« Zoanne Clack on "I Will Survive"... | Main

Debora Cahn on "Unaccompanied Minor"...

Original Airdate: 5-19-11

It’s the finale.  The FINALE!  Shonda asked me to write the finale!  How great is that???

Not great.

Last year, she wrote the finale herself.  She pulled a machine gun out of her mental arsenal and mowed down half the cast.  Derek.  Alex.  A bunch of cast members whose names we no longer remember.  Why?  Because they’re dead.  She killed them.   A couple years ago she asked me if I would write the Private Practice finale.  I said no.  She said, “You get to kill off a beloved cast member.”  I said, “I’m in.”  The year before, I’d written the Grey’s finale.  Cakewalk.  Why?  George got hit by a bus.  Oh, and Izzie, coding on the table as the final voice over rolls.  Nothing’s easier for a writer than killing beloved cast members.  It’s dramatic.  It’s emotional.  It’s like a lollipop, covered in a martini that doesn’t give you a hangover, covered in a bright sunshiny day that isn’t giving you skin cancer because of the magic.  You know what you can’t do the year after your boss kills off a bunch of people in the finale?  Kill off anyone.  You can’t do anything the year after a mass murder.  There’s no topping a mass murder.  So we decided not to.  No flood.  No fire.  No smallpox outbreak.  No Lexie gets caught in a well while saving conjoined twin babies.  No seven patients all snarled together after driving their hang-gliders into the electrical wires.  No 15 simultaneous organ transplants.  No surgery at all.  You’ll notice, we never went into the OR in this episode.  We never watched anyone have a meaningful conversation in a surgical mask.  Nobody coded.  Nobody charged anything to 200 and yelled CLEAR.

So what’s left, when you take away carnage, and the death of our loved ones? 

Emotional devastation. 

Sorry.  It’s all we had left.

Seriously, it’s an interesting challenge, when you’ve started writing a show that’s focused on the lives of young single people, and then you get them into relationships, and some of the relationships manage to stand the test of time, and they eventually tie the knot, in a church, or on a post-it… suddenly you’ve got a show about married people.  How did that happen?  We were all having such a good time.  And now this.  Meredith and Cristina, of all people.  Married.  They grew up, our little girls.  But of course, they didn’t.  As some of us learned in recent years, just because you’re married, and shacked up, and the waiter in the restaurant calls you “ma’am” (what the f*@# is that about?) it doesn’t mean you’ve figured out how to be a partner.  There’s an awful vertigo that sets in when women who were raised to be strong, and independent, and decisive, learn that they’re no longer supposed to make their decisions alone.  They’re supposed to consult someone else.  Hear their opinion.  Consider it.  And sometimes bend to it.  It’s a nightmare.  We were raised to do the opposite.  Generations of our foremothers fought tooth and nail, so we could make our own decisions.  And we’re still supposed to consult someone else?  What the hell?  And so Cristina.  Making a terrible decision.  Alone.  The decision itself is a problem, obviously, but that wasn’t our focus, cause we’d all seen that one on Lifetime.  Our focus was how she was making the decision.  Where Owen was in the decision.  What did it tell us about her marriage.  Her partnership.  Her ability to include someone else in her life, even at this most devastating time.  Ultimately, she couldn’t.  We can all slot ourselves into predictable spots on the political spectrum, but none of the bumper stickers prepare us for deciding with someone else.  Everything that makes Cristina a great surgeon makes her a terrible partner.  And that just sucks. 

Meredith.  Different hair color.  Same story.  She made a unilateral decision.  She had to – he never would have understood.  He sees the world in black and white, and she… well, with that last name and everything…   So she made a decision.  And she made it alone.  And then when it all hit the fan, she still believed if she contained the information, she’d contain the damage, so she didn’t tell him what was going on.  And so he disappears.  At an extremely inconvenient time.  It’s all her worst fears realized.  She’s got a baby she never thought she was capable of mothering.  And she’s alone.  But that’s the world she created. 

Our mothers worked hard.  They were tough.  They were clear.  It seemed like such a good idea at the time.  They taught us how to be strong, and independent, and decisive.  They taught us how to be alone.  

I was going to end the blog there, but that’s so miserably depressing, I can’t do it.  We’re not all going to die alone.  Season 8 spoiler – they don’t all die alone.  But they struggle, like we all do.  It’s a new set of problems. 

