Grey’s Anatomy’s season finale was everything you’d expect from a Grey’s Anatomy season finale, filled with tension, action, heartbreak — and even a possible death!
Note: We said possible because the fate of Dr. Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.), who last night was electrocuted and last seen on the floor in a desolate part of the hospital, was left up in the air. So have we said goodbye to yet another member of our beloved team of doctors? “That’s such an interesting question! I love that people are asking that question,” Rhimes told EW last night at an event at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences that honored the second season finale of her latest hit drama Scandal. “I’m not going to answer it because I like that it’s a question. I will tell you that you will see Jim Pickens again, but I’m not going to answer the question.”
A subject Rhimes definitely had some thoughts on, however, was the controversial marital troubles that befell Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) and Callie (Sara Ramirez), who last night had an emotional and heated confrontation after Callie learned about Arizona’s infidelity. Rhimes says, “I feel like a lot of LGBT characters on television — and I hopefully don’t fall into this category — are sort of sanitized for our protection. They are happily in love and they hardly ever do anything wrong and they never cheat and they’re never too sexual and they don’t have any other storylines except about them being gay. I felt like I wanted to give them a complex storyline that wasn’t about that.”
A prime opportunity to do so came from this season’s storyline about Arizona’s life as an amputee, which Rhimes says gave her a chance to showcase the physical and emotional effects of such a trauma — and their relationship woes were an important component of that. “I wanted to give them a rift and a real problem that wasn’t just about something small. I wanted it to be complex and three-dimensional,” she says. “And I loved having this thing at the beginning of the season — Callie made a decision that saved Arizona’s life — and you get to the end of the season and clearly Arizona has been blaming her for this entire time. Really, that’s what sort of sparked all this behavior.”
She adds: “As far as I’m concerned, obviously, Arizona hasn’t gotten over the trauma of what’s happened to her [and] not just because she’s blaming Callie. That’s sort of the symptom of the problem. But Arizona lost a leg, she went through a terrible plane crash, and was lost in the woods. While we watched her be angry for a while, you know Meredith and Christina have been through more PTSD than anyone in the world and we’ve watched them learn how to deal with it — I don’t think Arizona has learned how to deal with it.”
Speaking of Cristina, the finale also saw a sad conclusion to her relationship with Owen (Kevin McKidd). After reconciling throughout the season, Cristina decided to leave Owen, for fear she was holding him back from starting the family she knew he wanted. “I think Owen and Christina have been on a very very long journey that’s been really complicated for both of them,” Rhimes says. “I feel like there’s a sense that this is the end of the journey that they’ve been on for two seasons that was sort of messed up by the fact that she was in the plane crash….they were finally forced to have the conversation that neither of them wanted to have and it was a very honest conversation. She walked away and he did not follow, so how they’re going to cope with that is going to be something.”
So it is safe to say the pair is done for good? “Done on Grey’s Anatomy is maybe different from many other shows and real life, so we’ll see what happens,” Rhimes teases. (With reporting by Lindsey Bahr)