Good news, MerLuca shippers: Your ship has finally started picking up speed! DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) officially sealed the deal on their budding romance with a romantic rooftop smooch on this week's Grey's Anatomy, although it came this close to not happening at all.
In fact, it kinda looked like DeLuca was about to blow it with Meredith altogether. The episode covered a lot of ground — from Christmas Eve all the way to Valentine's Day — as Meredith cared for an ICU patient named Natasha, whose fiancé Garrett stayed by her side the whole time just begging for a miracle and making all other fiancés look bad by comparison.
From the get-go, DeLuca was starting to get impatient about all the elevator tension and flirting-in-Italian that's been going on with Meredith, and he insisted that she give him the time of day he really wanted. But she brushed him off for what were, in Meredith's life, very reasonable reasons. On Christmas Eve, it was because she's a single parent and needs to do Santa duty for her kids. Kids = Priority No. 1. Always. On New Year's Eve, it was because Natasha needed her care when she made a small breakthrough in treatment. Work = Priority No. 2. DeLuca knew that he would at best be No. 3 on her list, but he was still all burnt up about having to celebrate the ball drop by clinking glasses with Link, who also felt stood up by Meredith — blame Jo for that one, since she kept insisting on trying to fix the two up without consulting Mer first.
All the while, Meredith was watching Garrett attend to Natasha's every need and put her first at every step, and she was advised by the patient to "kiss someone who turns back time for you." After Cici, Meredith was much more receptive to getting love life advice from patients, so that one sank in right away.
As Natasha's condition deteriorated, Meredith tried to comfort Garrett about what he's facing, encouraging him not to give up. Overhearing their conversation, DeLuca somehow thought Meredith's moment of sharing in someone's grief was all about him, so he told her that she had no right to tell Garrett to fight for Natasha and his own life because she was not fighting for him. "I used to think you were so beyond me, but you're not you're like a kid playing hide and seek," he said. If this is some kick-the-girl-you-like-on-the-playground move, it was dumb. When Meredith then proceeded to ask Link out for Valentine's Day instead of DeLuca, it was kind of a relief after what he's just said to her.
After Natasha asked Meredith to remove her ventilator to spare the woman more discomfort, the team assembled to help the two have that wedding under the stars with the help of the hospital chaplain and a few devices with galaxy screensavers. She faded away soon after, but at least she got to murmur her "I do" to the man she loved. D'aw.
It's after that that DeLuca decided to try to start things up with Meredith again. He summoned her up to the rooftop, under a very different set of stars, and he has champagne waiting for her. Poor Link was over at the restaurant feeling dejected, but never mind that for now. DeLuca wanted Meredith to make it legitimate with him, and the two finally shared the kiss that had been building up for what feels like a lifetime now. It's what we'd been waiting for! MerLuca's the real deal now! But did DeLuca just ruin it with that attitude and his decision to dress down Meredith?
ANYWAY, the other couples of the show were also going through some changes in this episode.
Miranda Bailey (Chandra Wilson) has decided that she doesn't want Ben (Jason George) gone anymore and invited him to move back home. For him, it was not so simple. Her calling a time-out on their marriage hurt him deeply, and he's not ready to jump back into it and risk being hurt again. However, she found him at their home, fixing the fence that broke during a storm, and he explained that he knows he has a part in their deterioration — he promised to build her a treehouse, an escape hatch all to herself, and never followed through. That wood he was working with in the yard wasn't just about the fence. He was also making good on his promise, so long as she's willing to promise to never give up on them again. [Heart emojis times a million.]
Meanwhile, Amelia (Catarina Scorsone) and Owen (Kevin McKidd) received some bitter news from Betty — or, shall we say, Brittany. Apparently, she'd been lying to them the whole time about her true identity, and she's got a pair of parents out there who have no idea where she is or that little Leo even exists. Amelia knew that if they reached said parents, they might lose Leo, but Owen was gung-ho on finding these people. Even so, he expressed his frustration in a way that won't soon be forgotten by Amelia. He basically said that by calling addiction a disease, people were using it as a cop-out for their poor decisions. Yikes on bikes, that did not land well with Amelia. From the look ahead, the tinderbox that is their relationship is going to suffer another spark when Betty-Brittany's parents show up at the hospital and get one good look at that pudgy grandbaby of theirs. Watch this space. (Oh, and blow up some pink balloons because Owen and Teddy are having a girl!)
Katherine was having a hard time with physical therapy, snapping the heads off of everyone in sight at how weakened she is by this surgery, but Richard was completely patient and un-offended by it. Jackson, on the other hand, was having a very hard time watching his mother suffer so much, and this gave Maggie an opportunity to do some of that soul-spilling he asked her for a few months back. She told him that she, too, reached a breaking point when her mother was unwell. Empathy, it's a powerful thing.
Meanwhile, Schmidt and Dr. Kim were happy as could be — as he put in the OR, "He's hot and he's confident and he likes me, and I'm gay, and he's gay and we're together gay. And it's the most me I've ever felt in my whole life" — and Jo and Alex were as blissed out as ever. Weirdly enough, Teddy Altman also seemed to be finding love in the weirdest places, as she and Koracick bonded over pedicures. Whoever had those two on the Grey's relationship bingo card, you should be commended.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.
PHOTOS: Galentine's Day Gift Guide