DeLuca's Backstory On 'Grey's Anatomy' Hit Fans (& Meredith) Right In The Feels

ABC/Eric McCandless

After her loveless drought, Jan. 17's Grey's Anatomy episode paid special attention to one side of Meredith's developing love triangle. Stuck in an elevator with DeLuca after a windstorm caused the hospital to lose power, Meredith initially maintained her tough resistance to the hunky Italian. Seeing as we're nearly halfway through Season 15 now, her exterior was bound to crack, and when DeLuca turned up his charm, both she and fans were fascinated. In between wooing her with his romance language expertise, the resident finally spilled about his background, prompting viewers to fixate on what DeLuca said in Italian. ICYMI, his smooth-sounding delivery came with an emotional twist.

Although a generator restored the hospital's electricity, the elevators kept several groups of doctors stuck. Worried about procuring a heart for Cece the matchmaker's surgery, Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) was a little overwhelmed what with her job's demands, just agreeing to drinks with Link (Chris Carmack), and DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) admitting he wanted to be one of her romantic options. DeLuca, tapped to work alongside Meredith on the surgery, was calm and collected about the elevator breakdown, reminding her that another doctor would step in for her.

Of course, they were unaware that Bailey (Chandra Wilson) was also stuck in an elevator with the patient whose heart Cece was receiving, but DeLuca proceeded to win over any Doctor Who fans watching when he likened their elevator to the TARDIS, a time-traveling vehicle in which "normal rules don't apply." Admittedly, my nerdy self swooned when DeLuca confessed to being a Whovian, but Meredith was resilient, saying, "The rules still apply."

ABC/Eric McCandless

With the pair unable to pop open a vent in the elevator ceiling, DeLuca began discussing his past, revealing that his sister Carina remained in Italy with their dad while he moved to the United States with their mother. DeLuca Sr. was a famous surgeon in Italy, but unlike Meredith's brilliant mother, he experienced a bumpier career path. While Carina and DeLuca have hinted at their father's troubles before, DeLuca took advantage of being in an intimate space with Meredith to share the truth.

Speaking in Italian, DeLuca told Meredith that his father has a mental illness and that he once operated in a manic state on seven patients. Four people died as a result, but because of his father's financial and personal connections, he escaped any repercussions. Switching to English, DeLuca admitted that because his dad treated him so well as a son, coming to terms with his demons was complicated.

Now that we finally know more about DeLuca, it looks like the show is tackling his potential with Meredith at full speed. As the two became tangled in each other after another attempt to open the elevator vent, Meredith cited her professional superiority as the reason why they couldn't date. DeLuca called out the flimsiness of her excuse — she has dating someone above her at work to thank for her kids and marriage —and Meredith veered the conversation back to him speaking Italian. In quite the swoon-worthy moment, DeLuca said in his native tongue, "When you finally let me kiss you, and you will let me kiss you, I won’t ever stop."

ABC/Eric McCandless

Surprise, but it's apparently still possible to learn something new about Meredith 15 seasons into the show. She whipped out her own dose of Italian when revealing she studied the language for three years in college, confirming she understood DeLuca's romantic declaration. The sexual tension between the two was definitely hitting a peak, but the elevator doors then opening prevented their almost-kiss. Although they later lost Cece in surgery, Meredith took a note from her fun-loving matchmaker when she decided to leave both DeLuca and Link behind for the day and clearly delighted in the fun of keeping the men on her hook.

Meredith still seems a little hesitant about diving into love wholeheartedly, but her elevator ride with DeLuca has definitely moved along her pace and improved DeLuca's ability to trust someone. Fingers crossed that DeLuca finds another excuse to use his Italian for impressing her. Season 15 of Grey's Anatomy continues on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.