LOS ANGELES, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Ellen Pompeo didn't shy from Meredith's attack on Thursday's episode of Grey's Anatomy.
The 46-year-old actress discussed the plot line with executive producer Betsy Beers on Shondaland Revealed after the attack left many fans in disbelief of the number of calamities the character has experienced.
"You don't think you're going to have come up with 12 years of devastating things happening to one character," Pompeo said. "However, I look at the news every day and read newspapers online, and people have had some pretty unfortunate series of events happen to them in life."
"Random, weird things do happen," she said in defense of the plot. "Earth is quite an interesting place. So we can always suspend our disbelief enough to be able to tell some story and learn some lessons."
Meredith has lived through numerous misfortunes on the ABC medical drama, including Derek Shepherd's (Patrick Dempsey) death. Pompeo trusted series creator Shonda Rimes and actor Denzel Washington, who directed the attack episode, to bring her character through yet another tragedy.
"Even though I had my reservations, I was still gung-ho to give it everything I have, not having read it," Pompeo said. "Then finding out Denzel was coming on to direct it, I was like, 'Oh yeah, let's go. Yes, let's do it.'"
Pompeo told Cosmopolitan "big, dramatic changes" may upset fans but are important to keep the series fresh for the writers. She revealed Meredith will enter therapy after the attack to explore "what it means to be alone and [how] she's never alone."
"Meredith has to explore that opportunity of, 'Okay, what does dating again look like, and how do you do that?'" she said. "I have shot a few scenes, and I'm very happy and excited with the way this is unfolding. It's exciting for Meredith, and it's some happiness, some light."
Pompeo has portrayed Meredith since the show's premiere in 2005. Grey's Anatomy Season 12 airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET.