Andrew DeLuca's chapter on the series has come to a close.
In the shocking (depending on who you ask) final moments of Grey's Anatomy Season 17 Episode 7, Andrea "Andrew" DeLuca died on an OR table after a nerve-racking ordeal.
Join Paul Dailly, Meaghan Frey, Jasmin Pettie, and Berea Orange as they discuss the hour!
Did DeLuca's death blindside you? What are your thoughts on it, and did you think it was a worthwhile sendoff for the character and actor?
Paul: It was a real shocker, maybe one of the biggest in the history of the show. It seemed like it was done for shock value to get people talking as the negotiations continue with ABC to renew the series.
I don't think it was worthwhile in the slightest. It was tragic, but it seemingly solidified the fact that Meredith will never have a lasting relationship on the show.
Meaghan: Honestly, no, but that is only because of an interview Giacomo gave before this season where he flat out stated the show was ending this season. Everyone else was denying that they made a decision, as they still are, so it seemed odd that he would be saying that unless a separate conversation was had with him.
Since then, I have theorized that his death has been coming, and that is the only reason they told him the truth about the fate of the show. I took it as a way for them to soften the blow for him like, "Hey, we're going to kill you off, but don't worry, the show is ending anyway, so you won't be missing me."
Ben: How are you feeling, DeLuca?
DeLuca: Like I got stabbed.
I have had mixed feelings about DeLuca for years. His character had one of the strongest starts of any of the interns to ever grace Grey's Anatomy. When they paired him with Meredith, his character quickly went downhill for me. I was just starting to get back on board with him after their split, and they do this!
His mental health storyline, if given a chance to stretch its legs fully, could have been so fantastic. They gave up that possibility for a shock and awe approach, and I'm not okay with that.
Jasmin: I was, and I wasn't. I speculated that they were planning to write his character off since their initial plan for Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 21 included an explosion that claimed the life of one of the characters.
I speculated that DeLuca was the most likely candidate because I felt that they had gone as far as they could with DeLuca’s character, and there wasn’t much left for him to do on the show. They held off to the Mid-Season point, and I'm guessing that was because they were waiting for things to open up more so that they wouldn't be putting the guy out of work.
It would have been the case if they'd done it at the beginning of the season when many shows were still on a filming hiatus. I was never a DeLuca fan, so I don't have much to say about whether the send-off was fitting or worthwhile.
Berea: I was honestly expecting it. Last year, Giacomo posted this cryptic message on his Instagram story that he lost some battle in his career. This was shortly after Justin’s departure was announced.
I always assumed it was a contract negotiation thing. And then on the midseason finale when he decided to follow the lady instead of stopping her there at the hospital or calling the police, I thought “Oh he’s about to die.” And then when he and Carina kept having heart to hearts in their pursuit, I KNEW he was dying.
Part of me wanted them to save him, but another part felt he was done. He and Meredith are over. They barely showed him with Carina until this. He doesn’t really have any friends. And he’s pursuing general surgery. We have enough general surgeons on Grey’s.
Every time a main character leaves a show, in hindsight it always makes sense to me. It was sad, but I thought he got a nice send-off.
Is there anything about how DeLuca's death played out that you would've changed? (Cause of death, character interactions, goodbyes, etc.,)?
Paul: I wasn't fond of the cause of death. I appreciate the writers wanting to show that he was playing with fire by going after Opal, but I find it hard to believe he died at the hands of Teddy and Owen. They were the two I figured would be able to save his life.
I wanted many more character interactions, but then again, if the show wants to emulate real life, we don't always get to say goodbye to the people we love.
Meaghan: When I was in nursing school, DIC was a condition that fascinated me and terrified me, so that aspect isn't something I hated.
As Paul said, though, he should've had a chance to say goodbye to the characters other than Meredith.
Above all, Carina deserved a chance to say goodbye to her brother. However, there were so many other goodbyes that they robbed us of, including Bailey, Maggie, and Jo.
Jasmin: I would have liked to have seen him apologize and make amends for the horrible things he's said and done over the last two seasons before Meredith got sick or was awake and before he died.
He talked about apologizing in Grey's Anatomy Season 16, but he never actually did it. While he expressed his gratitude to Meredith and Bailey, he never actually apologized for the harm he caused them, and he never apologized to Jo for what he did at Joe's Bar and what he tried to do to her. I would have liked to have seen that before he died.
Berea: I’m in the minority because I don’t really have any issues with these things. I’ve seen people say it makes no sense that he died on Owen and Teddy’s tables. Sure, they are the best trauma surgeons, but people die at their hands, too. No surgeon has a perfect record.
I don’t think Carina necessarily needed a goodbye because literally, that’s why they had those moments and a heart to heart (which was kind of foreshadowing), but I will concede the majority of this happened in the Station 19 hour, so for a strictly Grey’s viewer, you would feel cheated.
When I think of people other than Meredith or Carina who should say goodbye to him, I can’t think of anyone. Yes, he saved Richard’s life, but that’s it. Outside of him, I don’t feel like Andrew really had friends.
