Grey’s Anatomy, season 11 episode 21… an episode that I think will always stay remembered in our hearts and our minds. This episode, in charge of showing the death of one of the most loved characters, Derek Shepherd, used different cinematographic techniques that made our hearts teared apart little by little.
The episode starts with a bunch of vanished quick shots that show some of the most important moments of Meredith and Derek Shepherd’s life. In addition to this, there’s a shattering image of police sirens in the background that indicate us, since the beginning, that something is for sure going to be wrong. As the episode goes on, shots go back to normal, some of them tend to be a little longer than others, but they are all shown through different angles (in the case of the car crash we are able to see through both the inside of Sara and Winnie’s car, and through the overall scene of the accident), which makes it interesting and captivating. The first half part of the episode is shot during the day, including bright and natural colors (like blue, green and yellow). However, when Derek (one of the primary characters) gets tremendously injured in a moment that we never expected, the screen goes all black and the cinematography of the episode starts to change immediately after that.
Although it is exactly at the half of the episode that Derek’s accident happened, the transition in cinematographic effects goes back to the same they used at that beginning (a bunch of quick shots that showed some of the most important moments of Meredith and Derek’s life with the shattering image of police sirens in the background), indicating us that since that moment things will just go darker and darker. After this happens, the time of the day changes too, it passes from morning-noon to night, which makes all of the shots darker and sadder. The shots continue to transition from different angles, focusing on the face of Derek when he’s thoughts are being played in the background, and on the general image of the hospital when other important things were going on. Finally, there are other two important cinematographic moments: when the police goes to Meredith’s house and tells that there’s been an accident (showing again a shattering image of police sirens on top of Meredith’s overwhelmed and shocked face), and when it comes the moment for Derek to pass away (ending the episode again with the remembrance of quick shots that show some of the best and happier moments of Derek Sheperd).
In general, this episode’s cinematographic use is not like all of the others because it is suppose to be a much more dramatic, sad and emotional moment for the show. As sad and resentful fans may feel about this, there’s no denial that lights and special cinematographic effects stand out through the entire episode.