By now, you're probably aware that Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) might revert back to his old immature self and sulk after being called a murderer by a distraught new widower. McDreamy is making like Achilles and is contemplating on hanging up his scrubs for good. Assuming Grey's Anatomy will break the Sacred Code of Predictability and actually dare to break up the show's central couple Derek and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) we'd better figure out which other character could be the best replacement boyfriend for good old Meredith, an exercise in futility but fun nonetheless.

Of course, we know that Derek is not as affixed to Grey's as, well, Meredith Grey, both literally and figuratively. And knowing the ABC medical dramedy's track record in treating its cast, it has proven itself to be more than capable of cutting anyone off without so much as a hello. But then again, Brooke Smith is no Patrick Dempsey, so we don't really count on it. MerDer will be OK in the end, but it's always fun to speculate.

* Meredith and McSteamy (MerLoan?)

Who better to replace McDreamy than former best friend Mark Sloan. In the last episode, we saw these two try to beat each other senseless so that's a possible storyline. At the outset, Meredith and Mark don't seem to be a good match, because Sloan doesn't seem to get Meredith or for that matter anyone else's depth. McDreamy connects to Meredith in some weird level that only they could understand, while Sloan has the emotional maturity of a teenager, like someone said. So maybe pairing Sloan with Little Grey is a good idea, after all.

* Meredith and George (MerMalley?)

Outside all the rumors, watching any recent episode of Grey's Anatomy will tell you that George (T.R. Knight) is on his way out of Seattle Grace. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the diminishing screen time of George is all but intentional in an effort to ease his way out of everyone's consciousness. That being said, the idea of these two hooking up is actually not far-fetched, as we've already seen it happen. Meredith has grown substantially over the years; however, George, well, the character of little George hasn't shown much growth because all his relationships have been made to fail. With hindsight, his old crush on Meredith seemed like a big sister crush more than anything.

* Meredith and Owen (MerOwen?)

Not gonna happen. See Cristina Yang

* Meredith and Alex (Merrev?)

Let's just say that it takes a lot to tolerate, much less appreciate, Alex Karev, and I don't think Meredith has it in her. In the same manner, it takes a lot of patience to endure Meredith who admittedly can be very unstable sometimes, an instability that somehow Derek takes ably. I don't think Meredith will be there when Alex suddenly breaks down and cries his heart out - out of nowhere.

Yes, you don't have to rub it in. While you may not like MerDer, there's something about the two that complements each other. They are both unstable, both wounded, yet nevertheless both ready to take the risk with each other. Like almost everyone at Seattle Grace, both of them have enough baggage to last a lifetime, but when it all comes down to it, at the end of the day, they make each other pretty darn happy.

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Feb 26, 2009 11:38PM EST

since we're contemplating crazy ideas...what about bringing back McVet? lol...i always liked him...I actually think that maybe mark sloan and meredith would make a good pair. if you watch the episodes just after mark joined the seattle grace team, you will notice that they did have some like mer-der...but still...its better than the weird awkwardness with george!

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