“Derek is dead.” Meredith utters these heartbreaking words upon her return to Grey Sloan. Her friends, who had been going about their daily routine, attempt to process what they’ve just heard. Some don’t believe it. Some crave more information. Meredith shifts back and forth in a daze. Flashbacks of her past whip through her mind. Meredith doesn’t know what to do. She collapses to the floor.
Amelia is in surgery. Protocol dictates that she can’t be told of her brother’s death until after she completes the procedure. Callie tries to keep it together. She recognizes the patient as Dan Pruitt, the cop she treated and briefly dated not too long ago. Once the surgery is complete, Owen breaks the news that Derek is dead to Amelia, who rejects any attempts to be comforted. She knows the drill. She’s been through this before.
After Derek’s funeral, Bailey lets her husband know that she doesn’t want to be hooked up to any machines should anything happen to her. Ben feels the opposite. If something happens to him, he wants extraordinary measures to be enacted. He wants to live.
As flashbacks show the day Ellis Grey took her daughter out of the house in the middle of the night, Meredith does the exact same thing with her children. Her friends are understandably confused and concerned by the note she left behind proclaiming that she and the kids are safe. Richard lets everyone know that Ellis Grey left Seattle and never looked back. This provides absolutely no comfort to Meredith’s friends.
EASTER: Several events take place at Eastertime. Jackson and Jo treat Anne, a badly-burned woman. A recovering Dan Pruitt lets Callie know that a resident blabbed that she thought he was boring. There’s a good chance the cop may lose his leg. This hasn’t affected his sense of humor as he relentlessly teases Callie. Owen reveals that Richard will be taking over as interim chief. He’s going into the battlefield to do field surgery for three months. Jackson isn’t thrilled to learn that his wife is going with him.
MEMORIAL DAY: Bailey and Ben debate the “extraordinary measures” issue. No one has heard from Meredith. Her friends are still dealing with Derek’s death. Arizona goes off on an insensitive doctor as she complains that the board hasn’t hired a new neurosurgeon. She admits that she caused a scene—albeit a great scene. Amelia plows ahead with her work referencing her dead brother along the way. Dan is going to lose his leg. Anne bonds with fellow burn patient J.J., but her husband is having a hard time seeing her in such pain.
FOURTH OF JULY: Maggie lets Alex know that she feels abandoned as they watch fireworks. One gets the sense that he feels the same way. April delays her return home. Catherine cuts off Richard’s marriage proposal before he can even begin to pop the question. This puts a damper on the evening.
HALLOWEEN: While watching a scary movie in bed, Bailey and Ben subtly continue to their near-death debate. Stephanie admits that all the jokes Amelia continues to make about Derek make her uncomfortable. Anne’s long recovery process continues without her husband by her side. Jackson declines a call from April to continue to his work on his sad patient.
THANKSGIVING: Alex brings burgers home because, well, Jo’s turkey may not be ready until sometime after the Black Friday sales end. He tries to call Meredith. Amazingly, her face appears on his phone screen. Meredith is annoyed. She tells him that she’s fine. The kids are also okay. Then Meredith tells him to stop calling her. CLICK!
CHRISTMAS EVE: Dan lets Callie know that despite their horrible first date, he couldn’t have survived his current challenges without her. Bailey wants to know if she can run off with Idris Elba if Ben is brain dead. Come on, it’s Idris Elba! Meredith’s friends gather at Alex’s place for pizza. April has extended her tour of duty. A call to Jackson cuts off as insurgents approach. Anne is in tears because her husband bailed on her. J.J. tells Anne that the guy isn’t good enough for her. She breaks into some Christmas carols to help cheer up the mood.
At an undisclosed location, Meredith tells Zola to get some sleep so Santa can come. Her daughter wants to know if he might bring her a baby sister. Meredith tells her that it won’t be tonight. It may be soon though. As Meredith leaves the room, it’s clear to see that she is very pregnant.
