After episode 21 of the 11th season of Grey’s Anatomy aired, many fans of the show were in disbelief after it turned out Derek (Patrick Dempsey) died after being involved in car crash. Many were stunned, and at some point, fans started a petition to bring the character back to the show, but none of that brought McDreamy back.
At a Television Critics Association briefing yesterday, showrunner, Shonda Rhimes finally revealed the motive behind the move. According to her, the decision was not a difficult one when you look at the options.
“Either Derek was going to walk out on Meredith and leave her high and dry and what was that going to mean? That was going to suggest that their love was not true — that the thing we said for 11 years was a lie and McDreamy wasn’t McDreamy and that was untenable. Meredith and Derek’s love had to remain Meredith and Derek’s love. As painful as it was for me as a storyteller because I never thought that would happen, the only way to preserve that is Derek had to die for that love to remain honest. I couldn’t have that he turned out to be a bad guy who walked out on his wife and kid … for me, the only way was to make Derek and Meredith’s magic to remain true and forever frozen in time.”
The showrunner also noted that there were extensive discussions as to how character would be killed and revealed that it was a difficult decision for everyone involved.
On the upcoming season 12, Rhimes noted that it would feature ‘a lighter tone’, and focus on rebirth, especially for Meredith.
“We ended last season talking about the sun is going to rise again … we have this world in which Meredith is single and she is living this life she hadn’t thought she’d be living again. She’s living in a house with her sisters and she’s surrounded by … women dating and having a whole life and she’s not interested in any of that. You start to wonder if there’s a second life here or if those years are behind you and you’re on a different track. I’m excited about the medical growth she’s experiencing as a leader, who she’s becoming as a person and where she’s going. The theme is rebirth, which I’m excited about for all the characters but really for Meredith. That evolution for the character is really beautiful.”
Grey’s Anatomy returns for its 12th season in September 2015.