Grey's Anatomy: Shonda Rhimes Explains Killing Off Eric Dane's Character

Thursday night was a difficult evening for many a “Grey’s Anatomy” fan.

Dr. Mark Sloan, aka McSteamy (played by Eric Dane), said his final farewell to the halls of Seattle Grace on the show’s Season 9 premiere, after he was taken off life support and subsequently passed away.

“Grey’s” creator addressed the reasoning behind the loss of McSteamy in a blog post on Friday, writing, “For me, this [death] is the most tragic. I’m VERY attached to Mark Sloan. He’s part of the fabric of the show.”

Shonda explained that if Mark had lived, he would be forced to grieve for Dr. Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh, who died in the crash during the Season 8 finale), and that storyline would’ve been too painful for one of her favorite characters.

“That doesn’t sound like what I want for my beloved Mark Sloan,” she wrote. “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… So Mark dies. And he and Lexie get to be together in a way. Their love remains true.”

Another shocker? Dr. Arizona Robbins (played by Jessica Capshaw) survived the Season 8 finale plane crash, but lost part of her leg.

Jessica took to Twitter to share her relief over her character’s survival.

“I am infinitely delighted that Arizona lives…how she lives in this season will certainly be a wild ride,” the actress Tweeted following the premiere on Thursday. “I thank you all for your support.”

“Grey’s Anatomy” returns with a new episode next Thursday at 9/8c on ABC.

-- Erin O’Sullivan

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