch TV and things happen like the Scooby Gang raises Buffy out of her scary grave or Felicity goes back in time or they take their sweet time telling me what those numbers mean over on Lost...I get a little nutty.  I sometimes get irate.  Because these are my shows.  These are my people.  These are my FRIENDS THESE WRITERS ARE MESSING WITH.

I don’t say this lightly.  I am a hardcore TV watching fanatic.   I was deprived of it as a kid.  So now, as an adult, I am deep into it.   I dig my TV.   So when shows take leaps, I go a little out of my mind.

I go a little out of my mind, I shake my fist to the heavens, I tear at my hair and I ask the writing gods “WHY?!!!!” 


I go all drama on my own ass and then I lie back down on the sofa and keep watching.   Mainly because I’m lazy and shaking one’s fist to the heavens is exhausting.  But also because I’m interested in seeing what happens next.  And because the writers have asked me to leap and so I’m gonna leap with them.

Also because, now?   Now I get it.  I so totally get it.  It’s freakin’ gotten.

Here’s what happened to me:

I was sitting in the editing room one day watching Mer and Burktina and the gang doing all the stuff they do.  I love the editing room – it’s like this cocoon where I’m alone with the characters (and the editor) and it’s where I get a lot of my ideas.  And for the first time ever since working on this show, I got an idea that was Grey’s Anatomy but…not Grey’s Anatomy.  It was something else.  It was Addison driving down the freeway with her hair blowing all over her face.  So I started writing it down, this not Grey’s Anatomy idea.  I started writing it down in secret because I knew Betsy and Shoots With No Script would very gently explain that I had lost my mind and then send in the guys with the strait jackets.  Because we are very busy here at Greys.  We don’t have time for non-Grey’s ideas.  We are a hard-working people.

Except I had this idea and it had already worked its way under my skin and I had to write it down.   Or else I’d get in one of those moods.  Things happen when I’m in those moods.  Things like Meredith drowning.  And I love Mer and wanted to keep her away from the water.  So I wrote it down.   And I gave it to the studio and the network.

It became something.  A script that was part-Grey’s, part something else.  And then it became news around town and suddenly my tiny little written down something was being paid a lot of attention by the outside world.  Next thing you know, they’re calling it a spinoff.

This episode, it’s NOT a spinoff.  It’s Addison going down to LA to complete the story we’ve been laying out for her for two seasons.  It’s the culmination of Meredith’s family story.  It’s Burktina and the wedding and Izzie, Callie and George and that hideous triangle they are stuck in.  It’s the beginning of the end of Season Three.

And I’m warning you now: the ride to the end of the season?  You may want to buckle up and store your luggage in the overhead compartment because this ride is gonna be bumpy.  I’ll explain more after the finale.  I’ll talk about where we are headed in Season Four.   Because I think Season Four is gonna rock.  The fun is back in Season Four.   But for right now, I guess I’ll just talk about the here and the now.  About what is right in front of us.

So.  Even though we took this detour down to Los Angeles, what I want to talk about is what happened in Seattle.  To Meredith.  To Cristina.  To Izzie.  Because things are not working out the way they planned.  George is leaving for Mercy West and Izzie feels responsible.  Cristina’s facing the fact that she’s going to have to compromise what she wants yet again for Burke.  And Meredith…well, Meredith is losing another mother.  Worse, she’s losing her father.  And even worse than that, she may be losing Derek.

But my favorite moment is Alex.  Who, when Ava asks him what happened to him that has made it so hard for him to connect, simply shrugs and says “Maybe I don’t remember.”  He remembers.  But he can’t face up to it.  Not yet.  Alex is the guy we know the least about and the one struggling the most.  And I kinda love him for it.  Because he wants to be a better guy – he’s just not sure he IS a better guy.

In this episode, our people in Seattle all hit a crossroads while our girl in Los Angeles finds a new road altogether.  I’m hoping you like the new road.  I’m hoping I get a chance to show you how good this road can be. 

