There sim­ply aren’t enough tis­sues as we say good­bye to Grey’s Anatomy’s McDreamy.

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Grey’s Anatomy

Sea­son 11 Mon­days M-Net 19:30

Derek Shep­herd (Pa­trick Dempsey) is dead. No amount of spoil­ers we’ve seen – and this has been front­page news – can make this any less shock­ing. On Mon­day 18 May, be­fore Derek left for Wash­ing­ton DC to re­sign from his White House job, he lov­ingly told Mered­ith (Ellen Pom­peo), “Wait for me. I’ll be back be­fore you know it.” But fans got chills when Mered­ith got a call from Wash­ing­ton re­veal­ing that Derek didn’t make his meet­ing. On Mon­day 25 May, Mered­ith cy­cled through ir­ri­ta­tion, con­cern and out­right fear as Derek’s si­lence con­tin­ued. But we knew that bad news was com­ing when a po­lice car pulled up at the end of the episode. Mon­day 1 June’s episode be­gins with Mered­ith’s trau­matic an­nounce­ment of Derek’s death. The how and why will fol­low.


SA fans will see Derek’s death episode on Mon­day 1 June at 19:30, fol­lowed by the first part of a two-hour spe­cial at 20:30, with the sec­ond part air­ing on Mon­day 8 June. This is what’s in it:

The ac­ci­dent: Derek’s a good Sa­mar­i­tan to a road­side ac­ci­dent. Pa­tients saved, he stops his car to reach for his phone and a huge truck drives right into him. But that’s not what kills him…

Derek’s death: he’s stuck at a hos­pi­tal where the docs aren’t well trained. A

trail of neg­li­gence and bad de­ci­sions turn a sur­viv­able ac­ci­dent into a fa­tal one. Mered­ith is called in as his next of kin with an ag­o­nis­ing de­ci­sion: let him linger, brain dead, or let Derek go.

Spe­cial part 1: af­ter Mered­ith an­nounces his death three times be­cause no­body is lis­ten­ing, there’s a 45-sec­ond fu­neral and me­mo­rial scene. Then Mered­ith takes Zola (Aniela Gumbs) and lit­tle Bai­ley (Eve and Elle Tanz), walks out of her house and leaves ev­ery­thing be­hind. We watch what hap­pens with the rest of the Grey’s team as time skips for­ward, first to Easter, then Me­mo­rial Day, 4th Of July and Hal­loween, then Thanks­giv­ing (the first time any­one’s man­aged to con­tact Mered­ith) and fi­nally Christ­mas, when we learn that Mered­ith’s been keep­ing a huge se­cret.

Spe­cial part 2: the New Year be­gins with Mered­ith ask­ing Zola to call 911 be­fore she’s raced off to hos­pi­tal. With Alex (Justin Cham­bers) listed as her emer­gency con­tact, her friends find out what she’s been deal­ing with. And on Valen­tine’s Day, Mered­ith re­turns and pre­pares to start all over again.


While some fans are in­sist­ing that they can’t go on with­out Derek, oth­ers have got­ten used to Mered­ith’s life with­out him while he was at the White House. And that in­cludes Ellen Pom­peo, who tweeted her view on life af­ter Derek’s death on Mon­day 27 April: “There are many peo­ple out there who have suf­fered tremen­dous loss and tragedy. Hus­bands and wives of sol­diers, vic­tims of sense­less vi­o­lence and par­ents who have lost chil­dren. Peo­ple who get up each day and do what feels like is the im­pos­si­ble. So it is for th­ese peo­ple and in the spirit of re­silience I am hon­oured and ex­cited to tell the story of how Mered­ith goes on in the face of what feels like the im­pos­si­ble. I hope you will join me on her jour­ney.”


But did Derek re­ally have to die? Show cre­ator Shonda Rimes told fans in her public state­ment that “Pa­trick Dempsey shaped Derek in a way that I know we both hope be­came a mean­ing­ful ex­am­ple – happy, sad, ro­man­tic, pain- ful and al­ways true – of what young women should de­mand from mod­ern love. His loss will be felt by all.” But for her, the story goes on be­cause, “As El­lis Grey would say: the carousel never stops turn­ing.” But aside from this state­ment, Shonda has been tightlipped about why Derek had to die.


Pa­trick’s char­ac­ter was killed de­spite him re­new­ing his con­tract for two years in Jan­uary 2014. And sur­pris­ingly, he’s fine with it. “Things hap­pened quickly. It un­folded in a very or­ganic way,” he re­veals. “This was ob­vi­ously the right time. I think it will be very shock­ing, the way it hap­pens. But life is like that.” Pa­trick might have started to feel the count­down be­fore then. In Novem­ber 2014, af­ter nearly 10 years on the show he said, “Act­ing has been a bless­ing for me. But it’s tran­si­tional for me right now. I’m look­ing for­ward to the next thing, cre­atively.” With Grey’s over, Pa­trick will have more time for his favourite hobby – rac­ing cars.

Derek’s voiceover re­veals the

mo­ment he knows that he’s

go­ing to die.

Derek sees the truck.

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