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Grey's Exclusive: Ellen Pompeo Weighs In on Mer-Der Fight: 'He Needs To Get Over It, Quick'

Patrick Dempsey has indicated that if Grey’s Anatomy‘s Derek and Meredith can promptly move past their season-ending feud, he might be coaxed into staying with the ABC drama beyond the coming season. Well, from where Ellen Pompeo sits, it’s her leading man’s McDreamy alter ego who holds all the cards when it comes to the couples’ short- and long-term future.

“Listen, what Meredith did clearly crossed a line. Derek has a right to be pissed,” Pompeo tells TVLine, referring to how Mer tampered with her husband’s clinical trial to ensure that Adele Weber received the Alzheimer’s drug versus a placebo. Upon learning of the meddling (thanks for that, Alex), Der flew into a quiet rage, questioned his missus’ morality, then ultimately and unknowingly left her cradling their newly adopted daughter Zola, all by her lonesome.

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But shouldn’t Derek know by now how his doctor wife operates, leading with her heart and not always her head? Pompeo thinks so. “Derek so often stands on his moral high ground,” she says, “while Meredith does see things as gray, not black or white. It’s who Meredith is, and Derek should understand that.”

Indeed, Mer’s latest actions are not without precedent. As Pompeo recalls — echoing series boss Shonda Rhimes’ recent words almost verbatim — “This character has always been someone who … sees the line between right and wrong as blurred. From the first episode, she has always struggled with making appropriate decisions. She’s put her hand on a bomb, and she told the shooter [from the Season 6 finale] to shoot her. She’s a complex character, and Shonda has been very deliberate about that from the beginning…. Shonda knows exactly what she’s doing.”

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Duly noted. But where do Mer-Der go from here? How quickly can they work through this professional standoff and move forward with their personal happiness, as newly marrieds and brand-new parents? Pompeo acknowledges that while Derek is right to have a beef, claiming the moral high ground doesn’t hold a candle to the bigger picture.

“I think Derek should feel wronged for a second,” the actress tells us, “but then he needs to get over it, quick!” (With reporting by Louis Virtel)