Looks like Japril is back on!
On Thursday's episode of Grey's Anatomy, Jackson (Jesse Williams) and April (Sarah Drew) celebrated their successful miracle throat transplant by boning back at their hotel in Montana. Why Montana? Well, they had been sent there, to the Avery Medical Center — in the Avery Family Jet, no less — by Catherine (Debbie Allen), who sneakily paired the two together on the mission, perhaps sensing that April could play wingwoman for Jackson and convince him to confront his biological father Robert (guest star Eric Roberts), who just so happens to live in the area.
And, wouldn't you know, Catherine was exactly right. (There's a reason she's running things at Grey Sloan, after all.) April, channeling her short-lived stint as chief, took a no-nonsense approach with Jackson and gave him the kick in the pants he needed to have a conversation with his dad, a former surgeon who's now running a small bar in the middle of the woods.
At first, the reunion doesn't go so well, with Mr. Avery welcoming Jackson with open arms and Jackson, in turn, barely able to contain his simmering rage at the man who had walked out on him and his mother years earlier. When Jackson heeds April's post-coital advice and goes back to see his father a second time... things are still cool between them, with Jackson indicating that this will probably be the only time they meet and icily rejecting Robert's assertion, upon learning about Harriet, that "I'm a grandfather." But he appears to get the closure that he was seeking, at least.
TVGuide.com chatted with Drew about what brought Jackson and April together in this episode, what's next for them when they return to Seattle, and why April's able to brush off her ex-husband's nasty attitude so readily.
So, no wonder this episode was dubbed "Japril the Sequel"! Is this the first step towards Jackson and April getting back together, or was this a one-time thing?
Drew: I think a lot of different possibilities would make sense. I think it could lead to anxiety about, who are we? What are we doing? Are we together? Are we not? There's all that kind of tension. It could also kind of field a much deeper friendship and comfortability between the two of them, like a return to best friendship. It could also lead to a rekindling of their marriage. I think all three of those options are totally justifiable.
What would you say is the catalyst for them sleeping together in this episode?
Drew: What happens in Montana is a combination of a few things. I think April really shows up for Jackson in a pretty selfless way this whole episode. She puts up with his attitude, she takes his blows and his smacks emotionally, and she doesn't take it personally, and she gives him exactly what he needs, even before he has a chance to ask for it. And I think that having the opportunity away from the hospital to remember why these two people were each other's person from before they even got together, just allows for a connection. So it made sense that it culminates in falling into bed together, because there's always going to be chemistry between the two of them. There's always going to be love there. They share a child. There's so much that they've been through, and we've just had this kind of beautiful experience of April really showing up in a loving way for Jackson in a really heightened moment. So, it made sense that they would come together in this moment. But as far as where it leads, I don't know.
You mention that they have a child together. I imagine having Harriet kind of puts an added pressure on them to figure out what they're doing.
Drew: Definitely having a child for sure creates more complication, and the fact that they're living together also creates complication. So, those factors combined will make for some interesting storytelling.
We also got to see their two very different approaches to bedside manner this episode. Why is April more hesitant to make promises and be optimistic, while Jackson just goes for it?
Drew: I think she's just a realist. She's lost patients. I mean, so has Jackson, but she got fired from Grey Sloan for missing something on a patient and then the patient dying. That kind of changes you forever as a doctor. I don't think you want to make promises that you can't keep. And I think that all ties into ... promises made when you get married. Now that they're divorced, her promise was kind of different than his promise when they got married, because they look at marriage differently and they look at what that whole thing is differently.
Do you think their different worldviews actually make them work well together, as a couple and as professional partners?
Drew: One of the things that's so great about them is that they are very different. They see the world very differently, and I think that has made for, really compelling storytelling in a really neat way, where they're able to challenge one another and help each other to grow in pretty profound ways. But it also leads to great conflict and pain. So, it kind of is a double-edged sword there.
I feel like Jackson's been kind of a jerk to April lately.
Drew: [Laughs] I feel like there's mixed feelings about this. Some people would say that he's totally justified, but I agree. I think he's been a jerk.
Why is she able to look past all of his snark so easily?
Drew: Once she discovers that all of his erratic, distant, cold behavior is wrapped up in this opportunity to find his father and meet his father, I think all of the animosity on her part just evaporates. Because she realizes that what he's going through is so much bigger, and she's able to empathize. She's able to go, oh, that's where this is coming from. OK. I think she puts all of her feelings completely aside. ... What I love the most about this episode is, really, she doesn't need anything from him in this whole episode.
April and Catherine have not always seen eye to eye. Why has Catherine taken such a shine to her now?
Drew: I think she sees something in April. She sees an ambition and a work ethic and a passion, not only for medicine but for all of the administrative stuff that Catherine's had to do to kind of build this Avery empire. I think she sees a bit of herself in April and wants to encourage that, wants to help April to kind of spread her wings professionally. And I think April's excited to have an advocate who is so powerful and has taken an interest in her.
Do you think the fact that April and Jackson aren't together anymore enables Catherine to admire April for the type of doctor she is?
Drew: Yeah, absolutely. I think there's a whole lot of drama that goes away when you're not related to somebody. There's a freedom in just receiving April as a professional colleague. There's all kinds of stuff that a mother-in-law would like for her daughter-in-law to be and behave and all that stuff. But now that that is not present anymore, there's a freedom to connect on a different level.
I hope we actually get to see them go to Chicago and see Hamilton.
Drew: I know! Me too!
April's found herself at odds with some of her colleagues this season after temporarily replacing Meredith (Ellen Pompeo). Is that animosity going to continue?
Drew: For April, I think she's good at seeing the big picture and what she wants is for the hospital to be the best possible place it can be and for people to learn the best possible way they can learn. I think she's on the same page with Catherine about the way that that is gonna come across. It's not a personal vendetta against Richard by any means. It's just, oh wow, look, this new technique is going to make these doctors grow up faster and become stronger, and that's gonna be only good for our hospital. And she's catching a lot of flack for it, but I think at the end of the day, she's gonna want to do what's best for the hospital. And some people have different opinions about what that is, for sure.
So what's next for her and Jackson when they get back to Seattle, away from the high they experienced in this episode and back to day-to-day life?
Drew: I think we're just gonna have to wait and see. I don't think I can tell you anything beyond, it ends on a hopeful note. A really, really hopeful note. And whether that means hopeful in terms of getting back together or whether that means hopeful in terms of, there's something very big that's healed between the two of them, and they can truly kind of embrace the fact that they are each other's person again. Whatever it is, I think it ends on a very hopeful note.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 8/7c on ABC.