‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17: Giacomo Gianniotti Teases Andrew DeLuca’s Mental Health Storyline
In the episode titled “Put on a Happy Face,” Andrew’s mental health issues came to a tipping point and fans weren’t sure if he would be OK. Then the spinoff series, Station 19, seemingly revealed the character’s diagnosis. So where does that leave Andrew for Grey’s Anatomy Season 17? Recently, Gianniotti touched on his expectations for the character moving forward.
‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Station 19’ touch on Andrew DeLuca’s mental health
Throughout Grey’s Anatomy Season 16, Andrew struggled with his mental health. He took risks with his patients and lashed out at those closest to him, including Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). Then at one point, Andrew even tried to quit his job at Grey Sloan Memorial after publicly accusing a patient’s aunt of human trafficking. This led to his suspension.
In the Grey’s Anatomy finale, Andrew returned to the hospital and helped Meredith to save Richard Webber (James Pickens Jr.). He successfully diagnosed the former chief’s cobalt poisoning from a previous hip replacement. But instead of celebrating the win, Andrew broke down crying, leaving Meredith to pick up the pieces.
Later, in the Station 19 Season 3 episode titled “Bad Guy,” Carina DeLuca (Stefania Spampinato) revealed what’s been going on with Andrew.
“My dad has bipolar I,” Carina told Maya Bishop (Danielle Savre). “And my sweet baby brother has inherited it.”
‘Grey’s Anatomy and ‘Station 19’ showrunner confirms Andrew DeLuca has bipolar I disorder diagnosis
As many Shondaland fans pointed out, Andrew’s diagnosis was never confirmed on Grey’s Anatomy. So the throwaway line revealing a major plot point on Station 19 seemed a bit odd. But then showrunner Krista Vernoff confirmed Andrew has bipolar I disorder.
“DeLuca is bipolar,” Vernoff told People in May 2020. “DeLuca was in a really manic state for an extended period of time. Even though he was right about the sex trafficking victim, the way he was behaving was inconsistent with the personality we’ve known him to have all these years.”
She then explained what happened to Andrew in the Grey’s Anatomy Season 16 finale.
“DeLuca, after finally diagnosing Richard, went from manic to depressed,” Vernoff said. “That’s what that last scene was when he’s sitting on the floor, crying in a pit of despair after not seeing anything but high for the last several episodes.”
Giacomo Gianniotti discusses Andrew DeLuca’s mental health storyline for ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Season 17
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight published in August 2020, Gianniotti opened up about Andrew’s storyline in Grey’s Anatomy Season 17. The actor revealed his character’s mental health arc was supposed to feel more resolved at the end of last season. Though there were limitations because the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic shut down production and the 16th season was cut short by four episodes. Nevertheless, Gianniotti hinted the arc will pick back up next season.
“I think it’s going to be continued to be explored,” Gianniotti said. “That was a big build-up to the storyline that we had talked about two years ago and it’s slowly ramping up to this storyline for DeLuca. So I think where we ended, even though it’s not exactly where we want it to end last season, there would have been a little more resolve [on DeLuca’s part] had we not been shut down.”
He added, “We’re going to have to play that this season.”
The actor also shared there will be a time jump when Grey’s Anatomy Season 17 returns. So hopefully, Andrew will be in a better mental state than in the finale. But for now, fans will just have to wait and see what happens. Though Gianniotti indicated Andrew could be spending the new season making up for his previous actions.
“I think this season will feature a lot of DeLuca trying to make up for his wrongs, things he said, things he did because he’s unstable,” Gianniotti said. “And Meredith, trying to reconcile that or not.”
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