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'Grey's Anatomy' premiere: 'Going, going, gone'

7:54 AM, Sep 28, 2012   |    comments
Scott, Garfield, ABC Ellen Pompeo and Eric Dane in a 2006 scene from 'Grey's Anatomy.'
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by Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY
Grey's Anatomy fans had to reach for the Kleenex during Thursday's Season 9 premiere.

It was titled Going, going, gone -- and now we know why.

SPOILERS ahead:

Our favorite docs were coping with the aftermath of the plane crash that took the life of Lexie Grey, and the voiceover: "Dying changes everything."

Dr. Mark "McSteamy" Sloan (Eric Dane) was hooked up to a ventilator. He's been in a coma for a month and, according to his will, he's going to be taken off of it at 5:00. It's particularly hard for his two best pals, Derek Shepherd and Callie Torres. Meredith Grey has earned the nickname Medusa because she's such a meanie. Dr. Bailey is happy and into bootie calls. Cristina Yang is off in Minnesota where she's having a tough time fitting in. Alex is leaving/not leaving for his new job at Johns Hopkins. Owen is hunting down April to beg her to come back to doctoring. And Arizona, it seems, has died in the plane crash until it's revealed near the end of the show that Callie had to amputate the lower part of her leg!

"I am infinitely delighted that Arizona lives," Jessica Capshaw tweeted after the premiere. "How she lives in this season will certainly be a wild ride. I thank you all for your support."

As for Eric Dane's exit? E! is reporting that budget cuts prompted the move, saying show exec Shonda Rhimes had to trim the cast.

Dane told TV Line back in July that he was "extremely grateful" for the run.

And Rhimes at the time, indicated it was a joint decision, saying his McSteamy was "one of the most beloved characters on Grey's Anatomy." She added that Dane "did not come to this decision lightly, but after much consideration and conversations, he and I have decided that this is the right time for his storyline to end.

USA TODAY

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