Caution Spoilers Ahead. If you have not watched the 2 most recent episodes (airing 4/23 and 4/30) do not read this post. If you do read this post do not blame me for ruining the episodes for you. You have been warned.
If you do not like, watch, or care about Grey’s Anatomy, this post is not for you. I know many people will call be crazy for writing such a long post about fictional characters on a TV show, but I needed a place to vent my frustrations with Shonda Rhimes and the writers of Grey’s Anatomy.
I remember watching Grey’s Anatomy while I was still in high school. I came to Utah for school and stopped keeping up a few seasons in because it was hard to find time and a decent computer to watch the episodes online. A few years ago I signed up for Netflix. I saw that Grey’s Anatomy was on Netflix and instantly added it to my “to watch” list. I started watching from the beginning. I cried when Izzy got diagnosed with cancer, scared they were going to kill her off. I was upset when they wrote her off of the show. I cried when they actually did kill George off. And don’t get me started on the plane crash episode. I was bawling my eyes out when Lexi died. And then they killed off Mark, who seemed to have survived the plane crash just fine. It was a tough couple episodes to watch. And then Christina left. What was the show going to be like without the core relationship of Meredith and Christina? Even when Derek and Meredith were at odds, she always had Christina. I thought the writers handled Christina leaving very well. There was great story arc leading up to, and even after, she left. Even though she isn’t in the show, her character has still been a part of Meredith’s life. We might not be seeing her every episode, but at least we knew she was doing well.
As this season has progressed I could see that Derek’s time on the show was coming to an end. There is no way any fan of the show COULDN’T see it coming. But the way it happened was horrible. They could have had Derek stay in DC. There was a hashtag devoted to whether or not Derek cheated on Meredith. If Shonda wanted to be done with Patrick Dempsey/Derek, she had the perfect opportunity to write him out of the show without killing him off. It would have been SO easy for her to make Derek cheat and close out that entire story line. But no. She resolved that entire issue and made all of us Grey’s fans think that everything was going to turn out ok with MerDer.
Can I just say that, even if they had to kill Derek off, they way they chose to do it was STUPID. The entire episode was centered on the fact that there was no cell phone reception where the car crash happened. That’s why Derek and all of the other people involved in the accident were glad the car caught on fire. How many times did they say “smoke signal”? It was made very apparent during the episode that THERE WAS NO CELL PHONE RECEPTION. After everyone is on their way to safety after who knows how many hours, miraculously there is suddenly cell phone reception in the area? And after hours of these poor people being stranded in the middle of nowhere without a car driving by, at the exact moment that there is miraculously cell phone reception there is also a semi driving by? It’s a bit of a stretch Shonda Rhimes. 2 circumstances central to the story line of the episode can’t suddenly change just so you can kill off Patrick Dempsey’s character. Do you think your fans are stupid? Do you think we wouldn’t realize how insanely implausible that situation is? I understand that you don’t like actor “divas”. But to treat your fans as if we are stupid just isn’t fair to us. It was HORRIBLE writing. There are so many ways you could have killed him off, if that’s what you felt needed to be done. He could have been injured in the initial crash. He could have not realized he had serious injuries because he was trying to help everyone else. He was a surgeon. He is devoted to his patients, doing whatever it takes to save their lives. It would have been a lot more plausible that he was so focused on helping them that he didn’t even realize he was injured. But no. You let us all think he’s going to be ok and then have him get hit by a semi. Not cool Shonda Rhimes. . .
I realize sometimes characters need to leave a show. Whether it’s because the actors are divas or the actors don’t want to renew contracts or because it’s just time for a character’s story to end, there is a time and a way to end a character’s time on a show. After 10 years, Derek Shepherd deserved a better ending than he received. Derek Shepherd deserved better writing than he received. And, if nothing else, the fans of the show, fans that have already been through so much with this show, deserved a better ending and better writing than we received.
