[Warning: This story contains spoilers from episode 1107, “Could We Start Again, Please?” of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy.]
Amelia Shepherd (Caterina Scorsone) and her big brother, Derek (Patrick Dempsey), may finally be on equal ground.
The siblings clashed in a major way during Thursday’s episode when one of Amelia’s fellow Narcotics Anonymous members outed her dark and sad backstory. It threw the head of neuro’s career in jeopardy after the surgeon worked tirelessly to rebuild from the mental, physical and emotional distress caused by her drug addiction, boyfriend’s death and delivering a baby without a brain.
But the worst part was that the doc received the opposite of support from Derek after she moved from California to Seattle to help him after he planned to take a job in D.C.
“It changes what Amelia understands of their dynamic,” Scorsone tells The Hollywood Reporter of Derek’s decision to not immediately support his sister. “She’s always seen herself as the black sheep of the family. He’s always been this generous benefactor to her. We have a reversal happening. She came to Seattle to help him with his life, and he’s pulled the legs out from under her.”
And he really did: After Owen (Kevin McKidd) asks Derek if Amelia should really be the head of neuro, the eldest Shepherd says he can’t answer that — largely because his sister took his job when the surgeon was likely headed for D.C. It leads to a board meeting where Derek eventually does back his sister, but it comes after Amelia finds out about his failure to support her and lashes out at him — and vows to move out of the Dream House.
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“She finally is able to disengage from the childhood dynamic she’s always had with him when he was the alpha and she was the beta,” Scorsone says. “She realizes she’s pretty great. Her life was destroyed and she built it back up from nothing on her own without his help. He’s no longer this untouchable golden child. She realizes that she has as much strength and skill and integrity as he does. It really changes the way their relationship dynamic plays out. By the end of the episode, Derek approaches her and tries to make some sort of amends about it. But something has been broken there. ”
Scorsone believes Derek’s behavior has been brought on by stress — in his marriage with Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and fallout from his decision to not take the job in D.C.
“He doesn’t even know what he’s doing right now. He’s under so much pressure. He walked away from that D.C. job that he really wanted,” she says. “He made a choice and he had to live with the decision that he made. That resonates very deeply for Amelia because she’s had to live with extremely painful decisions that she made — and not throw anybody under the bus because she feels bad about her situation. She’s had to walk with integrity in the face of terrible circumstances. So Amelia expects the same from Derek.”
What did you think of Amelia and Derek’s showdown? Hit the comments below with your thoughts. Grey’s Anatomy airs on Thursdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.