Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Thursday’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Read at your own risk.
Grey’s Anatomy sent a very clear message in its first post-Derek’s death episode: It’s time to move on.
After Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) breaks the news of her husband’s demise, Derek (Patrick Dempsey) is honored with a small funeral that doesn’t include any of the familiar faces fans had hoped would return—at least not from what we’re shown. Meredith’s person Cristina (Sandra Oh) didn’t fly back, nor did Derek’s ex-wife Addison (Kate Walsh). Even Derek’s other sisters, Nancy (Embeth Davidtz) and Lizzie (Neve Campbell), didn’t put in appearance, nor did his mother Carolyn (Tyne Daly). Seriously, for all we know, his little sister Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) wasn’t even there after having a rather emotionless reaction to his death—though she does finally come to terms that she’s in denial months later after having a total breakdown in the middle of the hospital and nearly relapsing with drugs.
The short funeral is a surprisingly quiet send-off that takes place within the first 10 minutes of the two-hour outing, supplementing those absences with flashbacks to Meredith and Derek’s relationship juxtaposed to Ellis (Kate Burton) losing Richard (James Pickens Jr.) all those years prior. Meredith even repeats history by taking her kids and leaving the McMansion and Grey Sloan behind for months. Yes, months. This means fans don’t even get to see a lot of the grieving period, save for Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) going off on a co-worker who ponders why they haven’t yet hired Derek’s replacement, and Owen (Kevin McKidd) and April (Sarah Drew) going off to war… seriously.
But the memory of Derek will live on. Once we do finally get to see Meredith, it turns out that she’s pregnant with their third child. It’s not until after the birth of baby girl Ellis that Meredith returns home to Seattle, but you can read all about that in our full recap.
Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.