Mere hits the button for the elevator but when the door opens, the Chief runs up and blocks her way, telling her she can't take that one, and she demands to know why not. Why not? Because we're about to experience what Mere-Der fans the world over have been wanting for five years. Because this episode wasn't named "Elevator Love Letter" for nothing. Mere is ticked off but Richard successfully blocks her way until the doors close, and she goes back to hit the button again. When the other elevator dings, he urges her to go on like he didn't just act like a complete freak. The doors open, and a clean-shaven, nicely-dressed Derek smiles at her from an elevator car full of scans and papers taped to the walls, and then invites her in. When did he get the little stripe of grey in his hair? I don't remember seeing it before, but it gives him character. I like it.
He first points out a set of scans belonging to Katie Bryce, who Meredith remembers. That was their first surgery together, their first save. He then shows her another set from a surgery where he kissed her in the elevator afterward. Next up is a set from the surgery when Bailey kicked Mere out, since she'd caught Mere and Derek hooking up in his car in her driveway. The next set is from a surgery where she held a clamp for seven hours. "That's when I knew you were going to be an incredible surgeon." After that are Beth's scans -- she was the first survivor of their clinical trial and Meredith was the one who convinced Derek to do the surgery when he was too big a baby to want to do it himself. (I'm paraphrasing here.) The last set of scans belong to Izzie, post-today's-surgery. Meredith is beaming looking at them all, and turns back to Derek. He tells her that she gets everyone to move forward when bad things happen, because she's seen worse. When she says she's dark and twisty, it's a strength and not a flaw. "It makes you who you are." He tells her very matter-of-factly that he's not getting down on one knee or asking her a question -- it's kind of pompous and presumptuous, but at the same time sweet enough to be rather fitting for his character. "I love you, Meredith Grey. And I want to spend the rest of my life with you." She smiles and says she wants to do the same, and they kiss. I know this is going to kill the mood, but all I could think during the second half of that was, didn't anyone else need to take the elevator during that entire time? But really, it was a fitting proposal for this couple.