Get some tissues ready, “Grey’s Anatomy” fans. Actually, grab the entire Kleenex box. Tonight, the audience found out Derek’s whereabouts and ultimately, his fate. Written by the show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, tonight’s episode is a tearjerker and will go down in the history of the show as one of the most tragic episodes. Read on to find out about Derek and the shocking death.
The episode started with a flashback of Derek before he left for his meeting in D.C. While driving to the airport to go to his meeting in D.C., Derek left a message for Meredith and then had a chat with April and Bailey who were in surgery. The three of them engaged in banter with April and Bailey teasing Derek about him missing his flight. Derek insisted that he would make it on time and assured them that they shouldn’t worry because he was taking a shortcut. Red flag alert. It turned out it was a bad decision because just as he lost the connection to Grey/Sloan hospital, a driver raced by him and cut off the SUV in front of him which caused a horrific accident.
Managing to avoid the accident himself, Derek sprung into action and ran over to check the mother and daughter in the SUV, Sarah and Winnie. After assuring the mother that she was, in fact, alive and breathing, he ran over to check on the people in the speeding car. He discovered that no one was in the car. He found Alanna, who had been thrown from the speedster, on the ground nearby. She was shaken up and had the wind knocked out of her but seemed more or less okay. Derek continued to wander down the road to discover the driver, Charlie who was stumbling on the road about to collapse from a massive head injury.
After helping Winnie out of the car, Derek tried to persuade the youngling to wait with Charlie and Alanna in order to avoid seeing her mom in any more pain. Winnie, however, wasn’t afraid to stay and be with her mom because she had experienced seeing her father die. Fortunately, she relented and brought bandages to Charlie and Alanna. Winnie managed to avoid seeing her mother painfully exit the SUV and Derek popping her hip back into place. After witnessing the sports car exploding, Alanna began to have a meltdown. She wailed that she wasn’t supposed to be there in the first place. She simply could not refuse when attractive Charlie asked if she wanted to go for a ride. “I’m a mathlete,” she declared. She couldn’t believe her misfortune. As if it couldn’t get worse for her, she doubled over in pain because her insides were coming out. She screamed in pain and tearfully told Derek that she knew she was going to die. Except, she didn’t realize that she had one of the best doctors in the world with her. “I don’t let people die,” Derek explained.
After the victims were taken away to the hospital, Derek was about to continue on his way to the airport when his cell phone rang. Positioned badly in the middle of the highway, Derek stopped to find his phone which had fallen between the seats. Red flag alert! He got plowed into by a huge truck! For a minute, it appeared that Derek was being taken to Grey Sloan. Unfortunately, Derek was taken to another hospital – one without a trauma centre. Although he had lost his ability to speak, Derek began to narrate what was going on in his head through a voiceover. He was fine, he was even able to diagnose himself. He knew that he had to be taken to get a head CT immediately. Everything was going to be okay.
Winnie, who was at the same hospital discovered Derek and broke down in tears. He checked his pulse and assured him he wasn’t dead – much like he did for her mother earlier in the episode. When the ER doctors found her in Derek’s cubicle, she revealed to them that he was the doctor who had saved all of the accident victims. Ominously, as he was wheeled into surgery, Derek revealed his own fate to the audience, “I’m going to die because these people aren’t properly trained.”
Derek continued his voiceover during his operation as he went through the steps of what the doctors should be doing for him. They concluded that Derek needed a neurosurgeon but the specialist took forever to get there. The doctors continued to waste precious time and Derek stated, “You’re too late,” as the neurosurgeon reached the OR and was castigated for his terrible response time.
The episode flashed to where the audience was left last week. Meredith was at her front down seeing the police lights flash in front of her. The cops informed her that there had been an accident and was asked to follow them to see her husband in the hospital. At the hospital, Meredith takes a look at his chart and notices that Derek never received the head CT and that was the decision that cost him his life. Derek was now on life support but would never come off it. He was gone.
Meredith now faced the choice of sending Derek away to a facility and praying for a miracle or pulling Derek off of life support. Meredith ultimately decided to pull the plug and yelled for the doctor to give her the papers to sign. While outside to catch her breath, the doctor who failed Derek apologized to Meredith. “You weren’t good enough. Learn from this, better yourself and you will be better for next time,” Meredith replied. She continued to tell the doctor that she was going to never make the same mistake again because Derek was the face that she would see every time she had a new patient to treat. His face will never leave her. After the doctor left, Meredith reentered the hospital to face the music.
As she approached his bedside, she uttered his name one last time as a tear fell down her cheek. The audience gets to experience the happier times of the popular couple set to the tune of “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol. It’s a song that has been attributed to the show since the beginning and is also the title of the episode. The flashbacks end and she promises Derek that she will be fine. The nurse asks if she’s ready and Meredith answers, “No, but go ahead.” She shuts off the life support and Meredith watches her husband, the love of her life, take one last breath. It’s the end of an era and the end of a couple.
Patrick Dempsey, Shonda Rhimes and ABC have all put out official statements on Dempsey’s departure. Rhimes has also revealed how the show will continue but of course, it will look different with the loss of a major character. Will Dempsey’s departure keep you from continuing on with “Grey’s Anatomy”?