SPOILER ALERT - If by some miracle you have not seen Grey's Anatomy this week, or have not already heard what happened, STOP READING.
The internet was buzzin' after Thursday night's episode of Grey's Anatomy. People were outraged that Shonda Rhimes not only decided to kill off yet another character from the show, but the beloved McDreamy himself!
Yes, I am a fan of the show and have watched it from the beginning, so certainly I am attached to these characters.
But let's take a look at this just from a writing perspective. Was it smart to kill off one of the most popular characters of the show and one of the few remaining original characters at that?
While the episode was well written (although, not the best episode they ever had), and while it certainly created a buzz, in my humble opinion, I think it was a dumb move.
The show has been losing viewers over the last couple of years. We all know that it is drawing to an end - It has already been stated that they are planning on ending it after 2 more seasons. Wouldn't you want to keep as many viewers as possible over your last 2 seasons?
Derek Shepherd earned the nickname "McDreamy" for a reason. He is written to appeal to women as the perfect guy. And women across the world love him for it. Many people have continued to watch the show mainly because of him. Now he's gone.
Perhaps his storyline was done. Perhaps he just wanted out. It doesn't matter the reason. Killing such a beloved character at this point in the series is not a smart move. There are plenty of other ways you could write him out that would leave it open for him to be back for the finale, or to still be part of the storyline without actually being on the show. Keeping it a little more open ended - whether if he ever appeared on the show again or not - would keep viewers watching. It would keep viewers happy.
Now, if Shonda didn't already have the habit of killing off almost every character she wanted off the show, would my opinion on this be different?
I think it would. It would make Derek's death much more shocking and traumatic. It would hit the viewer's core even more. We wouldn't be ready for it, and it would send us reeling. We would want to keep watching to see how Meredith would survive.
But since there have already been a ridiculous amount of deaths on this show, quite frankly, this wasn't much of a surprise. Of course she would kill him off - she killed everyone else off (except Christina). Of course Meredith is going to survive and move on - she did with everyone else.
Was I upset Derek died? Sure, I love that character like everyone else. But did I have the ugly tears while watching it like I would have expected in other circumstances? Nope. I was fully expecting it, and I was quite annoyed. This show has proven that it has some fantastic writers. Some of the opening/ending narrations have been darn near genius in the past. So I KNOW they have good writers. So I KNOW they could have created a better storyline. So I was annoyed that they took the easy way and killed him just everyone else. Derek deserved better. The show deserved better.
Was the episode itself well written? Yes. Was it the best written episode I've seen from them? No.
It was a fitting way for McDreamy to die - a hero. I would expect nothing less. It was an interesting choice to have the great neurosurgeon's brain being what ended up killing him. Nice move. It is within Meredith's character to be strong and stoic like her mother. However, that said, I felt it was weird, especially considering the final song that was playing, that Meredith didn't lay down next to him one last time. To hold him, as he always held her and supported her, while he passed away. That last part of the ending left me unsatisfied, and it seemed like there should have been a bit more than just hearing the great McDreamy's last breath.
But that is just this one writer's humble opinion. What did you think? Was it a fitting ending? Was it a smart or stupid move in the overall arch of the show's story? Do you think viewers will still watch till the end of the show?
It certainly will be interesting to see how it ends up panning out....
Photo Credit: Patrick Dempsey via photopin (license)