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You don’t get through 14 seasons of a television show without a few bum storylines and a couple of characters that no one cares about anymore. Such is the case with Grey’s Anatomy — a decade and a half on the air, and basically as many characters have died on the show as have lived. And, of course, there are some that just won’t die, as much as I may hope (cough Owen Hunt cough). But, now that we as viewers are reaching the end of Season 14, I’m requesting the end of another character — Dr. Amelia Shepherd. Amelia needs to leave Grey’s Anatomy.
Amelia Shepherd was first seen on Private Practice, Addison Shepherd’s Grey’s Anatomy spinoff. She was the baby sister of Derek, and she worked with Addison in Los Angeles at that fancy-dance New Age clinic Addison moved to post-Seattle. It was pretty, but it wasn’t easy — Amelia was an addict, and so was her fiancé, Ryan. They got pregnant, and Ryan overdosed soon after. Then, Amelia found out that their son’s birth defects (anencephaly) were so extreme that he wouldn’t survive after he was born. She donated her son’s organs, but Amelia was basically destroyed. She got engaged to another man, James, and they were in love and all, but Amelia ran away to Seattle to be with her brother and sister-in-law and start over again.
All of this would be pretty compelling stuff if Amelia’s story hadn’t taken such a nosedive since then. After Derek died, it was interesting and harrowing to see how Amelia and Meredith adjusted to their new normal — instead of letting Derek’s death push them apart, they were forced to work together and bond more for the sake of Mer and Der’s kids and, you know, their own sanity. Meredith is apt to spin off into oblivion at any given moment, and Amelia is in danger of relapse. It was a beautiful thing, to see both Amelia and Meredith work together to stay strong.
Now, Amelia is that person that you just say, “oh, honey,” to after every interaction. I guess it was OK when she and Owen fell in love — it was like an annoying mayonnaise sandwich fell in love with a red-haired, annoying mayonnaise sandwich, and that’s at heart, harmless — but damn, were these two insufferable or what? They are fundamentally incompatible, and the only reason they fell in love with each other in the first place is because Amelia had a brain tumor. He wanted kids, and she didn’t, so they eventually performed the Cristina storyline 2.0 and broke up over it.
Now, in Season 14, Amelia’s story isn’t going anywhere. She and Owen are done, because he couldn’t decide between her and Teddy. (Although they did briefly start hooking up again which no one asked for ever.) Amelia has no big cases, no breakthroughs to make. Even her big "can she beat this brain tumor" storyline is really more Alex’s because it’s his patient. Amelia is the head of the Neurology department at Grey Sloan, and she’s not really even doing anything! She’s a seat warmer, and frankly, it’s not fair that fan favorites like Arizona Robbins and April Kepner have to depart the halls of Grey Sloan when Amelia Shepherd gets to stay.
Amelia used to be a hurricane of a person, and, luckily for her own health, she’s calmed down quite a bit. Brain surgery recovery will do that to a gal. But now, she’s the least interesting part of Grey’s Anatomy. For the writers to make Amelia a viable character in Season 15 (it was just renewed!), can we get a real love story that has nothing to do with Owen Hunt? Or a hard-won scientific breakthrough that makes her as good a surgeon, reputation-wise, as her brother? Without something big to keep the character going, Grey’s Anatomy should send Amelia Shepherd out to pasture with Bonnie the train girl, George O’Malley, and her big bro Derek.
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