As many “Grey’s Anatomy” viewers reacted with a combination of heartbreak and anger following Thursday’s gamechanging episode, an Ellen Pompeo video clip provided a lighthearted alternative.
In an Instagram video posted just before the episode aired, Pompeo–from the seat of a firetruck–declares, “Fangirls down. I repeat: Fangirls down.”
Cryptic, yet playful and seemingly innocuous at the time of posting, the video resonated in the context of Thursday’s episode. Predictably, it has already yielded at least 4,264 comments (considerably more than is typical for a Pompeo Instagram post).
Thursday’s episode, which had been teased as a gamechanger, lived up to that billing. Original character Derek Shepherd died, thus spelling an end to the “McDreamy” character and the conclusion of star Patrick Dempsey’s involvement in the long-running ABC drama.
Following Thursday’s episode, series executive producer Shonda Rhimes commented, “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.’ 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.”
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in advance of Thursday’s episode, Dempsey added, “I think it will be very shocking, the way it happens. It’s really going to be powerful. But life is like that. I think any time an original cast member has left, there’s always a void that will never be filled. Shepherd is a beloved character. People don’t want to lose him. He’s been in their lives for over 10 years. But it goes on, and it will evolve.”
ABC will air a two-hour “Grey’s Anatomy” next Thursday.