Shonda Rhimes Explains Why She Killed Off Mark on Grey’s Anatomy
Listen up, Grey's Anatomy fans: If you’re still sitting in front of your television screaming “Why, Shonda, why?!”, well, you might want to get up, because you’re really late for work. Or if you’re like us and television is your work, welcome.
Regardless, we have good news. OK, it’s not good, but it at least helps to explain some of the bad that has happened in the last two episodes. Grey’s creator Shonda Rhimes took to WhoSay to explain why she killed both Lexie (Chyler Leigh) (*tear*) and Mark (Eric Dane) (*many tears*).
Here’s what she wrote about Lexie:
“Lexie: The death of Lexie Grey haunts me. It does. I adored that character and I couldn’t imagine the show without her. It was important to me that her exit would have maximum impact. The plane was going to crash no matter what. I honestly wasn’t sure, because of contract negotiations, who was going to die in that crash. In my early finale plans, once I knew Chyler was leaving the show, Lexie wasn’t originally even on the plane. She was going to die back at the hospital by doing something as simple as slipping and hitting her head. She would have been dying over at Seattle Grace while other people were dying in the woods. Which wasn’t my favorite plan. She would have died without Mark at her side. Without the chance to say goodbye to him. Without the chance to hear that he loved her. I wanted them together when she left us.”
We agree that Lexie could not have died without Mark. Although we would’ve loved to see her live, we’re glad she died knowing that Mark loved her. Would you have preferred another scenario?
Moving on to our fresh wound: Mark.
“Mark: For me, this one is the most tragic. I’m VERY attached to Mark Sloan. He’s part of the fabric of the show. Before he ever even appeared on the show, the characters discussed him. He is one of the originals. I had many options for ways Mark could leave the how. But any option that didn’t include him dying required him to a) grieve for Lexie indefinitely and b) willingly walk away from his daughter. We fought about this incessantly in the Writers Room. I didn’t want to Mark to die but, as the writers rightfully argued back, Mark couldn’t abandon Sofia and he certainly couldn’t abandon Callie once Arizona’s leg was amputated. And even if he left, he’d what? Wander the Earth forever loving Lexie, missing his child and never finding happiness. Hmm…that doesn’t sound like what I want for my beloved Mark Sloan. I kept pitching that he goes to L.A. and runs off with Addison. I loved that idea. But it still required Mark to abandon his child and abandon Arizona. And it meant that I’d have to scrap all the plans I had for Addison this season – and her plans are wonderful. Also, that would somehow suggest that everything he said to Lexie when she was dying was easily forgotten. So…I fought it and I debated it and tossed and turned about it but in the end, I had to do what was right for the integrity of the character. Mark would never abandon willingly Sofia and he would never willingly abandon Callie. So Mark dies. And he and Lexie get to be together in a way. Their love remains true.”
So now that you know her thought process, do you think Shonda made the right decision? Would you have liked to see Mark run off with Addison (Kate Walsh)? What about the actual moment when he died. Would you have changed who was in the room or how he went? Would you have preferred a heroic death, like George’s farewell (T.R. Knight)?
Although we would’ve loved to see Mark interact with everyone in his final episode, that’s what we had the flashbacks for. And we LOVED the flashbacks.
Are you more at ease hearing Shonda’s side of things?
Here’s something to hold onto: Despite everything, Shonda promises, “I am full of happy stories for our characters this season!” *and … exhale*
Catch the next new episode of Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday, October 4 at 10 p.m. ET/PT onABC.