It's now common knowledge that T.R. Knight declined Grey's Anatomy boss Shonda Rhimes' request to briefly return in season 6 to give his terminal George some closure. "I kind of get it," the series creator says in this week's Entertainment Weekly cover story. "[He'd] emotionally walked away." Fans, however, may not be quite as chill when they hear the killer story she had planned for him.
In this fall's season premiere, George will succumb to the injuries he sustained after getting mowed down by that bus in last May's finale. But that wasn't supposed to be the last we saw of him. Says Rhimes, the episode was then going to flash back to the hours during which George was missing, from when he left the hospital to when he returned later on as a disfigured John Doe.
"I wanted to see his last day [alive] really badly," she says. "What I thought was interesting was the idea of, we now know it's the last day of someone's life, [so we're] looking at it differently than [we] would any other time."
Viewers would have also seen firsthand how George's split-second decision to save that girl's life cost him his own. "I wanted to see the moment he leapt in front of the bus," Rhimes confirms. "I wanted to bookend the episode [so that] the first time you see him leap in front of the bus, it's really scary. But the second time you see it, he's a hero.
"I thought it would have been a beautiful episode," she continues, adding that, had we seen those missing hours, "We might have learned something new about George."
Although disappointed she wasn't able to tell that story, Rhimes insists she's content with how George's five-year arc concluded. "We really got to see him grow up," she says. "It really does feel like we watched a full evolution of a character, and I feel good about that."
Do you wish Knight had stuck around a little longer to give us George's last day? Or do you agree with him that the final shot of his character standing outside the elevator was "the best way to leave it"? Comment away below!