Grey's - The Finale. Happy and sad and puzzling all rolled up into a two hour teaser to keep viewers wondering until next season. I'll leave the pondering of Izzie and George's fates to others. That's not what started me asking about the rest of the story. 'Twas the post-it vows and Shonda Sunshine's tease that did that.
As you surely know, instead of making a trip to City Hall on a day when two friends' lives hung in the balance - even if they didn't know about George yet - Mer/Der decided to get married by writing vows on a post-it note. Mer had suggested the quick trip to City Hall because she couldn't live another day without being married to Der. He agreed, but later, it was Derek who came up with the idea that they'd write down the vows they wanted to make to each other on a post it note. Then, he said, they'd be married.
They decided to vow: (1) they would love each other even when they hated each other; (2) no one could leave or run away; and (3) they'd take care of each other when they were old and senile. Kiss and tender moment and they left and proclaimed themselves married. But of course, they aren't. I'm sitting in South Carolina where we have common law marriage where they could proclaim themselves publicly married and make it so. Grey's is situated in the state of Washington where there is no such thing. Mer and Der proclaiming themselves married does not make it so.
In an interesting interview with Ausiello of TV Guide, Shonda Rhimes says that the post it wedding "will have big reverberations next season." Now there, romance fans, is a REST OF THE STORY CHALLENGE.
Anytime a man you want to marry suggests a post-it wedding, you should worry. There are lots of shoes left to drop here. One is what they didn't vow - fidelity. If Izzie and George do go off into the great beyond, likely more doctors will be brought into the mix. They'd provide potential romantic threats for Mer/Der's unorthodox coupling. There's the nurse Der slept with a couple of times - what if she was pregnant? There's Der's ex off on another show that lots of folks think should return to this one. On Private Practice, Addison has been flirting with a romance with a married man. What if she returns to Seattle determined to get her man back and give marriage another try? In real life, Ellen Pompeo is pregnant and if her character gets pregnant, there would be a lot of social pressure for a wedding and some issues for the couple to deal with like, whose last name would the baby have. There will surely be pressure from staff and friends to make the marriage real which is likely to cause Mer to bow up, refuse and stir the pot some more. Little issues, like last names on medical licenses loom as well. What if there's another lawsuit or a trial with the one filed last season? Mer couldn't claim marital privilege based on a post-it wedding.
How would I write the rest of the story? Der's Mom gave the couple her seal of approval and even passed along the engagement ring she'd never allowed Addison to wear. But Mer (which I just do not find realistic) proclaims herself not a ring kind of gal. She's not wearing the precious heirloom. Der's sisters don't like Mer anyway and once they find out she's not even wearing the ring - they may change Mom's mind too. Implications? Obvious and many. The family may bring in some of Der's old girlfriends. They may conspire to show Mer in a bad light. They may push Der to demand a formal wedding which Mer's decided she doesn't want because they're already married. I suspect the social pressure from the hospital will play a part along with some snide comments from Mark. Insecurity on both sides will rear its ugly head because they don't really have papers on each other. If Mer won't wear an engagement ring, will either she or Der wear a wedding ring? That's bound to cause some internal friction between the couple. I can see Der not telling his family about the "wedding" and Mer not understanding. I can imagine his family's reaction when he does tell them. Der's family is much more traditional. A post it wedding? Get real. Clearly, they would say, he staged the farce because deep down, he didn't want to marry her at all. Deep down, they'd say, he still considers himself wed to Addison, or wed not at all.
Where's it all headed? One possibility is that Mer will be pregnant on the show and it won't be a stable pregnancy - which would fit the character. The medical challenges might bring Addison in for a consult and possibly even some of the temptation for Der I was discussing earlier. Reunion sex is even a possibility given that a pregnant Mer would be moodier than a non-pregnant Mer and Der would likely spend most of his time reminding himself he promised to love her even if he hated her. If Der's not the husband then Mer would call the shots with treatment. And if it culminated in a life or death decision, then Der wouldn't have any legal right to tell the medical team to save Mer before the baby. The one with the legal right to call the shots would be the next of kin, Mer's sister, or her designated "person" Christina or even Mer's Father. Dramatic implications in that struggle are obvious. It could end with a life or death scenario, with Derrick demanding one thing and the others demanding another.
The medical scenario works the same even if Derrick is in a life or death crisis. His next of kin would be Mom, influenced by his sisters. They'd have already had the tug of war - was there or wasn't there a wedding? No priest or reverend, no license, no marriage Der's family would conclude. In Der's case, he could be lingering in some unconscious state for which his family blamed Mer. They might forbid her from even seeing him, calling for some in the staff to break the rules to get her into his room.
With either scenario, but especially with Derrick lying ill and near death, I can imagine a court battle between either Mer/Der and the family/friends over the wedding that wasn't.
Shonda Sunshine says the post it wedding will cause big reverberations next season. Now if that doesn't get your writer's imagination churning, I recommend a long vacation somewhere tropical with moonlight walks on the surf that end in some grown up games with waves lapping at your legs. And other body parts.
How would you write the rest of the story? Game on, Grey's fans!!