We’ve gone a whole episode of Grey's Anatomy without knowing where Derek is, and, truth be told, I’m not that panicked about it. I know that Mer-and-Der fans may very well attack me on Twitter for saying this, but there’s an easy answer to the question “if Derek dies, what will Meredith do?” Um, she’ll do nothing. I mean, she’ll be sad and upset and mournful and everything, but I think Meredith will ultimately be just fine without her former beloved there by her side.
For those of you who have been just as absent as Derek is now, Doctor Shepherd himself decided that he didn’t need his fancy gig with the President in Washington, D.C. — being with Meredith and their two darling children was enough for him. (That’s cool, by the way: I think sometimes you need to take steps like that to figure out what you want in life.) He flew back to Seattle, told all of this to Meredith, and then set off, once again, to go and tell the President he’s resigning. Except Derek didn’t make his appointment at the White House (Meredith got a call), and now, no one knows where he is. That’s a problem, especially in a world where everyone seems to be one step away from a possibly perilous situation.
So, let’s face facts: Derek could be dead. Meredith has already lost her best friend and “person”, Cristina Yang, on Grey’s, but if Derek dies, will losing her husband destroy her? Nope. Totally not. Meredith’s traumatic childhood made her into an island. She has never really depended on anyone for anything, and extending her life to fit into Derek’s is so not Meredith’s natural state of being.
When Derek was gone in Washington, Meredith went on a three-month streak of not losing a single patient. Presumably, her kids were happy and healthy, and she was absolutely killing it (well, I guess killing is the wrong word to use) at work. Her mind was sharp, her body was able, and she wasn’t bogged down in the constant emotional restraints of her relationship with Derek.
To paraphrase Cristina before she left for Switzerland, Derek isn’t the star in this relationship. Meredith is the sun, and she is just as talented a surgeon as he is. If Derek were not in the picture, I think that Meredith would really focus her efforts on her kids and on her craft, becoming a surgeon more and more like her mother. Is that a good thing? Emotionally, the jury is out, but medically? Absolutely.
Images: ABC; Giphy (3)