Patrick Dempsey Calls Grey's Anatomy Return a "Beautiful Ending" to Meredith and Derek's Story

"I thought it was a beautiful way to close it," Patrick Dempsey told Variety of the moment Derek and Meredith finally got the wedding of their literal dreams on Grey's Anatomy.

By Lindsay Weinberg Apr 27, 2021 2:36 AMTags
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Patrick Dempsey loved that beach wedding as much as we did.

As McDreamy seemingly took his final bow, the Grey's Anatomy actor said he couldn't be more pleased with how his character's storyline has ended. 

Patrick appears to have ended his run on the medical drama on Thursday, April 22, after making a surprise return for season 17. In the latest episode, Derek (Patrick) and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) reunited on the beach in wedding attire to live out our fantasies, following their lackluster—yet romantic—Post-It note vows in season five. "Ellis draws this picture of us," Meredith told him. "I'm in a wedding dress, and you're in a suit. I showed her the Post-It note, but she just… hates it. She feels robbed!"

Derek ultimately convinced her to wake up from her coronavirus hallucination to return to her kids. 

"I thought it was a beautiful way to close it," Patrick told Variety on April 26. "The intention was to really give people some hope because they are such an iconic couple."

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He added, "We've lost so many people this year, the thought that we'd have angels hovering around us taking care of us is a good message to send out in such a bleak world that we're living in. So for all of us, it was a beautiful ending to this story. I'm so grateful that I did it and happy that the fans really loved it."

As for how he personally felt about shooting the final scene, the father of three recalled, "We all cried at the beginning and we hugged each other."


Of course, he doesn't know for sure whether this is really the conclusion of Derek's time on Grey's Anatomy. "Who knows? Never say never with this show, right? I'm glad we did it this year," he told the outlet of his chance of coming back yet again.

Patrick also explained a bit more about how his reunion with Ellen came to be, describing their conversations at the start of the pandemic in spring 2020. He said, "It was really for us to get the message out there to wear a mask, take care of yourself. Ellen and I were like, 'What can we do together to make some impact here?'"

The Disenchanted actor suggested that creating more awareness about the coronavirus pandemic through the plot was "a positive action that reverberates into more positive action." 

While last week's episode appears to be it for Patrick, the end of the series as a whole could be near as well. 

Showrunner Krista Vernoff has said that she's planning a season 17 finale that "could function as either a season finale or a series finale." As she told The Hollywood Reporter in March, "I'm planning for both contingencies and it's hard and it's not ideal. It's not where I wish we were." 

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