[WARNING: Spoilers ahead about the March 11 midseason premiere of “Grey’s Anatomy”]
Dr. Andrew DeLuca, played by actor Giacomo Gianniotti since 2015, was stabbed while trying to track down and expose a sex trafficker.
In the episode, which was also a crossover with “Station 19,” it appeared DeLuca was going to pull through at first.
But then while on the operating table he had a vision of love interest Meredith Grey, who’s been in a coma battling COVID-19.
DeLuca told her in a beach dream sequence, “No matter what happens, I want you to know that I never felt seen the way you saw me. I 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 to myself. But here, now, on this beach with you, I get it. I don’t just get it, I feel it. I get who I am. I know my own soul, my strength.”
“I’ll miss you. If I go back and you don’t, I’ll miss you,” Grey told DeLuca.
Giacomo Gianniotti as Andrew DeLuca, MD.
“You’ll be okay, Meredith,” he said. “I have to go.” Then, he ran other to his mother who was waiting for him.
While in her coma, Grey has also seen and talked to her late husband, Dr. Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey), and T.R. Knight’s character, Dr. George O’Malley, who died in a 2009 episode.
Meanwhile, fans took to social media to react to DeLuca’s sudden departure.
“NOOOOOOOOO THIS IS WRONG DELUCA CAN’T BE DEAD,” one person wrote.
“Yeah you know what I’m never going to be okay,” said another.
“Andrew Deluca went from being a character I pretty much ignored to one of my top 2 favs and now he’s gone I’m absolutely heart broken,” reasoned someone else.
“HOW DARE YOU DO THIS TO ME AGAIN SHONDA,” yelled a fan.
Gianniotti reacted to his character’s death on social media. “So much I could say… but all that comes to mind is thank you. 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,” he tweeted.
Pompeo told fans online she was “sorry for the heartache.” She added, “making the show and characters leaving is equally heartbreaking for us.”