Grey's Anatomy is back, not just from its holiday hiatus, but back in its sexiest form since Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek (Patrick Dempsey) did it in the on-call room at the hospital's fake prom in Season 2 (shout-out to Lexie's "Teach Me" moment in Season 5, though). The January premiere picked up immediately where the show left off, with the doctors stuck in the hospital due to an extreme windstorm raging outside. Most importantly, Meredith and DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) were stuck in an elevator together after a (sexually) tense exchange in the scan room.
I could do a thing here where I try and pretend that a love triangle still exists between Meredith, DeLuca and Link (Chris Carmack), but anyone with a pulse who was watching this episode knows that DeLuca has it in the bag. It's over, guys. The elevator entrapment led to some emotional bonding, like how they both had screwed up experiences with their famous surgeon parents (though DeLuca's fame is not nearly as prestigious as Meredith's). And of course DeLuca explained his backstory in Italian, that sexy European language that he is fluent in.
The clincher was when he pressed Meredith about why it was a bad idea for them to be together. When she didn't have an answer and told him to go back to speaking Italian because she liked it better, DeLuca delivered what will go down as one of the most iconic lines in Grey's history, just a couple notches below, "Pick me. Choose me. Love me." With Meredith pinned to the elevator wall, DeLuca said, in that sexy Italian, "When you finally let me kiss you, and you will let me kiss you, I'm never going to stop." And then Meredith responded in Italian to explain that she took three years of it in undergrad and understood everything he had told her in the elevator.
The sexual tension between these two is so intense it causes audible reactions, and they haven't even had sex! THEY HAVEN'T EVEN KISSED YET. Well, they haven't kissed sober yet. The wedding kiss doesn't count. What's going to happen when they finally cave and do it in the on-call room? Will we all spontaneously combust? It's possible! When they were finally freed from the elevator, Link showed up and tried to ask Meredith on a date. We are supposed to believe she's torn, but DeLuca has proven he knows her better, connects to her dysfunctional path and knows how to make her go weak in the knees. Link... has nice hair? Honestly, we can't see any way for Link to gain the ground he needs to get to take DeLuca out of this competition, so why are we trying?
The episode wasn't all sexy times and passionate flirting though. Over in the other elevator shaft, Amelia (Caterina Scorsone) found out that Teddy (Kim Raver) was pregnant with Owen's (Kevin McKidd) child and became the most awkward third wheel in the history of the world. By the end of the episode she pulled a surprisingly mature move and decided to give Owen some space so that he could really think about who he wanted to be with. Last season she would have just holed up in a hotel room for weeks without talking to anyone! This is what we call progress.
In the final elevator, Bailey (Chandra Wilson) struggled with her anxiety as the intern who also kind of has a crush on Meredith hyperventilated and they tried to keep their donor patient's organs viable for CeCe (Caroline Clay), who was waiting for them in the OR. Bailey and the intern were eventually freed, but the maintenance guy who helped them out had his legs crushed by the elevator in a surreally gross moment for Grey's. We saw his bones come through his legs and it will haunt my dreams for at least a week. He didn't have to get an amputation though! That's great news, like a salve before we tell you that even though the team made it to surgery, CeCe didn't survive the episode. She died after getting her heart, and Meredith closed her up, admitting that she hadn't found love yet but at least she was having fun. All good things on this show come with a heavy price.
But wait, the angst still isn't over! The episode ended with Jackson (Jesse Williams) and Maggie (Kelly McCreary) finally telling Webber (James Pickens Jr.) that Catherine (Debbie Allen) had cancer. Next week, we'll find out how he responds to the news and whether it'll tempt him to go back to the bottle. Most importantly though, we'll see who Meredith agreed to go out with. Please, please, for our sanity, let's pray she makes the right choice. And there is definitely only one right choice here.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.