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Like mother, like Mer, and 7 other 'Grey's Anatomy' moments this week

Season 11 | Episode 22 | “She’s Leaving Home (Part 1 and 2)” | Aired Apr 30, 2015

Y’all. I hope you texted your family and friends tonight and asked them to not call you, because those 2 1/2 hours took a lot to get through. Grey’s Anatomy is no joke—it’s a journey full of tissues and ugly cries and big, bitch-baby tears. It’s dark and twisty, and it’s led us here: to the death of Derek Shepherd and a big ol’ Grey’s Anatomy funeral. I think the funeral could be a nice touch, because how many times has someone died on this show and there’s never been a funeral? Follow me, children. Let’s go gather under the shade tree, and we can remember Derek and talk about the eight moments that made “She’s Leaving Home” a critical episode in the Grey’s Anatomy canon:

Derek is Dead.
This is heartbreaking because to start the episode, we have to see Derek die again. But without “Chasing Cars.” This is just real life, but you know, not real life. But the powerful moment that kicks off the episode is when Meredith walks into the hospital in shock and announces that Derek has died. She stares blankly as a flashback of Ellis talking about Richard happens, and then she collapses—girlfriend is a total stone, and Ellen Pompeo is a testament to why Grey’s Anatomy will always be worth watching.

Holding on to Hope, Letting Go of Science
Bailey and Ben have some major disagreements about whether or not extreme measures should be taken in the case that something catastrophic happens to them. This conversation literally happens continuously over the course of six months—Bailey wants to be taken off life support, and Ben wants to be left on. The absurdity of the discussion is not the subject matter, as much as the fact that it’s gone on for six months. Wait … nope. We actually go an entire year before Ben presents Bailey with his living will on Valentine’s Day—because nothing says romance like giving someone the right to end your life.

Owen and April Off to War
WHAT. Somehow, in this crazy-ass world, April drops the bomb on Jackson (and us) that she’s going on a three-month stint in the Middle East with Owen to do trauma surgery. It literally makes no sense at all. But after a few months (because, yeah, we’re covering months in this episode), April FaceTimes Jackson from base and lets him know that she’s not coming home for a while—she was originally supposed to come home in July, but instead, she’s choosing to stay. Finally, Christmas happens, and April reveals that she hasn’t come back because they’re supposed to have a baby—there are bombs in the background and the phone freezes again. But one day, nearly a year later, April appears back in Grey-Sloan Memorial and surprises Jackson with her return.

Pocket Full of Oxys
As soon as Owen confronts Amelia after surgery, she knows what’s going on. She says, “Who died? I know the face, I’ve been here before.” She blankly asks who’s dead, and Owen doesn’t waste any time in telling her that it’s Derek. She asks not to hear the details and avoids Owen’s advance for a hug. And then we have the immediate transition into a beautiful, poignant-music moment played over the funeral. Mind you, Amelia’s response is so Amelia, and by that, I mean that she looks at Derek’s death like an annoying broken toe that won’t heal quickly enough. It eventually devolves into jokes, and Stephanie ends up having to call her out on it because Stephanie has to keep all these people in check.

Eventually, Amelia breaks down in the middle of the hospital and storms off right as Owen returns from war. Owen finds her at the dream house later, and Amelia says, “I have a baggy of black-market Oxys in my coat pocket right now.” And then she blows up into everything bad that’s happened to her. She finally turns over the drugs to Owen and collapses in his arms.

Meredith, Mother of Three
MEREDITH IS LITERALLY ABOUT TO POP OUT A BABY ON CHRISTMAS. I’m sorry, but this is too much. How in the WORLD is this happening? I mean, I know how this is happening because when two people love each other … but what’s so insane is that at a certain point, Meredith didn’t even want to be a mother, and it seems like she decided to keep it because Derek wanted another baby. This is torture. Suddenly, losing Derek would have been bearable, but leaving his widow with a THIRD CHILD? Go home, Shonda.

Alex is Mer’s New Person
Nothing is better about this episode than how incredibly concerned Alex is for Meredith. He’s the one that never stops calling, and even when she calls him back (ALMOST A YEAR IN THE FUTURE), her declaration of being “fine” wasn’t enough. He pushed on, and that’s why Alex has suddenly become the second-most-important character on this show. And then poor Alex is out of the picture for WAY too long—the next time he appears, he’s introduced as Meredith’s husband. In reality, he’s just her emergency contact, and that’s when Meredith calmly admits, “I had a baby. Derek’s dead.”

Like mother, like Mer
The parallels between Meredith and Ellis are amazing, and it’s what makes sense for Meredith. Cristina is gone and Derek is dead, so it’s logical that Meredith will turn to old habits—she had finally gotten to a place that made her want to fight for Seattle, but without a reason to stay, she ran. She grabbed Zola and Bailey and left, and when everyone gathered at her house, Richard said, “She’s doing what she knows how to do—same as her mother.”

What’s scary, though, is that we find out the parallels between Meredith’s situation and her mother’s as we see Ellis signing away the rights to Maggie—she was giving her up for adoption—as Meredith is appearing to go into … nope. We find out as Meredith starts bleeding. Luckily, Zola is old enough to properly work a phone, because if she didn’t, Meredith wouldn’t have made it to the hospital. And even then, I think we’ve learned not to trust other hospitals. But Mer lives and does quite the opposite of her mom—she names her Ellis.

A Room Full of Roses
Richard tried to propose to Catherine at a restaurant, and she turned him down. He said there should be more … like a room full of roses. Then at the end of the episode, she proposed to him. With a room full of roses. I’m so over it.

Notes for the O.R. Board

  • The music was 100 percent on point tonight—all the way from Aron Wright‘s version of “In the Sun,” to the sad violin Grey’s backtrack.
  • Um … that 30-second funeral was almost as inappropriate as killing Derek. Almost.
  • “How about you stop and think before saying that Derek Shepherd’s death has been inconvenient for you?” –Arizona Robbins, M.D.
  • Bailey’s celebrity crush is Idris Elba. You can’t blame her.
  • Amelia is all, “People always leave!” and Peyton Sawyer is somewhere in Tree Hill, NC saying, “BEEN THERE.”
  • We really need to give “Chasing Cars” a rest.

Y’all, I’m exhausted. You have to be exhausted, too. By the end of this episode, we’re officially down one neurosurgeon and up one baby and another version of “Chasing Cars.” But that finish was beautiful—watching Meredith take that ferry-boat scrub cap and make it her own. That is what Grey’s Anatomy is about. Tonight’s episode was nuts, but we’re in too deep to quit. If Mer can get through this, we can, too. Maybe.

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8/7C on ABC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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