You've seen the hair, you've seen the abs, you've seen the jawline that goes on for days… but who is Grey's Anatomy's Andrew DeLuca, really? Given that things seem to officially be a go between the surgical resident and Meredith Grey, viewers should probably take some time to get to know the man who might be The One to settle down with the show's protagonist. After all, it's now been four years since Derek Shepherd died in that tragic car accident; if Meredith is finally ready to move on, who could begrudge her that? But if DeLuca is going to become a major part of Meredith's life — and by extension the lives of the audience — it's time to take him seriously as a character and not just a pretty face.
It's funny to look back now and remember how viewers first met Andrew: in the Season 11 finale, the handsome stranger came into the ER with a patient after he happened to drive by a tunnel collapse in Seattle. But while he told the EMTs he was a doctor, that turned out to be stretching the truth — he was actually on his way to Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital for his first day as an intern. He soon entered a relationship with Maggie Pierce, but that didn't last long; shortly after, he developed a crush on Jo Wilson instead. When Alex came home to find DeLuca helping a drunk and distraught Jo into bed, well… we all know how that ended.
DeLuca moved on from that beat down with the help of the arrival of Sam Bello, his on-again-off-again girlfriend. But when Sam fled to Switzerland to avoid deportation to El Salvador, a drunk and distraught DeLuca kissed Meredith at Alex and Jo's wedding — and that was the beginning of the sparks that would fan into the fire that is MerLuca.
But what about everything that happened to Andrew before his memorable arrival at Grey Sloan? What's the doc's backstory? Despite the fact that the's been on the show for three-and-a-half seasons now, it feels like fans are just starting to get to know Dr. DeLuca. Of course, viewers know that he has a sister, Carina, who arrived in Seattle and promptly embarrassed her brother by starting a medical study on the female orgasm and hooking up with his roommate, Arizona.
But why does Carina speak in heavily-accented English, while Andrew sounds like he grew up as a corn-fed American? The show has doled out morsels of their backstory piecemeal over the years, but some fans might want a brief refresher as things heat up on the MerLuca front.
The reason that Andrew and Carina sound like they grew up in different places is because they did. The DeLuca siblings' parents split up when they were young, with Andrew (or Andrea, to use his given Italian name) moving to the States with his mom, while Carina remained behind in Italy with their father. Recently, Andrew opened up more about his estranged father, revealing (in Italian) that his dad is a renowned but corrupt and mentally unstable surgeon in Italy, who used his connections and money to avoid prosecution after he killed four patients while operating in a manic state.
Andrew has conflicting feelings about his father; he both idolizes the man who raised him and is ashamed of the horrible things he's done. Viewers know far less about his mother, other than that she's now deceased. Earlier this season, Andrew confided to a patient's young son that his own mother had died years before. She had gone to visit Carina in Italy and had a stroke while there, and Carina called her brother to tell him their mom was sick. When Andrew arrived, his mother was already dead; in fact, she had died before Carina had even called him, but she didn't want to tell her brother the bad news over the phone.
Immediately out of high school, Andrew got a job working as an EMT. It was this work that both led him to decide to pursue being a surgeon and led him to decide not to pursue working in peds. (A particularly traumatic case involving a car accident and an injured woman holding her dead toddler scared him off of working with sick kids.) He went to medical school, got an internship at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital… and the rest is history!
That certainly doesn't mean viewers have already learned everything there is to know about Andrea DeLuca. Remember how well Meredith (and the audience) thought she knew Derek Shepherd before it was revealed at the end of Season 1 that he had a secret wife. Could there be any more bombshells on the way or skeletons in the closet for Meredith to discover about her new boyfriend? Only time will tell. But I'm glad she's taking the time to find out. Meredith deserves happiness, and it seems like Andrew might just be the person to share that with her.