LOS ANGELES, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Screenwriter Shonda Rhimes said Tuesday that Derek Shepherd's Grey's Anatomy exit was the only way to affirm his and Meredith Grey's love in the end.
Rhimes told reporters as part of the Television Critics Association press tour that she didn't have many options. "Either [Derek] was going to walk out on [Meredith] and leave her high and dry, and what was that going to mean?" she said. "That would suggest the love wasn't true, the thing we had said for 11 years was a lie." According to her, McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey) had to die.
"Meredith and Derek's love had to remain Meredith and Derek's love," Rhimes continued. "As painful as it was for me as a storyteller, the only way to preserve what felt true to me was Derek was going to have to die for that love to remain honest."
"The only way to make Meredith and Derek's magic remain true was to keep it frozen in time," she said.
The writer and director of four ABC dramas, including Grey's, Scandal, How To Get Away With Murder and The Catch has a lot up her sleeve for Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) in the show's next season. "We do have this world in which Meredith is single, and she is living this life that she hadn't thought she was going to be living again," Rhimes explained.
"There's a much lighter tone this year...It's a weird rebirth of all the characters," she said, "but really for Meredith."
Grey's Anatomy's twelfth season airs Sept. 24 p.m. on ABC.