Goodbye to a Grey’s Anatomy Legend

Grey's Anatomy, How to Save a Life

Warning: This article contains spoilers from Thursday’s “How to Save a Life” episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Wow! Just wow! I don’t even know where to start. I am completely blown away. This week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, “How to Save a Life” has left us completely crushed.

A little over 10 years ago I fell in love with this cool new show called Grey’s Anatomy. It was a groundbreaking medical drama that made me laugh and cry all in the same hour of TV. In the first few minutes of the very first episode we met this incredibly cute guy. We couldn’t remember his name but boy was he dreamy. No he wasn’t just dreamy, he was McDreamy (because we all know that combining McDonalds with anything makes it soooo much better). Somewhere between the first time Meredith and Derek met, the candlelit house, the Post-It note wedding vows and the last time they said goodbye we fell in love with this guy and we never wanted it to end.

Unfortunately for McDreamy he lives in Shondaland, and in Shondaland all happiness must come to an end. (OK maybe not all happiness but it sure does feel like it lately.) This week we bid farewell to this beloved character and I really don’t think that it could have been done any better. No, I didn’t want him to leave the show and I certainly didn’t want him to die, but if it had to happen this is the way that I would have asked for it to happen.

It’s been a long time since Shonda Rhimes has written an episode of Grey’s, (Remember that crazy plane crash finale from a few years back?) but she certainly wasn’t holding anything back. I think most of us knew going into the episode that something huge was going to happen, (ABC did promote the crap out of it after all) and I think most of us had a pretty good idea that this was the end for Derek, but I don’t think anyone expected an episode like that.

Derek dies, Grey's Anatomy

I know there are a lot of angry fans out there and I understand their disappointment but I really do believe that Shonda gave Derek the sendoff that he deserved.

We got to see Meredith and Derek be happy again–MerDer had their problems but they worked everything out and they couldn’t have been better. Last week we were gifted with that amazing conversation they had their last morning in bed and it could not have been any more perfect.

We got to see him have that last chat with Amelia, Bailey and April–I mean, how great was that moment? They were all so happy, so content. For me it felt like the perfect way for him to say goodbye to those closest to him.

We got to see him be the hero that we know him to be–it’s been a while since we’ve seen Derek really step up and show us how great of a doctor he is. It was great to see that one last time

We got to see those amazing flashbacks. It’s been 11 years, wasn’t it great to see those old clips again? Sure it made it all more emotional but it was a great reminder of the journey that he has taken.

We got to see him looking, well, McDreamy. I don’t know what Patrick Dempsey did on those few weeks that he was off the show but he came back looking even better than before, and this week he looked even better. Don’t laugh, I know I wasn’t the only one swooning over him at that accident scene.

It’s been a treat Mr. Dempsey. I could not have asked for a better character to fall in love with all those years ago. I will never forget you. Grey’s Anatomy will not be the same with you gone. I’m not sure if I’ll be the same without you in my life every Thursday night. This is going to be rough.

Extra Grey’s

  • I’m worried about what is going to happen next. How is everyone going to react? Where will the show go from here?
  • This is going to crush Amelia. Derek has been the one good thing in her life. He’s always been there for her. Will she be able to survive yet another loss in her life or will she fall back down the rabbit hole?
  • Meredith was amazingly strong throughout the entire episode. I’m still not sure how she managed to keep it all together. Will that strength continue or is she going to start to crumble?
  • I’m going to miss hearing “It’s a beautiful day to save lives.”
  • Why was Meredith alone with Derek in the hospital? Shouldn’t there have been more friends and family around? I’m pretty sure Amelia would have wanted to be there to say goodbye

What did you think of this week’s episode? Were you shocked by what happened? Are you sad to see Derek go? How do you think everyone is going to react to the news?

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC and CTV.