Grey's Anatomy Guest Review

Grey’s Anatomy 11×22 – She’s Leaving Home

“Part of me thought, what if I had this baby and just die? And then she arrived. And I saw her face. And I saw him in her. She’s beautiful.”

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Well, those were two extremely underwhelming hours of television I can never take back.

The problem isn’t just that Derek has been killed off (although that alone sure has its ill ramifications on the show’s quality), but it’s that it was done in a way that feels like a huge disservice to fans. Honestly, when I sat down to watch She’s Leaving Home, I was expecting a poignant, emotional episode. I wanted the show to break my heart and make me cry. I wanted a MerDer-centric episode that would remind me how much I love these two because Derek deserved that kind of sendoff. I certainly didn’t want a random time-jump and almost no emotions from our characters.

I couldn’t believe how rushed everything was. It certainly helps the show in the future because the writers have found their way out of the “grieving” state and already begun introducing all sorts of new storylines. But did it all really have to happen right now, just one week after the killing of a beloved character? I remember being mad during George’s goodbye episode in the sixth season premiere, but at least that hour comprised character development with some real emotional moments. Why is Shonda so insistent on treating McDreamy like someone who barely had any significance to the show? I am BEYOND pissed by this passive-aggressiveness.

The fact that Meredith was missing for a long portion of the episode undoubtedly made it less appealing because every time she did make an appearance, Ellen Pompeo rocked those scenes and elevated the show significantly. Seeing her sitting on the beach reminiscing over her dead husband (for a whole damn year) was effective and powerful. The same goes for the moment she gave birth (it’s a baby girl named Ellis because the show doesn’t want her to have a boy named Derek). Less powerful were those Mer/Ellis parallels that have been used way too much over the course of the season. It’s not that I don’t love seeing those flashbacks, but I’m a little sick of seeing that freakin’ carousel. OK, it never stops turning. We get it. Let’s move on.

While I enjoyed everything Meredith-related, I found everything else to be completely random and cringe-worthy in comparison. Can we take a moment to discuss April’s completely casual trip to war? OK, moment’s over because it’s just not worth talking about.

And why must we endure a painful case-of-the-week during an hour that’s supposed to be Derek’s goodbye episode if it has little to no relation to the overall story? It was a ridiculous thing to watch, and I would have preferred more screen-time for our regular characters actually dealing and grieving over a friend and brother. Sure, Amelia conveyed some emotion when Owen returned, but it was a little too late.

I didn’t think it was possible, but sadly I believe that Grey’s Anatomy is dying right now, and I wish someone would just pull the plug on it already.

Bits & Scalpels

– A 5-second funeral scene is NOT okay. What a joke.

– Yeah, I hated Amelia making dead-brother jokes. How inappropriate and cruel of you, writers.

– Also, we were supposed to believe that the woman standing next to Meredith during the funeral was Cristina. Because actually bringing Sandra Oh would have been too much to ask? Seriously?

– My biggest problem with the episode is the lack of emotion the characters portrayed. Couldn’t we have another “Izzie in a prom dress on the bathroom floor” type scene?

– I almost forgot to mention how atrociously terrible everything Bailey/Ben was during this 2-hour episode. They had the exact same fight for one whole year? And that the hell happened to Bailey? Why do I hate her so much now?

– Arizona screaming in the cafeteria was one of the most satisfying scenes of the night.

– What an incredible scene between Callie and that cop (who is back, yay!) about Derek being a fantastic surgeon. That one really hurt.

– It was brutal and gut-wrenching to see Alex constantly trying to get a hold of Meredith for a whole year. I really enjoyed their scenes together here.

– Beautiful moment between Bailey and Meredith in the elevator. That tender touch between them was EVERYTHING.

– Undoubtedly, the second half of the episode was much better than the first. The best part was definitely the final montage as Meredith returned to Seattle and her work. Even better was seeing her wearing Derek’s ferry-boat scrub cap. How depressing, but the good kind of depressing.

