Can Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) make it on her own? That’s the question “Grey’s Anatomy” showrunner Shonda Rhimes is toying with for the second half of Season 11.
Not only is Mer without her “person” after Cristina (Sandra Oh) decided to pursue her dream job in Switzerland, but Dr. Grey just recently lost her second form of a support system when Derek (Patrick Dempsey) decided to pack his bags for Washington, D.C.
Derek was re-offered the position to work with the president across the county, an opportunity he jumped at after getting into an argument with Meredith. However, when episode 10 concluded, Mer was more than supportive of his career move – even if it meant she would have to face the world alone.
“I love the idea that this could possibly mean that for the first time in her life at the hospital, she has neither Cristina nor Derek, and therefore is essentially alone and how she’s going to cope with that. It’s going to be very interesting for her,” Rhimes dished to Entertainment Weekly.
Meredith’s solitude will play an even larger role in Season 11 than we thought. During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the show’s EP teased that “this journey is really about (Meredith) coming into her own as a surgeon, figuring out who she is and who she wants to be, standing on her own two feet and trying to be her own person for the first time without the support of Cristina and without the support of Derek." But can she be successful without fric and frac by her side?
Rhimes is “hopeful” that Meredith can thrive without a shoulder to lean on, adding that the protagonist may face some obstacles on her solo-journey of making a name for herself in the world of medicine. “It’s a struggle to get where she’s going when you’ve been living in the shadow of your mother, and you’ve also been living in the shadow of Cristina and Derek,” she admitted to TVLine. “It is a struggle to push yourself to become something that you’re not 100-percent sure that you can be.”
The next episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” airs Thursday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.