Beth Hodgson's blog

Beth Hodgson is a freelance writer and editor (www.writesourcing.com) based in the Greater Toronto Area, Canada. Writing to keep the public informed is her passion; and who doesn't love Canadian TV?

The Grey’s Anatomy/Private Practice episodes that brings some favorite characters back into each other’s lives has always been a big hit on these popular shows. Well, good news is that there’s at least one more cross-over episode planned for this season and it’s set to take place on October 7th! In this episode, Derek is about to have the show’s first encounter with his sister, according to E! Online!

 Caterina Scorsone, who plays Amelia Shepherd, sister of Derek. She says we can blame Addison for this one.

“Basically Addison kicks her in the keester,” the actress tells E! Online of the siblings’ awkward reunion. “Amelia has been kicking and screaming and doing everything she can do to avoid the inevitable, but Addison somehow convinces her that she’s gotta go to Seattle.”

“[Derek and Amelia] have been at an impasse for years after their father’s tragedy,” Caterina Scorsone says. “She has some pretty bad behavior and Derek’s got his quirks. I’m not going to give Amelia all the blame, but there’s some cathartic movement in that relationship.”

In addition to bringing Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice characters together again, this should offer some new insight into the mind of the former’s leading man.

“You find out a lot about Derek,” Scorsone promises. “That’s one of the things that’ll be interesting for a lot of people who have been watching the show for years, myself included. You really get to find out about that tragedy that’s colored both of our lives ever since.”

“We were young when we witnessed our father’s murder, and so fans really get to learn about that. Amelia is pretty focused on Derek and trying to mend that relationship,” the actress continues. “And I’m really happy with how it all went.”

Father’s murder? We’re definitely about to get the scoop on our favorite character’s past life!

As September is drawing nearer, the Grey’s Anatomy creator has started to talk about what we might expect in the upcoming season. In an interview with EW, she’s given us the scoop on what’s to come for Meredith and Derek, how the crew will survive in the aftermath of the hospital’s season ending disaster and more. Looks like Meredith and Derek may finally build that house they’ve been dreaming of too!

Here’s an exerpt from Shonda’s interview with EW:

We’re going to start the construction on the Dream House,” creator Shonda Rhimes recently told EW. “We’ve been talking a lot about what that means, what it looks like.”

“Then we’re actually going to see it [later] this season.”

This isn’t to say there won’t be obstacles – time bombs even – for MerDer.

In addition to Derek stepping down as chief in the aftermath of the shooting, there’s the weighty matter of the miscarriage. We’ll also see Meredith become the caretaker of some of the other doctors, and struggled to be cleared for surgery herself.

Speaking of the fallout from the sixth season finale, what’s going to happen with Alex? He dragged himself, bleeding, into an elevator and was operated on with no drugs.

Eh, that’s just Alex being Alex.

His reaction to the massacre, Shonda says, will be what you’d expect from him. “There’s a lot of bravado,” explains Rhimes. “He tells stories about how he almost got the shooter and how he’s carrying this bullet around in his chest. He’s covering all of that vulnerability he showed when he got shot with that [typical] Alex behavior.”

How does he respond to lady love Little Grey? Not well. “He’s kind of cold to Lexi,” says Rhimes. “He talks about how easy it is to get laid now that the women think he’s a hero.”

The new season of Grey’s Anatomy is set to start on September 23rd, 2010. With all the hype this show has gotten over the years, there are new viewers that have started watching every season.

The only problem is, that means that they’ve missed a lot of the plot! To help with this problem, ABC put together a starter kit that gives you a brief synopsis on everything you should know about past seasons that will be relevant to the new one coming up!

Watch it here on YouTube to get caught up for September!

The new Kate Plus 8 premiered this week and in summary, it was a good PR move. Kate has returned, and she hasn’t changed. In the first of two episodes, viewers were given a glimpse into her life while doing Dancing with the Stars and other press tours. Whether you agree or disagree that the mom of eight should be working in showbiz, it’s the reality and the show acted as a reminder that Kate Gosselin is not a frosty individual just hoping to climb to the top. Perhaps both of those things are true, but the episode truly did help viewers remember that she is human and she is a mother who succumbs to stress just like anyone else. After months of negative media, this was exactly what was needed to start things off.

The second episode was exactly like an episode of John and Kate Plus 8, minus John, of course. It showed the mother doing things with her family, and demonstrated that Kate hasn’t changed. Her hair may be longer and she might feel a little jaded when it comes to relationships, but her attitude is as it always has been, whether that’s something you love or hate.

Every week, the lead writer of each Grey’s episode blogs about the inspiration and the backstory that went into penning the episode. This week’s episode was written by the series creator herself and she writers about it!

When I was a kid and I did something crazy, like climb on the roof or eat detergent to see how it tasted, my mom would say — in that weary, exasperated, “I’d rather be on the beach” tone that all moms have – she would say, “Shonda, what do you have to say for yourself? WHAT?”

I tell you this because I am quite sure that if you saw the finale and you are reading this blog and you…I don’t know, like babies or Mer/Der or happiness or dancing it out…if you like those things, you are shouting, “Shonda, what do you have to say for yourself? WHAT?”

(I’d like to point out that the dark and twisty among you might not be shouting at all. You might be saying, “I get you, Sister! Solidarity!” Or maybe I’m just desperately hoping that is true.)

My point is, if you are asking what I have to say for myself, my answer is this:

I don’t know what to say for myself.

Honestly, I don’t. So I’m going to ramble for a while and see if I come up with something.

Ready? Here we go:

 

When I pitched this finale at the beginning of Season 6 (those of you who know me know that I pitch the end of the season first and we work towards it), when I pitched a gunman shooting up the hospital, it seemed fine.

Really it did.

And then 20 or so episodes later, I started to write it and it did not seem fine. It did not seem fine at all. On an almost daily basis, I would come into work and throw myself down on the sofa in the middle of the office and burst into tears like a…well, like a bitch baby. And I would tell the other Grey’s writers, “I don’t think I can do this. It’s too horrible. People are getting hurt. That man is shooting them.” Buckets of bitch baby tears. And Tony and Hammer and Pete and everyone on the writing staff would murmur encouraging things.  My assistant Miguel would say, “You can do it! It’s going to be great!” in that cheerful Miguel way.  And so I would suck up the bitch baby tears and keep writing.

But here’s the thing. It hurt to write this finale. It literally hurt me. Because in order to write these episodes, I had to walk in the shoes of Gary Clark.  I had to think like a shooter.  A person who would shoot Reed and Alex and Charles. A person who would shoot Derek.  By the time I finished writing part one, I was sick. And depressed. Because my McDreamy – and I think you all will forgive me for believing he is more mine than anyone else’s because c’mon, I wrote my dream guy saying my dream things which is the reason I am single and the reason he is mine – my McDreamy was lying on my beloved catwalk dying. Mer is screaming and he is dying. And, before you have me shot up with Thorazine and placed in a strait jacket, yes, I DO I know it’s a only TV show, I’m not insane, but dude…it felt too real. It felt WAY too real.

And here’s the thing you need to know: in my first draft of Part 1, Gary Clark shot Bailey.  Bailey.  He shot her. And I wrote it and then I couldn’t sleep, for days and days, I could not sleep and I had to remove it from the script. Bailey getting shot was just too much for me. She’s our anchor. She’s the soul. Mer is the heart but Bailey is the soul and so I had to delete it.  Because there was no way I could go on if Bailey had a bullet wound.  The world would just be too…broken. Derek was devastating enough but both Derek and Bailey…it meant I couldn’t go on.

And then I got to Part 2. I had shattered a world and now I needed to put it back together. Okay…wait:

Here is where many of you are yelling at me, where those of you who weren’t yelling maybe decide to START yelling. Right here. Right now. You want to know why I didn’t do a happy season finale. Why happy things were not happening to happy people in the happy finale. Why I would do what I did to Meredith. You are hollering, “I hate you and your stupid dark and twisty mind, Shonda Rhimes!”

