Ever since Season 1 of Grey's Anatomy, fans have joked about the "incestuous" relationships among the show's doctors. Despite being close enough to their colleagues to consider them family, the doctors and residents at Grey Sloan (nee Seattle Grace) often found themselves falling into bed together. Like, really often.
But as the show prepares to enter its 14th season, the term "incest" may no longer be such a misnomer — and some fans aren't having it.
We're talking, of course, about the budding romance between step-siblings Maggie Pierce (Kelly McCreary) and Jackson Avery (Jesse Williams), a pairing that seemed to emerge out of nowhere when none other than Jackson's ex-wife April (Sarah Drew) told Maggie it was clear Jackson had feelings for her in the Season 13 finale.
Well, OK, maybe the spark didn't come out of nowhere. Maggie did turn to Jackson for support after her mother died in Season 13 — even though he had kept Mrs. Pierce's condition a secret from Maggie while he was treating her. After that, they certainly seemed to grow closer at the hospital. But April's observation still came a little out of left field.
After her failed romance with DeLuca (Giacomo Gianniotti) and unrequited crush on Riggs (Martin Henderson), it sounds like Maggie is just eenie-meenie-miney-mo'ing her way around the men at her workplace, without much success. Would it kill her (or any of the other doctors, for that matter) to maybe try an online dating service for once?
And a Maggie-Jackson romance provides yet another very convenient roadblock to keep Jackson and April — a popular couple shipped by many fans who share a child, have their own hashtag (#Japril) and had an entire episode devoted to themselves last season — apart for at least the better part of another year.
Also, and I believe I mentioned this earlier: the two are step-siblings. Maggie's father Richard (James Pickens Jr.) is married to Jackson's mother Catherine (Debbie Allen). What is this, Game of Thrones?
Whether Maggie and Jackson will actually take the plunge remains to be seen, but fans seem to be pretty divided about the potential pairing.
Honestly might quit watching Grey's if they make Maggie and Jackson a thing 🤢🤢🤢— Maddy (@maaddss__) August 28, 2017
Am I the only Grey's Anatomy fan who is kind of okay with the idea of Jackson + Maggie?— EDGAR ALLANA HOE® (@Empress_A_Evans) August 28, 2017
Rumour has it that Maggie & Jackson might have a thing going on in Season 14 of Grey's Anatomy. I'm honestly here for it @shondarhimes 🔥💃🏾🙌🏾— Thembalamantungwa👑 (@Ella_Khumalo) August 25, 2017
This week, Williams himself noted that fans seem to be "evenly divided" over the issue, but seemed to maybe indicate that he's not on board with it, retweeting a fan-made anti-Jaggie meme with the simple observation, "Very good."
Very good. https://t.co/KbSgpsi4tA— jesse Williams. (@iJesseWilliams) August 28, 2017
Look, don't get me wrong: ever since Maggie's character was introduced at the end of Season 10, she's been one of the more interesting and likable characters on the show — but has suffered nothing but heartache. The closest we've seen her come to having a relationship was her short-lived dalliances with DeLuca and her mostly offscreen stint with the radiologist Ethan. It would be great to see Maggie in a long-term, fulfilling relationship, the likes of which we've seen almost all of the other Grey's characters involved in. Not only is it about time for Maggie to have something good happen to her, giving her a significant other would also provide a wealth of potential drama for a character who longs for a partner — despite having made her studies and career a priority for her whole life (and who we know has deemed herself incapable of sleeping next to other people).
But a Maggie-Jackson pairing seems like merely a plot device, an arbitrary pairing-off that makes Maggie little more than a pawn in the larger #Japril storyline. There's no denying that there is chemistry between Williams and McCreary; but up until this point it's seemed to be more of the brother/sister variety because, well, that's what they are. Plus, with so many fans already voicing their disdain for the romance before it's even officially happened, it will be a difficult task for the writers and actors to develop the two characters into a couple worth rooting for. And the alternative — turning viewers against one or both of the mostly beloved characters — is almost worse. It would be a better idea to put the idea of Jaggie to bed rather than in one.
Grey's Anatomy kicks off Season 14 with a two-hour premiere Thursday, Sept. 28 at 8/7c on ABC.