To be fair, a lot of “Grey’s Anatomy” regulars endure some major blows during “Sanctuary” and “Death and All His Friends.” Derek is shot and nearly dies, as does Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) and several other doctors. Everyone has to work pretty hard to trick the shooter, Gary Clark (Michael O’Neill). They even fake Derek’s death while he’s lying on the operating table to get him out of there alive. The shooting impacts some serious life choices the doctors are contemplating — Lexie Grey (Chyler Leigh) and Alex get closer, and Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) agree to have a child together. Parenthood is also on Meredith’s mind; she suffers a miscarriage while assisting in Derek’s surgery. Even though only Percy dies in the last episode, it’s hard to deny that it’s still a meaningful outing.
But some viewers, such as u/roejostramill3404, think the episode could’ve had a much stronger impact on them. u/spotdspa thinks Percy was brought back in this episode for the express purpose of killing him off. u/Shaunaaaah feels that both characters are unsympathetic, but stated that the questionable finale had its benefits. “It did serve as a common traumatic experience so Jackson and April could be welcomed into the circle and stop being outsiders so it wasn’t a complete failure of a plot device,” they said.
Some fans lament what could have been. “What really sucks is how much I actually liked Reed and Charles, but then they were just turned into these characters that are so easily hated, especially Reed,” wrote original poster u/ReceptionTight2002. But fans can take comfort in this simple maxim: if you wait long enough, things at Grey Sloan Memorial will change.