Spoiler Alert: This article contains spoilers for the March 11 episodes of Station 19 and Grey's Anatomy.
The long-awaited second half of Season 17 of Grey's Anatomy is officially underway and with it, fans are witnessing the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic unfold through the eyes of the doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. But while fans were focused on whether or not COVID-19 would claim the life of Meredith Grey herself, Andrew DeLuca was shockingly left fighting for his life.
Is DeLuca dead on 'Grey's Anatomy'?
Sadly, yes, DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) has died on Grey's Anatomy. Before the mid-season premiere of Station 19 and Grey's Anatomy, we last saw DeLuca in the fall finale cliffhanger. After chasing down Opal (Stephanie Kurtzuba), the suspected child-trafficking kingpin who had previously triggered a manic episode in the doctor, the team over at Station 19 assisted in her arrest. The trouble was, right before this big win, her accomplice stabbed DeLuca.
When we met him again in the mid-season premiere, he was fighting for his life at Grey Sloan. Things started to look up when his emergency surgery went well, until it was revealed that he developed disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), which is a rare condition that causes abnormal blood clotting in the body's blood vessels. Sadly, complications brought on by DIC are often life-threatening, as was the case for DeLuca.
Though he died on the operating table, his consciousness got to spend some final moments with Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) on a beach, where he could say his goodbyes to his old friend and lover.
DeLuca's ending was a story actor Giacomo Gianniotti wanted to tell.
According to Giacomo, this storyline in Grey's was a long time coming. In an interview with Deadline, he recalled, "I was approached by our executive producers, showrunner Krista Vernoff and director Debbie Allen. They said, hey, we’ve been doing a lot of thinking about it, and we feel there’s an opportunity to tell a really, really beautiful story that is going to help a lot of people."
"The story is that this human trafficking storyline that we had last season was so well viewed, and everyone really connected with that storyline because human trafficking is just such a huge problem globally, but also in the United States, and I think California is number one, where I live right now," he continued.
But the storyline was cut short due to COVID-19. When the show was finally able to start production again, the showrunners didn't want to abandon the important plot.
"They thought it would be great to bring back that storyline and close it out. What if we could catch that woman that trafficked that young girl, and what if DeLuca was to save the day but to lose his life in the process, to die a hero saving all these people and all these children who potentially could’ve been trafficked, but now will not be because the traffickers were stopped?" he said. "And I just thought it was a beautiful storyline, I thought it was a beautiful way for the character to exit as a hero."
However, it appears that death isn't quite the end for Giacomo. Not only did he direct a later episode this season, but he told Deadline, "We’ve had a lot of characters leave ... We’ve continued to see those people in flashbacks, in dreams, in all kinds of different scenarios, and so, just because DeLuca has died, it doesn’t mean that there’s not other ways for us to see clips and other manifestations of DeLuca in the future. So, yeah, I definitely think there’s a possibility to see DeLuca in the rest of the season."
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m ET on ABC.