Unless, of course, the next cast member who has a death (permanent or not) experience sees him there. Wonder if it matters that he died at a different hospital? :-)
I enjoyed the finale overall, and most of my dislikes are nitpicky (i.e., Maggie's parents waited until she was an attending doctor to split up? Really? And Jo just buys a loft and tells Alex to sell Meredith's house back to her; what if Mer doesn't want to buy it but would rather recuperate there?). I really liked that the last section brought the "dance it out" to a new set of people, that Meredith could share this activity without Cristina having to be there—and to use this positive coping mechanism under such different circumstances that at the start of the series. It also shows that she's much more able to connect with other people, particularly women, as she has matured. The year gap didn't really bother me. Funerals and their receptions tend to be similar on TV; why would viewers have needed to hear Derek eulogized? His impact on most of the characters was shown, at least somewhat, over that year, at times that surprised them. The people we have lost do pop up when we don't expect it. And basically Meredith was working her way off that carousal while also taking care of herself and her children. As others have said, this finale wasn't suspenseful, nothing like the shooting (the best, I think) or the plane crash. But it certainly had impact and mending, even if heavy-handed at times. This could have been the series finale (and I kind of wish it had been).
It seems clear that Rimes wanted Derek to leave the show when he and Meredith were in a good place; that being the case, there were few alternatives to killing him. It is odd to have him gone, but the subsequent episodes show that life goes on for everyone, including Meredith, who has clearly resolved a lot of her issues with her mother and certainly grieved for Derek. This suggests that Meredith can grow and not revert to dark and twisty Meredith. That said, I think the season finale could have been the series finale. (In fact, I think it should be.) There may be more stories to tell—there always are—but are they worth dragging out a show that could have ended its era nicely? I haven't watched Scandal but enjoyed the first season of How to Get Away With Murder. I wish Rimes would focus on the new and still vibrant shows instead of hanging on to or in with the ones that have run their course.
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