But why did she die? In-story, it's because debris from the plane crash crushed her, of course. But everyone knows TV deaths normally involve some backstage negotiating. So what's the deal with Chyler's departure?
"Stuff that happens inside our family is stuff that happens inside our family," Shonda Rhimes told E! when asked why Chyler left. "I have so much respect for Chyler, and the decision was really, it was very hard for everybody involved and I want to respect her privacy on that."
Shonda had previously tweeted that Lexie dying "was a decision that Chyler and I came to together," and said that "as far as I'm concerned Chyler will always remain a part of the Shondaland family and I can't wait to work with her again in the future." So it sounds like there isn't any bad blood there.
Before the beginning of Season 8, Chyler asked for an extended summer vacation to spend more time with her family. It's possible she wants to devote even more time to her home life.
Here's another tidbit from Shonda that will either make Slexie fans feel a little better, or possibly much worse because it hints at what could have been: Shonda "always felt like Mark and Lexie were meant to be together." She added that "if things had not turned out the way they had this season, I had a completely different thing planned for them...There were so many moments and so many things that I had wanted to happen with those characters that we're never going to get to see."