(Except for y’all who roll with the dark and twisties. You don’t hate, you relate, right? Y’all are out there, still with me, right? Still got your dancing shoes and tequila bottles raised high in the air in solidarity, right? Crap. Not even you guys?)

I promise you, there was a reason for this.

Meredith is whole and healed. I love the scene where she tells April that it took her forever to find Derek and then it took her forever to realize she wanted to be his wife, have his kids. That’s a changed woman. The very fact that being pregnant makes her happy makes her a changed woman.  And then she lost the baby.  It took my breath away. That wince that Meredith gives before she says she is having a miscarriage, it took away my breath.  Reed dies and Charles dies and it’s sad. But the miscarriage, that’s devastating. For Mer. For the audience. For everyone. But you don’t know how much you wanted something until you have lost it. You don’t know your true feelings until a thing you have is gone for good. And that’s what I wanted for Mer. I wanted her to realize just HOW BADLY she wanted a baby. Because Mer is me in a lot of ways. And I always thought I did not want a baby. Until I did. And then suddenly a baby was everything. I wanted her to be sure. Absolutely sure. See, she is a character who spends her life trying not to repeat the mistakes of her mother.  She is trying to overcome. And so I needed her to be sure. I’ve said that Mer will never have kids but then I started to think of that as a challenge. How do I make Mer TRULY WANT to have kids? And so I told this story. It’s horrible and it’s sad.

It is also what I refer to as the bill. You eat a delicious meal at a delicious restaurant, you get a bill. You buy the expensive bag online, the bill comes due.  You want in, you gotta pay.  Same with life (or at least life as it plays out in my head). The scales have to be balanced.  It’s the hideous game of fate our characters always play. She gets to keep her Derek but the very thing that makes it okay to keep him, that hideous stressful moment where she believes he’s dead? That’s the very thing that makes her lose the baby. The bill was due. And the collection agents came calling. I hate it but it’s the only way I know to do it – let the universe hand Mer a shiny pony and then kick Mer in the face. You don’t get to have everything. There’s always a price.

Cristina. This finale, especially the second half, belongs to Cristina. Owen chooses her, did you see that? Owen, faced with life or death, knows what he wants and what he wants is some Cristina Yang. But more importantly, Cristina truly comes into her own as a heart surgeon. She’s had numerous teachers, all kinds of setbacks but she finally had the right teacher, she had Teddy, and when she says to herself “pig or cow, Cristina” as she stands over Derek’s chest cavity…that was her graduation. When she refuses to stop operating with a gun literally pressed to her head, that was her commencement. Another part of her graduation? The girl who always had a hard time giving of herself emotionally gives like crazy in this episode. She is willing to die to save Derek because she loves Meredith so much and she promised Mer that she would do her very best work. Cristina Yang graduated tonight. Toss your caps in her honor.

Poor sweet Alex. He didn’t have much to say tonight. Because he got shot almost immediately.  Which was a difficult choice for me to make. Because I love Alex and he’s so important to the show. You wanna see him TALKING. But he has that incredible moment. Where he’s asking for Izzie. And Lexie’s already said she loves him but it’s so clear that the only person he loves is Isobel Stevens and she’s nowhere to be found.  And poor Mark has to watch all of this happening.  Now, I will tell you guys this: I’m not so sure that Lexie really loves Alex. I think her realization that Gary Clark is the shooter has her feeling guilty, like Alex getting shot might be her fault. I think up until tonight she’s been walking like a duck. After all, Mer did tell her that her heart lives in her vagina. And her relationship with Alex is all about sex. I think she loves Mark Sloan but I think this Gary Clark thing has confused her. So there is hope. For Lexie and Mark, there is hope. It just may take a while.

Callie and Arizona. Are together! Yay! I don’t like them apart. They are so great as a couple, so funny and sweet and emotional, that keeping them apart was not even an option right now. This baby thing, it is hard. It is an impossible situation. But in the end, they were each willing to give a little. And that means they can make it work. No matter what they end up actually deciding on the baby front. When they kiss at the end, that’s the one bright spot we have to hold on to. They love each other. Nothing else matters.

