And another one bites the dust.
By the time they announced the last call on Andrew DeLuca, the franchise had put us through the wringer for a predictable ending.
They've been playing a guessing game on whether or not Grey's Anatomy is coming to a close, and this is the final season of the series. It's left fans in limbo for what feels like an eternity, and the most recent news, which TV Fanatic shared, is that they've written the finale of the season to serve as both a season and series finale.
But it can't be clearer that it's the final season of this series, given everything we've witnessed.
The series has been on for 17 seasons; while it certainly has a ticking clock on its expiration date, there is something sad about a legendary, groundbreaking, record-shattering series going out with a whimper during a tumultuous, pandemic-ridden, chaotic television season.
But what's worse is that while Grey's Anatomy has always been a melodrama, reducing its fans to a puddle of tears and never being gun-shy about killing off beloved, loathsome, and anyone in between characters, this season feels different.
We've lost thousands of lives to a virus that has held the globe captive for over a year. The world as we know is irreversibly changed, and there's a collective sense of loss, grief, and sadness at every conceivable turn.
Many people did turn to their screens for some form of escapism. Others accepted the realism that comes with displaying our real experiences onscreen and having them reflected back.
Please, don't take this boy. Please, don't take this boy.Webber
A medical series covering COVID? We knew what we were getting into, no doubt, but this entire season of Grey's Anatomy so far, aside from the emotional callbacks, is depressing.
It feels so emotionally manipulative and exploitative, like they're cashing in on an already fatigued audience that is most days hanging on by a thread, and they're doing it by piling atop feelings with more feels. It's exhausting, draining, and no longer enjoyable.
If it is the final season of a series that some of us have invested 17 years of our lives to, then why does it going out include kicking us while we're down?
The hour was another emotional one. DeLuca was wheeled into the hospital, barely alive and fighting for his life, after Opal stabbed him with what I can only imagine is a shiv made of Kryptonite because whatever it was, it did a ridiculous amount of neverending damage.
Owen, please save him, please.Carina
DeLuca saved those girls, "redeemed" himself by taking down Opal, and he paid the ultimate price for it. We're supposed to think he went out a hero, and he did, but it was also a painful reminder of how unfinished his story was.
DeLuca's Bipolar arc was such a promising storyline to explore, and yet it was all over the place the majority of the time, only to be waved off as he got well offscreen. But then his death is a result of some redemption he didn't require in the first place.
For DeLuca to sacrifice his life to "redeem" himself, the implication, however you slice it, is that he was at fault for Opal escaping the first time because of his mental illness.
It meant that him being mentally ill combined with everyone else not believing him because of his Bipolar was some screwup on his part that he had to make up for, and there is so much about that as it aligns with mental illness that doesn't sit right at all.
DeLuca saved my life; it's only right that I do the same.Richard
He even said it himself that had he not been in a manic state, then people would've believed him, and everything that happened after that wouldn't have.
It was the most time we've ever seen devoted to an often underused Carina, and we found out more about the DeLucas in two-hours than we did in however many seasons. Of course, that can only end in death, right?
Nevermind the fact that DeLuca made his way to that blasted beach with Meredith. His and Meredith's conversations signified that one of them wasn't making it out alive, and that person was likely DeLuca, even though he had so much he had left to do.
In true Grey's Anatomy fashion, it was all excitement and chaos, as it seemed the man had to give them all the pertinent information and hurry them along to operate on him while everyone was stalling at times to take moments to react to the devastating development.
Ben: How are you feeling, DeLuca?
DeLuca: Like I got stabbed.
DeLuca was seemingly safe after a harrowing surgery that brought Teddy and Owen together, putting aside their differences long enough to work miracles of the combat variety on one of their own.
DeLuca had a brief moment of semi-consciousness with his sister, and then, of course, he coded again, and this time, they couldn't save him.
It's quintessential Grey's angst designed to rip our hearts out, but of course, with an ashy, graven Meredith on a ventilator clinging to life while her soul skips around in the sand, and Tom still not out of the woods, it's 24-hour angst and heaviness at Grey Sloan Memorial.
