Warning: This story contains spoilers from the Thursday, March 18, episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Never really over. Grey’s Anatomy fans were thrilled to see Patrick Dempsey reprise his iconic role as Derek Shepherd for the third time during season 17 on Thursday, March 18.
On the series, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) had been sedated and put on a ventilator due to a battle with COVID-19. As she rested, her late husband, Derek, appeared to her in her dreams for a chat on an idyllic beach.
Though Derek died following a car crash in season 11, fans haven’t stopped caring about McDreamy.
“Did I just cry for the second time because Derek Sheperd died yes I freaking did,” one fan wrote following the episode on Thursday.
“I’m not typically a crier but for some reason [but] when Derek Sheperd appears on my screen I am immediately in tears. Idk what is wrong with me,” another Twitter user said.
In Meredith’s dream sequence, her late husband assured her that — although he’s not with her physically — he’s extremely connected to her and their family.
“You looked just like Ellis just now, the way you’re looking at your feet, so serious, and she gives that worrying little brow,” Derek told Meredith. The doctor never got to meet the pair’s youngest daughter, Ellis, who was born after his death and named after Meredith’s mom.
“We didn’t even know, I wish you got to know her,” Meredith said to her husband.
“She looks just like you,” the late neurosurgeon replied. “She breaks the rules just like you. And she’s quick to anger and quick to laugh. She’s smart, gifted, stubborn, just like you. Hates pink and purple, loves brown and green and gets enraged at the thought of anybody wanting to cut down a tree.”
Fans, of course, couldn’t handle Derek’s deep caring and knowledge for and about the family he never got to watch grow.
“THE WAY DEREK DESCRIBED HER DAUGHTER THAT HE NEVER GOT TO MEET. WAIT IM GONNA CRYY,” one fan’s tweet read.
DEREK LOVES HIS LITTLE GIRL SO MUCH HE’S BEEN WATCHING OVER THEM AND THAT MAKES MY HEART SO HAPPY OMG,” another added.
The season’s eighth episode, titled “It’s All Too Much,” delivered yet another emotional night for Grey’s Anatomy fans. During last week’s episode, Dr. Andrew DeLuca, played by Giacomo Gianniotti, died during the show’s dramatic midseason premiere.
At the risk of losing another beloved character so soon, Meredith’s dream sequence blended with the show’s real life as she was urged to fight her illness by Dr. Cormac Hayes (Richard Flood).
“I believe that you [can fight], because I’ve heard the stories about all the fights you’ve already won, so I’m asking you to fight,” Dr. Hayes told the surgeon.
“It’s OK. I’ll be right here,” Derek added from the beach.
Grey’s Anatomy airs on ABC Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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