April 25, 2015


In ‘How To Save A life’—season 11, episode 21 of GREY’S ANATOMY, Meredith said goodbye to her husband and we said goodbye to another person from the original cast—the beloved character whom we all fondly know as ‘McDreamy’

It’s official. The McDays of GREY’S ANATOMY are over. After we said goodbye to Mark ‘McSteamy’ Sloan in season 9, this Thursday, it was time to say goodbye to the guy that survived a plane crash, being shot in the chest, and even a different car accident back in an earlier season of the show.

Derek died in quite a ridiculous way, to be honest. Yes, it was lovely to see him as the hero, the guy who helps people pull themselves together, who keeps a calm head, and to hear him say, “It’s a beautiful day to save lives,” all for one last time. However, for a brain surgeon, it was rather stupid of him to stop his car in the middle of the highway, sideways at that, especially after having just witnessed a horrifying car crash that almost quite literally cut a woman in half. But I suppose the ‘how’ of it doesn’t matter anymore. What we saw next was probably a very refreshing way of seeing the last few moments of a character’s life on GREY'S ANATOMY. Firstly, it was interesting to see it all going down in a different hospital. To have had a major character fighting for their life at Grey+Sloan, with all the surgeons that we know trying save the life, would’ve been something we’ve seen too many times before—from George O’Malley to Meredith herself. Mark Sloan, Callie Torres, Arizona Robbins, Richard Webber, and Derek Shepherd even.

With Derek knowing that what the doctors were doing would result in his death was kind of heartbreaking, as he, in his mind, instructs them on how to save a life, but in vain, obviously. What was even more heartbreaking was seeing Meredith finally telling her husband, “Derek, it's okay. You go. We'll be fine.” Moreso when the nurse asks her if she's ready, and she says, "No, but go ahead." We might have expected a major break-down or to see her just frozen and numb from the bomb that had just fallen on her, but the route that Shonda Rhimes took was impressive. Meredith has grown immensely as a person and as a character, and the way she reacted to her husband dying was a perfect representation of that. For her to explain to the doctor that her husband’s death needs to not have been in vain, and that she needs to learn from it, was disturbingly good. And in it all, I thought that despite Derek being the center of the episode, the true hero was Meredith. But I suspect things will change.

If there’s one thing that Shonda Rhimes knows how to do is to write a big event to conclude anything from a season to a character’s journey, but not let it just have been for that. Derek’s death is going to affect everything and everyone, and Meredith’s goodbye is going to be nothing in comparison to what we're yet to see from her. Remember when Henry died, and Teddy couldn’t get over how it had happened? Remember when Denny Duquette died and Izzie couldn’t get off the bathroom floor? Remember when Lexie died and Mark lost his will to survive? Now, with Derek dead, it’s only a matter of time before Meredith unravels. I’m very sure that Rhimes is going to drag Meredith through hell before she can make her peace with her husband's passing. Her mother died, her sister died, her ‘person’ left. And yes, she said she doesn’t need Derek in her life, like she used to, but his death is going to leave a hole in a way that we can’t imagine.

However, what concerns me is how this will affect Amelia Shepherd. She and Derek have had a complicated relationship but a lovely one, which I have always enjoyed seeing, even on PRIVATE PRACTICE. I've liked seeing them as brother and sister, since she became a series regular on GREY'S, and now I'm sad that I won't get anymore of that. 

Before we see the two-hour special next Thursday, let’s take a moment to realize that Derek Shepherd will never operate in a Grey+Sloan OR again, or have sex in a Grey+Sloan on-call room again, or say, “It’s a beautiful day to save lives!” ever again. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad he's head. For the entire season - maybe more even - Derek has been redundant except as a catalyst to draw out Meredith's character. In quite a few places I felt this Derek dying episode was kind of wasted. Derek as a character has not grown as much as everyone else has. He's still as arrogant, prissy, narcissistic and annoying as he used to be. Okay, so he said a few mushy words about Meredith. So what? He's been saying that since he started cheating on his first wife. After 11 years of getting to know the character, I'd go so far as to say that he's a disappointment. And more can be accomplished with his death than if he were still alive. And better characters have died for less in this show.