NEW YORK (AP) — If you haven't seen Thursday's "Grey's Anatomy" and plan to — spoiler alert!
Out of nowhere, the episode walloped viewers with the shocking exit of — wait for it — Derek "McDreamy" Shepherd, the reigning heart-throb and a charter member of the long-running ABC medical drama.
Played by Patrick Dempsey, making a surprise departure from the series, Shepherd died from injuries suffered when he was blindsided by a truck.
This was after he had stopped while on the road to administer aid to four people injured in a gruesome two-car crash. He had stabilized them all by the time medics arrived and whisked them away to a small, local hospital.
Moments later, Shepherd's own car was struck, and — irony of ironies — he was dispatched to that same hospital.
There, viewers were privy to Shepherd's thoughts as, gravely injured but unable to speak, this veteran neurosurgeon realized his treatment was being botched and that he was doomed. His undiagnosed head trauma left him comatose. Summoned to the hospital, Meredith Grey, his loving doctor-wife, made the awful decision to turn off the machines in a tear-jerking deathbed scene.
Dr. Grey lashed out at one of the attending physicians who tried to apologize for failing to save her husband.
"Yes, you did fail. You weren't good enough," Grey snapped. "Learn from this. Better yourself. And you will be better for next time."
The episode, written by series creator Shonda Rhimes, leaves Grey, played by series star Ellen Pompeo, facing life as a single mother of two as "Grey's Anatomy" heads toward its 12th season next fall. Its 11th-season finale airs May 14.