Ellen Pompeo by Scott Garfield/ABC, Patrick Dempsey by Scott Garfield/ABC Ellen Pompeo by Scott Garfield/ABC, Patrick Dempsey by Scott Garfield/ABC

Not only does it look like the writers' strike will cap the fourth season of Grey's Anatomy at only 11 episodes, but Patrick Dempsey says the relationship that has kept viewers on the edge of their seats for three years may have finally reached its expiration date.

"The next couple of episodes are going to be completely different with what happens with Meredith and Derek," Dempsey revealed to TV Guide exclusively while he promoted his new film, Enchanted, in L.A. on Nov. 4. "I'm looking forward to that change and that movement."

After three years Dempsey is ready for his character to move on - potentially to the new character brought in as his love interest. "I just want the characters to continue to grow and to work things out realistically," Dempsey says. "Derek and Meredith's relationship has gone as far as it can go. I don't think it's going to go unless she commits to marrying him or goes into therapy and starts working on herself. We'll have a cliff-hanger with this last show and there will be a resolve that seems to be permanent." - Reporting by Carita Rizzo