And I have to disagree with Jasmin; I don’t think he had any amends to make. He was finally in a good place. The only thing that sucks about this is right when he gets treated for his bipolar disorder, he gets killed off.
I would’ve liked them to show him working with the disease. But then again, we haven’t seen Grey’s really delve into mental health issues since Meredith’s consistent therapy in season four and Cristina’s PTSD after the shooting and plane crash.
If this is officially the final season of Grey's Anatomy, do you like what they've presented us with so far? Do you think the season is too heavy and traumatic, or is it the perfect tone for this type of series?
Paul: I hate it. I know the show has always featured dark plots, but it featured just as many light ones that helped balance things out.
It's difficult to watch the show these days because of everything happening in the world. I no longer see it as an escape from reality, and it's a shame. The show has managed to deal with sensitive topics in a great way in the past, complete with a great payoff, but nothing about the show at the moment is appealing.
Meaghan: This is the worst way for the show to go out. I feel like people have excused it because of COVID and all the unknowns and restrictions. At the end of the day-- the writers chose to take the show in this direction. Other medical shows have successfully decided to forego Covid storylines or embrace it but not revel in the darkness.
Grey's Anatomy, on the other hand, dropped us into one of the darkest points of the pandemic and has kept us there. I keep expecting a time jump so we could at least be at this more hopeful point in time we see ourselves in now, but nope.
Adding in DeLuca's death which was completely separate from COVID, they apparently are just trying to break all of our hearts. Also, the fact that they have sidelined the show's namesake for almost the entirety of the season so far, during what might be its last season, baffles me.
Jasmin: Yes and no. I think we've got some good setup, but the storylines need to move forward at a faster pace if this, in fact, is the last season because otherwise, there will be a lot of loose ends they will have to rush to tie up.
I think they are doing a good job of setting the tone and keeping that balance. This is a tough subject matter at a tough time. I would also like to see a time jump sometime soon to get out of the darkness. I miss Meredith as a character, but I understand that they are keeping her bedridden for Ellen Pompeo's safety, so as much as I don't like it, I get it.
Berea: I am completely with Paul. I’ve been a super fan of Grey’s since day one, but have gotten fed up with it. This midseason premiere was the first good one of the season because I’ve hated everything before now.
Literally, there’s been no storyline I enjoy. Grey’s is not giving me the escape I want. I wish they’d done it like The Resident where they did a time jump and we just sort of deal with the after-effects of COVID.
I'm sorry, I just need to be around someone who doesn't hate me.Teddy
Even though I’m super disappointed with how everything has been, I feel like there may need to be at least just one more season to tie up storylines and see endings past COVID.
If they end it this season, I would like them to do a time jump in the last few episodes at least. It feels like a final season with all these returning characters. Also, I think they should kill Meredith off when it ends. She’s been trying to die since she put her hand on the bomb in season two. Give Mer her wish already.
Maggie and Amelia had to tell Zola about Meredith going on the ventilator. React!
Paul: This scene gutted me. It was genuinely heartbreaking to see Zola react to the news and say that Derek went on a ventilator and never woke up again.
Meaghan: When did Zola become so grown up, and how do we make it stop? I feel like it was just yesterday that Derek and Meredith adopted her as a baby.
The way she handled the news was so mature, and that made it all the more heartbreaking. I was absolutely gutted when she drew the comparison to Derek. This child has already gone through so much trauma in her life between Derek's death and Meredith going to jail. I guess she wouldn't be Meredith Grey's child if her life wasn't tragic.
Jasmin: I agree! That scene was heartbreaking and beautifully acted. The child actress who plays Zola, Aniela Gumbs, has really grown into her own as an actress and really holds her own in that scene. Her line about how she didn’t want them to tell Bailey or Ellis yet because they’re too young to understand broke my heart.
Zola’s only a few years older than them, but she’s old enough to understand the impact of what’s happening in a way that they can’t. And she remembers how hard it was when Derek died, and when Cristina left, and Alex.
She doesn’t want to put her siblings through the same thing, especially when Alex’s departure is still so fresh for them and they never got a chance to really know their Dad. The fact that Zola can recognize that at such a young age is raw and heartbreaking.
Berea: This was so hard watching. Zola grew up before our eyes and her wanting to be strong for her younger siblings was too sweet. My only issue with this was the timing. The one time Maggie unplugs and tried to unwind, she looks like the absent sister (to some people), not around to help Amelia with the kids.
What are your thoughts on the Maggie, Jackson, Winston moments and how Amelia and Link are overwhelmed by parenthood?
Paul: Those two plots felt like real-life in comparison to everything else that happened. They were grounded in reality and brought a little bit of levity to the show.
Meaghan: They actually managed to be my favorite scenes of the episode. Winston, Jackson, and Link all have such great chemistry and played off each other so well. I would take an episode of just the three of them hanging out and playing Mr. Mom over the dark, depressing storylines they are giving us.
Jasmin: I loved it! It was a nice reprieve from the darkness of the hospital storylines. I love the idea of Link, Jackson, and Winston being friends.