But for now, the detour is over.  Now, we’ve got the last two episodes of this season to bring to you.  Where we are going might make you shake your fists to the heavens and scream.  But we are leaping.  So, if your sofa is comfy, maybe you could lie back down and leap with us?



omg the elevator scene with george and izzy was PURE HOTTTTTNES... seriously, HOTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I can't wait for the spin off show. I am in love with all the characters in last nights episode! Kate Walsh is so beautiful!


Finally. I've been checking this blog all day.

I loved it last night. Loved the "new road." I'm up for the leap.


I can't quite explain my disappointment in words as adequately as I could in sounds of frustration. I feel like I've just watched my best friend get in a car accident that was totally her fault. Why must Meredith lose 2 mothers? To bring her closer to her father? Hasn't she suffered enough? And pulling her and Derek apart (again!) is just trying the audience. I also can't believe that of the "fabulous 2 hour Grey's", only 30 minutes was actually Grey's. Most of it was Addison's spin off show. I'm sorry, but I tuned in to watch Grey's Anatomy, not the pilot for a different show. Why subject your loyal audience to that? I hate to say it, but this will be the last season I watch. The characters I loved have just gotten too soap opera-ish for me to handle anymore.

another chance

I'm trying, really trying to watch this show again tonight, but it does not get any better than last night - sorry Shonda.


Of course I'll leap. I'd be crazy not to, and I'd be sitting there shaking my fists to the heavens and screaming at myself if I didn't leap.

And I often do some fist-shaking anyway...fist-shaking happens. Seriously.

I really enjoyed the episode. I loved all the people we got to meet...I loved (LOVED) Tim Daly.

I really can't love any Alex moments at this point. He messed with Addison, and he may have his reasons and whatnot, but, you know, he's on my blacklist right now.

Thanks for the two hours of wonderfulness.


GAHHHH i love greys so much. but honestly. the end when she has to tell her dad that her stepmom died and he SLAPS her.. i screamed out loud. because i love mere. and she just lost two people who were starting to become important to her. poor mere.

but honestly... too much of the addison sub-story in the episode. i wanted more of the seattle storyline! pleaaassee don't do that again.


As much as I was yelling at the TV and texting my friends about how the "spinoff" wasn't Grey's and how Addison wasn't the Addison we've come to love...I will leap with you. Everytime something starts to go wrong with Meredith and Derek, I claim that I'm going to stop watching. But I can't because I am invested in all the characters. And I have to know what happens to them next. Can't Meredith be happy for longer than a few episodes?

So here I am, ready to leap. And if Meredith and Derek don't end up together, how about Meredith and Alex? Intriguing...


I love Grey's but you have made me a very nervous viewer. I stopped watching Friends when Rachel and Ross broke up. I would be so very upset something happened to Mer and Dreamy. It would truly jack up my 'happy place'.


Shonda- I will leap with you because every time I think you are going in a bad direction (like the helicopter falling on Ramano) you bring it back and it works perfectly!!! Thanks!!


ps - how HOT was the elevator scene with george and izzy?! GOD... i love callie but i love them more. please make them work out!


I've been waiting ALL DAY for this blog post!?!?!

There's some potential for the spinoff-that-you-don't-want-to-call-a-spinoff. I was curious, interested, and let me tell you that Tim Daly and Taye Diggs (OH! the Double TD) are OH SO HOT!

Izzie & George in elevator was electric!

I am HIGHLY upset about Mer's losing second mom AND dad AND Derek! Fix it! Please!


though i wasn't a HUGE fan of the whole addison stealing the show thing... i thought it was brilliant:)... i love how there's a little bit of me (and probably everyone else) in every one of these characters and that's why i'm sitting on the edge of my seat every Thursday with anticipation, screening all phone calls. Because, like us all, these characters have obstacles to overcome and personality traits and flaws that are found in everyone... so, thanks for the great (and not-so-great) episode!


I am right along with you for the ride. I cannot wait for what is to come. However if Derek cheats on Meridith i don't know if i will be able to handle it. Seriously, he would not do that!


