Grey’s Anatomy teased fans with a two-hour special to mourn the loss of Derek Shepherd, but it turned out to be not everything they expected. Rather than showing clips of Derek and having a large memorial episode, fans were treated to time jumps of how the other doctors were coping. It was also a very Meredith-lite episode, as she took off within five minutes only to be seen now and then in the second part of the two-hour special.
It has left fans angry and upset, with many more warning Shonda Rhimes that they will stop watching. The shocking twist last week is already raw for Grey’s Anatomy fans, and they wanted the chance to say goodbye if she is refusing to bring him back. Fans, however, still want a way to make this all a dream and have Derek back. Some fans have suggested that it could be all in Meredith’s Alzheimer’s brain.
While it was not an episode people wanted, it was still cleverly done in a weird way. It was messy and sporadic, a little like how the doctors would be feeling; a little like how fans were feeling after realizing that Derek was not going to survive last week. The time jumps made it confusing, but showed the different stages of grief. It also showed how every deals with death differently.
Of course, the two to take it the hardest were Amelia and Meredith. In the end, Meredith ran away with her children and Amelia almost relapsed. It showed how everyone needed someone to cope with the loss of a close friend, a colleague, a husband and a brother. Owen was there for Amelia, Alex there for Meredith and Richard and Ben there for Bailey.
The two-hour special was certainly not the Grey’s Anatomy episode fans expected, and it may not have been the one they wanted. However, it was a necessary episode. The time jump means that the core questions can be asked in the next episode. How will Amelia feel knowing that Meredith chose to end Derek’s life? They were all so close, and Meredith could have waited to get her friends to Derek’s side so they could all say goodbye in person.
Fans needed to see that there is life after Derek and there is a show afterwards. There are many currently threatening and vowing never to watch an episode again. It happened with Mark and Lexie’s deaths and it was not a surprise when it happened this time. However, the two-hour special was necessary to see that the characters can move on in realistic ways. Grey’s Anatomy can live on without Derek around.
It is not all over. There will be constant reminders and his name will be brought up. It happens all the time with those who have passed on and left. Alex regularly brings up Izzy—while shedid not die, she was still an important part of the show in the early years—and Lexie’s name is regularly mentioned. George, Mark, Burke and Cristina are also mentioned now and again. Derek will not be forgotten about, even though the two-hour special of Grey’s Anatomy was not everything fans expected or wanted.
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham