Was Last Night The Beginning Of The End For The Original Cast Of 'Grey's Anatomy'?

Fri, May 20, 2011 2:23pm EST by 1 Comment

Shonda Rhimes chatted with TVLine.com about how she’s preparing Meredith, Derek, Cristina and Alex for what could be their final season on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’

Last night’s season finale of Grey’s Anatomy left a lot of couples’ shattered in the wake of Shonda Rhimes‘s “emotional shootout”. (Click here for a full recap). Will Meredith and Derek get divorced? Are things over for Owen and Cristina? The original cast’s contracts are up next season, how is Shonda factoring that in to the storylines for Meredith, Derek, Cristina, Alex, Bailey and the Chief?

Shonda explained to TVLine.com how she planned the season finale with the original cast in mind. “I was busy thinking about setting us up for next season, which might be the final season for the [original cast members]. I wanted to spend next season doing nothing but telling stories about the originals, and I felt like in order to do that, we wanted to put everybody in a place where the focus was squarely on Meredith and Derek, Cristina, Alex…”

So does this mean Ellen Pompeo, Patrick Dempsey, Sandrah Oh, and the rest of the actors from the first season, won’t renew their contracts? “It might be the last hurrah for a lot of them; you never know,” confesses Shonda. “I really don’t know and I don’t presume to know. Everybody [including Chandra Wilson, Justin Chambers and James T. Pickens] has an individual choice to make and I get that. It’s been seven really amazing years. Everyone has a choice to make. All the originals are in play.”

As much as we love the additions to the cast who came on after season one, including Jesse Williams, Chyler Leigh, Eric Dane, Sara Ramirez and more, it would be sad to say goodbye to the originals. And what does this all mean for their storylines? Here are some spoilers and highlights from Shonda:

  • On the future of Mer/Der’s marriage: “It’s important to say that Meredith and Derek aren’t getting a divorce; their marriage is in trouble […] I feel like Meredith and Derek are meant to be together forever, and we’re going to make sure that in the end they end up together, one would hope – unless one of them dies or something […] I think how we get there is the journey.”
  • On whether Cristina/Owen will recover: “I don’t know. That one, I don’t know. I’m still debating what’s going to happen with Cristina and Owen, in my own head. Every day I change my mind about what’s going to happen with them.”
  • On Alex and Lucy: “I want him to be happy so badly! I really do. It’s so difficult because he’s such the kicked dog a lot of the time, and his character is so tough about it. But you really feel sorry for him. I feel like he hasn’t had any happiness since Izzy. I love Lucy and I thought Rachael [Taylor] was great; she has such a sparkle to her. If that [Charlie’s Angels] pilot hadn’t happened, things would be entirely different.
  • On Mark letting Lexie go: “I really like Mark and Lexie together, and I re-edited that scene like 50,000 times. I took it out, I put it back in…. The writers and I argued about it for days and days, and it felt like we needed to give Mark some place to go. He’s been in baby land this whole season and he needs to step out of Callie and Arizona’s relationship and stand on his own. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Head over to our sister site TVLine.com to read the rest of Shonda’s interview! What do you think of last night’s finale? Are you upset to hear the original cast might be done after next season? Sound off below!

Lorena O’Neil

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More ‘Grey’s’:

  1. Click here for a recap on the season finale!
  2. Why Cristina could make a good mother
  3. Is Meredith on verge of losing everything?