Last night’s Grey’s Anatomy changed the series for good. As we close one chapter, let’s take one last look before we turn the page in the series.
Spoilers ahead for Grey’s Anatomy season 11, episode 21, “How to Save a Life.”
George O’Malley, Mark Sloan, Lexie Grey, and now another doctor hangs his scrub cap for the last time in Seattle: Derek Shepherd. Last night’s Grey’s Anatomy saw Derek Shepherd doing what he does best, saving lives and teaching others to do the same. Even though the latter action only panned out inside his head, Derek spent his last moments encouraging fellow surgeons to persevere and be their best.
While we believed that a season 12 contract with Patrick Dempsey’s signature on it was a done-deal, nothing is predictable on Grey’s Anatomy.
Before Grey’s Anatomy returns next week with a two-hour farewell for Dr. Shepherd’s fellow surgeons to say goodbye, we look back at our favorite lessons Dr. Shepherd taught us over his 11 years in the OR and on our screens.
1. Adding “Mc” to something makes a person far more attractive
What is it about adding a prefix to an adjective that turns a dreamy man into McDreamy? While the science behind this is not exactly getting funding for further research, Grey’s Anatomy taught us with the simple addition of two letters, doctors can go from sleazy to McSteamy.
2. No matter how perfect your partner is, you still need a person
If you find a person you are lucky enough to love for life, that is great. But that person may not be your “person.” As Derek proved time and time again, making room for another “person” in the relationship is not only healthy, but a way to make sure that you only have to deal with half of the gossip you don’t care to hear.
3. It’s always a beautiful day to save lives
Storming, flooding, patients dying in mass numbers, regardless of what you are up against, you must focus on one thing that is in your control. For Derek it is the body on the table in front of him in that moment. As everything else outside the OR falls away, suddenly the day does seem a little brighter and easier to handle.
4. Do what you have to do
Sometimes the choices are tough, say leaving your wife for another woman. Other times it is as easy as putting on a crown and sipping tea with your daughter. Derek never backed away from something because it was beneath him or too hard.
5. Swallow your pride
Okay, it took Derek a long and winding road to figure this one out, but eventually he got the memo. Clipping the bleeders and having the opportunity to do what others cannot can be enough for one person. After trying and failing to get behind Amelia’s leadership in the hospital, Derek eventually came around and decided that two Shepherds at the top of their field is better than one ego-maniac.