‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Are Meredith and Derek Endgame? Season 17 Will Make You Watch Everything Differently

Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 suggested Mark Sloan (Eric Dane) and Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh) were “meant to be” after death, but will Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) experience the same fate? 

At the start of the season, many fans were happy to see MerDer together again after all these years. But some viewers are starting to reconsider a Meredith and Derek endgame following the Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 Episode 13 promo trailer — here’s why.

What happened to Meredith Grey and Derek Shepherd in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17?

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Many Grey’s Anatomy fans know that Meredith’s heart beat for Derek. But even so, the epic love story wasn’t meant to be. Derek died in season 11, and Meredith moved on. That said, viewers got to watch a MerDer reunion in season 17.

In the Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 premiere, Meredith contracted the coronavirus (COVID-19). Then every time she went unconscious, Meredith was transported to a limbo beach dream. Derek also popped up a few times. But Meredith noticed that Derek never got close enough to touch.

Meredith and Derek touch in the ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17 Episode 13 promo trailer

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Now, Meredith is off the ventilator, and her condition seems to be improving. But even so, she’s not out of the woods just yet. The Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 Episode 13 promo trailer suggested that Meredith could still die.

In the teaser, Teddy Altman (Kim Raver) and Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.) discussed Meredith’s status. According to Teddy, Meredith’s x-rays showed “remarkable improvement.” However, Richard pointed out that Meredith was still unconscious. 

Meanwhile, Meredith was back on the beach with Derek. Meredith revealed that she was “tired.” But Derek pushed her to keep fighting. “People love you, Meredith,” Derek said. “People need you.” 

Finally, the Grey’s Anatomy trailer suggested that the closer Meredith got to Derek, the closer she was to death. Meredith told her husband she wanted him closer, and Derek hesitated. Finally, the couple spelled it out for everyone. “If you get closer…” Derek said. Then Meredith finished the sentence: “I’ll never leave.” 

As the Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 Episode 13 promo came to an end, Derek held Meredith on the beach. 

What to expect from Meredith and Derek in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17

Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd and Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey together in 'Grey's Anatomy' Season 3 Episode 2
Patrick Dempsey as Derek Shepherd and Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey in ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ | Vivian Zink/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

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For now, Grey’s Anatomy fans will have to wait and see whether Meredith and Derek end up together in death. But regardless of what happens, it seems this might be the last time viewers get to watch McDreamy on screen. 

Following Derek’s first appearance in the Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 premiere, showrunner Krista Vernoff confirmed the character would appear three more times. The new episode on April 22 will be his third, per People

Meanwhile, Dempsey shared what fans can expect from Derek and Meredith’s time together in an interview with News Center Maine. “I keep coming back, visiting her, and talking to her in critical moments throughout the course of the season,” Dempsey said in November 2020.

The actor also suggested that Grey’s Anatomy won’t end anytime soon. So it’s still possible Meredith and Derek’s final scene together won’t involve a major death. “I think it’s going to end at the right time,” Dempsey told People in January 2021. “We’ll see when that is. But it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen anytime soon, that’s for sure.”