It's frustrating that we have to say goodbye to a lovable character we've known for years.
Especially since the goodbye is sandwiched between Maggie, Amelia, Link, Jackson, and Winston hanging out at Mer's house, Tom finally letting Teddy have it, and that Jo and Hayes case that was barely worth paying attention to, while some of the closest characters to DeLuca were absent.
Meredith is unconscious, but at least she got to spend time with him on the Beach of Doom, and it was a lovely nod to the Merluca 'shippers as he lauded and thanked her for bringing meaning to his life and all of that good stuff.
Ironically, it felt like another case of a character's moment having to revolve around singing Mer's praises instead. But Bailey slept through DeLuca's traumatic ordeal at the hospital and his death, and no one thought to wake her.
Miranda Bailey would NEVER want to sleep through one of her work kids fighting for their life. The woman is still distraught about George's death; why would anyone think she'd be OK with this?
You look good, the beach suits you.Meredith [to DeLuca]
Poor Richard, who felt indebted to DeLuca, one of his musical partners in crime, got sidelined from working on his surgery and was reduced to praying to God not to take another. God laughed, of course.
Maggie dated DeLuca for months. He stayed on their couch for months. He helped her take care of Meredith's kids while she was in jail. And yet, she was stuck at Mer's house with a host of other people for the sole purpose of think-tanking how they would tell Zola and the kids about Meredith.
But instead, the overcrowded house felt like a waiting room for characters who may be next on the chopping block at this point.
As an avid Maggie fan and defender, it made zero sense that a doctor, whose one sister is on a ventilator and the other is running on no sleep, taking care of a houseful of kids, would not answer her phone calls at all.
Those kids have already lost their dad. I don't want them to lose their mom, too.Link
It made her look selfish and irresponsible, and she's a woman who is more than deserving of some downtime, but the timing here was ludicrous.
Jackson awkwardly coming to the room and meeting Winston for the first time, and the gang spending time with Link, swaddling a fussy baby --who is as loud and opinionated as his mother-- I guess served as the levity for the hour. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough.
The one relief about DeLuca's time on that beach is that he didn't foolishly choose to stay there with Meredith over returning to his sister, who expressed that they were so close growing up they damn near couldn't exist without each other.
He followed his mother (or was it grandmother?) into the afterlife instead.
I'll miss you. If I go back and you don't, I'll miss you.Mer [to DeLuca]
It was another downside of not seeing nearly enough of Carina there in his final moments. It's devastating for her, and my heart aches for her.
Andrew DeLuca was a personal favorite, and his loss is a blow to the series. Giacomo Gianniotti has been incredible in the best and worst of his arcs on this series, and DeLuca solidified his place as a memorable, lovable character who will be missed.
It sucks to see him go. I wish he had a sendoff that didn't get swallowed in overall grief and loss fatigue and the other storylines that cluttered this hour. He more than deserved that.
For those tallying all of the terrible things Meredith has experienced, then this is another loss of a loved one and spouse.They went out of their way to draw a few parallels to Derek, too.
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.
On top of DeLuca's death, Jo and Hayes also lost their patient. Admittedly, I did not pay much attention to that case. It was nice to see an underused Hayes again.
However, I checked out of it after Jo had the gall to compare Alex ditching her for Izzie to Hayes losing his wife and the mother of his children to cancer. Why is Jo, Jo?
Tom gets kudos for telling Teddy to let him go so he can move on, and it does suck that the only reason Amelia needed Maggie was to figure out how to tell Zola the truth about Meredith.
Zola is a brave girl, and she handled it better than any kid should have to, but this thing with Meredith in limbo is dragging on way too long. At this rate, can they just pull the plug?
Jo: Were you nice before your wife died?
Hayes: Excuse me?
Over to you, Grey's Fanatics. Are you devasted about DeLuca's loss? What are your thoughts on the season? Hit the comments below!
You can watch Grey's Anatomy online here via TV Fanatic.
Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.