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Grey's Anatomy fans have been invested in Meredith Grey's (Ellen Pompeo) love life since the first episode. So it's not really surprising that fans still have passionate opinions about what's best for her. To current Grey's showrunner Krista Vernoff, what's shocking is that some fans are hating on Mer's new relationship with Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) because they don't want to see her in another romance after the death of Derek Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey).
For me, that is not even a valid debate. I am shocked that anyone could simultaneously love a character and wish that she remain without romantic love for the rest of her life no matter how long her life is. That seems like a cruelty. And it seems like a cruelty rooted in reverence for her first love and I don't relate to it. I don't understand it. The idea that anyone could root for her to live a loveless life after being widowed at such a young age is crazy to me.
Cruelty to Meredith! Krista Vernoff shared her shock with TV Guide, after previously tweeting to fans during Season 15 that she wasn't trying to erase Derek by giving Meredith another romance. The MerDer love story will always be fans' first love, but it doesn't have to be our last love. Besides, it was Patrick Dempsey's choice to leave, so go blame him.
(Side note: Apparently we're all choosing to ignore Martin Henderson's Nathan Riggs as Meredith's first post-Derek romance? Yes? OK. Just checking.)
To me, while some fans may not want to see Meredith with anyone but Derek, they appear to be in the minority. While it's perfectly fine to just see Meredith as a single mother focusing on raising her kids and thriving in her career -- there wouldn't be anything wrong with that, and it might actually be refreshing! -- the more common complaint isn't about romance in general. It's about romance with DeLuca.
Granted, MerLuca does already have a lot of supporters, which isn't always the case for new couples on the show. I'm just now getting used to Maggie (Kelly McCreary) and Jackson (Jesse Williams) together as Jaggie, despite my own knee-jerk aversion because they are step-siblings. Also, they don't have the greatest chemistry. Some fans don't see chemistry between Mer and DeLuca either -- despite their steamy time in the elevator. When he speaks Italian [fans self] it's quite charming, and you have to admit it was cute when he tucked her in and gave her a kiss a couple of weeks ago:
Grey's Anatomy is known for pairing just about everyone up at the hospital, but DeLuca did already have a thing with Meredith's sister Maggie. From there, he had an unrequited thing for Jo. Now -- seemingly out of nowhere -- he's hot for Meredith. They had a drunken kiss in the Season 14 finale. In early Season 15, Meredith did some brief dating around, then got into a very brief love triangle with DeLuca and Link. We barely even got to know Link before he exited the triangle, and now it's just Meredith and DeLuca.
Giacomo Gianniotti recently told TVLine that Krista Vernoff told him at the start of Season 15 filming that Meredith and DeLuca would be getting together. He did not see that coming:
I was shocked. Surprised. I definitely wasn’t expecting that. But then we talked about the stigma in Hollywood about men typically being cast with much younger women and how that’s very normalized now and people don’t bat an eye. But if the woman is with a much younger man, then there is a weird stigma and a negative connotation around that. Krista wanted to take that double standard and flip it on its head and show it can be an older woman with a younger man and be sexy and empowering. So I said, “Great, let’s do it.”
It is great to flip double standards, but when a couple comes together just so Grey's Anatomy can make a statement, it doesn't feel organic. For my money, I loved the natural chemistry between Meredith and Tom Koracick. I thought that was headed somewhere, but now Tom (Greg Germann) is with Teddy Altman (Kim Raver). And some fans are still hoping Scott Speedman's Dr. Nick Marsh comes back to continue his sparks with Meredith. Fans saw instant chemistry there. And heck, if Grey's Anatomy really wants Meredith to be with someone younger, I know intern Taryn (Jaicy Elliot) would be happy to step forward.
So it's not really about fans not wanting Meredith to move on, it's just that we all have our favorites. Some fans are even still hoping Meredith and Alex Karev (Justin Chambers) will be endgame, despite Alex now being in one of the only stable relationships on the show with Jo (Camilla Luddington).
Speaking of Alex and Meredith, though, in last night's milestone episode, Alex's mom Helen (the great Lindsay Wagner) remembered Meredith is Alex's best friend. That friendship will apparently be tested in the March 7 episode when Mer has to pick a side between Alex or DeLuca. The February 28 episode ended with DeLuca's father showing up out of the blue, so we know we'll be hearing more about that too.
Plus, Link (Chris Carmack) needs to pair up with someone, since this is Grey's Anatomy and no one is really allowed to be hot and single at the same time. Will he be with Amelia (Caterina Scorsone), or are Amelia and Owen (Kevin McKidd) going to try to make things work now that Leo is back in the fold? Amelia deserves better than Owen, to be honest, and she finally realized as much last night. Don't make her take two steps back from here.
Grey's Anatomy Season 15 continues its relationship drama Thursdays at 8 pm., ET on ABC as one of the many shows airing in midseason 2019. ABC has yet to renew the show for Season 16, but it's all but guaranteed. Will Meredith and DeLuca end the series together as the endgame couple, or will The Powers That Be throw another curveball into the mix?