‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Izzie Still Gets Too Much Hate for Her Biggest Mistake

Grey’s Anatomy might be entering its 17th season, but with nearly 400 episodes behind it, many of the show’s most memorable moments still haunt even the most loyal fans.

One of these moments, all the way back in season two, saw Katherine Heigl’s Izzie Stevens throw ethics to the wind by snipping a patient’s LVAD wire to get him a heart transplant. The results still have fans overreacting to everything that happened next.

Izzie Stevens makes Katherine Heigl a star

Katherine Heigl on 'Grey's Anatomy'
Katherine Heigl on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Scott Garfield/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

Katherine Heigl was already a hard-working actress when she joined Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Stevens. She debuted in a 1992 film called that Night and consistently got more work in television and film thereafter. From Steven Seagal’s Under Siege 2 to Bride of Chucky, Heigl might not have been a household name yet, but she became a recognizable face. 

Her first big break came on the WB series Roswell, where she played Isabel Evans for three years until 2002. Then, she joined Grey’s Anatomy as Dr. Stevens, and everything changed. Heigl went from a working actress to an A-list star, appearing in films alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest names.

Her Dr. Stevens character was a compelling character that allowed Heigl to stretch herself as an actress. However, as her star rose, Heigl decided to move on from the show that made her famous. 

She maintains a busy schedule to this day, currently awaiting the premiere of Firefly Lane, an upcoming Netflix series based on the books by Kristin Hannah. Despite a long career, however, Heigl is still Dr. Stevens to many fans of Grey’s

Izzie Stevens makes a deadly error

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When Grey’s Anatomy premiered in 2005, the titular Dr. Grey led a group of interns, including Heigl’s Stevens. However, as the show moved on, Izzie Stevens eventually became a doctor whose past was long and complicated. Stevens grew up in a trailer park, an upbringing that she repeatedly reminded people of when it was time for an excuse. 

After working as a model and trying to find a purpose in life, she eventually fell in love with the medical community. As an intern, she was an ambitious worker who was not afraid to do what she thought was right or most beneficial in dangerous situations. While her love triangles and personal drama highlighted the character, this attitude toward her work made for the most memorable drama. 

When Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Denny Duquette joined the cast in an arc about a man awaiting a heart transplant, Dr. Stevens did the unthinkable and sabotaged a procedure to get him to the top of a transplant list above somebody else. This caused a mystery, as no one knew who did it. Eventually, Dean’s character died despite his heart transplant, and Izzie was left with the burdens of what she did. 

This action still bugs fans who look back in disgust at her actions. 

Jumping the shark

Any series that has been on the airwaves as long as Grey’s has is bound to jump the shark a few times. Many see Stevens’ actions as the moment that her character went from a grounded and believable presence to an all-out nuisance. Reddit user u/EllidaIsabella kicked off the discourse. 

“I wish she didn’t turn into a brat after. She was great and then the LVAD wire happened and it all went downhill.”

U/si-a elaborated, stating that while Stevens did something wrong, it was on par with other errors 

“Izzie was a fantastic character lol the fact that she cut the LVAT wire isn’t different from Christina that was operating with Burke’s sick hands or [Meredith Grey] spoiling a trial or stealing a child.”

This was an astute observation. Isaiah Washington’s Dr. Burke performed surgeries with a hand known to shake thanks to a scheme with Dr. Cristina Yang. Furthermore, Grey has done some unthinkable things without much fallout. Regardless, What Izzie did still has people talking well over a decade after she left the show for good. 

This is part of the appeal of Grey’s anatomy. We don’t always see idealized doctors doing what is right. While melodramatic, the show shows the personal implications of every action and helps humanize even the most unforgivable characters.