Credit: Video Still

When it comes to the plane crash injuries on the Grey's Anatomy Season 8 finale (Season 8, Episode 24, "Flight"), we were less grossed out by Arizona’s (Jessica Capshaw) thigh bone and Mark’s (Eric Dane) internal bleeding than we were by that enormous, bleeding, more-black-than-blue wound near Derek’s (Patrick Dempsey) wrist. Not just because of the visual — but because we know the value, both monetary and emotional, of that famous hand.

We’re still a little confused as to why Derek had to use a rock to crush his own hand, Hulk Smash-style. Okay, he was impatient and in shock. And no, we can’t begin to comprehend the complexities of an airplane’s exterior materials. But he could still wiggle his fingers! Surely he could have used his right hand to pick it apart?

In any case, Derek’s mythical hand, the one that fixes unfixable brains and brings fame and fortune to Seattle Grace-Mercy West, is on its deathbed. At least that’s the way it looked when Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) used a paper clip as a makeshift surgical needle and attempted to close that bloody hole on his forearm. There were murmurs about “bleeding to death,” but Derek put a stop to all that by saying he needed to “save the hand.”

But can he? Also, is the surgeon’s loss of his epic hand a tired cliché, even in Grey’s Anatomy’s own internal mythology? Most dedicated fans recall Preston Burke’s hand tremors way back in Season 1, when he and Cristina (Sandra Oh) tried to keep them a secret, only to ultimately confess to then-Chief Webber (James Pickens Jr.).

Do you think Derek’s surgical career is over? If so, who is he without his career, and how badly will his ego suffer?

Miss Grey’s? Us too. Luckily the show will return to Thursdays at 9 p.m. with all-new episodes in the fall on ABC.

Molly Friedman is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @MollyFriedman.

Satisfy your Grey’s Anatomy addiction: Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter and Tumblr.