Grey's Anatomy Shocker: Shonda Rhimes and the Show's Casualty Speak Out On That Heartbreaking Death

ABC's long-running medical drama lost one of its original stars tonight in a shocking twist

By Sydney Bucksbaum Apr 24, 2015 1:35 AMTags
Grey's Anatomy, Patrick DempseyABC/Kelsey McNeal

MAJOR SPOILER ALERT! Do not read until you have seen tonight's heartbreaking episode of Grey's Anatomy!

Well, that one hurt.

Even though the biggest plot twist of Grey's Anatomy was spoiled a half hour before the shocking episode, "How to Save a Life," aired, watching Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) play the hero to a car crash he witnessed only to end up getting in a car crash of his own was just. So. Awful.

And to make matters worse, the reason he ended up dying from his injuries? The doctors working on him (not at Grey Sloan Memorial, might we add) weren't properly trained for trauma and didn't order the right head CT's to get done, missing the biggest injury to his brain. A simple mistake, with deadly consequences.


"I'm going to die because these people aren't properly trained," Derek said in a voiceover while we screamed really bad words at our TV screens. So. Frustrating! *Sob*.

Shonda Rhimes, how could you?!

"Derek Shepherd is and will always be an incredibly important character—for Meredith, for me and for the fans," Rhimes says in a statement to E! News. "I absolutely never imagined saying goodbye to our 'Mcdreamy.' Patrick Dempsey's performance shaped Derek in a way that I know we both hope became a meaningful example—happy, sad, romantic, painful and always true—of what young women should demand from modern love. His loss will be felt by all. Now, Meredith and the entire Grey's Anatomy family are about to enter uncharted territory as we head into this new chapter of her life. The possibilities for what may come are endless. As Ellis Grey would say: the carousel never stops turning."

ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Dempsey took to Twitter to thank fans the day after the episode aired. "I want to thank all the fans, what an incredible 11 yrs, I love you all," he says.

"It's been a remarkable ride," Dempsey tells TVLine. "The worldwide impact has been extraordinary. It is incredible how devoted and passionate the fans are ,and I will forever be grateful and humbled by the experience."

So why did Derek have to die at all? Can we pretend like this entire episode was just one horrible dream?!

"After 11 seasons on Grey's Anatomy, Patrick Dempsey is moving on to pursue other interests," ABC says in a statement to E! News. "Dr. Derek Shepherd is an iconic character and we've been proud to be the home of 'McDreamy' and the 'Mer/Der' love story. The devotion of Grey's fans throughout the years has been a testament to the creative mind of Shonda Rhimes and Dempsey's talent. 'McDreamy' will be greatly missed and we wish Patrick the very best in his future endeavors."

Ready for all the tears? Watch the exact moment when Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) said her final goodbyes to her husband below now. *Sob.*

Some unlucky fans were actually spoiled about this storyline less than an hour before the episode even aired after some early issues of Entertainment Weekly leaked.

EW issued an apology for the spoiler with this statement: "We are surprised that an EW subscriber may have received their issue a day earlier than planned. We always try our best to bring readers exclusive news first. We would like to apologize to fans of the show that learned the news ahead of time."

We still don't know if being spoiled about Derek's death made it hurt a little less, or if it made everything worse. Hit the comments section below to weigh in with your opinion!

And then let's all hold each other, because we need all the support we can get after that roller coaster of an episode. Don't even get us started on that "Derek's alive!" hallucination fake-out halfway through the episode. Just. Don't.

Not even Ellen Pompeo's hilarious Instagram video can lift our spirits:

#TGIT We don't play #greysanatomy

A video posted by Ellen Pompeo (@ellenpompeo) on

Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.