WARNING: Spoilers for the most recent episode of Grey's Anatomy (Season 11, episode 21). Consider yourself warned!
After 11 seasons of making hearts melt, [Grey's Anatomy](tag:200746) lost one of it's stars in this week's latest episode 'How to Save a Life' as McDreamy himself, Dr. Derek Shepherd, was killed off.
I'm not going to lie, having watched the show religiously since it started in 2005 and the episode got me pretty good, in fact there may have even been tears shed.
The episode began with Derek witnessing a car accident and helping save all four people involved in the crash, like a true hero. However, as he drives away from the accident site, he reaches for his phone, instead of paying attention to the road, and is blind-sided by an oncoming truck. When he is taken to hospital, the doctors fail to take him for a brain scan immediately and as a result he suffers brain damage. That's right, Grey's Anatomy killed off their neurosurgeon with a brain injury, meaning the one man that could have saved McDreamy, was McDreamy himself. Truly heartbreaking. The episode ended with Meredith switching off Derek's life support and the much-loved character giving his final breath.
Following the episode, Patrick Dempsey, who played Derek Shepherd for all 11 seasons, released a statement to TVLine, it said:
"It’s been a remarkable ride. The worldwide impact has been extraordinary. It is incredible how devoted and passionate the fans are and I will forever be grateful and humbled by the experience."
No! Don't leave us Derek!
What makes McDreamy's departure even more of a surprise is that Patrick Dempsey recently signed a two-year contract extension, which looked like confirmation that Derek would remain on the show through Season 12 (provided the show is picked up for another season). Now it appears that any more appearances from Derek may only be in flashback or hallucination form.
A look back at Dr. Derek Shepherd
Right from the start Dr. Derek Shepherd was always the show's heart-throb. Sure, over 11 seasons others have tried to dethrone him, but from that very first scene of the very first episode when a shirtless Patrick Dempsey graced our screen, it sealed his spot as the top hot doc.
Throughout the show, the character of Derek has had his fair share of drama, from cheating on his wife, making medical breakthroughs, marrying Meredith (via post-it note), being shot, having children and being in a plane crash, it seems like disaster followed the Shepherd-Grey's and ultimately it ended in death, albeit death after the truly heroic act of saving four car crash victims lives - what better way for the character to go out?
Grey's Anatomy creator, Shonda Rhimes released a statement about Derek's death in the show which seems to sum up how many of the fans will be feeling today after that shocking episode:
"Derek Shepherd is and will always be an incredibly important character -- for Meredith, for me and for the fans. I absolutely never imagined saying goodbye to our ‘McDreamy.’ Patrick Dempsey’s performance shaped Derek in a way that I know we both hope became a meaningful example -- happy, sad, romantic, painful and always true -- of what young women should demand from modern love. His loss will be felt by all. Now, Meredith and the entire 'Grey’s Anatomy' family are about to enter uncharted territory as we head into this new chapter of her life. The possibilities for what may come are endless. As Ellis Grey would say: the carousel never stops turning."
Next weeks Grey's Anatomy episode will be two hours long as the remaining characters grapple with Dr. Shepherd's death, ahead of the season finale which will screen on May 14th.