Grey’s Anatomy aired its two-hour special this week, She’s Leaving Home, as a way to say goodbye to Derek and see the reaction from the rest of the characters. Unfortunately for many fans, it was not the big, tear-filled goodbye after all. The episode seemed disjointed and eye-rolling with all the time jumps and obvious storylines. It has led to many fans questioning whether killing off McDreamy really was the right decision for Shonda Rhimes; the general consensus is that it was not.
The first hour had very little Meredith Grey in the episode. She walked in at the start to tell Callie, Maggie, Alex, Owen and Richard that Derek was dead. The episode was fairly expected. Everyone was going about their day, missing the look on Meredith’s face that clearly told them something had happened. As soon as that scene was over, Meredith left with her two children; leaving a note to say that they were safe. Alex was not going to just let her go, and consistently tried to call throughout the episode.
Owen was the one to break the news to Amelia on Grey’s Anatomy, and she handled that as expected. She closed up, pretending that she could deal with it. Really, she was trying to not feel the loss, because all the men in her life have left her. There is a funeral to say goodbye, but it is very short and not really worthy of such a major character. That part really could have been handled better.
Instead, the focus in this episode of Grey’s Anatomy is how the doctors cope. It is all about everything that Meredith is missing out on. April and Owen decide to go to war and help soldiers out in Iraq. It is clear that Jackson is not happy about it, but lets it go. It is only supposed to be for three months.
She’s Leaving Home soon makes it clear that April is struggling to deal with the loss of Derek and the loss of her baby on Grey’s Anatomy. She keeps extending her tour, until eventually it gets to Christmas. Admitting to Jackson that she thought it would be the three of them celebrating their first Christmas was definitely a sad moment, but not the tear-jerking that Rhimes may have wanted. There are various moments where the call cuts out and makes fans wonder whether April is going to die, too, but all is well for the Averys.
Another Avery is a focus for this episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Catherine and Richard are trying to move their relationship forward; at least, Richard is. He wants to propose, something that Catherine had to know what happening because Richard made that clear months ago. Her attempt to stop him so they can discuss their future leads to an argument and a temporary break.
There were large time jumps throughout the episode. By Halloween, Amelia is trying to joke about Derek, with Stephanie making it clear that she feels awkward about it. It is clear that Amelia is not coping on Grey’s Anatomy, because she is trying not to feel it. That leads to the storyline in the second half of the episode and Owen swooping in to save the day.
Throughout all this, Meredith is missing and people are worried. The only time Alex gets through to her is for her to tell him to stop calling her. It left many Grey’s Anatomy fans angry as they did not get to see the way Meredith was dealing or what she was up to. Of course, it did mean that the ending was a little more meaningful, but it still failed to appease viewers after the sudden death of Derek Shepherd. The first part of She’s Leaving Home was disappointing for many Grey’s Anatomy fans, but there was hope the second part would pick it all up.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham