The idea of Grey's Anatomy without Patrick Dempsey is hard to envision.
Earlier this spring, the actor made clear his intention to leave (or at least seriously consider leaving) the show at the end of the upcoming eighth season, but sought to walk that back somewhat while promoting Transformers: Dark of the Moon this weekend.
"It's not in my court - it's up to ABC and [executive producer] Shonda Rhimes if she wants to continue," the actor told TV Guide in an interview.
"I would love to have a discussion as to where I would like to go."
The seventh season finale, in which Derek discovered that Meredith tampered with his clinical trial and left, just as their adoption proceeded, left MerDer up in the air.
One thing that may influence Patrick is whether Derek and Meredith reconcile.
"I think there's room for them to develop as adults instead of being stuck in this adolescent dynamic," he says, but fears "it's going to be incredibly hard for them to get back together, because she's really betrayed him on a personal and professional level."
One scenario Patrick proposes: Derek as a stay-at-home dad. "I think he'll probably be devoting more of his time to his child than he will to his work," he says.
What do you think of Patrick's comments? Is MerDer in for a long, tough road ahead? Or will things be smoothed over sooner rather than later? Discuss!