Wow.  Still depressing.  Sorry.  Have a great summer!



WOW - I loved the SF mainly because Cristina is pregnant!!! OMG I understand that she didn't want to be a mother but that is not the issue anymore she is. It is not the same as not wanting to try. I am prochoice but in this situation when she has a loving supportive husband an abortion is horrible. I understand both sides but Owen was... right at the end, she didn't even give him a say in the decision (one day from finding out and setting up appt. is just too fast of a decision), it is not just her decision when she is married. I am sad how it ended but Owen needed to stand up to her and let her know that he is totally in this marriage and he needs her to be too and work together to make the decision. I loved that Owen was willing to do whatever it took because he loves her and their baby. I will so be done with this show if Shonda has her abort this baby, where would the growth be in that? I think it is interesting that Cristina is afraid that she would love the baby because I think that is where the real problem lies why she doesn't want to be a mother like it links to her father dying and her mother issues. I hope we see Cristina grow from this life changing experience and not regress. I really hope Cristina doesn't have to "die alone" just because she is a brilliant surgeon, she has love let her grow and accept that.


I was disappointed. Shonda promised a wait that was both painful and worthwhile for Mark/Lexie, but all we got was pain,pain and more pain.

I know that 3 major ships were broken today, Mark/Lexie, MerDer and Cristina/Owen. But, we all know that MerDer and Crowen will be back asap and they have been together for sometime now already. But Mark/Lexie, we have been waiting for so long and Mark just gives up like that????

Lexie admits that she will always love Mark and yet he asks her to walk away??!!!

Honestly, I hope Shonda keeps her promise and I sincerely hope that the reunion of ML happens in Season 8.

Mark and Lexie love each other and belong together and as much as it aches to watch them apart, I am hopeful and positive that they will get back together.


Seriously? That's all you have to say? I love Grey's, have from the start. Loved this season, but this season finale? At the end, I said "That's it??" Then you don't even expand on the decisions that were and were not made, it's just all floating, everyone is floating except Callie and Arizona, but , hey, they had their turn already. This is very frustrating that this is all you have to say. This would have been a great mid season show, not a finale.


Still can't believe Christina is pregnant. She is a brilliant surgeon and she is dealing with an unplanned pregnancy FOR THE SECOND TIME??!!! It's so irresponsible and illogical there really are no words.


No insight in to Alex or Bailey or Mark and Lexie, or April getting the job or Teddy and Henry??? Er, um, this finale blog was kind of lame. Sorry.


I get this is drama but where is the growth in Cristina and Meredith? You keep saying they are growing but this is regression not growth. Yes, they both learned to love a partner but please let them learn "to be in" a marriage and open their hearts to take a leap of faith.


Sorry - wasn't a fan of this one at all. Derek can see the black and white all he wants but he walked out on a baby he was making goo goo eyes to a few hours earlier -- that was NOT McDreamy material. Had Mer gone to get Zola and she was gone -- that makes more sense.

And April? Really? If she was a stronger character maybe but everyone runs over her. No one will listen to her - a weak leader is no better than no leader. You can be great but if no one listens to you where does it get you? She hasn't earned anyone's respect and she got FIRED! Does it make her a better doctor - maybe yes -- but I would flip if i found out my doctor had been previously fired causing someone's death and was in charge of the ship!

Thumbs down.


Derek didn't disappear and Mer KNOWS that. Thats the only redeeming thing about the epi, that one MerZola scene where she is holding everything together and believing that all will be fine rather all IS fine, Mer has complete and utter faith in her stupid brain man and in the sanctity of her Post It vows and she also knows sometimes McDreamys can be McAsses. MerDer are invincible thanx for proving that yet again, and if Mer needs "growing up" so dos Der, what he said to her was uncalled for it was mean and cruel and hateful, get that he was mad and he didn't mean a word of the crap he said but seriously if Mer needs to grow up so does Der and together I believe they would grow stronger and stronger, as I said they and their Post it are invincible no matter how many times you make them legally married for x y z reasons, in the end what matters is their eternal promise to each other.
"To love each other even when we hate each other"
"No running EVER no body walks out no matter what happens"
"To take care of each other even when old and smelly and senile and if she gets Alz and forgets himm he would remind her who he is every day"


Lol yes the season finale was really depressing. I was so heartbroken to see Cristina/Owen apart and them arguing.

