Dr Meredith Grey certainly had her life cut out for her. Her mother, Ellis was a groundbreaking surgeon and Meredith was starting as an intern in the very hospital where her mother had worked. She had moved back to Seattle from Boston to start at Seattle Grace . But the night before she was to start, something happened that would change her life forever.
Derek had just come to Seattle from NYC. Heartbroken, he left New York to erase the memory of seeing his wife, Addison and his nest friend, Mark in bed together naked. Derek had accepted a position at SGH as the attending neurosurgeon with possibility to advance to Chief of Surgery. Just wanted to relax, he wanted to enjoy his favorite scotch and sit down at Joe’s Emerald City Bar . While he was there, he met an incredible intelligent, funny, and beautiful woman. They drank too much, went to bed together at her house and he woke up naked on her living room floor. Meredith just brushed it off as a drunken mistake and told Derek she wanted him gone before she finished showering.
Filled with rosy pictures of lots of surgeries and with a new group of friends, Meredith was terrified to find out she had slept with her new boss. She told him to keep his distance and they would get along. But then fate stepped in, Derek had been given a case of a young beauty queen who was experiencing seizures with no explanation. Puzzled, he asked the young interns to help him crack the case with the promise of assisting him in surgery. Eager to prove her ability, Meredith and her new bff Cristina set out to find the clues to cure the girl. Meredith had promised Cristina if they did find a cause, she would be glad to let Cristina operate in her place. Problem solved , brain bleed. Derek doesn’t want Cristina in the surgery, he thinks he likes this messed up dark girl and Dr Grey and Dr Shepherd do their first surgery together.
While Derek comes from a semi normal family where he lost his father from an armed robbery, Meredith ‘s family is a nightmare. Her mother told her she could never be ordinary and she would never be as brilliant as her. Her father had abandoned his family to start another one when he discovered his wife was having an affair with a fellow surgeon. Later in Meredith’s life, she would meet the half sister her father had with another woman, Lexi. She would also have the pleasure of meeting the sister her mother had given up for adoption. Coincidentally , both sisters were also doctors. Another coincidence , Lexi would fall in love with Derek’s best friend, Mark. (For the full story see Mark and Lexi Tragic Lovers) Derek and Meredith stopped fighting it and then began to date and fall in love. Their love had to be a secret since interns could not date their attendings. When Bailey found out ,she was bent on making Meredith’s life a living hell. Happy to exist in their little love bubble, Meredith and Derek were happy. That is until Derek found out that he was still married to Addison and she had come to Seattle to try and repair their marriage.
Addison is called in on an case and considers it fate that she can repair the damage that she caused to her marriage to Derek. She arrives with unsigned divorce papers and then convinces Derek they still have a chance. Meredith backs down and the Shepherds work at repairing their marriage despite the fact that Derek is in love with Meredith.
Meredith returned to Seattle to take over the affairs of her mother after she is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s . This is also where she will make a home with Derek and her family including the doctors at SGH. Super surgeon , Ellis Grey was played by the phenomenal actress, Kate Burton. Kate returned to Shondaland on” Scandal” as VP Sally Langston . It is speculated that Kate will be returning to this role this season.
Here we have Meredith’s father , Thatcher and the half sister she didnt think she had, Lexi. Thatcher was played by the extraordinary actor , Jeff Perry. Jeff is now one of the major power players on “Scandal” as Presidential Chief of Staff, Cyrus Beane.
Try as they might, they date other people and work in the same hospital. This results in one of the iconic GA moments where Meredith asks Derek to make a choice. But she hopes in her heart that the choice he makes is her.
If there is one thing that this couple has had to confront it is tragedy. One of the interns once joked and called the hospital “Seattle Grace Mercy Death” They weren’t wrong. Meredith and Derek both have had to operate in the same room as an exploding bomb. Meredith has also drowned , Derek has been shot, both of them survived a plane crash and Meredith delivered her son in an electrical storm.
Derek and Meredith worked together as they tried to find a way to treat Alzheimer and cancer patients. They grow closer and closer together. Meredith fights it and dates the vet who treats her and Derek’s dog , Doc. At the hospital prom, Meredith and Derek make love and he is ready to tell Addison he is done. When he arrives at her hotel room , he gets another surprise , Mark appears from the bathroom in a towel . The marriage is now over. Meredith now has two men fighting over her. She continues to see a therapist to find out why she is so messed up. Derek tires of waiting for her so he decides to date Nurse Rose. Meredith now decides she is ready for a commitment. As a symbol , she goes up on the hill where Derek has land and makes a house of candles.
Meredith finally gets a chance to meet Derek’s mother played by Broadway legend Tyne Daly.GA prides itself on casting legendary actors like Hector Elizondo and Debbie Allen as parents of the staff. She approves and gives Derek her ring for Meredith. Since so many of their encounters take place in an elevator , Derek proposes in an elevator that he has plastered with catscans of the many cases they have worked on. She naturally says yes.
At the same time , Meredith’s fellow class mate Izzy Stevens is going through the fight of her life as she battles cancer. The only bright spots of the day for Izzy is when she gets to play wedding planner for the happy couple. Realizing that Izzy and Alex’s time may be limited, they let them have the wedding that she planned for them. They still get married , but with no time they make their vows on a post it in the locker room. Now the couple have teamed up on a drug trial to cure the disease that Meredith may someday get. They also get involved in Karev’s project of surgeries on kids from Africa. One of these little kids steals their hearts and her name is Zola. This ebony princess is the reason that the two of them decide to get really married at City Hall.
The Alzheimer’s test comes under scrutiny when Meredith tampers with the drug and gets the trial suspended. Derek is furious until he realizes that she did this so Adele Webber could be treated. Alex tries to right the wrongs and gets Zola back with the Shepherds. Finally the family is reunited.
Tragedy rears its ugly head again when the team gets on a plane and then it crashes. The crash kills Lexi and then Mark perishes soon after. Arizona loses a leg and Derek ‘s hand is injured as well. This crash will cause untold chaos for a long time. Owen takes the blame on behalf of the hospital, the plane company settles and pays the doctors millions of dollars. With financial troubles taking over the hospital , the doctors unite and buy the hospital naming it Grey Sloane Memorial Hospital in honor of Mark and Lexi. The Shepherds are now on the board and own a hospital.
Derek has surgery on his hand thanks to nerves that are donated from his sister. The surgery is a success and then Meredith gives him the news that he is going to be a father. Bailey Derek Shepherd is born in the middle of a storm in true “Grey’s ” fashion.. Meredith bleeds out on the table and Bailey saves her.
The Shepherds receive some help when Derek’s sister arrives from LA and “Private Practice” . Canadian actress , Catherine Scorsone portrays Dr Amelia Shepherd.. She moves in to help with the Shepherd kids and ends up staying . Derek is asked by the President to come to Washington and work on his project on brain mapping, Derek accepts and then leaves. Feeling guilty, he returns to Meredith and the kids. Meredith doesn’t want to be the one to hold him back so she throws him out and tells him to go back to Washington.
Now Meredith and Derek are at a cross roads in their marriage. Will he come back or is it off to Washington and the end of his marriage? Find out on Jan 29 when “Grey’s” and your other TGIT favorites return. What do you expect ? It’s Shondaland!