Thursday's episode of "Grey's Anatomy" shocked fans by killing off a beloved character – Patrick Dempsey's Derek Shepherd – before the hour was over, resulting in numerous fans taking to Twitter to mourn his death.
Dempsey's character has been an integral part of the show for the past 11 seasons, and despite there being signs that Derek would die before the season finale of the medical drama, many chose to turn a blind eye to the hints, as Dempsey was signed in for two more years.
"It just sort of evolved. It's just kind of happened," Dempsey told Entertainment Weekly about his shocking departure. "It really was something that was kind of surprising that unfolded, and it just naturally came to be. Which was pretty good. I like the way it has all played out."
"I think any time an original cast member has left, there's always a void that will never be filled. Shepherd is a beloved character. People don't want to lose him. He's been in their lives for over 10 years. But it goes on, and it will evolve," he added.
Showrunner Shonda Rhimes, who is known for killing fan-favourite characters, released a statement consoling fans, and added that Meredith and the entire Grey's Anatomy family are entering uncharted territory as the show gets ready to focus on a new chapter of Meredith's life.
But fans aren't too pleased with the explanation, with a number of fans pointing out that Derek Shepherd did not have to die. They are also accusing Rhimes of playing with their emotions.
Check out a few tweets below:
— Lisa (@LisaRobersonCT) April 24, 2015
Derek Shepherd was an iconic character. Not just on Grey's Anatomy, but all around the TV world. I can't believe he's gone. — rip derek (@MD_Junkie) April 23, 2015
as we mourn derek shepherd shonda is probably choosing her next victim
— mariam (@ohmcsteamy) April 23, 2015
My friends are like: "He's just a TV character" NO HE IS NOT HE IS DEREK SHEPHERD. AN AMAZING NEUROSURGEON, FATHER AND MEREDITH'S TRUE LOVE — aliyah (@greysfamilyy) April 24, 2015
It is not immediately known what influenced Rhimes to kill off such a beloved character. But there have been murmurs of a tension between Dempsey and Rhimes, and recent reports even indicated that Rhimes wasn't pleased with Dempsey's "diva" behaviour.