After a week of having to come to terms with the death of Derek Shepherd, I was ready to say goodbye to him as I watched his funeral. I was ready to cry and mourn with the characters as they all came to accept that they had lost a dear husband, brother, friend, and colleague. Imagine my chagrin when I start watching the episode yesterday and see a whole 30 seconds devoted to his funeral. ARE YOU KIDDING ME????? A character that has been CENTRAL to the story line for TEN years deserves more than a 30 second funeral. This INFURIATED me. I have never in my life been so mad at a tv show. I thought last week was the worst it could get. Apparently I was wrong.
The 30 second funeral was just the beginning of what made me mad about this week’s episode. I thought the entire episode (all 2 hours of it) was confusing. It jumped from story line to story line with no rhyme or reason. It was so hard to follow what was going on between all of the different characters. And then there were story lines that I didn’t even think were necessary. I still don’t know what exactly happened last night.
First let’s talk about Jackson and April. They have already been through so much this season. I was SO confused when she left with Owen. They never really say that she is leaving until she is suddenly at the airport with Jackson saying goodbye. And why send her to a dangerous combat zone? I didn’t understand. I think the writers kind of touched on it when Arizona and Jackson are talking. I get that April just needed a chance to find herself again. But I find it hard to believe that she would leave Jackson for x amount of months to do this.
Now Owen. Again I didn’t really understand what he was doing until he was just gone. When he is talking to April they sort of talk about it, but not really. One minute he’s there, the next he’s been gone for 6+ months. And then he is back and talking to Amelia. In the conversation between Amelia and him, he says something about re-enlisting or signing up for another tour. Does this mean Owen is gone too? So many questions!
The burn victims? Why were they even in this episode? They don’t seem to play any real role in the episode, other than to keep Jo busy. I had a hard time even seeing their purpose in this episode. Yes the show is about doctors and a hospital. But while everything else at least had a little to do with Derek, these characters had NOTHING to do with anything. Jo doesn’t use them to heal after hearing about Derek’s death. They had no real purpose in the episode to me. At least the patient that Callie and Amelia were helping had an injury that was healed BECAUSE of Derek. And Amelia was able to help him and prove that, even though Derek is dead, there is still a capable neurosurgeon at Grey-Sloan Memorial Hospital.
And then there is the Meredith arc. How can Shonda Rhimes write Meredith almost completely out of the episode IMMEDIATELY following her husband’s death? I get that this was Meredith’s way of coping with the loss. But where did she go? Why didn’t she turn to Christina or Alex? She was just gone. I thought it was so bizarre. And then almost as quick as she left, she was back again. Granted it was actually a year later, but still. It was so sudden. I don’t feel like Meredith actually ever mourned her loss. I know she had to be strong for her kids, but we never really saw her cry or grieve at all.
Finally, what was with this whole “let’s cover 9 months in a 2 hour episode” thing? I feel like we lost so much time with these characters. Are we now watching events that are taking place in 2016? Did Derek’s accident even happen in 2015? I now have no concept of time in this show. Why did we have to squeeze 9 months into one episode anyways? So that we could see that Meredith was pregnant? So that we could see the birth of her and Derek’s baby? I don’t understand why it needed to happen. I felt that this just contributed to the confusion that was this episode. Also, that baby did NOT look like a newborn. If you are going to have her give birth, at least give her a baby that actually LOOKS like a newborn. That baby was MASSIVE. I certainly hope I don’t pop out a child as big as that baby was. Don’t get me wrong, she was cute. And if she was supposed to be portraying a 6 month old she would have been perfect for the role. But she must have weighed at least 15 pounds.
So now I am left wondering what is going to happen with Grey’s Anatomy. Where is this show headed? Is it coming to an end? I don’t think I can stop watching now that I am 11 seasons in. I do think the show could end this season and I would be ok. Without McDreamy and MerDer why carry on? MerDer has been central to the story line from Season 1 Episode 1. Without that key relationship I think Grey’s Anatomy will come to an end sooner rather than later. While there are other characters I have grown to love and root for, I don’t think the show will ever be what it was without Derek Shepherd. Jackson and April, Arizona and Callie, Owen, Bailey. None of them are quite as great as Derek and Meredith. I hope Grey’s Anatomy can bounce back from this tragedy, but deep down in my gut I know the show will never be the same.
RIP Derek Shepherd.