SPOIL ALERT: This story includes details about ABC’s March 11 episodes. Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19.
Just like they did in the fall finale, Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 came back from a hiatus with another powerful and deeply emotional crossover. Tonight’s episodes dealt with the aftermath of the crew from off-duty Station 19’s dramatic rescue of two kidnapped black teenage girls and the arrest of Robert and Dean by an overzealous white cop. He also bade farewell to one of the Grey’s AnatomyAndrew DeLuca’s doctors (Giacomo Gianniotti), just like the ominous ABC promotion hinted at. (Read Deadline’s interview with Gianniotti here.)
While Station 19 The firefighters were all trying to deal with the events of the day before, discussing issues of racism in the police service, the series carried out the kidnapping storyline of several seasons. The last time we saw DeLuca in the fall finale cliffhanger, he had just spotted Opal – the alleged child trafficking hub that sparked his manic episode last season – in Gray Sloan’s parking lot and, joined by his sister Carina, left, following Opal’s car. The DeLucas asked Carina’s girlfriend, Station 19 captain, Maya Bishop, and her team to help her with the operation. Eventually, Opal was arrested but not before her accomplice stabbed DeLuca.
‘Grey’s Anatomy’: Giacomo Gianniotti on Tonight’s Twist, DeLuca’s Journey, and the Full Circle
With his sister by his side, DeLuca was rushed to Gray Sloan where he underwent successful emergency surgery, led by Owen and Teddy, but he then developed DIC and, despite Owen and Teddy’s best efforts. Teddy, died in the operating room.
While on the verge of death, DeLuca was able to spend time on the beach in a dream streak with Meredith who remained unresponsive in the episode, hanging on a fan.
“I don’t know what’s going on here Meredith, but whatever happens I want you to know that I never felt seen like you saw me, I never felt inspired like you Inspired me, you made me want to be not just my better self, but better, ”he said. The duo, whose budding romance was cut short by the pandemic, had one last touching conversation before DeLuca said, “You’ll be fine, Meredith” and ran over to her late mother who waved her hand at her. Just when his body was flat in the operating room, he found his mother on the beach in a gentle embrace.
In an interview with Deadline, Grey’s Anatomy and Station 19 Showrunner Krista Vernoff discusses the decision to kill DeLuca this season, the importance of how he died, and the impact his sudden passing will have on her sister, Meredith, and Gray Sloan’s other medics. She also teases a big Teddy-Owen arc following their newly found fight for the life of DeLuca and a George Floyd / BLM script on Station 19. She also explains if we’ll be seeing DeLuca again and discusses Meredith’s status – as well as the status of the show, which hasn’t been renewed for Season 18. (You can read more about that here.)
DEADLINE: When did you decide the character DeLuca would die? Was his mental health crisis last season a point where you had considered writing him off?
KRISTA VERNOFF: No. It was one of the first creative imaginations I had when imagining what this season would be like. It’s like I said before. Like, stories tell. I’m just trying to write them down as fast as I can, and this story was told to me as I was walking on the beach imagining the season, and I was like, oh, no, really ?! But it seemed powerful and important to me, and I don’t always know why, but that’s the story that came.
DEADLINE: Was it important to you that DeLuca redeemed himself completely before he died? He helped the kidnapped girl and Bailey earlier this season, and did a final act of bravery by having Opal arrested.
VERNOFF: Yes. It was extremely important to me that it was clear that he was going through his mental health crisis and that the rest of the sex trafficking story was rooted in his bravery and kindness as a human, and I think we did well. I didn’t want to risk sending the message that he passed away due to his mental illness. He died after going through his mental health crisis, bravely and mighty, and he died a hero. He probably saved a lot of lives in the future.
DEADLINE: What was your conversation with Giacomo regarding the delisting of his character?
VERNOFF: This story has been the most vivid story I have had in the season. I knew exactly what we were doing, and exactly how we were doing it, and so, once we had a form, and we knew when in the season it was going to happen, Giacomo came to meet, and we proposed to him. . He was so sweet and relieved that it wasn’t a mental health crisis story, that was all I said before. He was just relieved that we were being honest with this character. That he went out courageously, that he did not commit suicide. That he wasn’t hurting anyone. That he was clear in terms of sanity and that he was coming out in this truly noble and courageous way. He was brave.
DEADLINE: How will DeLuca’s death impact her sister, Meredith, and the other doctors at the hospital?
VERNOFF: There is a profound impact. He had become loved, and all these doctors had come together in the procedure and really cared about him. So there is a real impact on her sister and on everyone who loved her. The big sort of question mark is Meredith. You know, Meredith is not awake and, while she was with DeLuca on this beach, there is a question mark as to the impact this will have on her.
DEADLINE: In DeLuca’s conversation with Meredith on the beach, he sounded prophetic when he told her, “ Meredith, everything will be fine. Should we read a lot in it – is he right?
VERNOFF: Yeah. Should you read it? I do not know. More will be revealed.
DEADLINE: Can you tell us when we hear about Meredith’s fate?
VERNOFF: Don’t want to watch the show and see how it goes?
DEADLINE: Yes, but there is also a lot of anxiety.
VERNOFF: I know it is painful and scary. Just like Covid.
DEADLINE: How did it work with Giacomo and the rest of the cast on his last episode?
VERNOFF: I feel like everyone has brought their A game in terms of performance across all lines of the story, and I’m really grateful to Giacomo. What I told him at the reading table when we read this episode is, thank you for playing this character so powerfully and beautifully that you are giving the world the opportunity to feel our collective grief in your death.
DEADLINE: After DeLuca dies, will we see him on the beach? This has turned into a great place to bring back any character you want.
VERNOFF: There was a discussion about getting him back to the beach, but we all felt his outing with his mom was so deep and powerful. I cried harder watching this than I cried watching anything on our show for years, and so, we didn’t want to see him come back to the beach. You will see him again. He’s appearing in more episodes this season, but I don’t want to spoil this.
DEADLINE: Anyone new to the beach this season?
VERNOFF: I would say there is a good chance you will see other people on the beach.
DEADLINE: In his final hours, DeLuca seemed to have reunited Owen and Teddy in their grief when they couldn’t save him. And Teddy had just let Koracick go when that happened. Owen and Teddy are they finely approaching reconciliation?
VERNOFF: Owen and Teddy have a big story arc over the next two episodes.
DEADLINE: on Station 19, watching the characters process the events of the fall finale, it almost felt like listening to the show’s writers in the writers room, treating themselves to the events of last summer. How did he write these conversations between the different firefighters?
VERNOFF: Well, we have a very diverse cast and a very inclusive cast and writers’ room, and we honor and include many voices and many perspectives when we talk about these deep topics. So the process is really inclusive.
DEADLINE: What’s next for this group? Dean filing a lawsuit is a new item that could provide insight into the court system. Is this something that will be a major storyline in the future?
VERNOFF: Yes. It’s a major intrigue for our entire season. Our season still lives in May and June 2020, and so, if you recall, in April, May and June 2020 we were dealing as a nation with the death of George Floyd and the uprising that followed that, and therefore, we are bravely faced many of these issues in the series.
DEADLINE: Will George Floyd’s death be incorporated into the series?
DEADLINE: Especially on Station 19 or through both shows?
VERNOFF: In both shows to some extent, but it’s very central on Station 19.
DEADLINE: You have completed the fall race with two consecutive very heavy episodes which included the passing of Bailey’s mother, and now DeLuca has passed away in the first episode. Is there light and breeze Grey’s to come up?
VERNOFF: Is there light and breeze Grey’s to come up? Maybe later in the season. We have some pretty intense things to come, and that’s just the nature of the year we’re living in. It’s just a reflection of the year we’ve just been through, and I would say there are some beautiful moments of light. Not windy, but when DeLuca’s mom shows up on this beach. I mean, what’s more beautiful than that? Yeah, it’s deep, and yeah, you get your feelings, but I would say these episodes aren’t just dark. There is lightness and beauty in darkness.
DEADLINE: What can you tell us about this “pretty intense stuff to come”?
VERNOFF: The impact of DeLuca’s death hits everyone differently, but it hits one of our characters who has reached their saturation level and breaking point.
DEADLINE: Do you still know if this would be the last season of Gray?
VERNOFF: I do not know yet.