This was one of my favorite, most painful Bailey stories. For a doctor to have to sit by and wait and watch as someone dies, to not be able to do anything, that is the greatest tragedy.  When she pulls Charles onto her lap and tells him he is dying but he won’t die alone…well, there are no words. Because all through the finale, she was doing everything she could until there was nothing more to do. Except sit. And wait.

The Mercy Westers really came into their own tonight. Reed died and Charles died and that was awful but April and Jackson joined the tribe tonight. Mer pulled April in when she takes her hand. April lost her best friend and Mer understands that because she has a best friend of her own. And Jackson…he was Cindy Lou tonight. In the face of everything, it’s his quick thinking that saves the day. Sing, Cindy Lou, sing.

Did you see the Chief take back his hospital tonight? Because that’s what he did. He marched into his hospital and he took it back. He poured out the vodka and took control of his hospital. Except now the hospital’s not a hospital anymore. It’s a crime scene. And that’s not a good thing.

Have a good summer. We’ll see you in the fall. And thank you. For watching. Even if you are screaming, “What do you have to say for yourself!?” You make this all possible. The gratitude I feel is kinda boundless.

You can read what Shonda has to say about what will come next on the writer’s blog

The Grey’s season finale was intense, but for once, the episode didn’t end with a major cliffhanger. Instead, there were some unexplained elements of the core of the episode itself that have left viewers stumped. Well, the series creator talked to EW’s Michael Ausiello right after it aired!

One of the most controversial aspects of the finale was Meredith’s miscarriage. Did you ever consider a different outcome?
RHIMES:
If she didn’t have the miscarriage, she wouldn’t have been pregnant at the beginning of the episode.

So the pregnancy was all about the miscarriage?
RHIMES:
It wasn’t necessarily all about the [miscarriage], but it was about Meredith Grey being truly happy. And for me, when you’re watching that storyline, when Meredith is having a miscarriage and she basically says, “I’m having a miscarriage. I need Lidocaine. Are you going to help me or not?,” you realize how incredibly strong she is and how badass she’s being in that moment. To me, that’s the hero moment. If you don’t have that moment you don’t really have the story of Meredith Grey.

You once said Mer and Der would never have children. Have you changed your mind about that?
RHIMES:
[Long pause] Yes. I’ve written my way out of that I think.

So there may still be a baby in their future?
RHIMES:
Definitely. For me, this is the beginning of the baby story.

So you haven’t decided whether there will be a time jump (for the season premiere)?
RHIMES:
We’ve talked about it. We’ve talked about it endlessly. We’ve come up with 40 thousand different scenarios. The truth is, I’m exhausted. We just finished season 6. I don’t even want to think about season 7.

How does Meredith not revert back to dark and twisty Meredith after all of this?
RHIMES:
I don’t know how she doesn’t, but she doesn’t. I think in a lot of ways Meredith has become the mother of the group. I don’t think there’s a lot of room for dark and twisty when everybody’s been affected. We joke a lot in the writers’ room that because Meredith’s childhood was so damaging, in a way, she’s better equipped to handle this stuff than anybody else.

Did you ever think, In order to do this story justice, I need to kill off a major character?
RHIMES:
No, because — and I said this before the episode ever aired — this was not about who lived and who died. To me, it was about what was gained and what was lost. The real death of the episode is the miscarriage.

Lexie confessed her love for Alex, but some fans aren’t buying it. She didn’t really make a decision between Alex and Mark in that moment, did she?
RHIMES:
I don’t think she could have possibly made a decision in that moment. The thing I think is interesting is that Alex definitely made his decision. So I don’t necessarily know that there’s a triangle there. When Alex called for Izzie — when in your hour of need you’re calling for another woman — I think he made his decision. So I don’t think there’s a triangle.

In other words, hope is very much alive for Mark and Lexie?
RHIMES:
Yes, there’s definitely hope.

