In a shocking twist, the beloved character Dr. Derek Shepherd, aka McDreamy, was killed off in Thursday's episode of the ABC drama. The development is particularly surprising because Patrick Dempsey, 49, signed a two-year contract extension last year that would have kept him on Grey's through a 12th season.
The episode, however, made it clear that Dempsey's run on the show that made him a worldwide star is definitely over.
"Derek Shepherd is and will always be an incredibly important character – for Meredith, for me and for the fans. I absolutely never imagined saying goodbye to our 'Mcdreamy,' " creator/executive producer Shonda Rhimes said in a statement. "Patrick Dempsey's performance shaped Derek in a way that I know we both hope became a meaningful example – happy, sad, romantic, painful and always true – of what young women should demand from modern love.
"His loss will be felt by all. Now, Meredith and the entire Grey's Anatomy family are about to enter uncharted territory as we head into this new chapter of her life. The possibilities for what may come are endless. As Ellis Grey would say ... the carousel never stops turning."
Derek's death wasn't that surprising given all the bread crumbs that ABC and Rhimes have been dropping over the last few weeks. First, the drama began to foreshadow the possibility by having him miss a meeting in Washington, D.C., which worried his wife Meredith (Ellen Pompeo).
Then, promos began airing after last week's episode that seemed to suggest that Derek was involved in a fiery car wreck. After helping victims of a car accident, Derek ended up getting into one himself and was taken to a hospital that didn't follow proper protocol to save him.
The 11th season of Grey's isn't over yet! The finale airs May 14 on ABC.