After weeks of the prospect looming over our heads, tonight's episode of Grey's Anatomy brought the inevitable: Meredith Grey kissed a man who wasn't Derek Shepherd... and then some.
Admittedly, I've been happy that Meredith has been able to open up to the idea of finding love — or something like it — again. And, despite adoring MerDer's reign on the show, I've been pretty thrilled with the way this season has panned out so far without McDreamy (sacrilege, I know).
But all that isn't to say I don't still wince every single time someone mentions Derek's name. Or I see Meredith wearing his lucky scrub cap. I, too, miss Derek's presence on the show and in Mer's life.
So, like many fans, I wasn't sure how to feel a few weeks back when Meredith finally let her guard down and gave her digits to a hunky military surgeon from another hospital named Dr. Thorpe. To be honest, though, I was shocked by how quickly he won me over.
For starters, he's obviously swoon-worthy. But he's also so clearly enamored with Mer! Derek would have wanted her to find someone who thinks she's the sun, right?
Enter this week's chain of events.
The two have apparently been on a few dates. Two, maybe three — depending on who you ask. Thorpe walks Meredith to her door and tells her goodnight, yet it isn't until he is walking away that Meredith gives him the green light to go in for the goodnight kiss.
Then, it happens. It's quite possible I heard the world rip open in that moment, or maybe it was the deafening roar of the voices in my head screaming-slash-squealing in some curious combo of horror and delight. Seriously, I had so many feels.
Ultimately, Thorpe stays the night and, ahem, you know. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
The next morning, Meredith starts screaming and kicks him out. He's panicked, Maggie's panicked, Amelia's confused. It's utter chaos and no one really knows why. All Mer's sisters know is that they are worried about her and this dude needs to skedaddle.
After he leaves, Meredith holes up in her room, only to emerge hours later and freak out. Or, to be more specific, clean-freak out. Meredith, whom I don't remember ever cleaning in all these seasons, starts fanatically cleaning... everything.
Amelia and Maggie join in, because what else are they going to do? Eventually, they page Alex and tell him there's an emergency. He cancels several surgeries to rush to the house, only to discover Meredith, Maggie and Amelia trying to put together a long-dormant vacuum cleaner.
Shortly after, Meredith is frantically cleaning shelves in the hall closet when her hand stops on a nubby-looking fleece blanket. She smiles. She kind of laughs a little. Then she says matter-of-factly, "We're done cleaning now."
When Alex goes in to check on her, she's sitting by the fire with the old blanket draped over her shoulders. And she tells him how it was Derek's blanket — one that he loved and she hated, and now he was gone and Meredith still had that old, stupid blanket.
She remembers a night he made a bed for her with that blanket in the very spot they were now sitting, in front of the fireplace. Naturally, this calls for some adorably heart-rending flashbacks. I may have sobbed into my after-dinner cantaloupe a little. Don't judge me.
She thought she was ready. She wanted to be ready. Maybe she was, in fact, ready for the physical aspect of moving on. But emotionally? Emotionally she wasn't ready. And she especially wasn't ready for something good. She wasn't ready for something that felt great and natural and exciting.
Something that felt like she and Derek did.
After all of this, Thorpe shows up at the door, explaining he's been worried about Mer all day. He didn't bail or run as fast as he could from the crazy, screaming lady. Rather, he was legitimately concerned.
Meredith explains to him that she isn't ready just yet. To which he replied he would give her some time and, "I'll be waiting, because I have a feeling you're worth waiting for."
Please excuse me while I swoon. Hard.
This entire episode has me feeling some kind of way. It made me miss Derek and ache for Meredith to have him again... but, in all honesty, it also made me crush on Dr. Thorpe even more. As in, I've been crushing on him since we met him. There, I said it!
I can't help it. He's so darn cute and he makes Meredith smile. I feel like such a traitor to the cause. Shun me if you must.
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