Warning: Spoiler alert! Do not proceed if you have not watched Thursday's season 15 premiere of Grey's Anatomy.
Are Meredith Grey and Andrew DeLuca a real couple?
Grey's Anatomy dropped a romance bombshell when it released its new trailer earlier this month, and on Thursday's two-hour season 15 premiere, the story behind Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and DeLuca's (Giacomo Gianniotti) surprise makeout session -- which got fans in a tizzy -- was finally revealed. Was it a dream? Was it real? Are Meredith and DeLuca the latest doctors to couple up at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital?
Well, it turns out... Meredith and DeLuca's between-the-sheets action was all in Meredith's head.
"Wait... DeLuca?! What are you doing here?!" Meredith says in the dream, exasperated after their steamy "hookup."
"Whatever you want, Dr. Grey," DeLuca says flirtatiously before they continue on with their bedroom shenanigans.
It becomes clear early on that Meredith's sex dreams about DeLuca, which happen more than once by the way, may be a side effect of her being love-hungry and possibly ready to jump back into the dating game. When men like Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams), Maggie's current beau; neurosurgeon Thomas Koracick (Greg Germann); and new "ortho god" Atticus "Link" Lincoln (Chris Carmack) start showing up in her sex dreams too, you know there's more going on than an attraction to DeLuca.
So when it's time to go back to their daily lives in the real world, it gets more than a little awkward for Meredith and a hungover DeLuca, who appears to immediately regret drunkenly kissing her the day before at Jo and Alex's wedding.
"I just want to say I'm sorry. I never should have kissed you like that. You're incredible," DeLuca apologizes to Meredith when they awkwardly bump into each other at the hospital.
"It's fine," Meredith replies, her cheeks getting a little flushed as her mind wanders back to the sex dream she had the night before.
"It's not fine. I respect you so much as a surgeon and I would never do that to you under normal circumstances. But you were very, very kind to me and I was drunk and the dress was... I mean... anyway, it shouldn't have happened and it will never happen again...," DeLuca says, slightly embarrassed about the whole situation. "I'm... going to go now."
Whatever you want to call Meredith and DeLuca's thing, it doesn't go unnoticed by people at the hospital. In fact, one of the patients, who was witness to their awkward conversation, calls Meredith out for having desires of the romantic kind. That prompts Meredith to confess to Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) that she's having "inappropriate dreams" that she can't quite "put into words."
Is Meredith ready to find a steady love post-Derek? It seems that way, as she Googles the name of her patient, who happens to be a professional matchmaker, and has a flirty pseudo-meet cute with the "ortho god." Their exchange in the hospital hallway has all the ingredients of a potential blossoming romance (or a no-strings fling), and even though Meredith tries very hard to turn Link down (unsuccessfully attempting to persuade him that she isn't married to her work and has a life outside the hospital walls), he's pretty insistent they go out.
"Like tonight?" Link proposes, which leaves Meredith a little shocked at his up-front approach. "We can do a late drink?"
"Oh no, I have a surgery. I have to uh...," Meredith trails off.
But before she leaves, Meredith drops in one last zinger about Link's name, putting him in his place a bit. "Your name is Atticus Lincoln and you call yourself Link. Your parents named you after two of the greatest figures of our time, both literary and historical, and you call yourself Link? OK...," Meredith says, amused. "It's shorter," Link mutters under his breath. Is this just the start of a new something?
Ahead of the Grey's premiere, Gianniotti played coy about the possibility of a Meredith and DeLuca romance this season.
"Last season in the finale, they shared this drunken kiss. We didn’t know what it meant but there was something there. Meredith kind of pushed it off and it’s something we’ve been revisiting in this season," Gianniotti told ET. "Definitely in the premiere you’re going to see it right out of the gate, which is basically what you saw in the trailer but it’s going to be a little longer, a little bit more detailed. I think we’re going to see something blossoming between them: A friendship? A friendship that could be more? At the moment, we don't know. We're only on the sixth episode. We are definitely building some romance, but to what degree, I don’t know."
For now, it looks like Meredith and DeLuca are strictly in the friend zone and maybe, just maybe, it's Link who catches Meredith's eye. On Grey's, you never know.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.
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