It's the question of the fall season: Will Arizona Robbins and Mark Sloan die on Grey's Anatomy?
The fates of the remaining stranded survivors — Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), Derek (Patrick Dempsey), Cristina (Sandra Oh), Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) and Mark (Eric Dane) — were uncertain at the end of the Season 8 finale. But when TVGuide.com recently spoke with executive producer Shonda Rhimes, she inadvertently confirmed that Meredith, Derek and Cristina would survive when she gave up some information on how they'll be dealing with the aftermath of the crash next season. But what about Mark and Arizona?
We'll find out their fates within the first two episodes, the first of which jumps ahead two to three months after the crash, while the second flashes back to see what happened when they were rescued. For Dane, we already know he's leaving the series, but the question is whether it will be on his own two feet or in a body bag. With Capshaw, it's a question of whether she'll even be back since everyone is keeping mum about her character.
While we wait until the season premiere to get the dish, we've decided to list the reasons why Arizona and Mark could die — or not!
Why Arizona will die: She didn't fare well in the plane crash, with the bone in her leg protruding from the skin. Plus, she was last seen coughing up blood. Another bad sign? Rhimes declined to comment on whether Arizona would return. "I don't want to say anything about that yet," she recently told us. "The first episode would have to air, and then I'm happy to talk about it, but I don't want to say anything yet."
Why Arizona won't die: Arizona's story is not finished by any means. Sure, Arizona and Callie (Sara Ramirez) were featured heavily in the seventh season (See: Car crash, baby and wedding), but Season 8 saw a decrease in their story line as they took a backseat to other characters. Yes, we realize it's called Grey's Anatomy, but we love these two just as much as the central doc. Plus: Rhimes called the upcoming year the season of romance, and what better romantic story to tell than of one which was nearly fatal? (And if Mark dies after Lexie's horrific death, will Rhimes really also kill off Arizona? Come on! She's not that evil... we hope.)
Why Mark will die: Considering Dane is leaving the series, he's the more obvious candidate to meet his maker. He was worse off after the crash, nearly dying in the woods before Cristina saved him. Plus, back when we guessed correctly who would die in the season finale, we noted that Mark is only interesting when he's in a relationship with Lexie. Now that she's dead, wouldn't the only fitting story to tell be that of Mark and Lexie reuniting — off screen, of course — in the afterlife, like he hinted in the finale? Also, the photos that Dempsey tweeted showing Dane in a hospital bed, which can also be seen down below, could alone make the case that Mark will die. But another compelling reason he'll die is that Mark has been all too happy to be a father, so he wouldn't leave Seattle Grace by choice, since that would mean having to leave baby Sofia behind.
Why Mark won't die: Let's be real: it just seems all too likely he's going to die. Our argument for why he will is sound, and honestly, we really can't think of a good reason why he won't, so if you've got one — other than you just don't want him to — use the comments to sound off.
Grey's Anatomy returns Thursday, Sept. 27 at 9/8c on ABC.