– Here we go again, ruining “Chasing Cars” for me. Thank you, show.

– I also liked how the ending contrasted last week’s with Meredith being asked “are you ready?” only she’s finally ready to move on this time. I, on the other hand, am not.

Grey Banter

Amelia: Who died? I know the face. I’ve been here before. Everyone thinks they are the first person in the world to look at a human being like that, but it’s always the same face. Who is dead?

Amelia: If Derek saw this, he would roll over in his grave. Can you actually do that? Roll over in a grave? I mean, a casket’s pretty snug. There’s not a lot of room to move in there. More like shake.

Amelia: Every man I’ve ever loved has died, including my baby. So thank you, universe.

Ellis: I have to believe there’s a way. There has to be a way to step off the carousel, to start again, to start fresh. There has to be a way to leave all my ghosts behind. It’s a choice. It’s a choice I’m making. To move forward, to move past this.

Must-Download Tunes
Grace by Kate Havnevik
In The Sun by Aron Wright
Chasing Cars by The Wind and the Wave

Conclusion
A terrible sendoff to a truly-loved character. What is happening to Grey’s Anatomy?

 Chris Rating
C

6 comments

  1. I remember, on Six Feet Under, a major character died during the final season, and they had a whole episode after that focused on the funeral and the other characters dealing with their grief in different ways. Then the next episode jump ahead six weeks later to show how the characters have adjusted or not adjusted to life without that person. That's the approach Grey's Anatomy should have taken. Not this one which seems to have made a rushed job out of the aftermath of Derek's death.

  2. I agree 100% with everything you said. When I knew this was going to be a 2-hour long episode, I was expecting it to be all about mourning Derek's death so I was really disappointed especially after that 5-second funeral. And seriously both Cristina and Addison should have been brought for this episode for the funeral part. I mean this is Derek Shepherd we are talking about! He is a main character! Damn you Shonda!!

    I thought Amelia's breaking down scene was good and Callie's scene as well. I don't know if I am happy that Meredith turned out to be pregnant but I kept waiting for that moment where she would say “I named him Derek”! So that was disappointing too.

    Love your comment about the carousel and please ENOUGH with “Chasing Cars” covers!

  3. Yep, way too rushed. This is the kind of sendoff you'd do for a character who's had a short storyline or a few guest appearances not for someone like Derek! Even Henry (Teddy's boyfriend from season 8) had a huge episode when he died. What a shame.

  4. Damn you Shonda indeed! I was very disappointed to see Meredith pregnant honestly. It's just too depressing–and not even in a good way.

    And yeah seriously, enough with the Chasing Cars covers. It's getting ridiculous!

  5. I thought it was a smart choice to have almost no Derek in this first episode after his death, because it made the audience feel his absence as strongly as the characters were. It's like he's just gone and you can feel his missing presence more than if they spent this whole episode analyzing it, and there were some great moments that really, really backed this up. How about that scene when Meredith and the kids return home and then we see her laying in the bed alone? Devastating and they didn't have to do anything like having Meredith go through Derek flashbacks or anything like that. I also loved the cover of Snow Patrol's “Chasing Cars” by The Wind & The Wave that they used for this scene, it was a crazy contrast in styles between the original and the cover and it worked real well here.

    Aron Wright (who this show introduced me to and keeps on playing his music) really did a great job on the “In the Sun” cover at the funeral, too – it also totally lived up to the Joseph Arthur original. The funeral was maybe a little short but other than that I do think it was best that they forced us to move on, just like everyone else had to. It's still upsetting but I think if they had to kill him off, they handled it in a really impactful way.

  6. Thank you for your comment! I agree, looking back now it was smart not to have a Derek-heavy episode but it was nonetheless cruel and heartbreaking for us longtime fans. The Chasing Cars cover was EXCELLENT, yes. In fact, I think we've all discovered great music from this show.

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