<I>Grey's Anatomy</i> Grey's Anatomy

At this rate, Meredith might not ever get to call herself Derek's fiancée, let alone blush as his bride.

Grey's Anatomy is MIA for the next few weeks, but the ABC serial will return with a bang on March 12, when Derek decides to call it quits.

Already, of course, Dr. Shepherd is in a dark place, having made some questionable (and ultimately unsuccessful) calls in the treatment of a pregnant patient played by guest star Jennifer Westfeldt. Adding salt to that wound, he comes to discover that over his illustrious career, more patients of his died than he originally thought — prompting him to elect to hang up his stethoscope.

Can anyone save McDreamy from this professional nightmare? Is the Chief about to lose his acclaimed brain surgeon? Derek's resolve seems real I mean, just look at his strife beard.

Meredith, of course, refuses to give up on her man as he beats himself up. But will she be able to entirely undo his defeated demeanor?

What's your take, Grey's fans? Can MerDer make it through this latest mine field? Or, just maybe, Derek's downward spiral will be more than his honey can handle.