Over the course of 15 traumatic seasons of Grey's Anatomy, creator Shonda Rhimes has killed off a ton of characters. Lexie Gray? Dead. Mark Sloan? Dead. Denny Duquette? Dead. Derek Sheperd? I still can't talk about it, you guys.
You'd think that after dramatically cutting short so many beloved, fictional lives, Rhimes might want to bring a few of them back from the dead. However, the showrunner has just one regret about killing off a character, and it's pretty surprising. Rather than reviving one of the major players, Rhimes told Entertainment Weekly in April that the person she really didn't want to see go was actually one of the many high-profile guest stars on the medical drama: Dylan Young.
The ill-fated bomb squad leader appears in season two episodes "It's the End of the World" and "As We Know It," and is played by the internet's fantasy husband, Kyle Chandler. Chandler had yet to steal hearts as Coach Taylor in Friday Night Lights when the episode aired in 2006, but even so, both Rhimes and the cast knew he had big things ahead of him. "I remember thinking Kyle Chandler was amazing," Ellen Pompeo, who plays Meredith, revealed. "I wasn't surprised his career really took off after that because he was so natural."
Rhimes further explained that although the character was always supposed to die, she wavered once she got to know Chandler. "He would pitch me ideas on how Dylan, his character, could maybe not explode, and I would show him the line in the script that said, 'Dylan explodes,'" she said. "That's literally all it said. He was written to explode. But I did not expect to have Kyle Chandler. I didn't want to explode him." The revelation echoes what she said back in 2013, when she told The Hollywood Reporter that Dylan is the one character she wouldn't have written out if she could go back in time.
As we're all heartbreakingly aware, Dylan does explode into pink mist after Meredith successfully hands over the bomb she removed from a patient's chest cavity. I'm tearing up just thinking about it.
Although his exit from Grey's is still one of the most upsetting, I guess now we know why he later reappears as one of Meredith's hallucinations. Rhimes just couldn't get enough of him (and she's definitely not alone).