Not. Good. I agree--we only had 32 minutes of Grey's, out of 120. That was distracting and unfair. I understand it's an Addison storyline. But there were scenes without Addison in them! I feel betrayed, and I feel like the road you took us down was an unnecessary detour. I'll watch the spinoff--and it WAS a spinoff. Because I love Kate Walsh and Taye Diggs, and I think there is potential. But it was downright unfair to tell us we have a two-hor Grey's and shove Kate Walsh's new show down our throats. You know we'll do or watch whatever you want us to. But don't sneak around and put it where the real Grey's belongs. Shame on you.


So now I'm really freaked out!!!!!!!! 1) Thatcher slaps Meredith :-(
2) Mcdreamy doesn't even dare to go inside Mer's house 3) MCDREAMY IS W/ANOTHER GIRL ON THE PROMO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!OMG YOU DON'T SAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And finally Addison and the spin-off!!!!!!!
Gosh! P.S. how exactly did Meredith's stepmom die?


Hey I was just writing to say that I LOVE LOVE Greys!! I am a huge fan!! I cannot get enough. However, the Addison story in LA bored me to death. I had to struggle to sit through it. I just wanted to put my opinion in in case you were wondering what people thought about the possible spin-off and that is PLEASE DON'T DO IT. If it isn't broke don't fix it!!


Geez! What some of the people above obviously didnt read in Shonda's blog is that, and i quote, "This episode, it’s NOT a spinoff. It’s Addison going down to LA to complete the story we’ve been laying out for her for two seasons."

I though this was a great episode! Sure, it was a little less 'greys', but i really think it was important to see the other side of addy, it really lets us get to know her better.

Can't wait til next week! Thanks for the blog Shonda!


What is McDreamy doing!!?! I miss his silly grins at Mer--and when he instead makes that sexy smirk at some other girl in the bar on the teaser for next week??? She better be a long lost cousin or med school friend.... I am taking a really big leap with you Shonda...

P.S. LOVED the ride with Addy--she and Tim Daly--total hot, and the three women lining up to look at surfer boy--classic!


re: Spinoff

I loved Tim Daly and Amy Brenemman's characters, but I really found Naomi extremely Boring.
Also, I love Addison but she seemed a little Ally McBeal last night...


i love you shonda, but if derek lays one finger on skanky bar girl i will probably lose my mind. i won't stop watching, doubt i can. but i will go mental. so please don't turn our dear mcdreamy into a mcass :] gracias! and this line made my day "the fun is back in season four" thank you. thank you. thank you. THANK YOU!


What a fantastic two hour episode. I wasn't sold with the whole spin-off idea, but I absolutely loved the spin-off. Now I want to see more of that. As much as I would miss the Addison dynamic at the hospital, the new show would totally rock.

I could not believe that Meredith had another thing happen to her. You said next season the fun will be back. I'm assuming the fun means happier relationships and less drama in Meredith's life. The girl has had enough!

George/Izzie/Callie, what a steamy triangle.

Cristina and Burke, not sure how that is going to end up.

It was fantastic. I loved it. I can't believe this season is almost over.

One more thing: are we ever going to get to see the opening credits this season? Once. Please.


I loved last night's episode. I love the new characters. I loved the golden glow of California. I never realized how gray the seattle set was until last night. I love Seattle (I was born, raised and still live there) but I kept wanting to go back to that golden glow. I love the George and Izzie kiss in the elevator. But my fav part was when wiped her nose before Tim Daly kissed her. :)


Please fix meredith and derek by the end of the season or i wont be coming back next season!



i did not like the addison thing AT all. bring her back to seattle and do not pursue that as a show PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. yes i love taye diggs and it had a good cast it's just...i don't know...i didn't feel it at all .. please don't follow through with it. if derek cheats on meredith with that woman or starts to have feelings for her or anything with her ... i will be so angry i can't even say it - do not do that it will ruin their relationship forever to me and they're my favorite couple so please don't do that. it's sad how you're making merder so sad and angry all the time - it's not like they were always unhappy - give them so kind of connection - if you keep making them miserable the amazing relationship they had is gonna disappear. i'm looking forward very much to next week and the season finale!!

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