Well, it happened.
Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 Episode 7 — the show’s midseason return — concluded with the death of fan-favorite Andrew DeLuca.
As expected, the fans of the ABC juggernaut are struggling to make sense of the development that seemingly came out of nowhere.
The episode in question found DeLuca undergoing surgery after being stabbed.
While it seemed like he had pulled through, he flatlined while Teddy and Owen relentlessly tried to save his life.
Before the character said goodbye, he got to meet Meredith during her COVID-themed drama on the beach.
“I don’t regret it,” DeLuca told Meredith of the lengths he went to take down the sex trafficker.
“We walk through our lives and we witness atrocities, see homeless people in the street asking for help and we just walk right past them. We see people who can’t pay for medicine for their children.
“We see people beating their kids and say, ‘It’s none of our business.’ We see atrocities on the news every day.
“Crimes and cruelties committed by our government, paid for nonetheless by our tax dollars. And what do we do? We just change the channel.” “We tune it out.
“Then we go back to work, and we pretend that what we just saw or that article we just read is somehow normal or acceptable. “The people who take to the streets screaming out for change, they’re written off as crazy, they’re written off as extreme. It doesn’t make any sense. It makes no sense.
“What you did, Meredith, risking your medical license to save that little girl, that makes sense. And what I did — following that women and not letting her get away with it, not letting her get away, not letting her harm another single human being.
Yeah, it was dangerous, but it made sense. It’s the only thing that made sense. So I don’t regret it.”
In Grey Sloan, Owen turned to Teddy to help with the surgery to save DeLuca and they somehow managed to save him. Everything seemed fine … until blood started spilling out of his nose.
“I don’t know what happens from here, Meredith,” he said during the dream sequence.
“No matter what happens, I want you to know that I’ve never felt seen the way you saw me. I’ve never felt inspired the way you inspired me.
“You made me want to be not just my best self, but better. And yeah, I felt small around you sometimes. I felt insecure. I wanted something from you that I needed to give myself. “But here, now, on this beach with you, I get it. I don’t just get it, I feel it. I know who I am, my strength.”
As DeLuca flatlined in the hospital, he saw his mother, who was calling out for him in the distance.
“I’ll miss you,” Grey told DeLuca. “If I go back and you don’t, I’ll miss you.” “You’ll be okay, Meredith,” he replied. “I have to go.”
“WTF #GreysAnatomy THEY KILLED DELUCA I CAN’T,” one fan tweeted alongside a GIF of Sandra Oh’s character, Cristina Yang, saying, “Somebody sedate me!”
Another Twitter user posted a meme of Kim Kardashian crying on the phone with the caption, “NOOOOOOOOO THIS IS WRONG DELUCA CAN’T BE DEAD.”
“I swear, Dr. Meredith Grey will never have another relationship… why they’d kill off DeLuca when he had so much character development ahead… so much more he could do. Why couldn’t they kill off Hunt?! #GreysAnatomy #GreysxStation19 #RIPDeLuca @GiacomoKG,” said another fan.
Giacomo Gianniotti, who played DeLuca, chimed in with the following message.
“So much I could say… but all that comes to mind is thank you,” the actor wrote.
“Thank you to all the fans who loved Deluca as much as I did. Telling his story was and will be one of the great honors of my life. Thank you. @GreysABC.”
Series showrunner, Krista Vernoff spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the shocking events.
“These episodes came in whole cloth. This is what I came into the writers’ room knowing,” she said.
“There literally was an entire imagining that came into my head… [and when] the whole thing downloaded and I was like, ‘Oh my god, we’re killing DeLuca?’ That’s how it happened,” she said.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.