If you haven’t realized, I am pretty much a t.v. junkie. And I’ve watched Grey’s Anatomy since it’s premiere in 2005.
It hasn’t always been a love affair, but most of the time I’ve respected the choices that were made.
Until this week. And not just because one of my all-time favorite crushes—Patrick Dempsey—was killed off the show unnecessarily.
But because it was done in a way that didn’t add up.
Let’s go back a few episodes, shall we?
On the episode that aired April 9, Derek wakes up with Meredith and tells her he has to go back to DC to tie up loose ends, but will be back for good after that. He looks so sexy when he says goodbye—the sun coming down through the evergreen trees. I live in Washington State, so I know my stuff and I’d say it was around seven or eight in the morning when Derek said his goodbye.
Now, it’s never been stated exactly where Derek and Meredith live, but I’m thinking it’s not downtown Seattle, but in one of the outlying areas—have you seen their view? And Sea-Tac, the airport is at least an hour’s drive from their house, if not longer. But. we’ll give him an hour. Then you figure he had to get there a couple of hours early—well, because we all do. So, by this timeline, his airplane wasn’t scheduled to leave until say 11:00 am. It’s a good round number. And since the minimum time to fly between Washington State and Washington, DC without any stops is between six and seven hours—not factoring in the three hour time shift—this would’ve set Derek in DC about 9pm at the earliest.
Now, at the end of this episode, Meredith receives a call that Derek didn’t make his meeting. I’m thinking he didn’t have a late-night meeting, so was the meeting the next morning? And if so, when Meredith didn’t hear from Derek that night, wasn’t she concerned? Because, I don’t know about you, but when one of my loved ones flies, it is understood that they check in—at least text—that they arrived safely.
Now, we move onto the next episode which aired on April 16th in which Meredith is worried but not worried enough to actually call the police or look into his disappearance. In fact, she takes Bailey’s advice at 9:30 am to wait until 5:00 pm and if Meredith hasn’t heard from Derek, then she should call the police. According to my timeline, Derek’s been missing for at least 24 hours. At precisely 5 pm, the police arrive at Meredith and Derek’s home. Although, it looks later because it’s dark out—it looks like it’s around 7pm. But, that’s just an educated guess.
Finally we arrive on Derek’s episode that aired a week ago—the one in which he’s on the way to the airport and calls the hospital and talks to his sister, Bailey, and April in the operating room. Did Bailey think to mention that to Meredith in the previous episode? I mean, she saw how worried Mere was, so why didn’t she say, “I talked to him a couple of hours ago and the call dropped because he hit a dead zone. I’m sure he’s fine.” Nope. Nothing. No reassurance.
Then Derek does his hero routine, rescuing four people in a car accident. Each time he has to cross the road, he looks both ways. The camera makes a point of showing us his caution—his awareness that he’s on a bad corner. We’re also quite aware that this is a location that phone signals can’t get to. Nobody’s phone works—not Derek’s, not any of the victims. And while Derek is rescuing them, not one car appears. Not one races by on that horrible corner. Not one.
And then the emergency vehicles come and take the injured away. Derek gets back into his car and then stops in the middle of the road to get his phone. Did he suddenly forget he was on a bad corner? Did he forget his phone wasn’t working there anywhere? And why, oh why, doesn’t he have Bluetooth in his car? Really???
I get that people have to leave shows, but I don’t think the writers should throw all that we know about a character out the window to facilitate that storyline. And I know—even in life—terrible things happen. When Will Gardner was shot and killed on The Good Wife, I was stunned. Heartbroken and stunned. And I believed it. I believed that Will could die a totally random, senseless death.
When Derek died, I was pissed. Because it didn’t feel organic to the story or to the character. And there is a distinct difference between the two. It’s too bad the folks at Grey’s Anatomy forgot.