I believe Cristina CAN include someone in her life which she already started when she married Owen. She's taking baby steps in growing emotionally and letting people in and loving people and have her be loved in return. Owen is the right guy. He's been patient and supportive with her. So I do believe that Cristina and Owen are will find a reasonable compromise because they are endgame and they love each other too much to let the other go and they are willing to sacrifice.

I understand both parties' opinions and points of view on the pregnancy and I respect that. But I really REALLY hope that this baby literally gets to see the light of day. If the baby is born, this will be a very good storyline for Cristina and Owen. It'll be funny, sweet and adorable all at the same time. How can you let go of that storyline?! You writers have it in your hands, just grab the opportunity I say! And in my opinion, that is the only route they can take right now that will do the least damage to their relationship. Cristina planning to abort the baby has done enough damage to their marriage and the hearts of Cristina/Owen fans. A lot of us are pretty depressed right now.

If Cristina does abort the baby next season, I don't think I can continue watching the show. My fragile shipper heart is still recovering from the onslaught of Season 6's 'love triangle' (I believe Owen loves Cristina only, and not Teddy). My heart was broken yet again last night. I don't want it to be broken anymore. As if life's problems aren't stressful enough.

Also, it'd be great if we get to see Cristina fully address and explain the reason she doesn't want a baby. Here, she didn't really say why she just says "I don't want a baby" and "I don't want to be a mother". It's clearly not work/career related as you wrote, so what is it? This might bring Cristina/Owen closer together.

I plead to you, the powers that be, to seriously and thoroughly consider next season's storyline for Cristina and Owen. I love them, and I hope to love them even more next season.


Great finale. Love that it was an emotional disaster this time. Very good Grey's episode.


You have got to be kidding me -- Cristina, has a right to choose who she wants in her decision making -- Stop not every women wants children, and making them want children because their partner wants them is a horrible excuse and this explanation is lame. Because Cristina is now in a relationship with a man who knew from day one that she didn't want children, now she is supposed to give up her identity so he can be happy - NO, this is her body her decision.

I wish Grey's Anatomy will stop saying that they are a women friendly show when they are only about the baby and who has them.

Really seriously pissed.

Cristina, doesn't want children end of story.


Wow. Thanks a bunch, guys, for giving us such a down, depressing season finale. Honestly, can you not leave ANY man and woman in a happy, committed relationship? Because in REAL life, there actually IS such a thing. Why is it impossible for your show to depict it? We fans have hung in there, done our best to stay loyal to a show that has kicked us in the teeth repeatedly. "Trust us", you say. "Invest in the characters. Invest in their story", you entreat. And then...you kick us in the teeth. Repeatedly. You owe your viewers better. Seven seasons in, we deserve better than "burn it all down." It was bad enough when you did that in season 3, but now? Shame on you.


Done...Sick of seeing Mer/Der torn apart for sagging ratings. You built the show on this couple and your ratings show that the audience still wants to see them on the screen. You Callie/Arizona/Mark cluster wasn't the stuff that the masses wanted to see and they slowly week by week left. So what did you do you waved a baby at Mer/Der fans and the promise of a happily ever after...only to tear them apart again so people will turn in next season. I use this same trick on my dog when it's time to get in his crate - toss a biscuit in...but it's not working for me anymore. It was a great few seasons and then it was a few crap seasons that I've watched thinking/hoping/praying that it would improve but the reality is that it's never going to be the Grey's it was.

I'm calling time of death 10pm 5/19/2011. I know that it will be on life support next season but it's over for me. Thing is I don't think I'm alone...


I understand being a strong women and making your own decisions but to deny your husband the right to have say about his own baby is just wrong and heartbreaking and selfish. Obviously Cristina and Owen love each other, so hopefully there is a way back from this but I just don't see it if she aborts.


I wish you tried to explain more about Mark and Lexie's situation, because the fans don't quite understand how and why you left them like that.

First of all, Lexie mentioned that she didn't want Mark talking to her because she would inevitably come back to HIM. Mark, however - obviously still loves her, right? So, him letting her go is supposed to be a sign that he's 'matured'? As Mark Sloan, isn't he supposed to take advantage of what she had just revealed and confess his love to her as well and apologize for everything he's done to hurt her? It's as if they both are aware of the fact that they CAN'T be together after Lexie merely mentions that she'll go backto him because he just nods and says 'I'm sorry'. And that is exactly what infuriates me; their conversation wasn't enough.