Fans are joking that Seattle has the worst SWAT team in the country.
RHIMES:
That’s a shame because we have these super awesome SWAT guys who talked us through everything. And we had a meeting in which I said, “Seriously, it would be five guys in a group searching [the entire] hospital? That sounds crazy to me.” And they said that’s how it works. And for me, it made it so much more horrible because that hospital is enormous. And the idea that just five guys are going to save them is ridiculous on so many levels, and yet, that’s how it works. When you’re looking for a shooter, you don’t have a bunch of people all spread out apparently.

Jessica Capshaw is pregnant in real life. Arizona decides at the end of the episode that she wants to have kids with Callie. Is there a connection there?
RHIMES:
No — although I love that Jessica is pregnant. I feel like every year we have to have somebody on the show who’s pregnant and we have to hide the pregnancy. It’s what we do now.

You mentioned in your blog post about the finale that April and Jackson are “part of the tribe now.” What did you mean exactly?
RHIMES:
For the purpose of story — because I don’t write things thinking, What are the business decisions going on in the background — April and Jackson have really been folded into the group.

I understand no official decision has been made about Sarah Drew and Jesse Williams becoming series regulars next season, but, at this point, can any argument be made against it happening?
RHIMES:
I don’t have one. Do you?

I don’t.
RHIMES:
I don’t have one either.

Creatively, do you want them to stick around?
RHIMES:
I do. It’ll depend on what the studio and the network decide to do with those actors, but I fully advocate to have them.

Kim Raver has already been upgraded to a series regular, but some are questioning Teddy’s future now that Owen has chosen Cristina.
RHIMES:
This whole idea that Teddy only exists [as part of a triangle is ludicrous]. Teddy is Cristina’s teacher. Derek would be dead if Cristina had not had Teddy around. That’s how I look at it. I will say it again, the studio and network have to renew everyone’s options, and they have not done so yet. But it is my intention that we will see Teddy next year.

When Owen chose Cristina, he really chose her, right?
RHIMES:
Yes. He definitely chose her.

So that triangle is, for all intents and purposes, over.
RHIMES:
That triangle is done.

But Cristina broke up with Owen in that episode.
RHIMES:
That is true.

So they’re not technically together.
RHIMES:
I tried really hard to get in an Owen-Cristina scene where he holds her after Derek survived. But all my [medical advisers] kept saying, “If Owen holds Cristina, she can no longer operate on Derek. She’s become unsterile.” There was a big fight about it and finally I had to go with “the look.” And I felt like Sandra [Oh] and Kevin [McKidd] adequately and brilliantly portrayed in “the look” that there was still something there.

You previously teased this episode as a game-changer. How has the game been changed?
RHIMES:
Here’s why I said that: When you face a situation like this — when the entire hospital has turned into a crime scene — everyone you know has faced life or death. It’s an incredibly traumatic event. Everything you knew, believed, felt, and required of the characters in terms of what their stories have been or what you believed about them no longer exists. Part of what’s interesting about next season is that we can start anywhere — in any emotional state — and almost anything can happen because we just came out of this. It’s not like tomorrow they come back being the exact same characters. They’re all sort of fundamentally changed.

Read the rest of the interview with EW for all 20 questions here!

Yesterday, EW’s Michael Ausiello had a few major things to say about the Grey’s Anatomy 2 hour finale. Today, with that all behind, it’s clear he spoke the truth in saying:

“based on what I’ve seen (the first hour) and heard (much of the second), it’s no exaggeration that this is truly a momentous game-changer.”

“If you think the first seven minutes were disturbing or shocking, then I strongly suggest you skip the remaining 78-odd minutes, because some seriously dark and depressing $h!t goes down in that hospital tonight, and it’s not for the faint of heart.”

Grey’s really took things to a new level – letting go of some of the romantic drama and turning the doctors into the patients. This season of Grey’s Anatomy has not been the best so far, but with an ending like this, they’ve ensured that viewers will be tuning in when the next season begins!

 

We thought we’d start by seeing our characters have some fun.  Or at least feign having some fun.  I mean, technically it’s a party, right?  Fun!  Okay, it’s a lame “meet and greet the Chief” party.  It probably shouldn’t even be called a party… more like a work function.  But there’s much juicy info to be gleaned from the party.  For instance, Alex and Lexie are a couple.  A couple couple.

