(Spoiler alert: Please do not read haven’t watched Thursday’s episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.”)
The first episode of Grey’s Anatomy in the post-Patrick Dempsey era was filled with tears, mourning, more shocking ShondaLand twists — and a surprise newborn baby.
After Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) had the worst day of her life last week when husband Derek Shepherd died, she then had to tell her Seattle Grace colleagues about the fatal tractor-trailer crash that killed McDreamy on Thursday’s two-hour special on ABC.
The new widow walked into the break room in a dreamlike state as her fellow surgeons were going about their daily grind and delivered the crushing news in three words: “Derek is dead.”
Next Owen (Kevin McKidd) had the grim task of telling his sister, Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone), who immediately knew from his face that someone had died. “I don’t need the details, dead is dead. I’ve done this before, I know the drill — it’s not a big deal,” she said holding back her feelings.
A slow motion shot of the funeral showed friends and family saying their last goodbyes to Derek, with Meredith sitting still as stone after the service struggling to cope with the loss.
“If something happens to me don’t let them hook me up to anything,” Bailey (Chandra Wilson) told Ben afterwards. “Just donate my organs and let me go.” He disagreed and wanted to be kept alive at all cost, sparking an ongoing debate between the them — culminating in Bailey deciding that if Ben ended up in a coma then she gets to sleep with Idris Elba.
Life at Seattle Grace soon fell back into its usual routine of dealing with medical emergencies and personal crisis, but Meredith packed up her children and jumped ship, leaving just a note behind.
As time fast forwarded over a series of several months and numerous milestone holidays since the tragic accident, Meredith is shown talking to the ghost of her mother, Ellis Grey, and having flashbacks of Derek.
While she is living in the past for much of this week’s episode — viewers are brought back to the present with a jolt through a time jump that revealed she was pregnant before Derek’s death, and after a miscarriage scare she gives birth to a new daughter, Ellis.
“I didn’t think I could do it, part of me thought ‘what if I have this baby and die?” she told Alex (Justin Chambers), who was her emergency contact and came to visit her at the maternity ward. “Then I saw her face and I saw him in her, she is beautiful.”
Meredith and her now-three children finally returned to the home she shared with Derek while a melancholy version of Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” played as a soundtrack to her life as a single mom.
“Grey’s Anatomy” airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.
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