While on the beach with her kids, Meredith recalls some conversations she had with her mother. Memories of Derek also pop up. Some are recent. Some are from those early days when they first met. There’s the time Derek told her he wanted to marry her. He wanted a lifetime with her. There was the time Meredith told him they could be extraordinary together.
NEW YEAR’S DAY: Jackson hasn’t been unable to get hold of April since they were cut off Christmas Eve. Anne lets Jo know that she will be taking the first painful recovery shift. She and J.J. were up all night laughing. Jo checks on the other burn patient. She sees that J.J. has passed away. Anne is devastated. She screams can’t go on alone, but ends up comforting a new burn victim the same way J.J. did for her. Elsewhere, Dan tests his mechanical leg with great success. It has Callie tearfully remembering Derek.
April returns home. There was no time to call. She figured she’d surprise her husband. Actually, Jackson is stunned. It takes a moment for everything to sink in. Once it does, Jackson grabs his wife, hugging and spinning her like he’s never going to let go. In other news, Amelia goes off on Richard. Her outburst is really all about how devastated she is over the loss of her brother. Everyone is staring at her including Owen, who has returned from his tour.
A short time later, Amelia admits to Owen that she has a pocketful of drugs. She’s trying to decide whether or not to take them. She claims to be handling the dead Derek thing really well. It’s a lie. She hasn’t taken the drugs yet, but she might. Owen lets her know that they both run from pain in different ways. That’s not normal. They are supposed to love, hate, feel and be destroyed. That’s the point of being alive. Amelia doesn’t want to feel the pain, but she hands over the drugs anyway. She breaks down. Owen holds her close promising that she’ll get through this.
Meredith experiences some intense pain. There’s blood. Zola calls 911, much like Meredith did for her mother as a young girl. Memories of Ellis and Derek flash again. Meredith is brought in for surgery. She has her baby. The nurse declares that her husband is here. It’s actually Alex. He’s her emergency contact. Meredith continues to recall her past with Derek. Her newborn baby girl’s name is Ellis. She can see Derek’s face in her. In short, she’s beautiful.
VALENTINE’S DAY: Ben gives Bailey a present. It’s his living will. Bailey has full permission to pull the plug on him whenever she wishes. This distresses her even though it’s what she wanted. She irrationally believes Ben no longer loves her enough to fight to live. It’s because she loves him too much. She has been having nightmares of something happening to him ever since Derek died. Ben jokingly promises that he will let her die first. The truth is that he loves her too much, too.
Richard enters the hospital reception area which is filled with romantic décor. There’s even a small group of violinists by the stairs. Catherine has done exactly what Richard wanted to do for her. She asks a question, unsure of what the answer will be. She declares that she loves and wants to marry him. Richard steps up to Catherine. With his arms crossed and a stern look on his face, he lets her know that it’s about damn time she came around. Cheers and applause fill the hospital.
Meredith returns home. She now sleeps in a big, empty bed. The next morning, she watches the older kids play on the floor. Amelia watches the baby for a spell. A short time later, Meredith is brought up to speed on all that she missed. She returns to work where she recalls memories of her mother and her husband once again. Then Dr. Meredith Grey puts on a gown and gloves, steps into the OR and does what she’s done so many times before. She performs surgery on someone who needs her expertise while wearing Derek’s old scrub cap. The carousel never stops turning.
Clip Owen Helps Amelia Deal with Derek's Death
Clip April Leaves Jackson for a Combat Zone
Clip Meredith Returns to Work after Derek's Death
Clip Meredith Has Derek's Baby Girl
Clip Dr. Bailey's Chance with Idris Elba
Clip Zola Calls 911 for Meredith
Clip Meredith Remembers Her Life with Derek
Clip Meredith Is Pregnant on Grey's Anatomy!
Clip Jackson Doesn't Know Where April Is
Clip Jackson's Christmas Nightmare
Clip Catherine Proposes to Richard on Grey's Anatomy
Clip Callie Remembers Derek