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Shonda Rhimes on "What a Difference a Day Makes"...

Original Airdate: 5-7-09

Okay.  So…100.

100 episodes.

Which means I was so tired last night that I forgot to blog.  But I’m blogging now.  I’m here now.

First, a warning:  this is our last blog of the season.  It’s also our last podcast and today will be my last tweets of the season. 

We’re going dark, people.

Why?  Because next week’s episodes (two in one night) are so explosive and cliff-hanger-y that we, the writers, have all agreed that we can’t even talk about them.  For fear of giving anything away.  We honestly can’t say a word.  But know that we are proud.  Of the episodes.  And of you.  For sticking with us.  For 100 plus episodes.  For going through the good and the bad.  For having faith in us.  And our characters.  We thank you and we appreciate it.  There are not words to express how much we appreciate it.

So this is the last you will hear from us until next season.

What can I say about the 100th?  Well, there was a wedding.  Which made some of you cry and made some you mad.  There was Denny.  Which made some of you cry and some of you mad.  But mostly, there was a point.

I had a point!

That happy woman you saw?  Doing her solo surgery and smiling at the Chief?  The one giving her wedding away with warmth and joy?  THAT WAS THE SAME WOMAN WHO TRIED TO DROWN HERSELF.  That was our dark and twisty girl.  All grown up.  Whole.  Healed.  FOR REAL.  It was a day I never thought we’d see (well, I did think it but…hell, you know what I mean).  For once, Mer is the calm one. The happy one.  The one who is fine.  For once, Mer is whole and healed and happy.  She doesn’t have a problem other than the Chief peeking over her shoulder during her solo surgery.  She is excited about her marriage.  She is calm.  She doesn’t need her eyebrows shaved off to be numbed into the submission of marriage.  She is fine.

That is shocking, I think.  So I’m going to say it again.  SHE.  IS. FINE.

That was my point.  After 100 episodes, Meredith Grey is grown up.  She is the thing her mother wished for her.  She is extraordinary.  Because, to get past the crap of your past?  To move on?  To let the past go and change?  That is extraordinary.  To love?  Without fear?  Without screwing it up?  That is extraordinary.  It makes me happy to see her happy.

Now, Izzie’s got some problems.  Her tumor is back.  And she is scared to death.  But the thing is, Alex has grown up too.  Look at him.  Standing at the altar and saying those vows like a man.  He’s grown up.  And the two of them are married.  Which is unbearably sad because you know and I know the wedding wouldn’t be happening if it wasn’t clear that Izzie is maybe going to die.  But he’s become a man who can step up.  And I love him for it.

I went up to the editing room when the show was being editing and I saw my first images of Izzie lying in the hospital bed bald.  And I started to cry.  And I said to Susan Vaill, our brilliant editor, I said, “Ummm…I think Izzie is really sick.”  And she hollered at me “YOU MADE HER SICK!!!!” 

But here’s the thing.  Until I saw my Izzie, bald and pale and wheezing in that bed…I mean, she’s sick. She’s really sick.  And I didn’t see it coming.  My brain got ahead of my heart on this one.  It hurt my heart to see her so sick.  The magnitude of one of our own, that sick, it was shocking to see off the page and on the screen.  She’s sick.  She’s really sick.  And now I’m a little scared.

In this episode, Denny comes back.  Not as her boyfriend.  Not as the guy she hallucinates having sex with.  No.  Denny comes back as death.  Death with a capital “D”.  Did you notice the black clothes?  The way he speaks sparingly?  He’s death.  He’s death standing over her.  I kept chanting the Emily Dickinson poem --- “because I could not stop for death, he kindly stopped for me”.  That’s Denny.  I gotta admit, I’m crossing my fingers that he goes away.  Because, as much as I love Denny (and y’all know how I love him), I want him to get out of there.  Like Bailey says “YOU TELL DENNY TO GO HOME.”  Because I don’t want Death to get Izzie.

Did you see George follow Owen’s advice and  go where he was needed?  Right to Izzie’s side to help her down the aisle?  He wasn’t the hero.  He was on the team.  He went where he was needed.  And Lexie?  Saying “you’re breathing?”  One of my favorite moments ever.

And Callie?  Oh my god, do I love Callie.  And I love her with Arizona, a whole healed person in her own right.  There was something so painfully poignant about Callie admitting that she is broke.  That the relationship is no longer on equal footing.  That she feels like she is in over her head because her father disowned her and cleaned out her bank account.  I love that Arizona says “I like the girl who has the sandwiches.”  I like that they make me feel hopeful about love.   Callie deserves a little happy.

