At this point, we're not sure if we trust anything we hear about the big Grey's Anatomy Season 8 death. After all, Shonda Rhimes is a tricky showrunner who likes to keep things very close to the chest. Really, the only thing we 100 percent believe is that someone is going to die.
That said, the most recent word on the street is that all of the originals have re-signed contracts to come back for two more seasons. If this report is correct, that means Ellen Pompeo (Meredith Grey), Patrick Dempsey (Derek Shepherd), Sandra Oh (Cristina Yang), Justin Chambers (Alex Karev), Chandra Wilson (Miranda Bailey), and James Pickens Jr. (Richard Webber) are all coming back next year — if Shonda lets them.
According to Sarah Drew (April Kepner), nine characters will be "in jeopardy" at the end of the episode (cliffhanger, much?), and we're betting many of the original cast members will be caught up in that, but they could all survive. But what about the one death that is definitely supposed to happen, no matter what? Just because the originals have signed contracts doesn't mean Shonda is necessarily required to bring them back; plus, a killed character could always return for flashbacks, alternate universes, or ghost sex.
Here's what we know about the fates of the different characters:
Meredith, Cristina, Alex, Bailey, Jackson, Mark: According to TVLine, all of these characters are safe, though Shonda has since hinted that might not be true. Still, it gives us some confidence.
Owen and Cristina (again): Shonda has suggested there is more she wants to explore about Owen (Kevin McKidd) and Cristina's relationship in the future. While that doesn't guarantee they both survive, it seems like a good sign.
Richard and Adele: Shonda has said she hopes to revisit Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) and Adele's relationship. Again, this is no guarantee — after all, there would be a lot to delve into if either outlived the other — but it's something.
Callie and Arizona: Shonda has refused to say anything about what Calzona is up to in the finale, which has us worried. But she wouldn't kill half of one of the show's most popular couples for no reason … right?
April and Jackson (again): Sarah Drew has said she hopes the April/Jackson (Jesse Williams) relationship is explored in Season 9. Does that mean they both survive, or is she being misleading?
Derek: There hasn't been much word on Derek's fate, but we have a hard time believing Shonda would kill McDreamy if Patrick has agreed to come back. Right?
Lexie, Teddy: There hasn't been news on these two. Is that a bad sign?
Who do you think will die? Weigh in on our Facebook page or in the comments below.
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Rebecca Martin is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @BeccaMartin47.
Catch a new episode of Grey’s Anatomy on Thursday, May 10 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.