Also?  Cristina agrees to move in with Owen.  Through all the angst, all the PTSD, all the choking – Cristina wants to make this work.  She’s all in.  Until life happens and kills her bliss (more on that later).  What else… Reed wants to play in the big leagues by hitting on Mark.  Who had just hit on Callie.  Who was watching Arizona.  Who was trying not to watch Callie.  Cause Callie still wants so badly to be with Arizona…and that kiss in the elevator pretty much said the same for Arizona – such a bittersweet moment.  Wonder how they’ll figure out this mess.  Stay tuned.

Not at the party? Bailey and Ben.  Oh Ben.  Ben with his smile and charm and clothes…off.  Woohoo!

Mostly it was good to see Bailey having some fun for a change.  But then she catches Ben flirting with some chickadee named Liz.  I want to believe that Bailey will get her happiness, if such a thing even exists.

When we first started this episode, the theme was “happiness.”  Simple, right?  Who doesn’t think about their own happiness at least once a day?  Good freaking luck finding your own happiness.  It’s this idea that actually became our theme – how we all try to be happy, constantly searching for it, faking it even, just in case it actually decides to show up.

Okay, we all know it, Cristina and Owen have a complicated relationship.  In fact it’s what makes us love writing about them.  They love each other, but that doesn’t mean both of them don’t have feelings for other people.  Or that they can just decide to shut those feelings off.  And Cristina gets this.  She believes that Owen loves her, she just isn’t okay if he also loves Teddy.  And watching Henry and Betty reconnect made her think long and hard about whether or not Owen was contemplating looking backwards  – to this woman who had been such an important part of his life so long ago.

 

In order to avoid really spoiling what’s to come on the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy, E! decided to just drop a few hints and allow readers to fill in the blanks. Well, here they are:

  • Someone is pr*g***t.
  • Someone will g** **o*.
  • Someone will d**.
  • Someone will b**a* u*.
  • You will **y. So will Bailey.

Fill in the blanks if you’d like to know what’s to come, and don’t forget at the same time to also put a name to each action that’s yet to occur on the dramatic last episode of the season!

We’d already discussed the idea of putting our doctors, infamous for their irreverence and dark humor, their ruthless and clever nicknaming of patients, into a lecture on Patient Sensitivity, and this seemed like the perfect patient to tie it to.  Then, I started researching Bailey’s lecture, looking around for the kinds of things that hospitals actually recommend for doctors to do and say, and I found it really telling that almost every program I could find was aimed toward sensitivity to bariatric – obese — patients.  That’s partly because obesity is an epidemic in this country – more than one-third of Americans are considered clinically obese – and the medical community is racing to catch up.  And also because, sadly, obesity is often called society’s last acceptable prejudice.  So sensitivity to these patients apparently needs to be taught, stressed and re-stressed.

So we knew, with the arrival of this patient, we would explore patient sensitivity.  And also see what sensitive areas these doctors could have exposed along the way.

n terms of insensitivity to patients, I think historically it’s been a dead heat between Alex and Cristina.  So it was fun to realize that Alex, who might be the least sensitive person among them, could be the one who actually breaks through Bobby’s armor of jokes and the layers of despair that got him to this point, and helps him to see the good guy inside, the way his wife does. It’s the thing Alex has been learning about himself all season.  And in turn, it helps Alex move forward, saying goodbye to Izzie for good.  How big a step is he taking with Lexie, kissing her like that in front of the whole hospital, taking her hand?  Not sure – but in Alex terms, it looks like a giant step to me.  
And on the other hand…Derek.  Arguably the hospital’s most sensitive doctor, Derek utters perhaps the least compassionate thing in the episode.  It’s shocking, and instantly regrettable. Very Un-Dreamy.  I’ll say I had a hard time with this coming out of his mouth, and I wrote it.  But what Richard tells him is true, the job of Chief can eat away at you, transforming even the most caring surgeon into a callous bureaucrat. And Derek’s clearly having one of the worst days of his Chiefhood yet.

 

Read more on the Grey Matter writer’s blog