'Grey's Anatomy' shocker! Except, you know, not

Patrickdempsey_greysanatomy_s3_240 I guess my shock meter isn't all that finely tuned, because when I read the description for the next new Grey's Anatomy episode, my reaction was not so much "Wha?!?!" as "Hmm."

Yet this morning I saw all sorts of items online about how Shocking! and and Gasp!-inducing the news was. All this from one little sentence in the description of the March 12 episode. It reads: "After learning at a deposition that more of his patients have died than survived, Derek decides to quit, even as Meredith refuses to give up on him."

OMG! Is McDreamy really quitting? Is Patrick Dempsey leaving the show, just like everyone else may or may not be!?!

Yeah -- no.

Here's the thing: If a network is putting out information like that in a press release (a similar version of the logline will also probably show up in your TV book or on-screen guide) it probably doesn't qualify as shocking, or even very surprising. (Despite a "shocker" headline, EW's Michael Ausiello rightly calls shenanigans on the chances of Dempsey actually leaving the show; I'd envision torches and pitchforks advancing on ABC headquarters if that were to happen).

The reason my eyebrows didn't raise when I read the episode description is because that feels like a logical progression for Dempsey's character. Derek's loss of the pregnant aneurysm patient (Jennifer Westfeldt) last week clearly wrecked him (did anyone else get an ER-"Love's Labors Lost" vibe from the episode? I did, and not just because the patient was preeclamptic), and combined with the less than ideal results of his and Meredith's clinical trial, it's no wonder the guy feels beaten down.

The "Meredith refuses to give up on him" part of the logline could be good too. The dark and twisty one has come a long way emotionally this season, and I think it could be very interesting to see a bit of role reversal in their relationship, with her trying to help him through some rocky psychological territory.

I think I'd even say I'm looking forward to seeing how this story plays out. Which is probably what ABC wanted in the first place.

Any thoughts on the forthcoming Derek-quits storyline? How do you think it will play out?

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