Why Grey's Anatomy's DeLuca Needs To Face Some Serious Consequences After His Meltdown

greys anatomy deluca season 16 abc
(Image credit: ABC)

Grey's Anatomy delivered a Andrew DeLuca meltdown in the March 19 episode that was a long time coming, and his break came in front of some of the most important figures at Grey Sloan as well as a waiting room packed with patients. While the breakdown is presumably due to his family history and he's not entirely to blame, he needs to face some serious consequences.

DeLuca's breakdown was serious enough that his fellow doctors at Grey Sloan surrounded him, believing he was a danger, and Bailey called security on him. He quit despite her only intending to suspend him, and only Meredith's promise to dig into the case that triggered him prompted him to agree to take the suspension. He ended the episode speeding down a dark road on his motorcycle.

Admittedly, the episode did sort of give him an out, as the suspicions of human trafficking that seemed very unlikely but resulted in his break might not be so off-base as they seemed. Still, even if he was right, he didn't go about handling the case in an acceptable way as a physician at a major hospital. Right now, DeLuca seems to be a danger to himself and others. If all he receives is a suspension, it needs to last for more than just an episode or two.

While Grey's Anatomy isn't exactly known for its realism, it could use a high-stakes storyline that doesn't result in the happiest outcome possible, at least for a while. Meredith got her medical license back without too much trouble in the grand scheme of things, DeLuca got out of jail despite lying to the authorities to take the blame for Meredith, Link is the father of Amelia's baby, Alex got a happily-ever-after off-screen to explain Justin Chambers' departure, and even Jo is bouncing back from Alex abandoning her pretty well.

Too many major Grey's Anatomy stories have been tied up neatly, in my book, with the only major exception being the love triangle currently going on with Owen/Teddy/Tom, and even that was recently downgraded from the five-person mess that was more or less a love pentagon. DeLuca needs to face some consequences both for a touch of realism and to raise the stakes on Grey's Anatomy.

Those consequences don't need to be being permanently fired from Grey Sloan, because that's unlikely to happen short of Giacomo Gianniotti leaving Grey's Anatomy. After all, DeLuca has a family history of mental illness, so he could be stabilized with the right medication, treatment, and willingness. Even if he does prove to be right about the human trafficking, his outburst was scary and not at all appropriate. He could have started by calling the hotline, like he asked Meredith to do!

That stabilization shouldn't happen overnight, and he shouldn't be allowed near patients until Bailey is 100% positive that he's ready. At the very least, he shouldn't be allowed to perform surgeries. Honestly, watching DeLuca go through a process of recovery could be more compelling than just more doctor drama at Grey Sloan. For a show that could be getting long in the tooth as it fast-approaches its seventeenth season, why not try something new?

Ever since watching Giacomo Gianniotti crush DeLuca's meltdown in the latest episode, I've been of the opinion that DeLuca is getting the kind of meaty storyline that Alex Karev deserved in his last hurrah on Grey's Anatomy. There's definitely enough substance to this storyline that it can carry on and force DeLuca to deal with consequences on-screen, and I for one am crossing my fingers that his journey is as long as possible to keep this arc compelling.

While Grey's Anatomy Season 16 may be considerably shorter than intended due to the coronavirus pandemic, the show isn't out of episodes yet. Be sure to tune in to ABC on Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET (following Station 19 at 8 p.m. ET) for new episodes of Grey's Anatomy.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).