Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m basically a Grey’s Anatomy superfan. I just started writing a newsletter about Grey’s, I watch it every week without fail, and Ellen Pompeo even follows me on Twitter (yes, I am bragging). I’m also rewatching the whole series from the beginning right now with my boyfriend (he’s technically my fiance, but I don’t love that word) because he’s never seen it all the way through. During our binge, I noticed something in an episode that literally gave me chills.
You might want to stop reading here if you, like my fia…boyfriend, have never seen the series all the way through and don’t want any spoilers.
Ready? Okay, here we go.
Season 2, episode 25 is an episode called “17 Seconds.” It’s an intense episode as is — the interns are treating multiple victims of a restaurant shooting in the ER, and Denny Duquette (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is still waiting for a heart transplant. It’s the iconic episode wherein Izzie decides to cut his LVAD wire to make him worse and put him higher on the transplant list — you know the one. Her plan rests on the fact that Dr. Burke is coming back soon to check on him and confirm his lab results, and will be able to operate once they secure the heart for Denny.
Because of all the intensity going on in the episode, it’s easy to see why this foreshadowing might’ve gone overlooked all these years, including in all our various rewatchings of the show. However, Derek (okay, and the writers) foreshadowed one of his own multiple tragedies, even back then, while treating one of the victims of the shooting. One of the servers in the restaurant had been shot in the head, and when Derek put him through the MRI machine, he said something that gave me goosebumps.
Did you catch that?! He said, “Can you imagine? You’re at work, you’re doing your job, and someone comes in and shoots you?” That’s right — perhaps it’s just a coincidence, or perhaps Shonda and the writers had a plan all along, but this line seems to foreshadow the mess that happened in season 6, episode 23 (titled “Sanctuary”). In “Sanctuary,” the husband of one of Derek’s former patients comes into the hospital, angry with the good doctor for how he handled the case. He shoots many of Derek’s coworkers and friends before shooting Derek.
Thankfully, Derek pulls through and lasts for a few more seasons before — well, you know what happens.
There you have it. Do you think they had Derek intentionally predict his own fate, or was it just a coincidence?