Well, it’s official: the “must see” episode of Grey’s Anatomy just aired, and the rumors were true. Series creator Shonda Rhimes killed off the beloved Derek Shepard character. So long, McDreamy! Hello, Ellen Pompeo Emmy-reel!
No surprise, really. I had hoped that Rhimes would finally find some creativity, some spark of originality for Patrick Dempsey’s exit from the show, but no….she went to her old standby. Kill him off in a violent-yet-implausible way.
The body count is ridiculously high on this show. Rhimes has killed off plenty of others–this is a medical drama, after all–like the cute bomb squad guy getting blown up into a shower of pink mist, the annoying Mercy-West Hospital intern characters who never quite gelled with viewers and ended up dying in a totally-believable-could-happen-anywhere hospital shooting spree, and who could forget dear Dr. Heather Brooks, from the new, replacement group of hapless interns who was electrocuted in a puddle of water down in the hospital boiler room.
But when an original character wants to leave, Rhimes seems to have only two game plans: send them off to a spectacular offer-they-can’t-refuse job out of town (Christina Yang and Dr. Burke, I’m looking at you) or kill them off in a sudden, tragic fashion…but not before she comes up with some heart-wrenching, selfless act they can perform first to milk every last teardrop from her loyal viewers.
Let’s see….first there was Izzy, who died off-screen of cancer that was discovered after ghost sex with dead fiance’ Denny–but not before she bequeathed Denny’s money to save the hospital and keep the clinic going. Then there was George, who left intending to join the military–but was hit by a bus and killed while pushing others out of the way to safety.
Then there was Lexie and Mark, who died in a what-this-happens-every-day plane crash while en route to help others. Meredith’s sweet half-sister died a painful, agonizing death in the woods (and, as we learned from a PTSD-wracked Christina Yang afterwards, had her still-warm corpse eaten by animals!) while Mark “McSteamy” Sloan got to die a slow, lingering death from sepsis.
And now, we have Derek Shepherd, who left several weeks ago for a spectacular offer-he-couldn’t-refuse-job out of town–but then suddenly returned. Oh, praise, a happy ending?
Don’t be ridiculous.
His return lasted a few short weeks, and then he disappeared again. Last week, we had an entire episode that was labeled #wheresderek, yet 60 minutes later, never actually answered the question.
So, surely, with all of this build up, Derek’s departure must have really been something worth waiting for, right? After all, this was touted as an “epic episode” of Grey’s, penned by Rhimes herself.
But no. It was business as usual: Derek witnesses a car accident, saves all of the people involved, and then just when you think all is well, suddenly gets into a fatal car accident himself in the very same spot. Sure, he lingers for awhile in a brain dead state, forcing Meredith to pull the plug, and there’s a fooled-you-didn’t-I-no-Shonda-not-even-a-little-bit dream sequence where Meredith sees Derek in the hospital, all safe and whole and dreamy–until the cops with grim faces at her door bring her back to reality. No, not trite or cruel in the slightest.
After all of these years, the fans deserved better. I’m not sure what kind of disagreement Shonda Rhimes and Patrick Dempsey had, but it must have been a real doozy for her to kill him off–turning the famed neurosurgeon into a vegetable no less–with no hope of ever bringing him back.
And now, they’re promoting the heck out of next week’s “grief” episode, a VERY SPECIAL TWO HOUR GREY’S THAT YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS.
Meh. No thanks, Grey’s. Been there, done that. Time to pull the plug on “must-see Thursday”.
Tonight, Shonda Rhimes didn’t jump the shark. She bored it to death.