Grey's Anatomy Will Never Be The Same Again

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Warning: Grey's Anatomy spoilers from last night's episode ahead.  Well folks, it's been a long, wild ride, but Grey's Anatomy as you know it is over forever. Last night was the final episode for Derek Shepherd, a.k.a. McDreamy. After tending to the injuries of car crash victims, the good doctor got into his own vehicle, where he was hit by a semi-truck while trying to dig his cell phone out from the between the seats.

Dr. Shepherd ends up at a subpar hospital. His doctors don’t follow the right protocol to save him, and by the time Meredith arrives, the veteran surgeon is brain-dead. She makes the decision to pull the plug. This moment might be the saddest in the series' history, although there are plenty to choose from.

Patrick Dempsey's sudden departure wasn’t exactly unexpected — despite the fact that the actor had a year's contract left on the show, rumors that he wouldn’t be returning all but boiled over this past week. According to sources on the Grey’s Anatomy set, creator Shonda Rhimes and Dempsey haven’t been getting along very well, and the show has a storied history of actors departing due to alleged personality conflicts.

Still, this one felt a little cruel. Under the right kind of care, Derek Shepherd would have survived (he narrates as much during his protracted death scene). The irony of a man who says “it’s a good day to save lives” losing his own because of a botched medical procedure was more painful because it was totally avoidable. 

Grey’s Anatomy has been around for a long time: Whether you dropped out of the audience recently or years ago, you still probably remember the early days of the Meredith and Derek courtship. It was heartwarming: He was flawed, like the best characters from the Shondaland canon, but that’s what made him so likable. Derek might have just been a guy Patrick Dempsey played on TV, but it's going to take us a long while to get over this one.
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