And I know many people are hating this episode and threatening to even quit watching but.. I actually did like it. It was less explosive compared ot the others; less showy. It dealt more realistically with life in general. While I was hoping that Mark and Lexie would somehow manage to get back together in this episode (Shonda did say that the fans would be satisfied in the end, hadn't she?) I guess I'll still be tuning in to see what happens. Because at the moment my heart sort of runs for them and its creepy to be saying it in that sense to begin with, haha.

And yay for April being chief resident! She absolutely deserves it. I hate, however, how Alex and Lucy went down. Alex deserves better, and Lucy also deserves better. I guess that means i don't think they're better fit for each other. I'm waiting for April to get a love interest, she's lovely.


I loved the finale. It had the emotional depth I look for in Grey's. And these were all struggles that real couples have to deal with (okay, not literally in Meredith's case, but more metaphorically in terms of dealing with what's right and wrong and extrapolating that to raising a child).

When Derek says that to Meredith, I was on her side b/c I could't imagine raising a child with someone who sees things in such black and white. I mean, disagree with what she did all he wants, that's fine. What concerns me is the black-and-white thinking. The absolutes. The no room for give. This is not the first time we've seen this quality in Derek but maybe the most obvious time. That man, under all his McDreamyness, has some darkness, some harshness.

I think that is why I prefer Alex. His darkness and harshness is on the outside and it's obvious. You don't question that it's there. And then underneath, you see something else, something softer. I have more trust in someone who shows that upfront. It feels somehow more truthful.

We still in many ways don't know a lot about Derek. And I love him for Mer, but I don't really trust him. There is so much beneath the surface, so much hidden, and the bits and pieces we've learned about him (mainly his father's death) help illuminate his psyche a little more. I guess the bottom line of what I'm saying is that I think Derek has complexity, and some darkness, that we haven't met yet and I hope that gets explored next season as he and Meredith mend things and try to be parents to Zola.

That's not to say that I think what Meredith did was exactly right--in fact I think she and Derek are both and both wrong in their own ways--but that I personally feel better with a person who sees shades of gray than one who doesn't.

And Meredith and Zola, how will that play out?

Cristina - it's hard to say about this one. I don't think you can make someone want a child who doesn't. I don't know if anything is going to change that. I think Owen's right that she would be a great mom and I think he's right that she could have considered it for at least a little bit before making the unilateral decision, slept on it, discussed it more. This is another situation where they're both right and both wrong. I think Owen is being too forceful in the other direction and that this type of tactic is probably pushing Cristina. There's no room for her to really explore what she thinks and feels b/c with him so angry and insistent that she keep the baby, I think it's pushing all her buttons and I think she is terrified. Neither of them is giving one moment of thought to the other's perspective and the other's true wants and needs in the situation. Both are being selfish and trying to bend the situation to their will. I think they are both wrong here in how they are dealing with each other.

Meredith and Cristina are complex, awesome characters and sometimes I feel as though their men, on some level, really don't get them. And that kind of distance is a tough bridge to cross. Should make for some really good material for next season.

And back to Alex. I'm worried about him. I knew Mer was going to find his room empty. I certainly don't mind that he told Lucy to go to hell. I've said it before, I just don't find her relatable. Her character is way too distant and inaccessible, her demeanor too cold and impersonal, so as a viewer, I just feel nothing about her and would prefer a character I could care about. That said, I am worried about Alex and worried about the friendship between him and Mer that has been so strong since season two. What's he going to do now?

Lexie and Mark - hmmm, what does it mean that he lets her go and then she searches him out to tell him to stop pulling her strings? And that last episode, she was all gaga over him holding his baby Sofia. I don't like that Jackson always says he "has" Lexie. There is something a little creepy about him. He's nice to look at and all, but seems a little lost (has all season) so maybe he can be developed more.

Like Teddy and Henry getting together. Perkins was always too suave, too...I don't know, creepy. Insensitive. I thought he was such a dick to Teddy early in the season, building this relationship with her with all this listening (so it obviously wasn't just about sex) and then making her feel bad for getting attached. Don't like the guy. Henry is way more likable. And of course, we still don't know where her relationship with Cristina is going.

