Grey's Anatomy has a bad habit — or a good habit, depending on your proclivities — of concocting the most heart-wrenching season finales. Most famously, the finale of season 11 of the show featured the fallout of the death of McDreamy (a.k.a. Derek Shepherd). Countless other finales have featured the death of major characters — let us not forget the finale of season 6, when a hospital shooter took aim at Reed and Alex. (Alex stuck around, don't worry.) The season 13 finale, which aired Thursday night, did things a little differently: It brought someone back to life. Dr. Nathan Riggs (Martin Henderson) discovered near the end of the episode that his wife, Megan, is actually alive.
By most accounts, this year's finale was just as bonkers as the rest. We're in our 13th iteration of this show, so the medical emergencies are more dire and the predicaments even more absurd. This is a sample paragraph from the recap of this week's episode:
"Dr. Stephanie Edwards and a child named Erin (Darby Camp) have been held hostage by a crazy rapist who, near the end of the [penultimate] episode they set on fire and he rolled into a room full of gas canisters that exploded in a giant fiery ball out the side of the hospital."
Like I said, absurd. Regardless, the silliness is dramatic and engaging — and this time around, it was a little uplifting. As you may recall, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Riggs enjoyed a lovely post-Derek-death relationship during the 13th season. Riggs' wife Megan had died, Meredith's husband had also died — it was a match made in heaven, literally. Then, Megan returns and Meredith herself has to break the news to her boyfriend.
"Okay, so. Remember the dream where they come back to us?" Meredith asks her beau. "Derek forgets his keys and Megan goes"—
— "For coffee. Yeah. What about it?"
"Nathan, they found Megan. She's alive," Meredith finishes.
Cue: Tears, snot, sniffles, the works — all customary symptoms of watching a Grey's Anatomy finale. The most heartbreaking part of the whole exchange is that while Riggs may have his wife back, Meredith certainly doesn't have her husband back. When Riggs is reluctant to leave his surgeon girlfriend at the hospital to see his long-lost wife, she shakes her head, and says the most devastating sentence: "If it was Derek, I'd already be gone."
Cue: Two orders of the works, plus a side dish of chest heaves.
It's simple, and also a reminder that McDreamy may be lost to the Grey's Anatomy universe, but he's not gone. Patrick Dempsey's handsome doctor is still haunting the halls of that hospital.
The moment was the most memorable part of the episode, as evidenced by Twitter.
Only Shonda Rhimes could have a season finale that both brings someone back to life and leaves you completely devastated. Call it a talent.
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