I get why Amelia and Link are overwhelmed. They signed up to co-parent one child, Scout, full time and another child, Leo, part-time, not parent Meredith and Derek's three young children indefinitely while their Mom battles COVID.
Those kids have already lost their dad. I don't want them to lose their mom, too.Link
Berea: I was so thankful for this because it gave us the only comedic relief we get this episode. It was kind of weird to me that Jackson stuck around and hung out at the house.It was very funny seeing Winston find out Jackson is Maggie’s Ex.
I liked hearing Link confess his concerns. He and Amelia have been stuck at the house with the kids while raising their newborn. It’s completely reasonable for him to be worried about what Mer’s death could mean for him. His life would be changed, too.
What was your favorite scene, quote, or who was your favorite character from the hour?
Paul: Favorite character from the hour is DeLuca. He was done dirty by the writers for shock value, and I think it's time for me to never watch the show again. It's becoming torture to watch these characters and relationships destroyed for ratings.
Meaghan: DeLuca was definitely the MVP. Giacomo was absolute perfection in all his scenes, especially on the beach. Regardless of how mad I am at the writers for killing him, he still was incredible.
My runner-up has to go to Winston. The man is perfect. As someone who has found a great appreciation for CSPAN during this pandemic, hearing him talk about how he finds it comforting and then getting turned on by the idea of commitment, I mean, how does it get better than that?
Jasmin: I think my favorite scene was the one with Link, Jackson, and Winston in the backyard because it brought levity.
My favorite quote was when the intern, Dr. Khan, looked up and said, "Is somebody going to call it?”
My favorite character of the hour was Winston for the reasons that Meaghan listed above, and my runner-up would be Link. I loved his speech; Link's walking around with Scout reminded me of Mark moving around with Sophia when he and Derek were fighting at the deck.
Berea: My favorite character was Deluca. He followed through on the sex trafficking mystery and died a hero. My favorite quote had to be him on the beach with the sandcastle saying, “The tide is too fast. I had plans.” I sobbed.
My absolute favorite moment of the episode though had to be Winston opening the door to Maggie’s hotel room with Jackson on the other side.“Oh, not the wrong room.” I got a good chuckle out of that.
I will say, I agree with Paul that I’m about tired of watching the show at this point. Which is why I keep saying to kill Meredith and free me.
What were your thoughts on Jo and Hayes working together on a case?
Meaghan: I'll take anything that brings Hayes to our screens. It feels clear to me that the only point of the storyline was for the patient to die so Jo can adopt her baby.
Again, it's yet another indication that the show is ending because Jo getting to be a mom feels like the logical conclusion to her storyline.
Jasmin: I loved it! I love their friendship, and like Meaghan, I'm here for anything that gives Hayes a prominent storyline. He's my favorite new character for sure.
I agree! I think Jo is going to adopt Luna. I was expecting more friendly banter and teasing like we saw before, so I was a bit disappointed that both of them were in such terrible moods. I'm happy that we got to see them talk about Meredith because I feel like Jo is the only one who really understands how much Meredith means to Hayes.
Jo: Were you nice before your wife died?
Hayes: Excuse me?
Berea: Love Paul’s answer because I, too, care nothing for it. Honestly, Jo just irritated me by comparing Alex leaving her to Hayes’s wife actually DYING. She’s so self-involved and woe-is-me, that I can’t deal.
Do you have any other thoughts you'd love to express that the questions didn't cover?
Paul: Put this show out of its misery.
Meaghan: I agree, Paul. I've been saying it since the end of last season. It's time for Grey's Anatomy to go.
At this point, as long as Meredith dies and gets to stroll off into the sunset with Derek and we get some more guest appearances along the way (see Sarah Drew making a confirmed return), I am fine with it ending.
I'll miss you. If I go back and you don't, I'll miss you.Mer [to DeLuca]
Jasmin: I'd like to see the show go out on top and on a positive note, so for me, I'd like to see Meredith live and get her happy ending with Hayes and their gaggle of children. I think they will need another season to accomplish that, as right now, due to COVID, the characters are stuck in neutral.
Tom: I asked you to admit you never loved me because I need it. If I survive this thing, I want to get up off the ground and drop this, so, I need it.
Teddy: I never loved you, Tom.
Tom: Thank you.
Berea: Tom! I’ve always been his fan and hated how Teddy used and treated him. I’m so glad he forced her to put him out of his misery. But now I don’t know what his place is on the show anymore.
I’m with everyone in that I think it’s time to wrap it up. Meredith has had so many near-death experiences, it’s about time she finally died. All of these guest appearances make it feel like it’s ending. Is April returning for the funeral? Who knows at this point.
I will concede, though, that this was the first episode this season I enjoyed. The show hasn’t had an altogether good season since Grey's Anatomy Season 14 to me.
Grey's Anatomy Season 15 was just there, and last season they just created drama where it wasn’t needed and ruined characters and relationships. So if they get one more season, I hope they use it to fix what they messed up and tie up storylines.
Over to you, Grey's Fanatics. Give the questions a go in the comments below!
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.