If you’re angry that Patrick Dempsey’s character Derek Shepherd was written off of “Grey’s Anatomy,” you’re definitely not alone. Following episode 21 of the hit ABC medical drama's eleventh season, fans of the Shonda Rhimes-created series took to outlets from Twitter to Facebook to mourn the loss of everyone’s favorite fictional doctor.
One viewer was so distraught at McDreamy’s death (which was caused by a car crash and the lack of a CT scan) as to launch a petition on Change.org in an effort to bring back Derek from the dead. “It’s like you’ve killed the President of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’!” Courtney Williams, the creator of the appeal, wrote. “YOU HAVE TO BRING DEREK BACK! NOW! IMMEDIATELY!”
But unfortunately for fans still hopeful that Derek might somehow miraculously return, Rhimes revealed she has no desire to resurrect the handsome surgeon. After the emotional episode “How to Save a Life” aired, Rhimes issued a statement regarding what Derek’s demise would mean for the future of “Grey’s Anatomy”:
“Now, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) 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 (Kate Burton) would say: The carousel never stops turning,” she said, adding her gratitude to the man who brought the character of Derek Shepherd to life.
“Derek Shepherd is and will always be an incredibly important character -- for Meredith, for me and for the fans," Rhimes said. "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.”
Dempsey, who told Entertainment Weekly that he learned his character was going to get killed off in “February or March,” said he anticipated the pain fans would feel.
“I think any time an original cast member has left, there’s always been a void that will never be filled. But it goes on and it will evolve,” he said.
Audiences will explore what life after Derek looks like when episode 22 of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “She’s Leaving Home,” airs Thursday at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC.