Anatomy of Passion: Why Patrick Dempsey’s Derek Was Killed Off in Season 11


Fans of “Anatomy of Passion” had to say goodbye to many beloved characters, and one of the most emotional departures was the departure of Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), whose last appearance was in season 11. But when Derek dies in The Anatomy of Passion, and why did it happen? Created by Shonda Rhimes, “Anatomy of Passion” debuted on ABC in 2005, and although it was originally a mid-season replacement, it was so well received that it lived for more than 10 seasons. Now the series is approaching its 18th season and is not going to stop anytime soon.

“Anatomy of Passion” tells about the ups and downs of interns-surgeons, residents and residents who do everything possible to combine their career and professional life. The series takes place mainly in the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital (now Gray Sloan Memorial Hospital), and it is headed by Meredith Gray (Ellen Pompeo), whom viewers have followed since her internship to the position of head of the Department of General Surgery. Viewers also witnessed many problems in her personal life, including her relationship with Derek Shepherd, with whom she eventually started a family.

The relationship between Meredith and Derek was not easy to follow, but by season 11 they were already officially married and became parents of two children, and Meredith was expecting another one. So when does Derek die in season 11 of “Anatomy of Passion”? Derek was offered a job in Washington, and after much argument, he moved there and flew back and forth. In the end, he realized that he was unhappy without a family, and returned to Seattle. When things seemed to be back to normal between Meredith and Derek, he had to return to D.C. to retire, but he got into a car accident. After many complications, he could not be saved, and Meredith decided to disconnect him from the life support system. Derek’s departure was not easy for the viewers of “Anatomy of Passion”, who wondered why Patrick Dempsey left after a decade of participation in the series. The reason, apparently, was partly Dempsey’s desire to move on, as well as reports of friction on set between him, Shonda Rhimes and Ellen Pompeo.

Why Patrick Dempsey left “Anatomy of Passion” in season 11

The question “when Derek dies in “Anatomy of Passion”” and his even more important question “why?” both come down to the actors. In 2014, Dempsey signed a two-year contract to stay on the series for seasons 11 and 12, but his character was killed off in season 11, meaning his contract hasn’t ended yet. Although it seemed like a sudden departure, Patrick Dempsey actually thought about leaving the series for a while. In an interview with People in 2016, Dempsey shared that it had been “long enough” and it was time for him to move on to other things, adding that he “should have left a couple of years earlier” and that he “stayed a little bit.” longer” than he should have. Dempsey then revealed that the main reason he decided to leave was because it took up too much time, not allowing him to spend time with his family.

Dempsey further explained that he had talked about Derek’s fate with Shonda Rhimes, and it was clear to both that it was time to let Derek go, although he had no idea how his departure would be organized. Killing the characters seems to be the solution for the team behind Grey’s Anatomy, although Rimes later justified Derek Shepherd’s death by saying that leaving Meredith would not have been what he would have done, and therefore everything the series established about him would have been I was a lie. However, there were other reasons for his departure from the show.

In How to Save a Life: The Inside Story of the Anatomy of Passion, former executive producers James D. Parriott and Giannin Renshaw reveal that Derek’s death in season 11 was, at least in part, due to claims Dempsey terrorized the set. the show, ostensibly complaining about how time-consuming it all is. Moreover, the producers suggest that the actor butted heads with Shonda Rhimes and Ellen Pompeo, the performer of the main role in “Anatomy of Passion”. Parriott and Renshaw also claim that network and studio executives discussed the Dempsey situation with them. Ultimately, killing Derek Shepherd from “Anatomy of Passion” wasn’t easy for either the characters or the audience, but Dempsey was finally able to take on as many projects as he wanted and spend time with his family.

How “Anatomy of Passion” Brought Back Derek Patrick Dempsey

Although Derek officially died in the 11th season of “Anatomy of Passion”, the series brought back Patrick Dempsey in several episodes of the 17th season as part of Meredith’s coma caused by COVID. During this extended period of the show, reminiscent of the afterlife, Meredith reunited with several characters of the deceased Gray on the ethereal beach, while her body was in critical condition. Derek’s return was one of the most poignant, as in the episodes he and Meredith arranged an imaginary wedding, which they never had in real life.


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