*If you do not know how “Grey’s” ended last night, and do not want to know yet, skip to the third paragraph.*
As I watched last night’s Grey’s Anatomy, I felt somewhat removed from what I was seeing. I knew it was happening, I cried when Meredith arrived, but I went about my evening. I watched Scandal, brushed my teeth, and read my book as usual. Yet, when I finally turned off the light and my head hit the pillow, my eyes filled with pinpricks of tears, and my throat tightened. The weight of it all finally hit me: McDreamy was no more. Derek is gone.
I tell you this in the beginning of this recap because it’s all over the internet, and it was heavily foreshadowed. Not that that makes it any easier to deal with, losing a major original character from a series. But I tell you this at the beginning, because this entire episode was a testament to Derek’s character, and also because I think that many of you might just be feeling as terrible as I do right now. So I’m ripping the bandaid off.
Meredith’s voiceover tells us about that damn carousel and we know by now that repeated motifs equate to bad shit happening. She looks out the windows of the MerDer mansion and police lights from the driveway dance upon her face. She remembers the first and last time Derek told her, “Stay here, don’t move, wait for me.” It’s like a dagger to the heart, thinking of all the time Meredith did wait for Derek, and how they finally built a life together.
We next see Derek, who is all smiles while riding the ferry. He tries to call Meredith, but she’s scooping up the kids and heading to work so she misses his call. He leaves a message, which we know we will eventually hear and it will tear our hearts in two. Then later, stuck in traffic, Derek decides to take a shortcut and chats with Amelia, Bailey and April who tease him that he’s going to miss his flight. His call drops just as a black sports car starts driving recklessly around him. Derek, who if you remember used to speed for the thrill of it after he got shot, lets the guy pass, mumbling about it the whole way. When the car attempts to pass the SUV in front of Derek, the cars collide, causing a huge accident. Both cars flip over, and Derek slams on his brakes, narrowly avoiding becoming part of the crash himself.
He can’t find his phone, but it wouldn’t matter as there’s no signal on this part of the road. He rushes to check on the first car, which contains a mother named Sara and her young daughter, Winnie. At first Winnie doesn’t respond to her mother and Derek because she thinks she’s dead, but Derek takes her wrist and promises she’s got a pulse which means she’s very much not dead. Both she and her Sara are injured but okay, so Derek promises to come back for them after he finds the other accident survivors.
Derek finds the next survivor, a teenage girl named Alana, lying in a ditch. She’s conscious but in shock, and not the driver. That would be Charlie, a teenage boy who Derek finds wandering the road with a head-wound the size of the Grand Canyon. And all this time, I thought doctors always carried big magical kits with them, but Derek has the tiniest first aid kit in the world.
He goes to Sara and Winnie’s car, and busts out the windows to pull them to safety. He sends Winnie away with their much better first aid kit to help Alana and Charlie, while he helps her mom. Sara’s hip is dislocated, and Derek does Callie proud by popping it back into place.
After the pop, Winnie notices that Charlie’s car is on fire so Derek rushes to pull the two teens and Winnie from harm’s way. Big explosion, but everyone is okay. Well, I mean they aren’t okay, but they aren’t exploded at least. The smoke from the explosion should send a signal to someone that there’s been an accident, so Derek feels pretty good about it. Next up, Alana starts monologing about how she’s not even supposed to be there. She’s a straight A student, and when the cute, kind of dumb quarterback asked her if she wanted a ride, she just couldn’t believe it. Charlie kissed her and it was magic, but now they are nearly dead on the side of the road. Derek and Winnie help the teen to the ground so Derek can address her stomach pains. When he lifts up her shirt, her intestines are just about to spill out. He tells her that she’s got a “little cut on your tummy” but she’s legit cut in half.