And Bailey took Eli (think that's his name) home! Cool! She looked beautiful in that scene, purple looks great on her.

Had a feeling April would be chief res, always said it was b/w her and Alex. It is going to be a struggle for her (and I really like her). I can see a lot of potential for growth in her character coming out of that.

I loved that the finale focused on our main people who were there from the beginning. I like the emotional cliffhanger and that no one died or was on the brink of death. I think there is going to be a lot of material out of this finale to work with next season and I can't wait to see how it plays out!


This show makes no sense. The Derek YOU created would not have left MEredith like that - what happened to the Post it- no one walks out? He said that, not her.
She made a mistake, but it was clear that her intentions were not evil. Its forgiveable.
Number two- since when do 2 doctors fail to think about IVF, IUI and many other reproductive options??
And Christina? One tube? 2 pregnancies? No Birth control? Ridiculous.
And we all know that DER and Mer will end up right back together in the season 8 opener (unless the show really goes loony)
so if you did this to grab back all teh ppl who've had enough with the ridiculous writing in season 7, Well... I guess you put ratings over creativitiy.
still, the storylines were very well written in teh finale and i lvoed the plane crash storyline.


Leaving us depressed all summer is just cruel. We will be wondering if Mer/Der and Cris/Owen will be together and basically you said they will keep struggling. I guess I will deal if it means more Mer/Der and C/O on my screen and less Calzona, Mark, etc. This episode was golden even though it was sad because it focused on those main two couples and Alex.


The progression on merder's house is laughable. Overall the finale was a mediocre at best. I was so hoping that Teddy would be on that plane to Germany. Please tell me Lucy made her plane.

finale fail

Derek needs to grow up. Seriously. So sick of his vicious, go for the jugular, verbal abuse. I am pretty much over him.

If Cris has this baby then she's NOT Cristina Yang any longer.

This entire show is a sham. Good job Shamda Rhimes.


i'm a crazy fan for owen/cristina..i love the way hunt can be cool with her as a partnership but at this time i think cristina is over..the first time i see owen get really mad...so sorry for him i can feel his feeling...

mer she must hv a good reason for what she had did and alex make a big mistake but that is alex.. he always like that but he's cool...hehe..

lexie should be with sloan..really...i always hope..

ohh pls continue season 8 fast coz i feel like i cant move from see my beloved doctors....huhuhu...nice drama..


Lol wow, you really lost steam on this blog, didn't you?

Well, that's okay, b/c you used it all up on the episode, and it was GREAT.

Meredith (and Ellen!) were fabulous. When Derek tells her she might be a bad mother, I could have died. Or killed him.

And Teddy realizing her love for Henry was predictable, but in the best possible way.

Karev realizing he hurt his best friend was heartbreaking, but again in the best possible way.

Ditto the woman who stays for the unaccompanied minor. (That actress was brilliant.)

I'm still not entirely on board with Eli and Bailey, but I liked their interactions in the episode.

The Lexie/Mark/Jackson thing is obviously still in play. I'm not sure how I feel about it, but I loved Jackson's joke about owing Mark a goat.

There's probably more I could say, but I'll stop and end with this: as a writer, and as a fan, I applaud this finale. Thank you! And is it September yet?


WHAT!? Seriously!? that's it?????? That's all you have to say? No "I'm sorry we broke Mark and Lexie, even though we promised to get them back together, so we'll do that next season" ????

I HATED THIS FINALE! and NOT because it was badly written, because it wasn't, It was really great. But you CAN'T break THREE major couples in ONE episode. NO. Hateful feelings are rising.

BUT, If anyone actually read this which I doubt... I am going to give you the chance to get them all back together next season (PREFERABLY in the first half) Since Grey's is nothing sithout it's Power-couples. WHICH INCLUDES MARK AND LEXIE!!!!!!!!

All I needed to say. Cause really I don't want to hate on you, I wan't to hate on Shonda....


i liked that teddy finally let herself have a man though, without any inhibitions!


The most heartbreaking for me: Alex back to where he was in season 1, the guy who everyone hates.

The most uplifting for me: Mer and Zola ("we're both tough") and, of course, Cristina back home with Mer.

The comments to this entry are closed.