Patrick Dempsey Speaks on Future of MerDer

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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."

Not Married But Cute

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!

Steve Marsi is the Managing Editor of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Google+ or email him here.

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Grey's Anatomy Quotes

Did you say it? 'I love you. I don't ever want to live without you. You changed my life.' Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in 'cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow."

Meredith (closing voiceover)

There's a reason I said I'd be happy alone. It wasn't 'cause I thought I'd be happy alone. It was because I thought if I loved someone and then it fell apart, I might not make it. It's easier to be alone, because what if you learn that you need love and you don't have it? What if you like it and lean on it? What if you shape your life around it and then it falls apart? Can you even survive that kind of pain? Losing love is like organ damage. It's like dying. The only difference is death ends. This? It could go on forever.