8.17 One Step Too Far
Were you like me (before the episode aired) when you heard the news that Meredith would take the fall for Lexie and as a result ruin her chances of choosing neuro as a speciality?
Did you go into the episode ready to scream at the television and hate Lexie forever?
Did you expect to hate the moment Meredith and Derek realised that they really COULDN’T work together?
I'm sure you had felt some of what I was thinking, and in the end, I wonder too if you were pleasantly surprised after all this was a GOOD MerDer episode!!
You might be screaming at me now thinking I’ve lost the plot, Meredith and Derek aren't going to work together again, BUT, the bigger picture shone through…their marriage and their love for each other is bigger, more beautiful and more cherished then their professional working relationship. They both care far too much about their love for one another, and neither is prepared to jeopardise that!
So as much as it pains me to see Meredith walk away from neuro, part of me is now finally beginning to understand why.
Remember the post it... this is forever.
The episode began in the bathtub; yes you read that correctly, Meredith and Derek were naked in the bath tub in a throwback to season 5.
Derek is trying to persuade a hesitant Meredith to return to Neuro with him, even if just for one day! Meredith points out they had decided it was a bad idea however Derek is insistent at asking her to return and explains that he misses working with her, he wants her to come back for him! (Did I mention there was kissing, and neck nuzzling... and hands wandering everywhere!! All the porny things we love about MerDer!)
At the hospital it is clear Meredith is still unsure about her return as she tells Cristina that she knows it’s a bad idea, but a preoccupied Cristina fails to listen to her.
Meredith goes off to find Derek, who is clearly delighted she is back on his service. Derek points out to Lexie that Meredith is thinking of coming back to neuro, to which Meredith laughs off that she isn't returning. Derek jokes back how Meredith is remembering the magic (oh we are too!!!) and as the scene ends it really is clear that Meredith has sincere doubts about her return.
In the OR Derek is called away as Lexie is about to remove the cyst, as she continues she comes across more than she anticipated and asks Meredith if she should remove it. Meredith does the right thing and asks for Derek to be called in OR2. It is believed Derek will be minutes however when he is called away again Meredith and Lexie decide to take the tumour out. An ecstatic Meredith goes to tell Derek how well Lexie did, but Derek is clearly angry at their decision to remove it
Derek and Meredith are waiting in the patient's room waiting for her to wake up so Derek can establish if the surgery was successful or not. Derek is annoyed that Lexie is not there, but Meredith points out she sent her to pick up the lab results.
As the patient wakes all initially seems well, however as she begins to speak its clear something is wrong as she fails to form words or sounds correctly.
Derek speaks to the parents and tries to explain the surgery, and in front of the family appears to take the blame for the surgery. Meredith begs him to let her take the fall for the surgery; however he is clearly upset when he says he shouldn’t have left the pair of them in the room together.
Derek is upset and can't believe Meredith would let Lexie do the surgery, and she tries to defend her actions to him. Meredith continues to beg to have the blame placed on her, explaining Lexie isn't strong enough to deal with this, but Derek points out then if she isn’t strong enough she shouldn’t be a surgeon (part of me here can't help but think that he really didn't want Meredith to be blamed, he wasn’t prepared to let her take the blame when it wasn't all her fault)
Meredith takes Lexie to a side room and explains what happened and also gives her advice in how to deal with a pissed Derek.
At home that night Derek is lay out on the bed obviously upset and disappointed about what had happened that day. He answers Meredith with one or two words when she asks him questions, and it's clear that this isn't just about his feelings about the patient, but also his disappointment about the realisation he can't work with Meredith.
However the next few seconds melted my heart completely as Meredith asked:
'Do you want me to leave you alone?'
To which Derek replied:
There was no running, no pushing, Derek let his wife in, because marriage and post it prevail over everything else.
There's is a marriage to be proud of, and always will be.
A small smile falls on Meredith’s lips as he responds with wanting her with him, and as she lies down onto the bed he takes her hand and it's clear that this is forever.