'Grey's Anatomy' Postmortem: Sarah Drew and Jesse Williams Talk April and Jackson's Future
"We're going to demonstrate a difference between a relationship, a bond, a trust and lust and a crime of passion," Williams tells THR.
[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Thursday's "I Was Made for Lovin' You" episode of Grey's Anatomy.]
While Meredith and Derek celebrated happy news, April and Jackson -- as well as Cristina and Owen -- each suffered major hurdles in their respective relationships during Thursday's Grey's Anatomy.
For Meredith and Derek, the news was good -- she's pregnant! -- but nervous considering this isn't the first time she's been through the process. Cristina and Owen, meanwhile, suffered a major blow when he asks for a divorce after realizing the airline attorneys think the lawsuit will be dismissed because of his conflict of interest with Cristina. While he's clearly doing it out of love for her -- so she can receive the plane crash settlement money -- there's still hope for the duo, unlike Jackson and April.
While Mer and Der celebrated the pregnancy news (our fingers crossed for the tortured couple!), April had the opposite reaction when the unmarried and devout Christian feared she was with child. Naturally caught off-guard by the news, Jackson (Jesse Williams) professes his love for April (Sarah Drew) and declares he's "in" -- as she's more than a casual affair and proposes they get married and start a family, fulfilling April's dream of being "mint to be."
However, after April celebrates that she dodged a bullet and doesn't have to have a shotgun wedding when she learns she's not pregnant, Jackson takes it personally and opts instead to go the opposite of all in and breaks off the longtime friends' romantic relationship for good (at least for now).
The Hollywood Reporter hit the Hollywood set of the ABC medical drama on Wednesday and got the scoop from Drew and Williams about what's next for the cursed couple.
The Hollywood Reporter: Is there hope for April and Jackson as a couple in the long-term?
Jesse Williams: I think so, definitely. It certainly makes it much more interesting and gives it some terrain. This season gives something that started off as really simple with a lot of bumps in the road and this gives them something to miss if they are separate. At the end of this episode, there's just a lot of "could have, would have, should have." There's a lot of ways this could have gone, which leaves you second-guessing and gives you a lot of room to kind of reflect.
Sarah Drew: They have a really interesting relationship so far in that it really started from a place of deep friendship. At this point in their life, they're in two very different places and they can't really meet each other where they need to be in order to keep their relationship going. So sadly, they must take a pause.
THR: How might April going to respond considering she was so excited that Jackson was all in?
Drew: This was not the way that she would have planned it. The problem with April is she speaks before she thinks and then has to backpedal because she constantly digs herself into a hole, especially with Jackson. What's communicated to him at the end of this episode is, "Oh, you don't want this." That's not necessarily true for April, it's just she's so totally relieved that she doesn't have to have a shotgun wedding coming from the background she's coming from.
THR: Do you guys think April and Jackson are, as Shonda Rhimes would put it, MFEO (made for each other)?
Williams: I don't know. We have a lot of the building blocks for something like that. Both of these characters probably had some kind of plan, April had a more definitive plan that she's laid out for Jackson whereas Jackson probably didn't. But even in that absence of a plan, you have a set of dos and don'ts and at the beginning of this, the romantic arm of this relationship became a lot of things we won't do and a lot of rules we should try to set out. And we constantly break all of them and they find themselves treading in quicksand since they thought it would be something more simple. Because it was so abrupt, this series of breakups -- or reasons to be apart from each other -- they find themselves with a magnetic energy to at least finish that business and seek some kind of understanding.
Drew: I hope so! What I love about their relationship is that it's built on friendship. It's not just built on two random people hopping into the on-call room immediately. There is significant history there. They really trust one another, which is the only reason someone who's a virgin could lose her virginity in that way. I feel like that trust, friendship, love and bond is a fantastic building block for that kind of a relationship.
Williams: Not only did we arrive together with a history at Mercy West before we got here, but it's been established over the course of three-and-a-half years that they actually are friends, have been friends, have this sense of trust for each other. You see a different side of them when they're together and we're seeing a different light in their eyes, a different kind of compassion in their voice, a different understanding, a different honesty as a couple. We're missing a couple filters when we're on-screen together, which makes it unique for this show.
THR: Could we see Jackson and April move on with new love interests?
Drew: That's what makes the story interesting: People start to really root for Jackson and April and since we're Grey's Anatomy, we've got to pull them apart and have them see what else is out there and how that makes them feel toward one another and see what, if anything, will draw them back together.
Williams: We're figuring that out. I think there's a lot of potential for that. You measure this by comparison to something else. For April -- who has a little more limited experience romantically -- to test the waters voluntarily or involuntarily to see what it's like, whether that makes her kind of look fondly back at her previous partner or try something new and the same for Jackson. We're going to demonstrate a difference between a relationship, a bond, a trust and lust and a crime of passion, as it were.
THR: Considering Jackson was the one to break it off, could we see him rebound?
Williams: It's possible. He's dealing with a couple things at once. At the end of last year he had the pressure of his boards, found out his mom was sleeping with Chief Webber (James Pickens Jr.) and losing Mark (Eric Dane) and Lexi (Chyler Leigh). That's a lot of everybody that he had invested time and energy in gone or having disappointed him. That puts him in a vulnerable position to be more reactionary and in the moment, which makes him more susceptible to acting out. Maybe just not overthinking it anymore. He tried that and it hasn't worked very well with women, friends, girlfriends, family or work. The rules haven't worked, you've got to go back to basics. So, maybe. We'll see.
Are you sad to see Jackson and April call it off? Hit the comments with your thoughts. Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.