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Warning: Spoilers Ahead….
Okay so there are a whole lot of feelings about what went down last night. Fans are furious and fans are crying. I’m not entirely sure everyone should keep calling what happened last night a “shocker”. Patrick Dempsey has been semi- talking about leaving Grey’s Anatomy for years now. I mean, I was positive he was going to be the one to go in the plane crash in the Season Eight finale after all he’s said. If that wasn’t enough; the promos and story leading up to this episode sure gave you a feeling of “Oh! They’re going to kill off Derek”. So let’s all be clear, that’s not entirely a shocker. In “The Walking Dead” when Andrew basically came back to life and set loose a walker trap inside of the prison that killed both T-Dog and (subsequently) Lori without a moment’s notice……that’s a f*cking shocker. And don’t even start with that whole “Oh, but The Walking Dead kills off people almost every episode crap”. Um, have you seen Grey’s Anatomy?
Okay, now that I’ve got that off of my chest; I will say Shonda Rhimes sure knows how to pack a pretty big punch of emotional whirlwinds. Even though many of us knew it was coming, it was still tragic and pretty much unbearable to watch. Derek was not just a character that we got to know and loved, he was a character that we got to know over 11 damn seasons. What other characters out there can you really say that about? And this episode did really feel like a classic Grey’s episode. We got to know the victims of the car crash and they were relatable characters. It really remind me of the train episode back in Season Two where we get introduced to new patients that we have gained such a connection that it would still be devastating if they died.
But who got a whole CSI vibe off of this episode? Besides the fact that Derek is dealing with this really insane car crash, he is also trying to figure out why the car was driving so fast and why it was swerving all over the place? Well, I’m assuming this is Shonda Rhimes storytelling tactic to get us to think…..”Oh! This is interesting! Maybe we all won’t just focus on the fact that Derek is going to die.” Guess what Shonda? It didn’t work. There was somewhat of a twist once Derek was able to “get everyone to safety”. It turns out that he was in just as bad of shape as everyone else. I could tell there was going to be something terribly wrong once we saw everyone happily put into ambulances and it was only half way through the episode.
So through this topsy turvy storytelling, we get to see the things that actually happen in comparison to what Derek was telling himself happened. I guess the most devastating part of the episode was that Derek was not being operated on by his friends…..he was being operated on by complete strangers who by the way seem to have just as much drama in their hospital so I guess that’s comforting?
But nothing could prepare us for Meredith getting to that other hospital and going up to see Derek. She tries so very desperately to convince herself that it could actually turn out alright and of course there’s that classic shot of her waiting for the truth in an elevator…..because this show has a thing with elevators. But then we get another punch to the gut; if Derek went to their hospital then he could have been saved but because he went to a hospital that wasn’t a trauma center, they didn’t have the resources of quite possibly the experience to deal with his injuries.
There’s a moment after the plane crash where Derek and Callie had to decide whether or not to take Mark off of life support and that scene just came rushing back to me in the moment where Meredith stand there looking at Derek lying with life support. Meredith had a huge decision to make and of course Ellen Pompeo’s acting in this episode was impeccable. I loved how we finally saw the roles being reversed. So many times of Grey’s we’ve watched the doctors have to deliver bad news to patient’s families. We see them struggle with it at times but all is forgiven because honestly we love the characters and we know they tried their best. But now we’re seeing it all through the patient’s eyes and it’s utterly horrifying.
Derek was a great character on Grey’s and he will be missed but I guess the question really is; where do they go from here? We’ve lost Cristina, we’ve lost Derek……we’ve really lost so many characters and though this episode was good, it just seems like they have to kill off characters to make things interesting. I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way. Grey’s Anatomy always circled around tragedy. In the first couple of seasons we saw some horrific accidents that have had major costs so it’s not like Grey’s is really jumping the shark by any means. I just feel like now we’re down another great character with not a whole lot left to hang on to. But I guess Grey’s will stay on the air as long as Shonda and everyone involved will keep making it. People still watch the show and it still produces a quality hour of television every week…….especially when they kill off everyone’s favorite McDreamy doctor.