Owen and Cristina are still in pain, however.  I am rooting for them and you should be too.   He’s a good man, that Owen.  He’s good for Cristina.  And, if they can get past the choking, maybe they will make it.

But I’m coming back to Mer and Der.  Happy.  Completely and totally happy.  Which is rare for anyone.  But shocking for Meredith and Derek.  They really are soul mates. And they really are perfect for one another. 

I had a point.

So, what’s left?  The final two episodes.  Will Mer and Der get married?  Will Izzie live?  Will Owen and Cristina get together?  What’s going to happen to Bailey?  To George? To everyone?

There’s a point to that too.  You watch and you’ll see.

Thank you.  From the bottom of my heart.  For all 100 times you’ve watched.  For all 100 more you watch in the future. 

I’m grateful.


Cautiously optimistic

I have to say that I was very disappointed in the 100th episode. Too much death and I didn’t care at all about the patients. Maybe that was supposed to be foreshadowing of Izzie’s death. And so little humor, which really sets your show apart. There was too much Izzie and Calzone. This season seems like Izzie’s anatomy and if you love Denny and Izzie so much just spin them off to another show and be done with it. I would have liked to see more than two minutes of Mer/Der and more of Bailey in this special episode. I was scanning the guests looking for Adele, Debbie, Tyler, Olivia, Joe and others from previous shows. With the exception of the last ten minutes, it was just okay.

I did like Derek’s perfect gift to Meredith, but even that seemed tainted. Was the solo surgery given because she earned it or he wanted to make her happy? I’m glad that Bailey suggested to Derek, and Meredith agreed, to give the wedding to Izzie. She planned it and it was all about her. Alex stepped up and was a delight to watch him take care of Izzie. I truly loved that Mer was Alex’s best man, Cris was the maid of honor and George walked Izzie down the aisle and gave her to Alex. The fab five all together. Loved the special looks everyone gave their SO towards the end.

I knew from spoilers, sides, promos, message boards and the actor’s words that it was going to be Izzie’s big church wedding. So not surprised. But how much better would it have been to throw Mer/Der fans a bone. Derek could have whispered to the official to hang around a little longer and they could have had a private ceremony after the big Izzie/Alex one. I was hoping for so much more. I actually thought they should have been engaged longer before a wedding. It seemed so rushed. I would have preferred to have them engaged for half a season or so. But since you pushed the wedding, I went with the flow.

My biggest concern is that you shamelessly pimp out Mer/Der in the promos and the website, and especially for this 100th episode, and then don’t deliver. It may not be illegal, but it is certainly unethical and immoral to set up a charity to promote their wedding. Real people sending in real money to real charities for a wedding for fictional characters and an event that didn’t happen. Did ABC legal sign off on this?

Depending on what happens next week, I’ll decide if this show is worth watching next season or not. Cautiously optimistic, but resigned to disappointment.


THANK YOU FOR THIS EPISODE! I cried, oh how I cried. I am sad for the season finale but can't wait to see where this ride takes us all next season. Terrific episode, terrific cast. And, for the record, I was not a Karev fan starting early on. His transformation is amazing. I love him now. Love him. Thank you for my guilty pleasure on Thursday nights!


I just want to thank you for both Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice. You are so talented and gifted. Thank you for sharing your gift with the world.

No matter what happens on each show it is still a joy to watch.

Thanks, Shonda!


Wow ... What an episode. The 100th episode. It was joyful, sad, heartbreaking and incredibly sweet all at the same time.

This episode quite literally had me bawling. You guys have NO idea how hard it is to get me to that level watching a TV show and this show seems to do it ... more often than I like to admit.

I have SO much more to say, but I have to get back to work ... I LOVED THIS EPISODE!!!!!


I'll be honest, I don't know what to think of this episode. I know I feel disappointed and frustrated but I also know that I have to wait for the SF before leaving a real review. I'm angry, I'm angry that you told us that the 100th episode of my fav show was a love letter to the fans and it seems to me that you forgot your loyal MD fans who are getting tired of having the main characters of this show used for promoting the episodes, only to realize that now the show should be called Steven's anatomy.
Why didn't ABC promote an A/I wedding ? Because they knew that the ratings wouldn't be good. They HAVE TO use Meredith and Derek to do that and that's just not right.
Like I said, I'm trying to lower my expectations for next week's episodes even if I have hopes for a decent amount of MerDer screentime. All I know is that last night's show left me disappointed and sad.


I haven't posted a comment for a while, but I had to today. Last night's episode was FANTASTIC!!!!


Thank you Shonda, for a truly wonderful 100th episode! Thank you for a great season!


Total cop out ... how else could you keep your viewers if you didn't continue to string them along on the hope of MerDer finally working out.


This episode was lovely. I'm so glad I stuck through it with you guys and I can't wait for next season.

I just have to add though - please don't write George off by sending him to war ("where he's needed") and then killing him off! Also, I hope Alex and Izzie get to be happy next season. The show wouldn't be the same without the original five....


I just want to say, that after last night, I was unhappy. I wanted Mer and Der to get down that aisle and get married. But after reading your post, I understand. And I am happy. And optimistic. And I can't wait for the next 100, cause the first 100 have been amazing! Thank you for this show!

Sarah in Mpls

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I am a die hard fan and I've been waiting 5 seasons for Mer to be happy!! The episode was FABULOUS!! I can't wait for the finale, but then that means I have to go through the summer withdrawal again. But if season 6 is anything like season 5, it'll be worth the wait!
Thanks again!!


The wedding was possibly the most perfect thing ever to be on this show. I was crying the entire last part of the show because every little bit was just so incredibly perfect. I almost, almost had enough composure to stop crying if I wanted to, until George got up to walk Izzie down the aisle. It could not have been more fitting and wonderful.

Mary H.

Please don't kill Izzie.


I think the episode was perfect! I loved it all!


I made the mistake of watching last weeks and this weeks episode back to back...I have never cried so much in my life over a show..These people aren't real, but some how in all your wonderous writing have made them family to me, and I am GRATEFUL...Thanks!!


Fantastic episode! I have never heard marriage vows before that made me want to cry! The wedding was awesome. Mer/Der were awesome. Alex was awesome. I know that Mer has made an incredible turn around, but did you see George!? Unassured, quiet George! He has turned into a powerhouse trauma surgeon and as a fellow doctor, I am downright proud of him! Way to go, Shonda, for turning George into a real man!




I loved it. It was beautiful and heartbreaking. You are some writer and there are some actors on your show! Wow!

It will break my heart and end my relationship with this show is Izzie does die, and now I'm scared as hell that you said that the SF will be "cliff hanger-y." Ugh. We all just want some happy endings. Life is hard. Please entertain us.


Thank you Shonda & all the writers for creating these great characters I care so much about & for taking me out of the everyday world into Seattle Grace. For writing stories that keep me by their sides as if a friend holding a hand. Thank you these 100 and I look forward to the next 100 (& more).


Great episode! I want more. Can't wait till next week,,,oh i'm so excited.

Cried like a baby when izzy and alex got married!


I just want to say that last night's episode was one of my top 5 episodes of all time. I'm really glad I stuck with the show through season 3 when I almost left it. but I didn't. I came back and I'm so glad I did. I really hope you don't kill of Izzie, cuz she's with Alex and I love them. but if you do, I know it's what you think is best for the show.

Kudos Shonda!


May I just say that the 100th episode was so heartbreaking? I hated seeing those kids die.

The Lexzie wedding was stunning! I kind of had a feeling Mer/Der would hand the church over to them...

I feel for George and Callie right now; it's painful to be disowned by part of your family, and George being isolated, his BFF dying, losing all those people...

Mer/Der were so romantic! You can tell they reached a point in their relationship where they can just love and be together, I love it.

Thankyou so much for limiting the Slexiepuke screentime. Lexie was ALMOST tolerable. ALMOST. It broke my heart to see her and George in the same room together, not interacting like they once did. I truly believe that Lexie still holds a torch for George. He's George!! How could she not love him?

Please end Mark/Lexie and give Mark a REAL woman.


The episode was great! As always...especially this past season! Great! I only want to tell you that I really support you decision not to give out anything in advance of the episodes airing. It is so much better when we don't know what to expect. When we are totally surprised! This season I saw many clips and spoilers around in the media. Hold off a little more, like in the beginning. It is best not to know. No more spoilers please! Don't let anyone tell anymore. I so totally knew about the wedding...it was so obvious that it was Alex standing at the alter in the preview. Please, shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh from now on! It is better that way!!!



Shondra, Thank you so much for last night's episode. I cried and cried and cried. I was so happy to see Alex step up. I love Denny - but understood that he was "death" coming for Izzy. Thank you so much for the past 100 episodes and I look forward to many, many more. Thank you!!!!!


A 100 times congratulations! Almost 200 for me because I've seen your show in both english and french!! We love you in Quebec. Loved the 100th episode! But I'm looking forward to the 101th cause I know you're not a "all's well that ends well" kind of writer... so what's ahead? Something unexpected! Not Izzie's death! too predictable! Mer and Der happy??? I don't think so. Something's gonna happen.

200 times bravo again!

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