WARNING: Spoilers ahead for the last episode of Grey's Anatomy. Look away if you need to catch up!
Many fans of ABC's long-running medical drama Grey's Anatomy are still reeling from the sudden and extremely surprising death of Andrew DeLuca in last week's episode. While viewers had watched DeLuca in some tricky situations before, especially after he was found to have bipolar disorder like his father during Season 16, many of us never thought that he'd be taken out so cruelly after finally getting help. Now, actor Giacomo Gianniotti is talking about how he actually feels after his character was killed off of the show.
Everyone was stunned during the midseason premiere of Station 19, when Andrew DeLuca and his sister, Carina, continued to follow the woman he suspected of being involved of sex trafficking, Opal. Because of DeLuca's mania toward the end of the previous season, when he tried to convince the other doctors at Grey Sloan Memorial that Opal seemed suspect, no one believed him, and she got away. Now, newly taking treatment for his disorder, DeLuca was clear-headed, and didn't want the returned Opal to get away again.
Unfortunately, while trailing her through the train station, he was stabbed by one of her accomplices, and, even though she was apprehended, DeLuca ended up dying on the operating table during a second procedure to repair the damage.
Now, when asked by Deadline about how DeLuca's death was brought up and why it needed to happen, Giacomo Gianniotti said:
Because we had to shut down due to Covid, we didn’t get to finish telling that storyline. So, when we came back on June 17, they thought it would be great to bring back that storyline and close it out. What if we could catch that woman that trafficked that young girl, and what if DeLuca was to save the day but to lose his life in the process, to die a hero saving all these people and all these children who potentially could’ve been trafficked, but now will not be because the traffickers were stopped? And I just thought it was a beautiful storyline, I thought it was a beautiful way for the character to exit as a hero.
That is, indeed, what happened. DeLuca, after seeming to be on the verge of having his career end because of his illness toward the end of last season, was able to finally listen to his sister, who told him her fears of him having inherited bipolar disorder from their dad, and begin the vital treatments needed so that he could continue being a respected member of the staff. DeLuca has always been a pretty good guy, with great intentions, so when he saw Opal in the hospital again, we know there was no way he could just let her go.
Gianniotti noted that the reason they wanted to make sure the story was revisited was not only how much of a very real problem sex trafficking is, but how well the plot was received by fans. While most of them were likely hoping that DeLuca would be able to prove himself by catching Opal in some way, I doubt any viewers thought the story would end with him visiting Meredith on her dream beach before leaving with his dearly departed mother as he died in the real world. But, Gianniotti sounds like, ultimately, he understands the very difficult decision that showrunner Krista Vernoff and her team had, noting:
We got together quickly, working on exactly what it would look like and what episode, when it would be, but I said ‘absolutely.’ I’ve been on the show for six years, seven seasons. It’s definitely been a long time, and I’m a young guy. So, I think this was a good time to depart, and I’m happy that Krista and Debbie and all the writers did such a great job with telling the story. I think it’s going to do justice to a lot of people and help a lot of people.
So, even though we will all miss DeLuca and Giacomo Gianniotti on Grey's Anatomy, at least we can take comfort in knowing that he was on board with having his character's death mean something, as it wrapped such an important storyline.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays on ABC, at 8 p.m. EST.