Breaking news, Grey’s Anatomy fans. It’s no secret that Katherine Heigl’s been angling to leave the show for a long time now, doing everything in her power to wriggle out of her long-term contract early in order to focus on her new adopted daughter and blossoming movie career. The only question has been if and when she’ll get what she wants.
EW.com’s Ausiello had the answer today.
According to Ausiello, Shonda Rhimes has at long last agreed to release Heigl from her contract. While speculation was that Heigl would appear in the current season’s final five episodes, this seems to be no longer true. Expected back on set on March 1st to begin filming said episodes, Heigl has yet to return to the studio to film anything.
In fact, it seems entirely probable that Izzie’s final appearance on the show has already aired.
Let’s review that closer then: after Alex realizes he deserves better than Izzie’s flouncing off in a childish temper tantrum the likes of which we haven’t seen from her since she got upset Callie was stealing her toys, Izzie tells Meredith that she’s leaving. Without explaining that Alex has asked her to, she informs Meredith that there is nothing left for her in Seattle — that, in short, Meredith and the others are no longer her family.
And that’s fair in some respects. George is dead and, let’s be honest, George was always Izzie’s anchor. Without Alex to hold onto, Izzie’s left with Meredith and Cristina, and Cristina has never been Izzie’s biggest fan. Meredith might always have been closest to Cristina, but she and Izzie haven’t been without their share of moments, from Izzie’s hate-filled chocolate cake and epiphany of Meredith’s love for Derek all the way back in season one to Meredith holding her hand and telling her she’s not alone after Denny’s death at the start of season three, all the way up to Meredith giving Izzie her wedding.
They’re family. Izzie might have been in a bad mood that day, dropped (however deservedly) by her husband like so much dead weight, but surely Meredith deserved better than that, especially given that, after all these years, Izzie knows full well about Meredith’s issues and how that must have hit home for a woman who has been abandoned again and again. The family Meredith built is falling apart.
It seems unlike Izzie not to come back eventually and end things on better terms before an eventual departure. While characters will and must grow and change over time, she’s seemed largely unlike herself for much of this season, with a few small exceptions. Whether that can be chalked up to her long-term absence from the show or the effect George’s death and her illness have had on her is up to you as a viewer. Either way, whatever you attribute the change to, whether you’re eager to see her gone or not, this exit lacks closure.
But then, given that we’ve spent this last season as strung along as Alex, watching Izzie reappear every time we start to get over her (or, as the case may be, forget she exists) again, I guess a lack of closure is Shonda Rhimes’ specialty.
Glad to see Izzie go or already missing Heigl? Is it the end of an era or just a case of good riddance? Tell me what you’re thinking.