It is a damn good time to be Dr. Meredith Grey on Grey's Anatomy. She's had a tough few years, but right now she is thriving on both professional and personal fronts. Sure, she's still single, but heading into 2019 she has multiple attractive men -- and one very lovable woman -- vying for her affections. The Season 15 winter finale, "Blowin' in the Wind," just left Andrew DeLuca in a rather advantageous position, since the smoldering doc was stuck in an elevator with his beloved Dr. Grey. Actor Giacomo Gianniotti explained what DeLuca has that Meredith could want or need in her life:
There was already a physical attraction between Meredith and DeLuca. But physical attraction is not all there is. We need to have Meredith not just see him being heroic but being kind and sweet and empathetic. Those are the things that are going to make Meredith fall in love with him. So we've been trying to build those moments. In the last episode, he had the sweet relationship with the little girl. That was attractive to Meredith. In Thursday's [Nov. 15] episode, we saw a declaration for sure. DeLuca is done tiptoeing around it. He's done playing games. He's feeling good and brave. It sets us up in a nice place so, when we come back in mid-January, fans will be very hungry about wanting to see where it goes. I think Meredith is conflicted for a lot of reasons.
Yes, Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) is conflicted for a lot of reasons -- not least of which because her own sister Maggie (Kelly McCreary) previously dated DeLuca. Grey's is an incestuous pit like that, so it's not really the deal-breaker it might be in the real world. Plus, DeLuca was right when he mentioned that Maggie wouldn't care.
DeLuca started this romance situation when he got drunk in the Season 14 finale at Jo and Alex's wedding and kissed Meredith. Remember when he was hot for Jo (Camilla Luddington)? That was after dating Maggie, right around when Alex (Justin Chambers) beat the crap out of him. Then DeLuca had his own ill-fated rekindled romance with intern Sam Bello (Jeanine Mason). Now he's into Meredith.
But, as Giacomo Gianniotti mentioned to Entertainment Weekly, DeLuca has competition in new ortho doc Link (Chris Carmack). The midseason finale showed Meredith finally accepting Link's offer of drinks. It's a date. But then she got stuck in the elevator with DeLuca. Is love in an elevator coming in the midseason premiere? We don't know yet. But Gianniotti teased a "chess game" developing in 2019 between DeLuca and his rival Link:
We are doing Episode 11 right now. I can't really say where it progresses to but the train is definitely moving forward. There are moments when the train stands still a little bit and it's moving inches instead of miles, but it's definitely pushing forward. But it's also pushing forward for Link. The triangle is still there. It's like a chess game between Link and DeLuca. He might have a move where he beats me and is ahead of me but then I take him later. It's like a push and pull. It will be interesting to watch.
That will be interesting to watch, but let me throw a dark horse into the running -- Dr. Tom Koracick (Greg Germann). Are we going to pretend he's not in this game? He's my current pick for Meredith. Yeah, he slept with Mer's other sister Amelia. But again. It's Grey's. It's OK. He also slept with April. But Meredith is no nun herself. It's not a competition.
Meredith and Koracick really bonded in Episode 7, when they were tasked with treating Catherine's cancer. I like them together; they come across as equals in so many ways, albeit with very different personalities. Also, I know Meredith doesn't swing this way, but don't forget that Dr. Taryn Helm (Jaicy Elliot) is in love with our Mer-bear too.
And since we're throwing everyone into this mix, many fans are still hoping Scott Speedman returns as Dr. Nick Marsh, even though he was just around for a brief run last season and was never meant to return. Characters come back to Grey's all the time, thanks to fan outcry. So if Nick is your No. 1 for Meredith, make some noise.
On that same note, he wasn't into single moms, but otherwise Josh Radnor's blind date John really hit it off with Meredith. If he came back into the mix, all apologies and "I was ignorant, blah blah blah," would you put him to the head of the line? (I'm also going to throw Alaric Saltzman of Legacies into this mix, since I did just suggest a CW/ABC crossover where Alaric dates Meredith Grey. He's looking for love, too!)
Showrunner Krista Vernoff focused on DeLuca and Link in this post-premiere romance tease to TV Guide:
This is a woman who hasn't been kissed in a while. DeLuca kissed her at [Jo and Alex's] wedding, and I think he ignited her desire. Earlier in the show, Izzie (Katherine Heigl) talked about the beast having been awakened, and I feel a little bit like the beast was awakened in Meredith. DeLuca inadvertently woke something up in her that she's not gonna be able to put back to bed, and that is a little frustrating to her. But Meredith Grey is a doer and when something wakes up in her, she gets it done. ... Meredith is resistant. She shuts [Link] down hard. I don't know if Link is Meredith's type, but I think she doesn't know either. She doesn't know who she is romantically, as this adult woman post-Derek (Patrick Dempsey). So, who knows?
Who knows. The stars don't know, because it sounds like Meredith doesn't know yet herself. Right now, DeLuca does seem to have the edge. She did have sexy dreams about him. And the way he looks at her just works on every level. Plus, his hair is better than Link's. For some reason, Grey's does not know how to groom Chris Carmack.
But I still need convincing that Mer and DeLuca wouldn't just be a hot hookup. They hadn't really connected before this season, and she still seems to be more on the lust end than love. Still rooting for Koracick here, but everyone is going to have a different opinion.
Speaking of different opinions, why not vote for your favorite Mer option in the poll below? It's just for this season, we don't need to suggest her End Game love at this point. And don't worry, we all know -- No One Can Ever Replace Derek. Grey's Anatomy will return to Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC in early 2019. Check out everything still ahead on TV in our fall premiere guide.