‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Why Meredith Grey Might Really Die Despite Almost Waking Up

Last night’s episode of  Grey’s Anatomy saw the staff of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital still reeling from the tragic and sudden death of Dr. DeLuca. While most of the doctors were mourning their fallen co-worker, Meredith Grey still struggled for her life while battling coronavirus (COVID-19) complications. For a moment in the episode, it seemed like Meredith might wake up. For fans of Meredith, this might have seemed like a good sign. But as any Grey’s fan knows, no one is ever really in the clear.

ELLEN POMPEO, as Meredith Grey, opens a door.
ELLEN POMPEO | Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images

Meredith’s fate in Grey’s Anatomy Season 17

For most of this season, Meredith has been dreaming that she is on a beach, which seems to represent the holding place between life and death. At several points during her dream, she has seen her late husband Derek Shepherd. On last night’s episode, she begged Derek to come closer to her.

“You remember when you were trying to teach Zola how to ride a bike?” Derek asked in response to her request. “She got so frustrated … she threw it down and she goes, ‘Mama, you do it!’ And she got so mad.”

“Well, I was trying not to laugh,” Meredith said, to which Derek responded, “So am I.” 

“I can’t do it for you,” he continued. “It’s your beach.”

The beach scenes are packed with symbolism so Derek saying that he can’t do it for Meredith could mean that she has to chose whether she wants to go back to real life with her children or get closer to Derek and stay in the afterlife.

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Will Meredith wake up?

In last night’s episode, as Dr. Teddy Altman struggled to get Meredith off of the ventilator, some of the doctors in the hospital seemed to be losing hope. However, Dr. Hayes went into her hospital room and begged her to try and come back.

“They need you to fight,” he said, appearing in her dream. “We all need you to fight.” 

“I don’t know that I can,” she said. “It’s so warm here. The water is so cool. I feel so relaxed. And there’s no pain.”

“I watched my kids lose their mom, you don’t want that for your kids, Grey,” he responded. “There are people getting better here — you could be one of those people.”

“I believe that you could, because I’ve heard the stories about all the fights you’ve already won, so I’m asking you to fight,” he said.

During the conversation, Meredith seemed to twitch, leading fans to believe she was on the verge of waking up.

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‘Grey’s Anatomy’ loves a bait and switch

Just because Meredith almost woke up, doesn’t mean she’s in the homestretch. In fact, even if she did wake up and appeared completely fine, fans still might lose her. Why? Because Grey’s Anatomy loves to pull a bait and switch by making a character seem to pull through a traumatic event, only to crash suddenly. Take Mark Sloan for example. After the plane crash in season 8, he seemed to make a full recovery and was even sitting up, laughing in bed. But soon he took a drastic turn and died from his injuries.

The same thing happened to DeLuca this season. After being stabbed, he made it through his initial surgery and was stable enough to be awake. Then, suddenly he began to code and died during a second surgery.

So, while fans may be happy to see Meredith twitching in her hospital bed, it doesn’t mean she’s in the clear.