Grey's Anatomy's love triangle between Amelia, Teddy, and Owen just wrapped up with Owen choosing Amelia — so naturally it was time for the show to focus on its next love triangle. The Link vs. DeLuca battle for Meredith on Grey's Anatomy really heats up in the Thursday, February 7, episode. Promos show that Meredith agrees to go on dates with Link and DeLuca around the holidays, so she seems to be getting closer to making a final choice between the two of them. (Not that close, though, because her date with DeLuca is on New Year's and by Valentine's Day she asks Link out. So she's taking her time dating both of them.) The cast and crew has remained pretty tight-lipped about what Meredith will do, but there are some hints that suggest one could prevail above the other soon. Here's how the Atticus Lincoln (Chris Carmack) vs. Andrew DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) battle may shake out according to the clues.
Promotional Photos Show DeLuca's Bad Attitude
In the photos from "Girlfriend In A Coma," DeLuca is seen talking to Meredith with his arms crossed. He's clearly annoyed at the energy she's giving to Link over him, and he's handling it with jealousy and frustration — which is not a good look. Meanwhile, Link is dressed like Santa Claus and you can see Meredith smiling about it. As Marie Kondo would put it, Link sparks joy.
Meredith Let Link Meet Her Kids
Fans have never seen DeLuca interact with Meredith's children, but Link was a hit at her son Bailey's superhero themed birthday party when Link volunteered to play Thor. Not only did he step in when Mer needed him, but he made her laugh while he was doing it. Link really brings a lightness to Meredith's life that the super-serious DeLuca hasn't yet.
DeLuca Is Trying To Change How Meredith Sees Him
"We need to have Meredith not just see him being heroic but being kind and sweet and empathetic. Those are the things that are going to make Meredith fall in love with him," Giacomo Gianniotti, who plays DeLuca, told TV Insider.
It's true he's a little behind Link in the sweet department, but if he makes a concerted effort to show this other side of himself, he could pull back into the race.
Gianniotti also revealed to TV Guide that viewers will soon learn even more about DeLuca's backstory that could endear him to Meredith. "The next couple of episodes we'll be seeing more of DeLuca, his sister and their past," he said. "Hopefully it will create some more common ground between him and Meredith."
Fans Seem Pretty #TeamDeLuca
Polls on TV Insider and TV Guide have DeLuca winning in a landslide for who fans want Meredith to date. That's not to say that fans always get what they want, but it certainly may help the writers to know that they like DeLuca so much more.
DeLuca Once Dated Meredith's Sister, Though
Meredith is nothing if not loyal to her family. Maggie may have moved on to date Jackson now, but she had a romantic past with DeLuca. Meredith may not want to cross that line. (But, also, it's Grey's Anatomy, so…)
DeLuca's Age Difference Could Make For An Empowering Storyline
And not in a bad way. Although Meredith has expressed concern about DeLuca being a Resident while she's an Attending, Gianniotti hinted to Hollywood Life that it's this younger man, older woman love story that may be the one Grey's wants to explore.
"[Showrunner] Krista Vernoff said she wanted to tell a story about a woman being with a younger man and how that can be empowering and sexy," Gianniotti said. "Often, in Hollywood, men are usually portrayed with leading women being 20 years younger than them, and it’s very normal and nobody bats an eye ... Krista said, ‘I would like to tell that story and kind of flip that on its head."
The Elevator Scene Could Have Given DeLuca A Leg Up
Being trapped in an elevator together gave Meredith and DeLuca some time to talk, and Gianniotti told TV Guide that he thinks DeLuca "made a great stride ahead of Link in that elevator. He was vulnerable and able to open up … to be with someone who is okay being vulnerable and talks about their emotions is attractive. I hope that [Meredith] saw that as well."
DeLuca Doesn't See It As A Competition, But He Shouldn't Write Link Off
Gianniotti told Entertainment Tonight that, because DeLuca and Link are in such different places in life, he doesn't see Link as a threat. The actor said he thinks they offer very different things to Meredith, and that DeLuca is confident he has what it takes to win. But he shouldn't be too confident.
In a sneak peek of "Girlfriend," DeLuca tells Meredith to stop giving Link false hope. "Who says it's false?" she replies. "Oh, please. We both know it is," DeLuca answers haughtily. "Do we?" Meredith asks. DeLuca is a little overconfident in this scene, and he shouldn't write off Meredith's feelings for Link.
Link And DeLuca Both Get Dates Soon
Gianniotti told Hollywood Life that the back and forth between Link and DeLuca isn't going to end any time soon.
“We’re [currently filming episode 15 and] continuing to explore both [relationships] ... it’s kind of a little bit like a chess game of one moving forward and the other one moving forward in this slight lead, and then another person catches up and then the other person’s in the lead for a bit and we’re sort of riding this fine line of a race.”
And the "Girlfriend" promo shows that DeLuca secured a New Year's date with Meredith, but only after cajoling her into actually calling it a date. Meanwhile, Meredith asked Link out to dinner… on Valentine's Day… in front of DeLuca. Ice cold.
But Link Isn't Getting Much Press
If you've noticed that all the interviews this piece mentions are from Gianniotti's side, that's because Link actor Chris Carmack hasn't been doing any press about this love triangle. That could spell his doom, because if he's not being given the chance to argue in Link's favor, things probably go DeLuca's way.
In any case, if the love triangle is still being explored in Episode 15 (we're only on episode 11 as "Girlfriend In A Coma"), Meredith is going to take her time making up her mind. And that's perfectly OK.