'Grey's Anatomy' season finale recap: Derek makes a shocking return

'Grey's Anatomy': Derek Shepherd's Final Message
'Grey's Anatomy': Derek Shepherd's Final Message


ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON HOLLYWOOD LIFE

We don't think we've ever seen a season finale of Grey's Anatomy without a cliffhanger, but season 11 came to a calm close on May 14. There were no deaths, no runaway brides or major disasters, but we did get a surprise appearance by Patrick Dempsey. Is Derek really alive? Find out.

'Grey's Anatomy' Season Finale: Derek Returns — Season 11 Episode 24 Recap

We kid, we kid. Derek is not alive. (Too soon?) Sorry. But Patrick did make an appearance in tonight's new episode. In fact, his scene consisted of a flashback in the form of a voicemail message, and it was totally new. So in a way, we did get to feel the presence of Derek again. And it felt so good.

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But let's backtrack a bit, so we can explain what else happened in the season finale.

Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) still hasn't decided if she's going to sell her and Derek's house, but she did push Alex (Justin Chambers) to talk to Jo (Camilla Luddington) about her moving back into her old house. And when he did, Jo freaked out a bit. Apparently, Jo doesn't want to live with a bunch of kids if they're not her own. Instead, Jo proposes that she and Alex sell the house back to Meredith and move into a loft — one that needs a ton of work.

'Grey's Anatomy': Jo Declares Her Love for Alex
'Grey's Anatomy': Jo Declares Her Love for Alex


Elsewhere, April (Sarah Drew) told Jackson (Jesse Williams) that she wants to go on another tour of duty because when she was away, she felt alive. She said it was the first time, since their baby died, that she's felt that way. Jackson seemed super proud of her and gave his blessing, but then he said if she goes, he won't be there when she gets back. April cried a bit and couldn't believe he said that. She then weeped harder while talking to Arizona (Jessica Capshaw) about it at Richard (James Pickens Jr.) and Catherine's (Debbie Allen) wedding. (Yes — they got married, but they're so boring that it's only worth mentioning in one sentence.)

'Grey's Anatomy': The End of April and Jackson?
'Grey's Anatomy': The End of April and Jackson?

And in an effort to give Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) some closure after Derek's death, Meredith let her sister-in-law listen to an old voicemail he left before he died. It's when she listened to it, while holding Owen's (Kevin McKidd) hand, that we saw the new Derek scene. He seemed to be leaving Meredith a message while riding a ferry boat.

Miranda Bailey: The Next Chief Of Surgery?

Other minor tidbits: Bailey (Chandra Wilson) is in the running to become the next chief of surgery, and Maggie's (Kelly McCreary) parents are getting divorced.

The episode actually ended on somewhat of a high note, as Meredith was seen dancing with all of her friends and family, following the wedding, inside the house that Derek built.

What do YOU think? Should Jackson and April break up? Are you upset there wasn't a big cliffhanger? Vote in our poll and tell us how you feel!

MORE FROM THE FINALE:

'Grey's Anatomy': Meredith Grey Dances It Out
'Grey's Anatomy': Meredith Grey Dances It Out



More from Hollywood Life:
'Grey's Anatomy': Jackson & April Split — Did They Break Up? Sarah Drew Speaks
'Grey's Anatomy': Meredith Runs Away & Secretly Has A Baby After Derek's Death