Before the season premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy” even aired this season, we were a major advocate of one thing above all else: don’t kill off anyone else. Lexie dying in the plane crash last spring was among the most heartbreaking things that we have watched on network TV in some time; we don’t know if we have felt so numb to the surrounding world while watching something so painful before.
So what does Shonda Rhimes do instead? Kill off another person in Mark during the premiere! To be fair, we had a little bit more of a warning that something was coming here given that Eric Dane was leaving the show, and there were really only so many ways that the character could depart from that world. While we were strongly in the “keep Mark alive” camp, though, we have to admit that Rhimes did a great job of explaining herself both during and after the episode as to why everything happened the way it did.
In a post on her WhoSay page that makes complete sense, here is what Rhimes had to say:
“I had many options for ways Mark could leave the [show] … 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.”
What’s also interesting in here is that Rhimes claims that there was a time that she considered having Mark run away to Los Angeles to be with his ex Addison; however, this would have altered everything that she wanted to do on “Private Practice” this season. As for why Dane ended up leaving, all the executive producer will say is that “what happens in Shondaland stays in Shondaland.”
Given what happened to Arizona in the finale, do you believe that it really was best for Mark to die? Be sure to share some more of your thoughts below, and you can take a look ahead to next week’s episode at this link.