Warning: This story contains spoilers from the Thursday, March 11, episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Another one gone. The excitement for the return of Grey’s Anatomy’s 17th season quickly turned into heartbreak with the shocking death of a main character.
The Thursday, March 11, midseason premiere, titled “Helplessly Hoping,” saw Dr. Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) die on the operating table at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital after being stabbed while trying to take down a sex trafficker during the ABC medical drama’s two-hour crossover event with Station 19.
DeLuca was in and out of consciousness at times, giving viewers false hope that he was going to make it, particularly when he appeared at the same beach as a COVID-19-stricken Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) in a dream sequence.
“I don’t know what happens from here,” DeLuca told Grey, who has been in a coma. “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.”
Grey responded, “I’ll miss you. If I go back and you don’t, I’ll miss you.”
After DeLuca saw his mother in the dream sequence and ran over to give her a hug, the scene cut back to him in the operating room as doctors desperately attempted to revive him. However, Reza Khan (Nikhil Shukla) ultimately declared that DeLuca was gone before calling the beloved character’s time of death.
“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.”
Gianniotti, 31, also took to Twitter on Thursday to mourn the doctor he has played since 2015.
“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.”
Grey’s Anatomy airs on ABC Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET.