Grey’s Anatomy Season 13, Episode 16 was solely devoted to Jackson Avery and April Kepner, or the couple formerly known as “Japril.” Throughout the history of Grey’s, “Japril” has been one of show’s most intriguing parings, and the ex-spouses have dealt with some of the most profound and heart-wrenching storylines in the history of Grey’s Anatomy. From the semi-comical loss of April’s nearly 30-year-old virginity during their medical boards, to the tragic loss of the couple’s premature, fatally disabled infant, the pair have been put through the emotional ringer.
Season 13 of Grey’s Anatomy began with “Japril” (now divorced) becoming parents for a second time. This time to little Harriet, a perfectly healthy baby girl whose start in life nearly cost April her own life during last season’s Grey’s Anatomy finale (the emergency C-section without painkillers). The relationship between the couple-formerly-known-as-“Japril” is complicated; they are divorced, but living together and co-parenting. They’ve even gone out on dates with other people.
Possible Grey’s Anatomy season 13 spoilers ahead.
Currently, the pair are far less “Japril” than Jackson and April. Much of the current season of Grey’s Anatomy has focused on an internal power struggle going on at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. Dr. Bailey (aka “The Chief”) has added a new attending to the staff to take over the intern training program, a job that many doctors believe was stolen from the former chief, Dr. Richard Webber.
While Jackson, the current chairman of the board at the hospital, has fought against the addition of the newest attending, Dr. Minnick, his mother, Dr. Catherine Avery, of the Harper Avery Foundation which owns Grey Sloan Memorial, has been fully behind her. Despite being married to Dr. Webber, the very man whose position Minnick is perceived as “stealing.”
Earlier this season on Grey’s Anatomy, “Japril” suffered yet another fracture. That’s because April stepped in to take Dr. Meredith Grey’s job as Chief of General Surgery when she was suspended for refusing to work with Dr. Minnick. Jackson considered her willingness to step in a betrayal, and that’s where Grey’s Anatomy left off in Episode 15.
In Grey’s Anatomy Episode 16, “Who Is He (And What is He To You),” Jackson and April find themselves thrust together, a bit unwillingly. The ex-spouses and co-parents travel together to Bozeman, Montana, to help a young girl with throat cancer. Specifically, as reported by Refinery 29, Grey’s Anatomy’s Japril is headed to Montana to retrieve donor tissue from a brain-dead child, tissue that is a perfect match for another child suffering from throat cancer.
Jackson very forcefully objects to taking April with him on the case. The reason? The Jackson has an ulterior motive for heading to Bozeman. His long-lost runaway father lives in the city, working as a low-key bartender.
During this week’s episode of Grey’s Anatomy, when “Japril” arrives in Montana, they have to deal with their first hurdle immediately. The father of their brain-dead potential donor doesn’t know that his son is brain-dead, leaving the two doctors to deliver the bad news. The devastated father is ultimately convinced by the Grey’s duo to donate his son’s tissue, but it’s all for nothing. The boy is found to suffer from a condition that makes his tissue unsuitable for donation.
Jackson, however, isn’t around when Grey’s Anatomy reveals that his donor throat tissue. And he’s not at the hotel they are staying in prepping for surgery, either. He’s at a local Bozeman bar with a dead phone that April is burning up when she finally tracks him down, three sheets to the wind and eyeballing the bartender — that April still doesn’t know is Jackson’s long-lost pop.
After being subjected to some decidedly spousal nagging, including being told that he needs to act like a grown-up when he has a surgery to complete, Jackson breaks a glass and runs out. That’s when the bartender introduces himself to April, and she realizes what all the fuss is about.
“I was a surgeon, many lives ago. The hours are better and nobody dies.”
The bartender goes on to introduce himself as Robert Avery, played by the incomparable Eric Roberts.
Meanwhile, Jackson is forced to find a new solution for his throat cancer patient, a patient whose pushy mom threatens to take elsewhere if Jackson isn’t up for the task. And up to the task he’s not, because he’s too busy worrying about reuniting with his long-lost dad.
“I’ve got a million things to say to that guy. He looked me right in the eye, and he doesn’t know his own son.”
Ultimately, Grey’s Anatomy goes on to show April telling Jackson to go handle his daddy issues so that he can do his job. When Jackson confronts his dad, Jackson introduces himself and the estranged pair share a hug. His dad doesn’t seem to be in the least bit surprised that Jackson is “awesome,” and Jackson learns that his long-lost father is perfectly happy as a bartender — and without him.
The father-son Grey’s Anatomy reunion leads to a “Japril” epiphany the next morning, with Jackson confusing his idioms. After saying “your gut’s in your throat” rather than “your heart’s in your throat,” Jackson decides to use his cancer patient’s intestines to replace her cancerous throat. And, in true Grey’s Anatomy fashion, the plan is a success, curing their patient’s cancer and saving her voice to boot.
After their joint success, “Japril” has their biggest moment of the episode, and of this season of Grey’s Anatomy. The exes end up sleeping together for the first time in a very long time. And rather than being overly dramatic, the scene is totally natural and comfortable, and brings to mind the easy going “Japril” of yore.
The next morning sees April sending Jackson off the tie up the loose ends with his dad. Jackson goes back to the bar and dishes more on his life, including about his daughter. When his estranged father offers to take on the role of “Grandpa” to Harriet, however, Jackson wants nothing to do with it.
“You’re not my father. I feel like when you have a kid you’re making a promise. And I’m keeping my promise.”
All in all, the “Japril” Grey’s Anatomy episode is getting rave reviews online, with many fans stoked for an episode that focused on the show’s primary characters and actually seemed to accomplish something and bring closure to a situation. However, despite the closure, this week’s episode of Grey’s also left a lot of questions unanswered.
For example, is “Japril” a thing again? Are Jackson and April really back together, or was their hookup a one-time thing? Is the sex going to put an end to some of the constant bickering and tension between the pair back at Grey Sloan Memorial? Because this is Grey’s Anatomy, nobody really knows what might happen yet, but you can bet fans will be clamoring for more “Japril” before the season ends.
[Featured Image by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP Images]