Spoilers ahead for Grey's Anatomy Season 15, Episode 15. Family keeps causing problems for this budding Meredith Grey and Andrew DeLuca romance. First, they couldn't go back to Mer's place because Amelia was there, and then they tried to go to DeLuca's house — but his sister and dad showed up. It was a pretty dramatic reveal, and it still seems a little off that DeLuca's dad is even on Grey's Anatomy. The two have a rocky history, so it can't be good news that he's arrived. Carina, DeLuca's sister, even tried to warn her brother by calling him a bunch of times, knowing that it would be an upset. He didn't answer because he was with Meredith, and, well, now his dad is just there anyway.
We've never seen the DeLuca patriarch before, but fans have heard about him. Back in Season 15, Episode 4 Carina left Seattle to go attend to their father. DeLuca and his sister's exchange about it went like this:
DeLuca: "Problems, what kind of problems?"
Carina: "It's Papa. I may need to go home for a bit."
DeLuca: "Did Papa die?"
Carina: "Andrea! Why would you say that?"
DeLuca: You know why. Look, just don't let him drag you into his crazy—
And then they were interrupted. So Carina went home, and the subject wasn't talked about again for a while.
Later in the season, when DeLuca and Meredith were trapped in an elevator during a storm, he explained more about his complicated family.
"And so Carina stayed back with my father and I moved out here with my mom," DeLuca said. "My dad is, was, a pretty famous surgeon back in Italy." Meredith tried to explain that she also understood what it was like to have a surgeon for a parent, but DeLuca was quick to stop her.
"Your mom got awards, my dad got acquittals ... My father has a mental illness. In a manic phase, he operated on seven patients. No break, no sleep, no food. Four people died, because of him. But between his money and his friends, he got away with it. But he's also the man who took me on the back of his motorbike and taught me how to kick a soccer ball, taught me the names of the stars. So, it's complicated."
Now that DeLuca's dad is back in the picture, things are about to get even more complicated. All signs point to DeLuca's dad getting hired at the hospital — which is especially troubling considering that operating history DeLuca described.
The next episode is called "Blood and Water," likely referencing the common phrase about family, "Blood is thicker than water" — or, your family ties should stay intact no matter what. But DeLuca's family bond is clearly going to be tested with his father's sudden appearance, and it looks like Meredith is caught in the middle.
The synopsis reads, "Meredith finds herself having to side with either Alex or DeLuca during a difficult situation, but she doesn’t want to betray either of them." Perhaps Alex, as Chief, hired DeLuca's dad. Meredith won't want to undercut her best friend's professional decision, but she also knows from DeLuca that his father may not be up for practicing medicine.
After that episode, the March 14 synopsis says that "ties are strained as Andrew and Carina confront an unforgiving family history." And a behind-the-scenes press photo from that episode shows Carina and DeLuca with an actor named Lorenzo Caccialanza — the very man who plays the DeLucas' dad.
He's in the hospital dressed in a lab apron and a collared shirt — making it seem less like he's a patient and more like maybe he's actually back to practicing medicine — or at least teaching it.
And while the why of his arrival may have something to do with Alex giving him a job, the real reason likely has more to do with a father's attempt to reconnect with his son. DeLuca left Italy behind to come to America with his mother, and it doesn't seem like he stayed in touch with his father. When his dad showed up at DeLuca's door, his father could hardly express his excitement at seeing his son. He hugged him and just kept saying "ciao" over and over again. Even after DeLuca introduced him to Meredith, his dad said a curt hello and then quickly went back to just staring at DeLuca.
It's possible that his father has changed. Maybe he's gotten the help for his mental illness that he needs and is trying to make amends with his family and in his career. We saw in the same episode that Alex's mom seems to have made similar strides. Perhaps that was foreshadowing that DeLuca's dad is trying as well. But don't expect a warm family get together now. DeLuca very much looked like he still doesn't trust his dad, and that seemingly leaks over into the next couple of episodes. So it seems like fans are about to learn so much about the DeLucas' family history, and things are about to get seriously tense.