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In its 17th season, 'Grey’s Anatomy' has been giving us one surprise after another. Will April and Jackson *finally* reunite?

Do you ship April and Jackson on ‘Grey’s Anatomy’? Watch their reunion

In its 17th season, Grey’s Anatomy has been giving us one surprise after another. Right off the bat, the first surprise was in the producers’ decision to feature a COVID-19 storyline, while we’re still in the middle of the pandemic. They wanted to be authentic & true to the medical profession that they owe so much to. 

It wasn’t easy to jump right into it. As co-executive producer Linda Klein explained, “Dr. [Michael] Metzner was a big influence, along with myself and Naser [Alazari]. The three of us would get on calls with the studio and with the companies, just to make sure that we were going to implement the correct and safest way to bring this show to fruition. We fought many a battle and it’s working”

The beach of Meredith’s dream

Soon enough, the show found its sweet spot for the season: bringing back old, beloved characters back from the dead. This began when Meredith caught the infection, went critical, and had to be put on a ventilator. She’s been visiting a beach in her dreams — an abstract concept of the space between life & death. 

She first met Derek, her dead husband, then George, her best friend. She was then visited by her latest love interest-turned-friend Andrew DeLuca, who was fighting a life & death battle after a noble sacrifice. The beach even brought Mark & Lexie, the most indisputably rooted-for couple together. Finally, she gets visited by Derek again, who tells her to go back to their kids. 

In the meantime, a lot is happening in the real world. The #BlackLivesMatter protests are ongoing & the producers don’t shy away from tackling all aspects of race, racial discrimination, and identity. An offshoot of this is Jackson’s quest to make a difference. 

Jackson gets a storyline

While operating on a victim from the protests, Jackson & Richard have a conversation that pinches Jackson. This comes on the heels of the previous episode where Jackson has already been trying to put his wealth to good use. When Richard shares that he’s gone to protests all his life, Jackson feels like his privilege protected him from the rawness of this part of his identity.

He confronts Catherine, to little avail, and then decides to drive off. The episode “Look Up Child” will pick up here. Finally, Jackson Avery has something substantial to do & be. Better late than ever, eh? Sarah Drew shared in an interview that her entry is part of “a Jackson story. He’s going through something big and she’s the one that is there to listen.” Mark Sloan would be so proud.

Another twist: April is not the only one Jackson will visit. He will also visit his deadbeat father, have small talk, and maybe even a heart-to-heart. We’re betting on a confrontation at the very least. 

Bringing back April, are the producers listening to the fans?

When old characters were being revived one by one, Sarah Drew, who plays the religious & talented Dr. April Kepner in Grey’s Anatomy, was asked in multiple interviews if she’d return to the show too. Each time she’d answered that she’d love to, that she isn’t keeping anything off the table, and returned she has. 

Does that mean the showrunners are listening to the fans? They’ve been very clear that they wanted to give the fans something, hence the array of old characters coming back. But Drew’s character’s return may have to do more with need than appeasing fans, though that’s a great bonus, looking at the nostalgia that the trailer for the upcoming episode has conjured up. 

Is this a #Japril endgame?

Sarah Drew’s return might mean a lot of things, but it’s just a reunion. It may not be a #Japril endgame, as many fans were surmising, or hoping for. Drew explains what Kepner has been up to in an interview, “She’s still been living in Seattle with Matthew and co-parenting Harriet. Everything that you’ve all assumed of where she’s been, that’s where she’s been.”

Or as this Twitter user said, we might need intense comforting after tonight’s episode.

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