I'm convinced that one of Shonda Rhimes' favorite songs must be the old gospel hymn - "Will The Circle Be Unbroken." The woman does love to close a circle - as most fans of her hit ABC TV Show, "Grey's Anatomy" will know and sometimes rue. An interesting word that - "rue" sounds very akin to ruin which is what I think will happen if Shonda closes the latest circle.
Yo, Shonda Sunshine - some circles should stay broken. Derek does not need to vilify himself further by closing this one. The Mer/Der partnership does not require a "dark and twisty" member.
In case you've missed it, the latest drama on "Grey's Anatomy" puts the show's "raison d'etre" (reason to be) at risk. [Some things just require French.] Yes, believe it or not, Shonda's newest plot would do MORE than destroy the couple whose rendezvous started the show off with a bang & propelled it to the ranks of television royalty. It may turn out that Derek has been cheating in DC -- (I know, what's new about that, right? Imagine - someone doing the down, dirty and dishonorable in DC!!)
The show started when McDreamy neurosurgeon Derek Shepherd discovered that his wife had been cheating on him with his best friend. He walked in on them one evening - and walked right out and away from the marriage, fleeing to Seattle to accept a job long-offered by his old friend Richard Webber. Of course, the viewers didn't know either his identity or his history any more than Meredith Grey knew it when she hooked up with him for a one nighter the night before she started her new hospital internship. The viewers knew what Mer knew - the man had a fabulous ass. (How naughty showing that was on TV at the time....)
We found out he was her bosses boss at the same time she did, and it soon turned out that their one night stand turned into love that looked strong and true and honorable. Only, it turned out - not quite so honorable. Derek was married, as we found out when his wife strolled into the lobby to greet the slut sleeping with her husband. And don't forget - Addison (the then-wife) told Derek he'd have known she was coming if he'd answered any of her phone calls.
Now, flash forward. Derek flies off to DC after a royal battle with his wife who refused to leave her career so he could go be a DC big shot. And episode before last Mer called him and a woman answered. She started asking herself and her friends -- Could Der be cheating on her? Could history be repeating itself? (Popular wisdom says - if he did it once, he'll do it again.) Previews for next week's epi show Derek telling Mer that they're in trouble -- and APPEAR to show him having a Mer/Der type hot and heavy moment with a lady in a lab coat (a new Grey's doctor?), complete with one of THOSE looks he only shares with Meredith.
Shonda Sunshine is a master illusionist, so perhaps we'll find out that things aren't the way it appears. I hope so, anyway. I hope that she who created Shondaland will not resort to cliches to close yet another circle. Yeah - in strictly geometric terms, it would make sense for Der to have left for a new hospital, found a new woman, and be trying to shed the old one. It would close a circle big style.
The problem is that many viewers, like this one, do not think or feel or grow attached to characters for reasons that have anything to do with logic. As a romance writer, I thank every lucky duck in the universe for that fact. I just hope it's not one that Shonda has forgotten. And no, Sunshine, I don't think we need to explore the other side of infidelity. I don't want you to introduce us to a new lady doctor and try to make us like her even though she's cheated with Derek, wants to cheat with Derek or may be about to cheat with Derek. Because Shonda, we won't like her and we won't be too fond of you either.
Romantics everywhere have been convinced that Mer/Der are the real deal -- and we desperately need to believe that the real deal still exists somewhere outside of our own happy marriages (my case, Mr. Duck is a sweetie) - or for others, that it will exist for them in their next boyfriend, husband, wife, lover or partner. The danger in Shonda convincing us that Mer/Der are the real thing is that if Der cheats, it means they're not. And yeah, McDreamy would become the doc we love to hate and hate having loved, but he'd take Shonda and her show right with him -- especially if it turns out this is Dempsey's ticket off the show and onto the racetrack.
Making viewers love the lovers made Grey's Anatomy a television phenomenon and keeping viewers in love with the lovers has kept Grey's at the top. Breaking viewers' hearts will send Grey's on a shark-jump to television infamy. And I hope that Shonda is smart enough to stay far away from turning Grey's into Heartbreak Hospital.
Here's one Grey's viewer who will be watching next week to see what rabbit Shonda pulls out of her hat this time. And if there's no rabbit? #TGIT will mean - "Thank God It's Thursday" because I can write all night. And I'll take special care to keep my readers heart-whole and cheering for love.