“WHY THE F#%K DOES SHONDA KILL CHARACTERS?!” and answers to other burning questions (WARNING: DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT WATCHED)…
So you watched Private Practice and you watched Grey’s Anatomy and you watched Scandal. Thank you so much. Really. You all are amazing and the fact that you have stuck with us on these journeys is incredible.
But some tough stuff happened. Pete died. And Mark died. And Lexie died in last season’s finale. And I’m pretty sure you all want to know why. And I don’t mean why the actors left the show because what happens in Shondaland stays in Shondaland. I mean why the CHARACTERS died, why we the writers made the choices for these characters to do. The reasons are all incredibly different. Here goes:
Pete: Emotionally, Pete’s death provides a window for Violet. For the character to have growth and change and be challenged. I loved Pete but choosing to have him die versus run away from his trial ultimately made sense because I didn’t want to have Violet hanging in some kind of limbo wondering where he was or if he would ever come back.
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.
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.
Okay, I have to go write more scripts. That’s all for now. Scandal Gladiators, I know I didn’t have anything for you in here – that’s because the mysteries make it hard not to give away spoilers! Suffice it say things continue to get juicer and more scandalous. PP’ers: Charlotte is pregnant! And it’s going to be a happy story. Because (GA’ers, you might want to listen in on this too but Gladiators, you should look away because this doesn’t apply to you) I am full of happy stories for our characters this season!
There are going to be A LOT of surprises. For all of our characters on all of our shows. We have some weddings and some babies and some romance (both GA and PP). We have some very hot scenes of forbidden love (Scandal all the way). And we have a lot of incredibly strong smart women doing what needs to be done to make their lives work (that’s all of the shows).
Whew. It’s hard trying to talk about all 3 shows at once. My brain hurts. If you read this whole thing, I thank you for bothering. Truly. You all are amazing.
(September 28, 2012)