Never has it been such a good time to be a fan of defunct Grey's Anatomy couples.
Not only did this season bring us afterlife reunions for MerDer (Meredith and Derek) and Slexie (Mark Sloan and Lexie), but we also got a fully living reunion for Jackson (Jesse Williams) and April (Sarah Drew). Sure, they've been coparenting happily for three years, but until now, we've never actually gotten a glimpse of what their relationship is like. As it turns out, it's good. In fact, it's very good, especially now that we all know April's single once again.
After half an episode of teasing us about the less-than-loving friendship between Jackson and April's second husband Matthew (Justin Bruening), April dropped the bomb that her marriage was over. Matthew was just never able to get past his and April's rocky history (like the time she left him at the altar to elope with Jackson), and now she's free to move to Boston to help Jackson with his new dreams of transforming the Catherine Fox foundation for the better.
There was not quite a romantic reconciliation at the end of the episode, but there was certainly the possibility of one ahead of Williams' exit from the series. And if you ask Drew, it's happening.
"I have never been shy about wanting Japril to be endgame," Drew said during a press conference with reporters. "It's what I wanted the whole time."
Even if the writers haven't expressly said that Jackson and April will end up together, Drew has "decided that they are," and thinks the audience can "come to whatever conclusion that makes them happiest." For her, their ideal ending would involve them running "off into the sunset."
"One of the biggest heartbreaks for me about leaving in season 14 was that they didn't get to be endgame," she said. "So who knows what happens when they make their way to Boston, but I think there's a great deal of hope that's there."
The episode ended with a beautiful moment between friends, but unfortunately for many fans, there was no kiss. Apparently, we should all just be grateful they hugged and held hands.
"There was not supposed to be a hug, there was not supposed to be a hand grab. Both of those things happened on the day, between the two of us," Drew shared, explaining that Williams thought Jackson would reach out to his friend to make sure she was OK, and she pitched the hug. "I do think a kiss would have been too much."
The lack of kiss "leaves the audience hoping and wanting more," according to Drew, and to actually have them kiss might have been overkill.
She continued, "It would be a little intense if, like, she dropped the bomb that her marriage is over, and then five seconds later they're making out. I mean, I know that's what a lot of fans wanted, but I just think there's tenderness there about all the things he's asking her to do. He's uprooting her life, they're about to go on this epic journey. Like, you're going to need to take some time, if that's the direction they're going to go back in. I think it would have been too much."
Jackson spent last night's episode figuring out what he wants from his life, which is more than he initially realized. After a visit to his father, who abandoned his family and his family money long ago to live a peaceful life running a diner in Montana, Jackson decided he wants to move to Boston to run the foundation, with a new focus on racial equity in medicine. He offered April a job at the foundation, allowing her to do the same kind of outreach she's been doing in Seattle, just with a lot more resources.
She was initially hesitant to turn her life upside down, but eventually said yes to the idea. And if you think friendly exes Jackson and April running a medical foundation in Boston sounds like a ready-made spinoff, you're not alone.
"Yes, how cool would that show be?" Drew said when asked if she'd be into the idea. "How amazing and needed is a show about racial justice in the medical field? I got so fired up watching the episode last night because Jesse Williams just freaking killed it. His passion! I mean, his passion for all of this stuff shines through...I just kept thinking, like, how cool would this couple be? Him working from the position of having money and power to be able to actually make that change, and then she's working with folks experiencing homelessness...these two could change the world of medicine, right? I'd watch that show!"
While April's original season 14 ending was less than satisfactory for many fans (Drew included), she's pretty thrilled with how things have turned out, calling it a "beautiful experience."
"I feel like there was this lovely kind of full-circle conclusion that felt so good in my heart and in my body, combined with going back on set and feeling so loved and so missed," she shared. "It was just such a sweet homecoming in so many ways, and to get to do an episode like this to really close out both of these characters, it just felt like how it was always meant to be."
"It felt really, really good," she continued. "I came home from shooting those days with Jesse and I just took a great big exhale. I know they're fictional characters, but I lived in that woman's skin for nine years, and she means so much to me and that relationship means so much to me, so getting to witness a really layered, beautiful, full of history episode between these two people that have so much love for one another, that I love so much, it was perfect. I couldn't have asked for anything better."
As for the newly single April, Drew says the former trauma surgeon has "changed a lot" and is more grounded now. Where an earlier version of April would have had a real breakdown over the failure of a second marriage, this more mature April has evolved, especially in terms of her all-important religion.
"I just think that her speech was written so beautifully. The line where she says that, 'Life isn't written so tidy, and sometimes God isn't so easy to understand.' For me, that is like such a marker of maturity in her life."
Drew recalled growing up in an evangelical Christian home and said that she and her family have "very much expanded" their understanding of spirituality and God, and April has been on a similar journey.
"I think that April, you know, back when she was like, 'I'm gonna have three kids and it's going to be this and I'm going to do this, I'm not going to have sex until I'm married and definitely never going to get divorced, and now here she is and life is so different than what she planned, and I think the younger version of her would have been broken and devastated," she said. "But because she has grown and evolved and changed and seen the world and recognized that God is bigger than, like, her poster of Justin Timberlake that she prayed to, her faith has expanded to the point where she can feel the break and she can feel the pain, and it doesn't wreck her irreparably."
Anybody else in the mood for a full Grey's Anatomy rewatch right now? Because we're about ready to hit play.
For now, keep up with all the departed doctors of Grey's Anatomy by scrolling down.
Grey's Anatomy airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.