by Sydney Bucksbaum | Thu., Apr. 23, 2015 9:00 PM
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS BELOW! Do not read unless you want to be spoiled about what happened on tonight's game-changing, heartbreaking episode of Grey's Anatomy!
Did we just have a really terrible nightmare? We could have sworn we just watched McDreamy die on Grey's Anatomy...but that can't be real life, right? Right?!
Someone wake us up now, please, we're ready to get back to a world in which Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) is still alive, happily in love with Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), asking her to have another baby with him. Let's rewind just one episode and forget this one ever happened. Cool?
But unfortunately for all of us, "How to Save a Life" is going to remain a real Grey's Anatomy episode, and Derek is really dead.
And his death came about in the most frustrating, mean way! Seriously, Shonda Rhimes?! Seriously?!
After Derek witnessed a car crash, he jumped in hero mode, saving every single person in the wreck. And when fire trucks and ambulances came to take everyone to the hospital, Derek got in his car a little more exhausted but still totally fine, and started to drive away. But, in mistake number one, his phone rang, he reached down to answer it...and his car ended up getting T-boned by a random truck that came out of nowhere!
That's right, this was car crash number two, for those of you keeping track. Not. Cool.
Derek was rushed to the nearest hospital, which was not Grey Sloan Memorial, and that was mistake number two. Random doctors rushed to treat him, and believed that he wasn't stable enough to get a head CT, instead taking him straight to the OR. That, my fellow Grey's fans, was mistake number three, and the biggest mistake of them all.
Not only was Derek stable enough for a CT, he needed one to show the doctors his biggest injury was in his brain.
"I'm stable! Guys, I'm stable! Take me to get a head CT," Derek says in a frustrating voiceover while the doctors wheel him to the OR. "I'm going to die because these people aren't properly trained."
We then had to suffer and watch as the team of doctors tried in vain to figure out what the problem was, cutting into his chest, not realizing the biggest problem was in his brain. When they did finally realize that, it was too late, and the on-call neurosurgeon couldn't make it to the OR in time to save Derek.
But here's where the episode killed us. Literally killed us.
Just when it seemed like Derek was about to die, the episode shifted and showed Meredith walking into his hospital room...and he was alive, awake in his hospital bed, waiting for her! He was alive! He made it through the surgery! We were all going to be okay! It's a miracle!
And then the episode shifted again, and this time, Meredith was home, in her doorway, and police officers were informing her that Derek had been in an accident and he didn't make it through the surgery.
That second fakeout? Not. Okay. We are not okay!
At this point, tears began streaming down our faces in a steady waterfall for the rest of the episode, because there was no going back. Meredith was forced to realize she lost her husband, all because of a simple mistake made by this team of doctors. She read Derek's chart and immediately pointed out the fatal mistake, and as she looked down at Derek's face, his eyes closed, breathing tubes and machines doing all they could to keep his body alive, we absolutely lost it.
Even though Meredith knew all the steps that were coming next, it didn't make it any easier for her to endure now that she had a personal stake in the matter. It was time to sign the papers to legally end Derek's life.
We've seen this process a thousand times before on this show, but this time, knowing that the plug being pulled and the life ending was McDreamy's? It felt like our hearts were being ripped out of our chests and stomped on until there was nothing left but dust. This death was the hardest one we've had to endure on this show, and we don't think any other death could ever top this in the future. Did someone just pull our plug?!?!?
Ask any Grey's Anatomy fan, from the diehards to the casual watchers, and they will tell you: Mer/Der is the heart of this show. How will this show go forward from here? Excuse us while we dissolve into a puddle of tears yet again as we try to imagine Meredith living without Derek.
And then "Chasing Cars" started to play, and every Grey's Anatomy fan knew what was coming...and that made it all the worse.
Meredith watched as a nurse turned off all the machines keeping Derek's body alive, took out his breathing tube, and with her hand on his chest, she felt his heart stop beating, and his body let out one final breath.
And that was it. McDreamy died. RIP McDreamy. Derek. Is. Dead.
And it all could have been avoided! Seriously?!
We don't even know how to process all of this, even though we knew what was coming thanks to a certain magazine spoiling the huge twist less than an hour before the episode aired. Did that make it worse? Did it help alleviate the pain? We'll never know.
All we do know is that Grey's Anatomy will never be the same again.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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