TV

60,000 Seriously Pissed Off Grey’s Anatomy Fans Are Petitioning To Bring Back A Dead Character

"NO! NO! NO!!! You do NOT get to toy with our lives and emotions like this Shonda, NO!" reads the very reasonable 620 word list of demands.

If you’re a person who cares about Grey’s Anatomy and hasn’t seen the latest episode, please run away now. Seriously. This is one of the biggest things to ever happen on the show and I don’t want to start getting death threats like Shonda Rhimes because you stupidly ignored a spoiler warning.

So, let’s get down to it: Derek’s dead.

Despite the fact that he’d previously survived a plane crash and been hunted and shot by a gunman, the main character’s husband who has been on the show for a whopping 11 years was unceremoniously killed by a truck. He had been away working for the President in DC, he’d resisted an affair, he returned home to reconcile his marriage and be a better father to his two young children, then he was killed by a truck.

I repeat it only for all the people who haven’t yet transitioned from denial into anger. He’s dead.

Soon after the episode aired last week, Twitter instantly transformed into a support group for fans dealing with the shock. Patrick Dempsey expressed his thanks to everyone, practically confirming the news he wouldn’t be returning and the entire internet turned against the show’s creator Shonda Rhimes as if she had just personally murdered a man on live television.

Now, surprising absolutely no one, a Greys fan from Snellville, Georgia has mobilised all that rage into a Change.org petition. Its mission statement is more than 600 words long, it has more than 61,000 supporters, and it is exactly as intense as you might imagine.

“It’s like you’ve killed the President of Grey’s Anatomy!” the petition reads. The Fans are ready to serve you papers and charge you with the Patriot Act! You HAVE TO BRING DEREK BACK! NOW! IMMEDIATELY!

“Seriously? SERIOUSLY SHONDA?! SERIOUSLY MS. RHIMES!?!?!?!?! People are not sleeping nor eating because of this tragic turn of events and you are not there to help them in any way shape or form!”

“I think that with all the brilliant ideas and writers that you have, that you make this episode a DREAMT one. A hallucination. You cant continue the show without McDreamy. It’s not going to happen. We won’t allow it to happen! 10 years!!! TEN YEARS!!! That is a career of watching this show! And you want to just give us a PINK SLIP?!?! AFTER TEN YEARS?! NO MA’AM! We should sue. Because this is just wrong! Then you’re giving us 2 hours of mourning for a funeral!? NO! NO! NO!!! You do NOT get to toy with our lives and emotions like this Shonda, NO! That is NOT RIGHT! How do you sleep at night?!?!!

THIS IS NOT WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT! WE WANT DEREK BACK! BRING HIM BACK!!!!!! FLIP THE FREAKING SCRIPT!!!!! LITERALLY!

Okay. So this is probably a weird time to tell you I watch Grey’s Anatomy and — though this statement and the incredibly hostile demand for them to fall back on one of TV’s most infuriating tropes is not ideal — I get it.

In the course of this show, the main character has drowned, been in a plane crash, had a miscarriage, been threatened by a gunman, lost her mother, her sister, one of her best friends, countless co-workers, and now her husband. Also, this particular episode followed one from Rhimes’ other show Scandal, where a main love interest was left for dead with multiple stab wounds lying across his ex-lover’s desk.

Rhimes’ Twitter bio states she “makes stuff up for a living” and asks fans not to tweet her their “craziness” but hey — it’s pretty cold shit and people have voiced their frustrations in much more articulate ways.

In an AV Club piece which is now being shared widely by fans, Gwen Ihnat writes, “Rhimes has gone to the shocking-death well so often that it has lost all significance.”

“The ending of a life means very little in Shondaland … Rhimes dangles the shiny object of death in front of her viewers, which is insulting to people who have actually lost someone. Death is an actual life event that has more effect than a Twitter explosion and a brief bump in ratings. Dempsey, among others, deserved better.”

Slate‘s Lindsey Weber also argued that the character deserved a better send off.

“Shepherd’s death instead felt like actual real life had crept too close to fiction. If behind-the-scenes drama motivated his death, as rumours suggest, does this constitute irresponsible storytelling?”

But as our own Caitlin Welsh explained when people were still bawling over the Red Wedding, there should always be a reasoning behind this strange grief.

“We don’t expect our TV writers to devastate us like that,” she wrote. “But when the decision has to be made, and a good, kind, flawed character steps off a chair into a noose in their office, or gets hit by a drunk driver at the corner of 18th and Potomac, we tell ourselves we can take it, because the writers will make it mean something to everyone left behind. It drives them on, makes them reach for the next challenge, the next plotline.”

Today, Ellen Pompeo has suggested that this will be the case, but hey who am I to judge if a Change.org petition makes you feel better about it.

You can sign the Grey’s Anatomy tragics list over here.