Grey's Anatomy recap: A major character dies in heartbreaking midseason premiere
Killing off a major character wasn't the spring premiere welcome I was expecting from Grey's Anatomy. But if we've learned anything in the past 17 years, it's that you have to hold all things loosely on this show — especially the livelihood of your favorite cast members.
Dr. Andrew DeLuca died a hero. He and his sister Carina took matters into their own hands during Station 19's time slot and helped bring down the sex traffickers from the fall finale. In the process, DeLuca was stabbed by the main villain's cohort.
Station 19 firefighters whisk him away to the capable hands of Owen Hunt, who quickly discovers that the blade has pretty much penetrated most vital organs in DeLuca's chest. This can't be good.
My concerns are confirmed when DeLuca appears in Meredith's dreamland beachfront property, pontificating about life and how it feels not to have any stress or worries crowd your brain. DeLuca wonders if he and Meredith are alive, and she answers with a semi-confident, "I think so."
Back at Grey Sloan Memorial, Owen is arguing with Richard over who will scrub in with him for DeLuca's surgery. Richard wants in, and Owen wants Teddy. They have a history of putting people back together in traumatic environments and he needs someone who can anticipate his every move.
Richard concedes, and Teddy rushes into the OR. She and Owen slide into Military Mode before inducting newbie Khan into their unit. Richard watches from above while Carina prays in the chapel, sharing stories about how her mother always described Carina and DeLuca as two halves of one whole. She breaks down in her girlfriend Maya's arms.
We're halfway through the episode and the mood suddenly shifts. DeLuca is going to be okay! Teddy and Owen have saved his life. Teddy rides that high until Owen demands that she "not read into this." He still hates her. Everyone hates her.
Except for Tom, who actually loves Teddy, but totally knows that she doesn't love him back. How does he know? Because she would have done something about their relationship by now if she had. That's why he begs Teddy to tell him that she does NOT love him so he can get on with his life. If he beats COVID, that is.
Carina reunites with her brother, eager to tell him that both the sex trafficking woman and the man who stabbed him have been arrested. She leaves DeLuca in the capable hands of Owen, who jumps into action hours later when DeLuca starts to code. One minute Owen is checking a chart and the next minute, he's cracking DeLuca open right there in the room, digging around in his chest cavity.
Owen isn't the only one scrambling to save a life. Jo's patient Val (the one with the liver problem and newborn in ICU) isn't doing so well. She's desperate to see Luna before Hayes takes her daughter for a lung procedure. Jo argues with Hayes, reminding him that Val's room is on the way to the OR. Just give this mother five seconds with her baby.
She wears Hayes down and as they roll the incubator to Val's room, Val codes. Luna is now an orphan.
Speaking of orphans, Zola overhears Amelia tell Link that Meredith is on a ventilator and she's afraid her sister isn't going to make it. Moreover, Maggie is nowhere to be found. This news sends Zola into a tailspin. Amelia dips into damage control, trying her best to console Zola without lying. Link sends Avery to find Maggie, who is currently holed up in a hotel room having sexy times with her boyfriend Winston.
Avery locates Maggie. She and Winston both head over to the house. The guys bro it out in the backyard with beers and awkward moments where the ex-boyfriend meets the current boyfriend. Inside, Maggie and Amelia explain to Zola the gravity of her mother being on a ventilator. Sweet Zola begins to cry because her dad was once on a ventilator, too.
I wonder where Zola's happy place is because it's not at her mother's beach. Meredith is currently entertaining DeLuca, who tells her without hesitation that he doesn't regret doing what he did. He claims that atrocities in this world surround us, yet his intervening made sense, even if he was hurt in the process. He would do it again in a heartbeat.
Assuming he has a heartbeat, which he currently does not. We see Dream DeLuca struggling to build a sandcastle before the tide comes in because he has "more to do." When the waves crash over his masterpiece, he laughs, telling Meredith that he finally understands who he is as a person and that he knows his own soul.
We hear someone shouting a name and DeLuca turns to see his mother. Unlike Meredith, who didn't run into Derek's arms, DeLuca embraces his mom with palpable joy. He waves at Meredith as she smiles back, happy that he's found peace, yet certain she will miss him.
Cut to the OR, where Khan startles everyone with the brutal reality that DeLuca has been down for 40 minutes. Teddy's glazed eyes glimpse at Owen, who can't seem to absorb the truth. The entire OR staff crumbles as the flatline sound permeates the room.
Time of death: 22:50.
Meredith. Alex. Bailey. The doctors are definitely in on Shonda Rhimes' hospital melodrama.